Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Good and the Bad......

         Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I can’t tell you how many times over the last few weeks I have answered the shop phone and I have heard the exact same questions. The first is, how is the tailwater fishing and the second is how is the clarity. Well hopefully by the blog title you can see that our river has really been a mixed bag as of late.
          First, I wanted to talk a little about the good. If you are a long-time reader than you know that January is far from my favorite time of the year to fish. I used to complain that the bait guys killed our fish and the river will never be the same. And almost every year at around the 10th or 11th of February our bows would begin to poke their heads out and they would be everywhere and then I would get frustrated because with that many fish, how the heck am I not catching fish on every cast. Well this is the good, a few weeks ago I was walking the river and I began to see shadows. At first I just figured that it was my eyes playing tricks on me(it is January), but after drifting past a few the hallucinations I realized that they put up a pretty good fight. Now over the last week or so, I have really seen a bunch of fish coming out of hiding.
          Now the bad, as with every year, just because I can see the fish, doesn’t mean they are easily catchable. The other day I had a guide trip out and I set a client up in a spot and then got above him to watch. The first 10 feet of the drift was perfect and just as we were nearing the fish I saw a small belly in the line and the indicator drug just a tad and the fish just moved out. Yep, they are super spooky.
          Now some good, as the afternoon sets in we have been seeing some great midge hatches and the surface feeding has been fantastic. Not the piggies of the A.M. but the little guys and even though they are small, don’t think of them as dumb.
          Now some bad, this upcoming weekend I’m guessing will be our busiest weekend of the year. I guess the football watchers have nothing better to do and will be at the river. Two years ago on the Saturday before the SB one of our guides counted 36 anglers between Valco bridge and Tree Bend. Last year I remember trying to find a spot on Sunday with two clients and it was nearly impossible.

          So, as you can see there is some good and some bad going on, on our river now. One fisherman will come in at the end of the day and say fishing is awful and the next will say that he just caught the fish of his life. If you are one of the fishermen that are really frustrated than maybe now would be a great time to invest in a guide trip. Figure out how to see fish and the maybe see what it takes to catch them. Weekends are pretty busy but weekdays can be good. Fish today were carefully stalked and caught on a size 22 J-bomb and the smaller fish were tricked on size 24 Tube Wings and Ninjas. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Alexander Graham Bell, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Ninja Midge


      Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I have had quite a few requests lately to post a “how to video” of the Ninja Midge. The Ninja was developed many years ago after a particularly frustrating evening on the river. Cat and I were fishing with a few friends and my usual flies were not working even though I saw swarms of little white fluff balls flying around. It was the first time I think I had ever felt like our fish were keying in on a certain bug. I looked through all my boxes and I didn’t have anything that looked like the swarming bugs. When we got home that evening, Cat showed me some pictures of what an emerging midge looked like and then I sat down at the vice and tried make something close. After 24 dreadful hours of anticipation I headed back to the river and the little white fluff balls were out in force. I pulled one of my new inventions out and as I was tying it on, it slipped and fell in the river. I quickly picked it up but could not find the eye….then I realized that I picked up a real one. Nailed it !!!!!

     The Fly has been tweaked several times over the years but is still my go to fly every time I see midges. As I was posting the video I noticed a few peacock fibers hanging out and that was not by choice and were trimmed out. The fly will be great in sizes 22 and 24 between now and March and going into late spring I fish it in 18 and 20’s. We have all you need at the Drift for your tying needs. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, the Ninja Midge and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..

Thursday, January 4, 2018


            Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Like most of you, the last few weeks have been so busy that I haven’t found much time to fish. Cat and I were sitting around the other night and she reminded me that the last time we had fished together that she out fished me, so I was itching to restore the order. Cat had to work today so I was on my own, I guess I needed the practice.
            Walking to the river today I started thinking about how awesome it has been to be part of this addiction for so many years. Over the years, Cat and I have met so many awesome people that if it wasn’t for fly fishing, our paths most likely would have never crossed. We have friended people that are worth more money than I could ever imagine, we have rekindled high school friendships, and last year we even met the Speaker of the House, after his wife noticed our Fishpond rod case. But even with all of the really important people that we have met, nothing quite compares to the personal friendships we have made over the years in the shop.
            When Cat first began working in the shop twelve years ago, one of the first people Cat met was an older gentleman named Ed. Ed would come by the shop once or twice a week and loved to tie. He was so proud of his flies and almost every time in the shop, he would give us a choice of what we wanted. He had gotten into parasol dries a few years ago and the look on his face after Cat caught a fish on one he tied was absolutely priceless. He got into wine making a few years back and I was a little worried that he was turning Cat into an alcoholic, but luckily, he switched to brewing beer. We tried getting Ed on the river a few years back but a storm and then a water increase foiled the plan. Ed’s health deteriorated over the last few years but his quick wit and caring heart never wavered. Ed and his wife Barb are probably people that we would have never met if it wasn’t for fly fishing and I am so glad to have spent time with the two of them. Ed left this world on Monday and will spend an eternity in heaven and even though I know he is in a better place, I will miss Ed. I am so lucky to have met and friended so many awesome people.
            Now I have to talk a little about fishing. I got to the river just a little before 11:00 and the fish seemed hungry. I got into one run and a few casts in I hooked a fish that had some serious weight. It was a quick battle and the fish won. I looked at my rig and the unthinkable happened, yep me a professional guide tied a poor knot and I was looking at a curly-que. I re-tied and started catching fish. I landed several smaller fish and a then a few over seventeen inches. I moved up river but had a hard time finding fish again. Just after two, the smaller fish began drilling the surface. I put on a small BWO and trailed a size 24 Ninja and had an absolute blast. Lots of fish on both the dry and the dropper and as the hatch slowed, I put the nymph rig back on and landed another seventeen incher to finish off the day. As I was walking back to the car, I was thinking that if Cat really wanted to fish, she could have quit her job, so I’m going with the I out fished her today. hehe

            Fish really seemed to be schooled up today and when I found them, they would eat. Many of the fish were in slower water today so I went to the New Zealand Strike indicator and it really made a difference. The bigger fish today all took a size 22 FOD or a size 22 New Moon and the smaller fish were eating a smaller Bling. The fly fishing show will be going on this weekend so this might be a great time to hit the river. Stop by the shop and pick up the New Moon and some FOD’s and enjoy the nice weather. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Ed, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…