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…….