Hello fiends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I wanted to tell a little story about my chance at glory. I don’t talk about it much, but at one point in my life I was a pretty heavy smoker. I quit in the spring of 1991 and after gaining 30 pounds in three months, I knew I had to find something to keep my weight down. I began playing a little basketball and keeping true to my personality, I was immediately hooked. I started playing several nights a week and even though I couldn’t shoot worth a darn, I loved playing D and outworking the big guys on the boards. I worked on my shot over the years and finally began to feel pretty comfortable shooting the rock. I began playing in city league and slab league and the competition was addicting.
One season while playing with one of the best teams in the league, I got my chance. It was a back and forth game all evening long and it seemed the last team with the ball was going to win. Our team was up one and with about fifteen seconds left and the other teamed got a lay-up. We didn’t have a T.O. and began to push the ball up the court. I made my way to the wing and our point guard started to drive, he had been unstoppable all night. His path to the rim was blocked and he quickly drew a double team and the ball came flying out to me. We were down to six seconds and so I felt for the seams, jumped and gave the little flick of my wrists. The ball came out with the perfect backspin and I held the follow through. It was as if time had stopped and all I could hear was my heartbeat as the ball was nearing the rim. I heard a loud clank, and the ball hit the back of the rim. The ball bounced straight in the air and then off the front of the rim. One of our players grabbed the rebound but the buzzer had sounded before he was able to get off another shot. I was devastated, I think it was the only shot I had missed that night but it was my chance at glory. We finished out the season without a loss and beat the same team in the playoffs by 20, but the one miss was the shot I couldn’t get out of my head and I never had a that shot for glory again.
The last few trips to the river have made me think about that missed shot from many years ago. One of the best things about writing the blog is that I basically have a diary of fishing conditions over the last several years. I know I have heard a lot of people recently talk about the low water this year being why the river is acting so technically finicky. Now I know the fish are a little more packed in than usual but more often that not, this time of the year you have to make the first shot count. Yesterday I fished with my brother and after I got him set up, I moved to the tail end of the run and made my first cast. The drift was perfect and after about ten feet the indicator shot down. Today, in my second stop, I took an extra second to examine the water and when ready, I made a long cast and let the river take the indicator. It was another long drift and at the tail end, I caught my fish of the day. I spent another half hour in that run and only managed one more dink that ate the fly.
This is my guide trip for this time of the year. When you get into a run to fish don’t be over anxious. Take a second to figure out how you want your flies to drift through the spot and secondly make sure you have enough line to use. I can’t overstate enough how important that first drift is this time of the year. One poor drift and the big fish are out of there. I have plenty of openings over the next few weeks so if you want to get out and try some really fun and technical fishing, give me or the shop a call. If you catch one of the piggies right now, you have earned it. I still fret over that missed shot so many years back and even if I had made it, my life would not have changed a bit. Today when I need that shot of glory, I make the first drift perfect. As always, Connell, Cat and Winston want to thank you for reading….