Hagg Lake Fish-a-long Report

We had a great day at Hagg Lake last Saturday. The weather was good with mild temperatures, no rain and very little wind.

About 12 people joined the Fish-a-long including a new member Sue Deering. Sue was first on the water and did well casting & also trolling green/black woolly bugger on intermediate line, which was the best fly fishing tactic this day.

The Simi Seal Leech, featured at our March Fly Tying night, was a good pattern too.

Fishing was interesting and everyone had lots of strikes but relatively few hookups. Short strikes, lots of them, were the norm this day. The trout that were caught were about 12 inches long and fought stubbornly. We heard from some other local fly anglers that trout to 18” were possible.

The water was a pea green in color but it was clearer than it looked with 5’ to 6’ of clarity. The temperature was 55 degrees. There were no visible hatches. Those of us with fish finders noted the almost all fish were about 9 feet deep.

Hagg Lake has a good population bass and we hoped to catch some, but the water was a little too chilly for good bass activity. Common wisdom says Smallmouth’s like water temps around 65 degrees and Largemouth’s closer to 70.  

This is a good place for float tubing and kayaking. There is really not enough room to fly cast from the bank. Also, the banks are clay and a little slippery.

The parks are nice and we were able to set up a good place for lunch, which was Taco’s with ingredients provided by Cheryl. We had a ton of food and everyone enjoyed seconds. Thanks again for everyone that came to make this fish-a-long another successful event!

Henry Hagg Lake Fish-A-Long

This month’s Fish-A-Long will be this Saturday at Henry Hagg Lake, located near Forest Grove. Hagg Lake was stocked April 1st with 7,000 legal rainbows and 400 trophies. Beside trout, good size Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass are available. This is a new location for us and we are looking forward to exploring new water!

What: Rainbow trout and bass

Were:  Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove

When:  Meet at the Sain Creek picnic area at 8:30 AM. There is $7 day use fee.

Equipment:  Best fished with a float tube and standard lake patterns. The weather should be OK but rain is always a possibility this time of year.

Lunch: Coffee, donuts and Lunch will be provided.

Directions:  About an hour’s drive west of Portland: you can take either Hwy 26 to North Plains then head south on Hwy 47 past Forest Grove to Scoggins Valley Rd then on to the lake. There are several alternate scenic routes on Mapquest. Once at the lake, pay at the fee booth for your day pass then go left drive across the dam then follow West Shore Drive to Sain Creek  Picnic Area.

If possible send me a text or email so I know who will be there. Paul 503-635-3156 or ponzdog@icloud.com

Fly Fishing Hagg Lake Video by Micole Jensen, who did a presentation on Kayak fishing for CFF a while back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84Th1W3H6fM

Fly Tying: April, 2019

Euro-Nymphing Flies

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This month’s fly tying article is going to be a bit different.  Instead of highlighting one particular fly we are going to be looking at a whole family of flies.  

Background Info:

European nymphing?? It seems that the whole fly fishing world is euro-nymphing.  But it is not a matter of just getting on the bandwagon of the newest fad, because in fact, euro-nymphing is not really all that new. Although new to many of us, it has proven to be very effective since the 1980’s.  (Some flyfishing historians will argue that european-nymphing is simply another step in the development of high-stick nymphing techniques that have been evolving for the past 150 years!)

Perhaps you are on the fence in deciding whether to jump into euro-nymphing. Well, when you hear that the highly competitive USA fly fishing team has added euro-nymphing to its arsenal of methods, it should make you sit up and notice.  Back in 1989 the fly fishing world was changed when Polish angler Vladi Trzebunia caught more fish by himself than the combined total of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place teams at the world championships! A little closer to home, when Josh Linn, the “Fly Czar” at The Royal Treatment Fly Shop, tells me he recently had a 20-fish day on the Metolius I really start paying attention!  That is no easy feat on that river.  Now, I don’t get over to the Metolius very often, but I am not sure if I have landed 20 fish on that river in my lifetime. So we are in for a treat this month getting to have Josh as our guest speaker and also have him available as the guest tyer to share his knowledge at our monthly Fly Tying Night. (And at our meeting be sure to ask him about landing two fish at once. Also on the Metolius!)

So, what is euro-nymphing?  In its simplest description, it is a way to fish subsurface flies without using a strike indicator or adding extra weight onto your line.  it is a method of maintaining a tight connection with your fly, a method to dead drift your fly and to eliminate slack in your line, and a method to maintain control over the depth and speed of your drifting fly.  Some people call this Czech nymphing, some call it European nymphing, and some call it tight-line nymphing. You can call it whatever you want.

There are a number of variations of euro-nymphing styles (Polish, Czech, Spanish, French, etc), each employing both similarities and differences to the other methods. If you study them all and overthink too much, all of the information will soon put your brain on overload.  Before you blow a fuse and get discouraged, we’ll let Josh break down this whole European-style nymphing to the basics and teach us enough to get us started.

Euro-Nymphing Flies:

The types of flies for euro-nymphing will differ from many of the nymph patterns that you are accustomed to using.  They nearly all are heavily weighted for their size, usually employing tungsten beads to get them down to the desired depth.  Along with the tungsten beads tyers often add wraps of lead wire for additional weight.

You will notice that many of the euro-nymph flies are also sparsely tied and have a smooth and streamlined appearance. This aids in getting the flies down quickly to the fish zone.  Many of our standard nymphs have a bushy or rough look to them, which causes them to drop more slowly due to added friction as they sink through the water column. Many patterns employ a bright hot spot near the head or tail, or both. The appearance of many of the flies can best be described as “attractor” patterns since they do not seem to closely resemble any life forms in the river, (or on this planet for that matter). Suffice to say we are not trying to closely “match the hatch” when tying up many of the euro-nymph patterns.

Flies for euro-nymphing are rapidly evolving. Here are a number of euro-nymph patterns presently in use:

The Perdigon

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This fly was first developed by the Spanish competitive fly fishing team but really was made popular by the French team. Wraps of lead wire are often added behind the tungsten bead head.  The tail is generally coq de leon. Using different materials for wrapping the body accounts for the numerous variations of this fly.  It generally is tied with a very smooth and streamlined look, and needs to be coated with UV resin or clear fingernail polish.  It is interesting to note that the name Perdigon comes from the Spanish word “perdigones” which translates as “pellet” or “shot”, as in bird shot.  So the Perdigon is literally a weighted pellet with a tail, and it drops through the water like a rock.

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The Mic Drop

A Perdigon style fly with a body made of thread wraps ribbed with wire.

 

The Quilldigon

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Basically a Perdigon made with a peacock quill body.

 

 

The Frenchie

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Most of the credit for this fly seems to go to Lance Egan, a member of the USA fly fishing team.  He actually says his version is a variation of a previous pattern (perhaps borrowed from the French team?, hence the name). Using pheasant tail fibers in the body, it is sometimes described as a pheasant tail with a hot spot. Egan says he won one session of the world championships in 2006 using the Frenchie.

The Thread Frenchie

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As the name implies, this fly substitutes thread for pheasant tail fibers in the body.

 

 

The GTI Caddis

Euro Nymphs

 

Another Lance Egan pattern, GTi is a short for “Go To Imitation”.  It is a larger fly and makes a good point or anchor fly in a euro-nymph rigging.

 

The Red Princess  (or Czech Princess)

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Not as smooth in appearance as many euro-nymph patterns due to an added cdc collar.  (Club member Kevin Luettgerodt likes this pattern after recently landing a beautiful 18-inch redside on the Metolius.)

 

Join us on Wednesday, April 24th at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn for our next Fly Tying Night. Guest tyer Josh Linn will be guiding us in tying up euro-nymph patterns, including some of those shown above. We will be starting at 6 pm.  Hope to see you there!

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April Auction – SAGE Igniter Rod

The CFF April auction is for a truly high end item!  A SAGE Igniter 9′ 5wt ultra fast 4 piece graphite fly rod.  This rod retails for $900.  Our thanks to Northwest Flyfishing Outfitters for the donation!

According to the SAGE website: “The most demanding conditions require a different kind of tool. Strong head wind? Fish at distance? Bulky rigs? Heavy sink-tips? The IGNITER is tuned to handle the most technical of conditions. Not a rod for the everyday angler, the IGNITER is equipped with a high line speed taper to carry large amounts of line at distance with wind cutting performance. Perfect for streamer fishing with heavy sink tips or covering big water when conditions turn south. If you bring the will, the IGNITER will supply the way.”

Here are the specs:

Length: 9’0″ . Line Weight: 5

Action: Ultra-Fast . Pieces: 4

Material: Graphite . Measured Weight: 2.97 ounces

Stripping Guides: Stainless frame/Alconite insert . Guides: Chrome snake guides

Reel Seat: Cocobolo Wood/Aluminum . Rod Tube/Sock: Yes/Yes

This auction if open to paid up CFF members only. To make a bid go to the AUCTIONS page. The April Auction ends at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 16.

Let me know if you have any questions. bartschp@gmail.com

April 16 Speaker Josh Linn

Josh Linn of Royal Treatment Fly Fishing will be CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, April 16th.

Josh’s presentation will be on the increasingly popular technique of Euro Nymphing: Learn about the flies, tackle and techniques used in Euro Nymphing to increase your trout fishing success. It will be a great presentation you won’t want to miss!

Meeting details: https://clackamasflyfishers.org/meetings-events/

Royal Treatment Fly Fishing: http://www.royaltreatmentflyfishing.com/

March 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

Elke Littleleaf, who will be presenting for CFF in the near future, generously gave his time to help introduce youth and families to fly fishing at the NW Steelheaders Family Fish Camp this month.

March speaker John Devoe got out on the water with CFF sponsor Mark Bachmann to enjoy some winter steelhead fishing on our namesake river.

John Warren traveled to Christmas Island in early March, doing well on both Bonefish and Giant Trevally.

Josh Linn of Royal Treatment got in some good Euro Nymphing action on the Metolius River. John will be giving a presentation on Euro Nymphing at our April meeting.

The day after the fish-a-long Paul Brewer and Dave Kilhefner fished the Deschutes River around Maupin. The water was high, off-color and cold. Trout fishing was tough but a few were brought to hand using Euro nymphing tactics. The hot fly was a San Juan Worm, a high water favorite.

Seven CCF members went on to the Owyhee after the Crooked River Fish-A-Long. Flows were very low and it was a bit crowded. Rain from the previous days caused a creek to blow out and muddy up parts of the river, then the wind picked up; all these things combined to create poor fishing conditions. However, the bugs were out and several members landed Brown trout up to 18″ long. Fish or no fish, everyone did have a good time; new friends were made, lies were told plus lots of education & exploration!

Another great month of Fly Fishing is in the books. Thanks to everyone for sharing their reports!

Crooked River Fish-a-long Report

This years Crooked River Fish-a-long was very well attended with 14 members; thanks to everyone that made the trip, it was a great outing with everyone getting fish!

Saturday’s weather was cloudy and the temperature was warmer than it appeared as the hills still had a bit of snow hanging on. Paul warmed us up with hot coffee, donuts and a campfire and then later we had Cheryl’s homemade Sloppy Joes and Coleslaw beside a refreshed fire.

The water was low and clear. The flow out of Bowman Dam was 85 cubic feet per second and the water temperature 39-40 degrees. We all went for the deeper water spots and found a fair number of willing whitefish schooled up in the shallows. The “hot fly” was anything small and dark. Euro nymphing tactics accounted for most of the action but several members did well with small wet flies.

While most of the fish were in the 8” range we did get a few bigger ones, with some whitefish pushing 15” long and trout to 14”.

After the fish-a-long several members continued on to the Owyhee River with Lane Hoffman. A report of this trip will be in March Fishing Reports due out soon.

Owyhee River Trip

Following the CFF Fish-A-Lone on the Crooked River (Sat 23rd) a group of us are going to continue over to the Owyhee River. The Owyhee is at winter flows (40 cfs) so we’ll be wading, fishing the tailwater below the Owyhee dam. The river is very fertile, with good insect hatches, winding through a beautiful, rugged canyon, It produces trophy sized Brown trout with Rainbows also on the list.

  • Equipment                  
  • 4 to 6wt rods, matching reel & floating fly line.
  • 9 ft leaders 3 to 5x
  • waders, wading staff & landing net.
  • layered clothing, rain gear, polarized glasses.
  • Flies, BWO’s, midges, streamers & Skawala Stoneflies (really important)

The Plan is to catch a Motel in Ontario & fish the river for a couple of days. If you like there is plenty of camping along the river. If you can make it it’s a great time to fish this quality river.

Questions? Contact Lane Hoffman  503-706-7543 & leave a message or email lanehf@comcast.net

CFF March 23rd Fish-A-Long

This month’s Fish-A -Long will be held Saturday March 23rd on the Crooked river near Prineville.

The Crooked River is one of the state’s best rivers for rainbow trout. The river boasts a population of 3000 trout per mile along with big numbers of whitefish. It’s a great place for beginners.

The Plan: We will meet at Big Bend Campground about 1 mile below Bowman Dam between 8am and 9 am. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided.

Water conditions will be much the same as last year: low water flows with water temps in the low 40’s. Most of the fish will be found in the larger deeper pools.

Gear: 3 to 6wt rods with matching reel and floating line. Dry fly fishing can be good with Midges and Baetis dominating the hatch this time of year. The most effective technique is indicator nymphing with small glo-bugs (they look like scuds) and/or smaller sized standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Zebra Midges. This is also a good place to swing soft hackles or small wooly buggers.

The rocks can be slippery so bring felt or cleated boots and it will likely be cold in the morning so prepare and dress warm.

Lunch: Cheryl will not be there but is providing the food again so it will be good.

If you have questions, please E-mail Paul Brewer

If you are planning on fishing with us please email or text Paul so that we have a head count: Paul Brewer 503-635-3156 ponzdog@icloud.com