Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I wanted to write this blog today because on the way to the river I began to feel a little somber. Now how in the world can a guy be heading to go fishing feel a little sad, well its because I once again thought about how much I enjoy guiding. This Fall has been one of the best guiding seasons I have had, and it hit me that today I was on my own. The last two days I have watched client fish come out of the water, and my heart has nearly jumped out of my chest. Tuesday, we had an eighteen or so incher completely breach and yesterday we had a brown well over twenty come completely out of the water as if to say, I’ll show me mine, now whats you got!
Today's plan was to really hunt the river and hit a lot of structure that I normally bypass. When I first hit the sidewalk and looked down at the river, I noticed a big redd that was hosting several browns. I wanted to point them out but after looking around, I was by myself. I watched them for a while and then headed up river. I stepped into the first run and my first drift hooked a fish, he was only about thirteen inches but I was on the board. I hooked five more in that run but none of them made it to my net. I walked up to the next run and lost two more fish. I continued to make my way up and finally I hooked one that got my attention. It was a quick battle that made my reel scream for a second and then he popped off as well. I began to question my abilities and I started wondering why I kept losing them. Over the years, I have noticed that one of the most common errors that clients make are the up-river hook sets.
I thought about it and really thought I was making good hook sets but decided next run I would really pay attention. The next drift hooked and landed a dink and then the next drift was a quick take and the fish was gone. I casted a few more times and then noticed something didn’t look right. My line had been sheared off right below my egg. I walked to the next run and while re-rigging, I could feel my annoyance beginning to grow. I knew this run had a snag but, I also thought it was usually good for a fish or two. On the first drift my indicator jumped and another fish was off. I knew the hook set was good and just scratched m head. I casted again and my indicator sunk, I snapped up the rod and felt a thud. It was the snag. I stretched my arm out above the snag but it wouldn’t pop loose. I hopped off the weir and with my line stretched out, I walked down and as far and across as I could, trying to pop it loose. It began to get to deep and I had to turn back. I thought about just breaking the line but I had just finished putting on new flies. Now I was determined and decided to try to get above the snag. I don’t think anyone was watching but if they were, they may have thought I was doing some sort of Pagan ritual like the kids circling the May Pole. I got all the way around and crawled back up and over the weir and after getting as deep as I felt comfortable, I stretched my arm all the way out and jiggled. I began to think why in the heck does an up-river hook-set come out of a stupid fish mouth but gets stuck on a stupid rock .........and then it popped loose. Makes sense and all is well.
I fished a little further up-river and then back down hooking several and landing some and then finished the day catching dinks on a dry. The day was great but just not the same as sharing it guiding. I absolutely love guiding, not enough to do it for free, I still have to keep the lights on. If you are thinking about booking a trip, I would suggest you get it done now, our busy season is just around the corner. You can always book the old-fashioned way and call the shop or me, but now the shop has the ability to book on line from our web site. It was just over a year ago when Stan landed the 24 inch brownie and the season is upon us. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston. And the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..