Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Winter Tips !!!!

           Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly fishing Adventures. With Winter coming in so fast and furious this year I wanted to toss out a few winter tips but I need to start with a warning, if you are offended by a little adult content, this post is not for you.
          While standing in the river today I began thinking about an event that happened to me a few years ago. It was mid-December and we were several days into a nasty cold spell. Water temps were still in the low 50’s but outside temps were around 10 degrees and the breeze had me chilled to the bone. Someone with a functioning brain would have been home curled up on the couch but I was out stalking trout. I was half a mile above the NC area and the water had cleared and I was looking for fish and side stepping down river. I caught a little flash down to the right and I began to move, my foot was stopped by a rock but my momentum already had me moving.  I was three quarters the way down when somehow, and I have no idea how, I was able to get upright and probably save my life. I stood there for a second and realized how similar this was to my very first sexual experience. Both physical and emotionally the were the same, my legs were shaking and every muscle in my body was twitching. My emotions went from complete terror from not knowing exactly what was going on, and then complete joy knowing I may never look at life the same way again. And finally, in both experiences, I sat up, took a gulp of air and then looked around and saw I was completely alone.
          All fun aside, I have thought about that day many times over the years. Had I actually ended up in the river that day, I’m not sure I would have made it back to the car. So please on those super cold days, take a friend with you. One, if you do get in trouble you have help and secondly, and like the other experience, it’s so much more enjoyable with someone else.
          The second tip has to do with how to take care of the fish for pics. Now I’m not biologist but my wife is and we don’t believe there is any way pulling a fish out of 55-degree water and holding him out in 10 degree weather can be good for fish. I know when I get out of my hot tub at night and run into the house, I get really cold quickly and my lungs aren’t exposed. So please on the super cold days, take a quick pic and get them back fast.
          Next tip, stop by the shop and get yourself a bucket full of FOD’s. Water temps are dropping fast and the plethora of bugs and hatches we were seeing a few weeks ago have diminished to small midges and BWO’s. The other day I was hooking a few and as soon as I put a FOD on, it just turned on.
          And the last winter tip, is how to deal with perhaps another really long winter. Now I have no idea how this winter plays out but if October is any indication, the season will be awful. The lodge Cat and I go to in Belize has added a few upgraded rooms and April in Belize is a great way enjoy the cold. We still have a few rooms left and right now is the least expensive time to get airfare. If you are interested, please let us know quickly.
          As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Mind Games...

            Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly fishing Adventures. Wow, I was looking back through old blogs and I realized it’s been a long time since I have written two blogs in the same week. I guess I have been letting to many outside circumstances slow my mind wandering while fishing. Today, that was not the case.
             As most of you know, I have a life long curse of being a Husker fan. So today my mind started going through some of the great moments in Husker history and I was surprised as to where my mind wandered. I was trying to think about the 70 and 71 National Championships and even the three undefeated teams in the 90’S but my mind kept drifting back to 82 heartbreaking loss to PSU, where they caught a ball three yards out of bounds and the refs gave them the catch. In 83, it was a failed 2 pointer that left us a point behind. In 93 it was a missed field goal as the time ran out.  And even now that I know my Huskers aren’t very good, it’s the BYU Hail Mary, and the shanked kick against CU is where my mind drifts. I was questioning myself and was wondering, am I just that negative of a person that all I seem to remember in sports is the negative. Then I thought about golf and how exactly opposite I am. I will never forget Tiger making the put on the 72nd hole to tie up Rocco. And Tiger walking up the fairway at last years tour championship will be etched in my mind forever. So, on my trip to the river today I was hoping to see it through my golf fan eyes but my Husker eyes won out.
            When I got to the river today, I started in one of my favorite runs and landed a fish on my first drift. I hooked a few more and began to move up river. I hooked a fish or two in each run but had a really difficult time getting fish landed. I stepped into one run and put through what I thought was a perfect drift. I was just getting ready to lift and the indicator exploded across the river. As I set the hook, I immediately felt the incredible power of this fish and my attention was thoroughly aroused. I ran to the bank and chased him about thirty feet down river. I began moving him back across toward me and he gave me a huge head thrash and then headed further downstream. Now I normally fight fish very quickly, but this guy felt different. I wondered if I might possible be hooked up to a big carp or more likely a massive brown. The fish settled across the river and after a quick scan I realized this fish had no place else to run and the “real battle” was going to happen here and now. I started reeling and got him to about thirty feet and he stopped dead in his tracks. I gave him just a second to catch his breath and tried lifting him toward the surface. A light shadow turned into a giant golden silhouette and my eyes and heart nearly jumped out of my head. I hate being that guy, but conservatively he was in the mid-twenties. I started working him my way and the dreaded pop as my flies flew back my way. The fish sat at the surface, as if to mock me, for just a second and then flipped his tail and disappeared. I have no idea how many fish I have caught so far this year but like the shanked field goal attempt, that is the fish I will be thinking about when I close my eyes until at least my next big lost fish.
            The action on the river is hot right now so get here and fish. Ninjas were the hot fly today. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Turner Gill and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..

Sunday, September 29, 2019

What a River!!!!!!

           Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly fishing Adventures. Tis the season, nope it’s not Christmas yet, but for the phone to be in the ever-ringing mode. With the rest of Colorado beginning to cool off, anglers start looking for conditions here in P-Town. Hopefully, this write-up will help.
            If you have not been lucky enough to spend a day here during September, I just want to say sorry. The river fished really good most days and technically good the rest. What does that mean, with the right flies and the right drift, the fishing was en fuego. Clarity has been pretty poor but that didn’t seem to bother the fish.
            Now on to what is coming up. One of the trickiest parts of Fall on the river is that there is so much going on. Tricos, PMD’s, Caddis and midges hatching and tons of juvenile crayfish and minnows give fish lots of options to choose from. On days when the bugs are a little more sporadic the key is to catch a fish or two and then move on. On the few “big hatch” days, you can pick out several fish per run. The flies I will be using for the near future are the Winston Caddis, the A&W or Beaded Soft Hackle, and the Ninja. If you don’t know how to tie a few of those, stop by the shop and we can help. I am guessing the clarity ought to be all over the place the next few weeks but by the middle of October, I expect turnover to start and any clarity will be lost. I’m guessing turnover this year will unfortunately last into December. If you have been thinking about a guide trip, Tuesday and Wednesday this week look to have a few clouds and could be really great days, after that, most days in October should be technically pretty good. Get your trips booked now.
            Now a few things coming up, Saturday October 5th we will be part of several local groups putting on the Friends of the Ark Fly Fishing Rendezvous. The reason we are putting this event on is to connect fly fishermen in the area. If you don’t have lots of people to fish with, tie, learn about conservation, and just to swap stories with, this is the event for you. We will also have a ton of Sage fly rods available for free demo, bring your flies and a driver’s license and take one for a spin.
            The next thing I want to bring up is our next years trip to Belize. We are getting close to full but I think we still need a single to share a room and boat and we may have another spot for two, get with us quickly. Hope that helps a little with the phone but I’m guessing it will still be ringing off the hook. October and early should be technically good and a great place to fish. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….
Jordans Client!!!
My brother Brian...

Monday, August 5, 2019

Conditions !!!!

             Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly fishing Adventures. Now that our river flows are beginning to ebb, the shop phone has been ringing off the hook for current and future river conditions. I have been lucky enough to have been guiding the river for the last ten years and have been fishing it for nearly twenty and want to let you know what I think the river has in store, but I wanted to start giving you a little perspective.
            While my youngest son was growing up, and I’m not sure if this was because of poor parenting skills, he was absolutely obsessed with sharks and tornados. His two favorite movies were Jaws and Twister. One of the more iconic scenes in Twister was when the group of storm chasers were at the drive-in and they were talking about a storm cloud that was near. The lead actor was Bill Paxton and while he was looking at the trees and dropping some dust to check the breeze, he very dramatically said “it’s already here”, but it was too late and just then the tornado takes out the movie screen, I will explain later.
            Watching the flows drop over the last few weeks I was really hoping to see improved clarity but that has not been the case. Cat and I fished the other day and the water was brown and dirty with only about a foot of clarity. Afterward, we drove up to the Reservoir and were surprised to see it was a dark blueish green and really no staining.  Now I don’t think we will be sight fishing anytime soon but I do think in the next two weeks, the river ought to turn back to what we call “summer green”. Water temps are perfect and with the amount of water in the lake, I don’t foresee any temp issues. The last few weeks of August, I expect to see great hatches of caddis and start seeing tricos. As we move into September, this is where I really expect the fishing to improve and this is also where the “it’s already here” comes into play. When the tricos go off and the fish start gorging, you want to be here there will be a few hours each day where people can have “their best day ever”. With tricos, it seems that by the time we let people know they are popping, it’s too late. Caddis, pmd’s and midges should be hatching through November. There are so many variables to when turnover starts but as of now, I am guessing mid-October and it could last a while.
            If you are looking at booking a trip with us, now is the time to get it set-up. If you wait until conditions are perfect, it may be too late. Anytime between mid-August and mid-October ought to be productive. Turnover ought to still fish pretty good but just not quite as pretty.
            Now I want to toss out some info on an upcoming event. On Saturday, October 5th, the Drift Fly Shop, along with the Pueblo Tailwater Renegades and the Pueblo, Greenback chapter of Trout Unlimited will be hosting a Friends of the Ark, Fly fishing Extravaganza at the Lake Pueblo state Park. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have had local clients tell me that they would love to fish more but don’t know anyone else that fly fishes. This event is planned to do several things, one is to bring the local fly-fishing community together and for people to meet some awesome other fisher people. The event will have free casting lessons, Euro and regular nymphing demos, Tenkara demos, free Sage Rod demos, free raffles and much more, so keep your calendar free.  More info later. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, the late Bill Paxton and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……..

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Probands Review......

          Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. One of My and Cat’s favorite shows to watch on TV is Shark Tank.  We have watched nearly every episode and I can’t tell you how many times a product comes out and we laugh and say who would buy that, and so many times over the years we have heard the Sharks say that you have to identify a need and then create a solution. It has been a while since I have written a product review and so in the Shark Tank way, I will identify the problem and then let you know if I think this is the solution.
            I wanted to start by identifying the problem. I have been using Rio Fluorflex Plus tippet for years and I absolutely love my tippet. It is so consistent and strong and depending on what size I am using, I really have a great feel for the breaking strength, and yes I still break off my share of fish, but normally it is unusual circumstances. What I don’t care for is the elastic band and metal grommet that is supposed to “keep” my tippet in place. I normally keep 6 guide spools on my lanyard with two spools of 4, 5 and 6x tippet each. What I have found so frustrating over the years is the amount of times, my tippet has come out of the grommet and began unraveling. Before every guide trip, I take them off my lanyard and make sure that each spool is in perfect condition with one inch or so sticking out of each spool. When the spools are brand new, they usually hold pretty well but when you carry several, you know the dates are varied. It happens more times than not, nearly every trip out, half way through the day I have to re-tie or completely re-rig and I look down to grab my tippet and I have a ball of line tangled up.
            Cat spends much more time in the shop than I do and has seen other problems than just the unraveling. A few months back, she had one guy in the shop complaining that his fluoro had gone bad. It was not Rio, but he said it was fine when he first starting using the spool but as time went on, he thought the tippet had deteriorated. Cat took a good look at the spool and noticed that the grommet was breaking down, from pulling tippet out, and had developed a small and sharp groove that was actually damaging the tippet.
            I do the majority of my fishing sub-surface and almost exclusively use fluorocarbon so UV does not break down my tippet the same way mono-filament is damaged.
            One of the parts Cat really enjoys about working in the shop is the number of “odd” products which people have come by and tried to sell. She has had several “tippet keeper solutions” over the years and in her own Mrs. Wonderful way, she would say yes there is a problem, but is this really a solution and a needed product. She had one “solution” where a guy said all you need is a drill and a six inch clamp and a…….. and a……. and this product will be a life saver.  Another guy had a big plastic box with a few open slots. Outwardly Cat would always smile and say we would give it a try, inwardly she might be thinking “you are dead to me”. She had never seen a true solution to the problem.
            A few months back I was browsing my Fb page and an article came up about a product called Probands. I’m not sure why I opened it but as I was reading it and my first thought was, Wow. It seemed so simple and how could something so simple, really fix such a problem. I went to the reviews and the majority were really positive and then one guy claimed that Fly Fishers are such idiots and just make up problems so they can buy more gadgets, I’m guessing he fishes with a water bubble and Pistol Pete. I was intrigued so I went ahead and ordered two sets.
            So, here is my review of Probands. I wanted to first say that I don’t know if this is a problem for everyone, but for me, it definitely was. When I first got the Probands I put them on all six of the spools on my lanyard. They slipped on super easy and seemed to hold the tippet perfectly. The first day out, when I went to grab my tippet, the little tabs on the bands caught my shirt and skipped while I was pulling out my tippet. I noticed with the six spools, everything was a little crowded on my lanyard and since the water had come up, I took one of my 6x spools off and the spacing was perfect. I had no more problems grabbing tippet. I used them until run-off and then again last week at the Taylor and I can’t tell you how excited I am about the product. I have NOT had my tippet make a mess since I put on the Probands. When I purchased mine, I got two red, white and Blue bands and have set them up as red for 4x, white for 5x, and blue for 6x so it is super simple to pick the correct tippet size. The Probands also claim to protect your mono from any damaging UV rays. The only potential problem that I could foresee with the bands on, is that you cannot see how much tippet you have left on your spool. Since I always carry two of each, this won’t be a problem. I have only used the bands for a few months so I’m not sure on the durability, but after looking at the material, they look like they should last for years.
            I am in no way associated with probands and make no commission off of them but if you are tired of fighting with your “tippet keepers”, try the Probands. The website is and is super simple to use. Pick out what brand tippet you are using, how many you want, pay, and they will be on the way. As always, Connell, Mrs. Wonderful, Winston, Probands and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……..

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Taylor 2019 !!!!

          Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly fishing Adventures. Well its that time of the year again, but this year Cat and Winston were not part of the Taylor trip. Its kind of strange, after the Belize and Keys vacations this year and knowing Cat was going to be stuck at home dogsitting, I was having a difficult time getting really pumped for this year’s trip. However, with the last few weeks of our river being dirty and borderline dangerous, I was actually really getting excited for the Taylor. This year’s trip included myself, Jimbo, my nephew Connor and the next Great fishing Golden Frosty.
            I got to the river just after noon on Sunday and as soon as I saw the clear water, I got goosebumps. Wow, it had only been a month since I had fished a river but it felt like a lifetime. I jumped into the first open spot and saw the fish were eating. I picked out a fish and got my flies in front of him and he said no. Gave him another look and he ate. It was a quick battle but two casts in, I had my first fish. The rain and clouds were in all day and the fish were eating all afternoon. It was one of the better days I had ever had on the Taylor and Jim was really spanking fish too. Monday we were battling the weather all day as well but once again, the fish were eating. Connor had been bait fishing with his friend above the lake the first day but wanted to try fly fishing. I spent a little time showing him the basics and then let him give it a try. He headed up and fished with his dad for a little while and when I made my way to them, Connor had the perma grin and had landed his first four fish on a fly rod. I asked him after dinner if he wanted to go down to where they were bait fishing and try the fly rod, he thought for a second and said after catching the fish in the trough, the dinks didn’t seem very exciting. I guess if he takes up tennis, maybe he should take lessons at, while entering Wimbledon.
            This morning I woke to Jim entering the trailer and telling me how cold it was outside. It was 8:30 and still only 31 degrees so I got Frosty to jump into bed with me to warm me up. I knew I was heading back to P-town this afternoon so I took a little extra time soaking up the scenery and temps and made my way to the river just after 10:00. The sun was bright and the bugs were non-existent. I caught a bow on my first cast and figured it would be another banner day but it was not to be. I hooked and landed one more fish and decided to head home. Another wonderful vacation to the Taylor.
            I started the blog talking about our river conditions here in P-town, and with the amount of snow left in the mountains and the high dirty water above Canon, I’m guessing it will be at least a few more weeks before our water gets Pueblo-esque. And yes, I know some of you are going to say that you have been catching fish. It can be done but high, muddy and dangerous water is not something I will ever encourage. The Taylor looked and fished fantastic, the high mountain lakes are opening up and the South Park lakes are fishing well. If you want to make your way up to any of those destinations, stop by the shop and we can help you get the flies you need to be successful. If you need a guide for any of those areas we can get you in touch with some of the best guides in those destinations. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Jimbo, Connor, Issac, Frosty and the Drift Fly shop want to thank you for reading…..

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

When the Cats Away, To Spinney To Play.....

           Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly fishing Adventures. Well my incredible wife went out of town to visit her parents so I needed to find something to do. I talked to a friend and he was heading up to Spinney and so I decided I would meet up with him. My first stop of the morning was a little slow so I moved into the spot that Cat and I did so well in last week. The first hour was really quite good and then the second hour I kind of fell into a lull. Tyler kicked over to me and told me I should move over to where he was fishing. I headed over and it was lights out. One after another all afternoon.
            At one point I reached into my bag to grab some water and my tippet spool fell out. Now I want to say that I absolutely love my Rio Fluoroflex tippet but I really cannot stand the elastic bands that are supposed to hole the tippet on the spool. I grabbed the line but the spool just began unwrapping so as fast as I could pull, the spool was moving away from me. I grabbed my net and was able to reach just far enough down to catch the spool. When I grabbed it and started winding the tippet back on, I watched my indicator shoot down a couple of times and then slowly make its way back to the top. I have a new product on order that is supposed to fix the elastic problem and after testing it, I will let you know how well it works.
            I brought my GoPro up with me today and have put together a video and I hope it shows how incredibly powerful these fish are. By 2:00 I was having a difficult time getting the fish to the surface and my arm was really getting warn out. The clouds and snow pellets rolled in and when my teeth started chattering, I decided it was time to head home. I got to a total of 53 fish landed and I figured that was a nice round number. Spinney is on Fire and the next ten days or so should be lights out. If you want to learn, stop by the shop and we can get you headed in the right direction. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

They Killed Kenny !!!!!

           Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Well I would love tell you that reading this blog would either have you on the edge of your seat or spitting your coffee on your screen but I hate to say, it may be a little straight forward, just another trip to South Park. After writing last weeks blog, Cat and I had been itching to get back up to Spinney. The last two years, we had fished it on May 16th and those were the two most spectacular fishing days we had ever seen. With the extra cold winter, we knew that everything up there would be a little behind schedule but we just wanted to get out on our pontoon boats and really weren’t expecting much.
            We got on the water just after 8:00 and scurried over to one of our favorite spots. We were marking fish but they didn’t seem to want to eat. We moved a little here and there and after about 9:00, I got my first fish. He was only about 17 inches but I was on the board. We caught fish off and on all day, and I finished the day with four conclusions. First, Outcast makes a killer pontoon boat and I absolutely love fishing out of ours. Second, the El Jefe Fishpond net is the perfect size for Spinney. Third, the Sage X in a 10 foot 6 wt is perfect for Spinney. And last, even though Cat has really toughened me up over the years, I still don’t like the idea of touching Pike.
            Spinney was better than expected but less than we had hoped. I ended the day with 21 trout and 3 pike and had at least a dozen more that were either lost or missed. The chironomids were just beginning to hatch and I am guessing the next three weeks, Spinney should be absolutely on fire. The Drift Fly Shop is continuing to run the same special. Purchase an Outcast/Fishcat pontoon boat or a 9’6”/10’ Sage X 6wt and get a free sit down with either Cat or I and we will go over everything to get you ready to go catch fish: rigging, safety, accessories, fly selection and how to attack lakes. Just a few pics from today. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Kenny McCormick, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Turn the Page.....

Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I was sitting at my computer this morning scanning the internet when I made my way to the river flows. As of this morning, the Ark is running at a very fishable 544cfs but looking at the snow pack and the water that is starting to move, I’m not sure the river will be fishable much longer and it may be time to turn the page. With the amount of snow in the mountains, I’m guessing we are going to have an extended runoff. If you really love fly fishing and are feeling the impending doom, we know a great way to get you through runoff.
On a long and lonesome highway, east of Buena Vista are the South Park Lakes where you can think about the Rainbow or the Brownie you lost the night before. Well you get out on your pontoon, strung out from the road, you feel the eyes upon you as your fishing out the cold. And the wind better not bother you cause it’s probably ready to explode. Most times you can here other anglers talk, other time you can’t, O those same old clichés, is that a minnow or a toad…….Alright, I’ll stop there but I could go on all day.
The South Park lakes are currently fishing well from the shore but in just a few short weeks the fish will move deep and begin gorging on Chironomids. In my younger years of fishing, I thought fishing lakes was more just getting lucky rather than really being able to target and find the fish. Cat and I have learned from some of the best lake fishermen we know and love to share our knowledge. We know that getting into lake fishing can be quite an investment so we at the Drift want to make it as easy and as successful as possible, so we are willing to offer this. If you purchase a Fishcat or Outcast pontoon boat from the Drift, you will get a free sit down with either Cat or I and we will go over everything to get you started. Rigging, Bug selection, Safety, Accessories, and how to target fish are just a few of the subjects we will cover. Fishing these lakes can be so much fun and we are sure you will feel confident, so that Later in the evening when you lie awake in bed, with the visions of your indicator, ringing in your head, you look back at you pictures, remembering how they fed. Turn the Page.
Pics are from last year and Alex’s trip last weekend. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Bob Seger, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Belize, the Ultimate Challenge !!!!

             Hello all, well we are officially back from Belize and are trying to get back into the grind. This year’s trip was so much fun, our group landed tons of Bonefish, Baby Tarpon, Jacks, Snappers and three Permit. And yes, mine was another baby. We saw Manatees, Iguanas, dolphins, some sort of monkey and a crocodile. For those of you that don’t know, saltwater fishing is the ultimate challenge. First of all, you have to have patience, you have to be able to see fish, make a great cast and lastly, you have to be able to battle some amazing fish.
            We are already making plans for next years trip. We have the lodge reserved April 11th-18th next year. The lodge we go to is The Bluebonefish on Ambergris Caye and is priced 30% less than other lodges in the area. If you have ever considered a trip to the salt to test our skill but are nervous about the unknowns, come spend the week with us next year. Spots are limited and you can’t begin prepping to soon. Message or call me if you are interested and I can get you the details. Come take the challenge!!!
Pics are from this year.
Connell 719-568-4927