Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I wasn’t planning on fishing today but when I was walking the dogs and saw the snow and the clouds, my mind was changed. Pooh-dog could sense it as well and telepathically told me that he was not quite ready but if I were to give him a half a dozen or so pot biscuits, he would give his knees a try. No matter how much I love fishing with the pups, I just can’t be part that game. Yep, today was a solo day.
With the snow and clouds, I expected to have the river to myself. Driving by Valco I was a little surprised by the number of vehicles. I got ready and walked down to one of my favorite runs but someone was already there. I was worried that it could be difficult to find quality water but the next run was open. I landed a couple of the 12 inchers and then moved down river. The next run I landed a half a dozen of the same sized fish so I kept moving down. There were lots of other anglers out but I felt a little like Moses today, every time I neared a run, it just opened up. My third run is where most of the excitement came. I landed an 18 incher a few casts in and then it felt like every six casts, I would hook another. I hooked one really big male and after his third time going air born, I felt the dreaded Ker-chunk, and the fly buried in his tail. I gasped and then luckily, it popped out.
As I made my way down river, it seemed every run produced fish. The majority of the 11 to 13 inchers I landed today I would guess had to be naturals. Even at those sizes, they had a beautiful red stripe and many of them had orange fins. I got into one run and first drift through, my indicator shot up river. I set and immediately felt that it was a toad but he popped off pretty quickly. I casted again and not sure if was the same fish, but what a beauty, a big, fat, red striped 20 incher, my fish of the day. I continued down river and finally, I got to a run that was occupied, my friend Sam was beating up those fish. I went a little further and as the hatch began to ebb; I realized I was at least a mile and a half from my car I started working back up. Every stop seemed to produce a fish or two and at 2:45, the river just shut off. By the time I got back to the car I was hungry and exhausted. Tomorrow might be a great day to weigh in.
Conditions right now are not easy but there are some great fish to be had. I wanted to throw out a few little tips for this time of the year. I spend a lot of time watching clients and other anglers and one of the biggest problems I see, is people wasting a run with a nonchalant drift. When the fish are gorging, very often, if your first drift is perfect, the fish will eat. Today, many times it would be the fifth or sixth, drift that would get the take. And keep in mind, one poor drift can spook the whole run. Also, keep moving, the whole river is great. A few weeks ago, while making my way through the river, I saw a guy that fished the same run for over five hours. This weekend will be the start of the busy season on the river. I have been informed that the CPW has heavily stocked the river at Juniper Bridge and also Valco bridge. If you have a kid or anyone that just needs to find out what it is like to catch a fish on a fly rod, get to those spots. Catch some and then move on so someone else can enjoy, heck it is the giving season. Most of the fish today were taken on a size 22 FOD and a size 24 Bling. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Moses and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..