Saturday, July 28, 2018

In the Leather...

           Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly fishing Adventures. One of the great things about being a fly fishing guide is that I get to help people experience some of the biggest and feistiest fish they have ever seen. The most difficult part about being a guide is that even when conditions are difficult, it is my job to get people into fish. My last few trips out have left a bad taste in my mouth and todays plan was for a little payback.
          The river was pretty crowded today but we basically got to fish every run that we wanted. The fish were eating right off the bat and after Jen had a few quick release fish, she landed the fish of the day, a beautiful 18 inch chubby. Brian was in a run a short distance away and after a few drifts I heard the familiar “fish on” scream. I set up to help and watched as the fish just went ballistic back and forth and at one time the line went completely limp, he started running back and the line came tight again. Brian worked the bow into the landing water and as I was trying to net it, it made a quick run over my net. We got him close again and as I was reaching, he said no and if I were a younger man, I might have made a dive but the fish spit the hook. I looked at Brian and he gave me the normal question, “what did I do wrong”? I noticed as I looked up that he was wearing a golf hat and I thought about the old “in the leather” saying. When golfing in the old days, if the ball was between the leather grip and the putter head it was considered good.  Shortly after that Brian hooked another piggie but this one had no intentions of playing, he took him straight into the rocks and sawed him off. Jen moved down and after a serious breakoff, she landed her second toad of the day. I saw Brian fighting another and after running back to help he got the fish right up next to me, I grabbed the net and as I was bringing it down to scoop, a quick head shake and he was off. So here is how the day will be explained, they both caught a few really nice fish, Jen got them to the net and Brian had them in the leather. Well done guys and thanks a million, it is so much more enjoyable when we can get the fish to eat.
          Now just a couple of announcements, first, the water temps are beginning to edge upwards into the dangerous range after about 2:00. So please fight the fish as quickly as you can and get them revived and back in quickly. Secondly, a friend of mine accidently left his set up in the Osprey parking lot a few weeks ago. The rod is a Hardy and the reel is a purple Galvan. If you happen to have picked it up or have heard of anyone finding it please bring it by the shop and we can get it to the rightful owner. The reel is very special and means way more to the owner than what someone could sell it for on ebay. If you bring it by, I will tie you a dozen of any of my signature flies. Thanks, and it would sure mean a lot to my friend. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Tiger Woods and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..

Monday, July 9, 2018

It's Not You......

        Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I think I was in 3rd or 4th grade when the boyfriend/girlfriend thing became popular. I’m not really sure why, I didn’t really like to hang out with girls and I was way to young for the physical thing, I guess it was just an issue of self-confidence. My first girlfriend, and I will leave names out to protect the innocent lasted for a few months. It began right before Christmas with a note asking if she would be my girlfriend and a box for a yes and another for a no. She marked yes and we were hitched. My first memory of the girlfriend experience was having to cough up the cash for the obligatory Christmas gift, Valentine’s Day was next and again, my paper route money was NOT spent on what I wanted. I remember the Valentines Dance and sensing something not right and I got the break up letter the next day, what a waste of an ID bracelet. Now in those days, kids didn’t talk to their parents and would never discuss their feelings with their buds. The only person I was able to talk to was my next-door neighbor Kim. I told her about getting dumped and her answer was one that I have heard echoed most of my life. Kim listened and finally in the most caring voice, explained that it wasn’t me, and there was something wrong with the girl, I knew that already but it sure was nice to hear it from someone else. Kim was my main sounding board through high school and in my twenties, I found many other sounding boards, and yes sometimes it worked to my advantage. As I aged it became my brother, my church friends and even my dad and it came full circle when my youngest son had his first break up. For hours I listened to him cry and when the time was just perfect, I told him that it wasn’t him and that there was something wrong with the girl.
          When I finally left Brandon’s room that evening and had time to reminisce, I began to wonder about the gazillion times I heard that over the years. Was it always the other person and never me? Sounds good, but statistically speaking, at least a few of the breakups had to have been about me. I’m not a billionaire, I have been a total jerk, and let’s face it, I’m no Brad Pitt and yet according to my sounding boards, it has never been my fault. Over the last several days fishing and guiding, this old saying has been back running through my skull.
          One morning I had walked into my first run and before casting I could see two different fish chowing. They were in a feeding lane and so I knew they were eating and I looked at the bugs flying around and then the rig I was throwing, and it was a perfect match. I waited to see the fish again and then dropped the flies right in front of them. I was fully expecting the take and nothing, I casted again and again and not interested. I waited for the fish to move again and another round of perfect drifts went unanswered. I changed up a few flies and tossed another round of perfect drifts and still nothing. During BWO season when I see fish, a good drift almost always would produce a take but now I was devastated and then the sounding board was my mind echoing all those years, it wasn’t me, it was the fish.
          The next day I decided to take some time chasing a few carp. Several fish would just bail the second the fly hit the water, and a few actually followed the strip but when it came down to it, it wasn’t me it was the stupid carp.
          My last several guide trips have been mostly all first timers and I have had to explain how difficult our fish can be sometimes. Now as the most caring and perfect guide I have used the “it’s not you” saying more than once, however going back to what I said earlier, statistically speaking, sometimes it’s probably us. I tell everyone that when catching these fish, you have to do a hundred things right and the one error we make can break the deal. The fish are still really eating well but they are not at all easy to land. So if you get out over the next few days and manage to get a fish or two to the net, pat yourself on the back because you earned it. Pics are from today's trip.As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, the Late Kim Crossman and the Drift Flt Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Independence Day...

          Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I was standing in the river this morning and it hit me that we had just moved into July and Independence Day is only a few days away. As most of our readers know, I don’t take my freedom lightly and I don’t want myself or others to ever forget about how we are, who we are. Several years back I was talking to an employee about their American Poly-sci class and She began to tell me about how her text book explained the 70’s and 80’s in America. I was dumbfounded and figured she had read it incorrectly but when she showed me, I saw how inaccurate it was, and made me read about history with a grain of salt. When I was a kid, I remember watching Revolution films and they all showed this all for one battle against England. Everyone seemed to be on the same page and everyone wanted freedom. Since those early days I have read enough about the time and found there were lots of Americans that wanted no part of the revolution. They said a war wouldn’t be worth the risk and we should just pay the enormous taxes and live according to how the King wanted us to live. So here is why I love Independence Day, there were enough people that said “give me liberty, or give me death”, and many gave their lives so that we could have freedom to live as we please. Today I am so thankful for our forefathers that would accept nothing less than freedom.
          I had guide trips scheduled all weekend but had to postpone yesterdays due to the fire. Fridays trip was really solid, lots of hookups and a few really nice fish to the net. Today I had two first timers and the fish were definitely eating. Good casts and drifts hooked plenty of fish and a few nice fish made it in, although it was a huge numbers day, I think they are hooked and ready for more.
The river is in really good condition right now so if you get a chance, get to the river. I have openings this week so get your trips booked.  Call the shop or my cell 719-568-4927. Enjoy your freedom and as always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Ben and George, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….