Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Is Coming......

              Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I have wanted to use that title ever since Cat and I binge watched Game of Thrones last year. My original idea was that after the first snow fall in late October, we would take a picture of me with my gear on, lying in the snow with my rod draped across my body. If you’re not a Game watcher, then you probably have no idea what I’m talking about but for the Game fans and in my own imagination, I would be just as sexy as Jon Snow. Well the November weather never really cooperated and by the time our first snow fall occurred we were already nearing my not so favorite part of winter. As I have written for several years now, January is not my favorite time of the year to fish but I will try to give a few tips to make your late winter on the Ark fantastic.
                I wanted to start by giving a quick update on the river as of late. The  Arctic freeze that came through last weekend dropped the water temps in to the low 40’s and have made the hatches a little unpredictable. One day the fish are gorging and the next day it’s crickets, proverbially speaking that is. Cats bug collecting has found a plethora of juvenile baetis nymphs, lots of midges and still aquatic moth and caddis larvae. Today I hooked several quality bows and got two to the net, and I felt like I worked for and earned every fish I bumped. Alex was out as well and had one of his best days in a while landing several in the fifteen to eighteen inch range.
                Now on to the winter tips; first, if you want to get out on the water please do not take yourself so seriously. And what do I mean by that, if you are on the water that that means you are not at work (unless you are a guide), you are not at the mall shopping, you are not yelling at Kubiak through your T.V. , you are not stuck at a boring holiday party, and lastly, you are not at your computer obsessing over college football recruiting(well maybe that’s just me). Now with that out of the way and on to the water, use the lull times to work on you technique. One of our shop friends Rich, has been working on his mending by using the New Zealand strike indicators and it is paying off in a big way. With the NZ indicator any poor mending will give you immediate negative feedback by sinking your indicator. If you can get the NZ indicator to float I can guarantee you will catch more fish in the future. Thirdly, if you are obsessed with big fish, winter can be a great time to get your best fish landed. Low flows coupled with cooler water can get you just enough edge to get that dream fish to the net. And lastly, and relating to the not taking yourself so serious part, when the dinks start rising, throw on a dry and check your ego at the door. For such small fish, they sure are smart.

                Now on to the business part of this blog; last weekend’s arctic blast put a bit of a damper on Christmas shopping so the Drifts shop hours will be adjusted over the next few days in hope that you get all your dreams and wishes. Thursday will have normal hours from 8:30a.m. to 5:30p.m., Friday we will be open from 8:30 til 6:00,(an extra half hour) and Saturday we will be open from 8:00 til 4:00 for all the procrastinators. Thanks to all our friends that made it to last weekend’s Fishmas party and to those that missed it, Cat, Winston and I want to wish you a truly Merry Christmas. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Jon Snow, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..

                Alex's fish of the day !

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Zombie Apocalypse Fly.......

            Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. While sitting here watching the Walking Dead I began thinking about why different people watch different shows for many different reasons. Cat and I began watching the Walking Dead a few years back, and for me, I like the excitement, the drama and even a little of the comical gore, but for Cat it is more of a fantasy thing. I never quite understood it until one day Cody, Cat and I started talking about the show. The two of them began foaming at the mouth and talking about how awesome it would be to live in a Zombie Apocalypse. They planned how they would get food, their shelter and all the best ways to kill off these killer zombies. I guess it shows what a wimp I am because my thought was I sure would miss my hot shower. I also had to bring up the fact that our fly fishing days would be over. I guess this is where the conversational rules changed because Cat said that at that point we could still fish, but we could only fish with one fly for all our eternity. Now I was a little intrigued and since the two of us are considered “tail water experts,” I figured that Cat was going to put the rest of her fly fishing eternity into the hands of the FOD.  Now before my chest could even pump up, she told me her fly would be a size 20 Adams. What the …., I then had to jump in and say “what will you do for floatant” and Cat followed with “what are you going to do for weight.” At that point I knew I was either way overmatched for this kind of battle, or way too old and boring, and the conversation then turned to something else really important.
               On Friday Cat and I headed to the river and she got to let her Zombie Apocalypse fly make her point. By the time we got to the river the hatch was already on, I moved into a feeding lane and Cat started eyeing the risers. My first cast hooked and landed a fourteen incher and I figured it would be another typical killer nymph day. Cat started below me and her “ciggle” was immediate. For the next hour, I did not get a bump and the “ciggle” could be heard every few minutes. Not that we count, but after she had me down about fifteen to one, I went ahead and went to a dry as well, and what do you know, I could do it also. We caught sippers all afternoon and Cat was able to show off her expertise when she got a twenty incher to the net.
               Today Winston and I headed to the river on our own, when inviting Cat, she grinned and said she was still a little sore from out fishing me on Friday. As we made it to the river the fish were already looking up, and without any Cat pressure, I went straight to an Adams and what a blast. First cast landed a twelve incher and after that, every other cast produced a take or a fish. I saw one pair of lips that looked a little bigger than the rest and after a couple of pretty good drifts he hammered it. I got him to the net and he measured out between fifteen and sixteen inches. After about a dozen or so smaller fish, I moved down river into a feeding lane. I switched back to my nymph rig and my confidence came back in a big way. First cast landed an eighteen incher and in the next half an hour I landed six in that same range. Winston was once again proud of his papa.

               It sure is great to have such a wonderful family and friends. If a Zombie Apocalypse ever does happen, I am in good hands. Cat and I will pack the guns, the fly rods, and the dogs and head to Cody and Kim’s house. I may have to go without a hot shower but I think on any given day, with an Adams, FOD, or even Cody swinging something big, we would have fish to eat. Unless of course, the fish are affected by the same Zombie virus, but that’s for a different blog. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Abraham & Glen, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……

The Zombie Apocalypse Fly