Friday, December 14, 2018

One Shot at Glory....

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….

Monday, December 3, 2018

End of the Season.....

         Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady fly fishing Adventures. I have been wanting to write this blog for the last few weeks but have had a hard time finding a connection, todays trip to the river cleared it up. As most of our readers know, I am both blessed and cursed to be a Husker fan. At one point, the Huskers were the envy of every college football fan in America, but as of late, my team has really fallen on hard times. This year was going to be different, our Prodigal Son coach was back and the hope of a “real” football team was back.
            The season could not have started worse. Opening weekend, I got to spend with my son fishing and then back to his home waiting for an opening win. New coach, new QB and a new season, I could hardly contain my anticipation. The game kicked off and then quickly went into a weather delay. We waited and waited and after several hours, it was announced the game was canceled. The following week, CU came to town with a game already under its belt and the during the first half, you could really tell that it was the Huskers first game. It was fun to watch, and really felt like the Huskers were on the right track and then, the new QB got hurt. The next several games looked like the Huskers of the last few years and then finally, in week seven, things began to change. The offense began to click and the D became serviceable. They won four out of their last six but came up short in getting back to a bowl game. The season had plenty of highs and plenty of lows.
            Here is where the connection comes in, I’m not sure if football has always been this way, but modern football really doesn’t have an off season, and this is the time of the year when both the Huskers and fly fishermen can get better. There was definitely improvement throughout the season but this is now the time to really get back to being dominant. First is recruiting, my wife can tell you that the last several years I have probably spent more time reading and following recruiting than actually watching football itself. Now I’m not a coach but I really enjoy watching recruiting highlight videos just to see how great the new recruits will be. Yesterday the Huskers got a commit from a giant defensive end and after watching his film, I can’t wait to watch him terrorize QB’s the next several years. Another way the players get better in the offseason is with workouts and technical training. The players won’t be back in front of huge crowds until Spring but they are already back in the weight room getting stronger and I’m sure the QB’s and receivers are already running drills.
            Today I went to the river and started in one of my favorite runs. On my second drift my indicator bounced and I set, I could feel the fish but he very quickly popped off. A few more drifts and then I landed my fish of the day, he was only about eighteen inches but the day was just beginning. I fished that run for another half hour and only hooked one more smaller fish and I knew this was not going to be the day I was hoping for. At that point it hit me, like my Huskers not going to a bowl game, maybe I should just spend the day getting better. Now lifting weights is not going to help my fishing but really paying attention to my technique can. I next walked into an area that gives me a chance to observe fish, not quite like watching recruiting videos but if you take the time to watch fish, you can learn so much. This morning the fish seemed to be holding in slack water and barely moving. I headed up river and began to watch a few fish move into feeding lanes and then I worked on how I could get the best drift to them. I continued to cover water and when the BWO’s began to hatch, I started looking to see if any bigger fish were rising. I saw one that seemed a little bigger than the rest and after getting into position I dropped the flies perfectly in front of him. The fly only moved a few inches and he grabbed it. He was only about thirteen inches but there is something special about landing a natural fish on a dry. The hatch was short lived and as I headed back toward the car, I couldn’t take my eyes off the river.
            The last week or so I have heard many people talk about how difficult the river has been. We should still see BWO’s for the next few weeks and some days should still be good. If your fishing prowess is not where you want it to be, maybe now would be a great time to book a guide. Spotting fish and seeing how they act and in what type of water will give you a whole new appreciation for fish. When it comes to technique, you can never know it all. Even as a guide, it is always fun learning something new. Now is the time to get bet better. As a husker fan, the glory of the spring game is just around the corner and as a fly fisherman, the fish coming out of their winter holding spots is just around the corner. Fish this morning were eating FOD’s and the Darth Baetis, the sippers were eating Cat’s Zombie Apocalypse fly. Also, I have noticed that the blog is disappearing on some Facebook pages. If you love the blog and don’t ever want to miss a post then please subscribe to my blog page. It is simple and I promise I will never sell your info.  Get your trip booked now and learn why you catch or don’t catch fish. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston want to thank you for reading…….