Sunday, September 11, 2016

Learning To Fly.....

               Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures blog. It’s been quite a while since I have been at the keyboard. I’m sure most of you know that it has been quite a trying time in the O’Grady household this year. My shoulder was bothering me so much last year that just after the first of the year I had surgery on it. Early summer it was back surgery and 4 weeks ago, I had my right knee replaced. The first two recoveries flew by and I found a rod back in my hand in two weeks. The knee was a little different. The first week and a half was a little overwhelming, I have never felt so helpless in my life. I finally felt the desire to go outside so Cat and I made a trip to the shop. I only lasted about a half an hour and then I told Cat it was time. After the first two full weeks I began to quickly notice improvement. My new Sage X showed up and I think Cat was a little tired of being my personal slave. She hung the rod right near the TV so that every time I wanted to kick back, I would see the rod and go back to trying to work out. The last week I have found myself truly longing to get back to the river. I didn’t think I was ready to fish but there is so much more to being at the river than just fishing.
               We headed to the river at around 11:30 this morning. Cat had the X and I brought a chair. We had to stay pretty close to the car and we found one of our favorite runs was open. I dug my chair in and sat while Cat was rigging up. At that time a lyrical line from Pink Floyd ran through my head, “standing alone, all senses reeled.” I know it may seem silly but after not being next to the river in over a month, it’s amazing the senses that your mind picks up on. The first was of course I was sitting just close enough that my toes were in the water. Pooh-dog wanted me to get the full extent of the water so he kept coming up to me and shaking. The next sense that went off was smell, please no large nose jokes here, the Russian olives, I’m not sure what they are but another plant smelled a little like mustard, and mostly just the smell of the river. And last and maybe the best, the sound. The leaves of the trees blowing and the sound of the water rolling over the rocks will be going through my head all evening.
               I didn’t have the time to get totally lost in my thoughts because Cat hooked up several time the first half hour we were at the river. The first fish she fought for a little while and then the dreaded “pop” with the flies coming back at her. The next fish Cat was able to wrestle the to the net. She hooked a few more but then you could tell the fish in that spot were on to us. I asked if I could try casting a few times and she said no problem. I carefully walked about five steps into the river and got several casts and drifts in. Nothing hooked but it sure felt good. Cat fished a little more and then I asked her if I could try a different run on the way out and she said sure. I had to crawl through a few boulders to get to my spot and another line from Pink Floyd sounded “there’s no sensation compared to this, suspended animation, a state of bliss.” I finally got set up and got a good base. Second cast and my indicator shot up river, I must have been busy singing “learning to fly”, because by the time I set the hook, I could hear the fish giggling from below. I casted a few more times and hooked another fish, he was only about 11inches but he was the most awesome fish I have landed in over a month. As we were heading home the perma-grin was definitely plastered across my face. I have a long way to go, and I can’t wait to Learn To Fly.
               Fish today were caught on True Bloods and SOL’s. Fishing today wasn’t incredible but it sure was awesome being there. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Gilmore&Waters, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….