November 2020 Fish A Long Report

To be honest, it was really difficult to decide between Kilchis River Chum Salmon or another trip to Beavertail on the Deschutes River. This time of year Beavertail is consistently productive and good reports continued to hit my inbox along with some Kilchis reports. Decisions, decisions! The deciding factor was the big rainstorm due at the coast that would likely blow out the Kilchis and make wading difficult, so it was off to the Deschutes for redsides and hopefully a steelhead.

But nothing in November is easy as the same storm that was dumping rain on the coast was dumping snow in the Cascades, making for an interesting and somewhat slow drive over the hill. Still, we made it work; some of us braved the snow and others smartly took an alternate route thru The Dalles.

We had 8 people in attendance today; Dave, Paul, Kevin, Darryl, Rhona, Laura, Sue and Phil. When we rolled into Beavertail Saturday morning we saw that Kevin was camping, so we went to his campsite to finish our coffee and get rigged up.  

There’s more to enjoying a day in the outdoors than casting between wind gusts while hoping to hook a big one. Kevin told us there was a bunch of deer in his campsite in the morning. On our trek upstream to the fishing grounds we found fresh buck and doe tracks and it was fun to both observe and explain the subtle differences in the different kinds of tracks.

Darryl was already fishing when most of us arrived and reports he caught several small trout on beads. Around 10am he decided to head upstream for clearer water as the White River was very off color, probably due to the fire that burned thru much of canyon this summer. He had good success for trout and also landed a nice steelhead.

The off colored water and limited visibility definitely slowed down the trout fishing but we still managed to grind some out. The highlight of the morning was a big fish hooked by Sue that ran into her backing three times before the hook pulled out. It didn’t jump and was probably a salmon but it could have been a steelhead too.

We walked back to camp around noon to break for lunch. Paul set up his spotting scope and we were able to watch a lone Ram walking high on the rock face.

After lunch we fished down by the boat ramp for a while and caught several more fish before calling it a day. There were a lot of dead salmon in the shallows which signals eggs are the main food source, thus the hot flies this day were either small egg patterns or beads drifted along the bottom, usually under a strike indicator.

Thanks to everyone for attending this month’s Fish A Long and also thanks to those that provided fishing  reports to help us decide the best place to go.

November 14th Fish A Long

The November 14th Fish-A-Long will be a repeat of last month’s Fish A Long at Beavertail Campground on the Deschutes. Good fishing reports continue to roll in, the road has been graded and since most of us are still geared up from last month we might as well do it again!  

The plan: meet at Beavertail Campground between 8am and 9am. Due to COVID you’ll need to bring your own food and beverages.

Beavertail campground has ample parking and lots of good fishing water. It’s located 21 miles north of Maupin on the Lower Deschutes Access Rd. From Maupin to Shears Falls is paved and the last 10 or so miles to Beavertail is gravel road.

Gear: 4 to 6wt rods with matching reel & floating lines. Euro nymphing has become very popular but indicator nymphing rigs with small glo- bugs and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears work very well too. Consider beefing up your tippet to 8lb or 10lb as more steelhead are starting to show and they like to eat eggs too. Bring waders with felt or cleated boots and layered clothing (can be cool in the morning).

This is a very nice time to fish the Deschutes River for trout – they’re putting on weight for the winter and will be concentrated below schools of spawning salmon, making for excellent fishing. 

Please email Dave at Dave@kbi-ins.com if you plan to attend so we can get a rough head count.

Presidents Message November 2020

After September, October was literally a breath of fresh air! Also, the fishing was very good as you’ll see when I post the October fishing reports later this month.

In case you missed this news last month Clackamas Fly Fishers has decided to extend paid memberships thru 2021; if you paid to be a member this year, it will be good for next year too.

The 2020 Fly Fishing Challenge is still going on. If you’ve completed the challenge please email me.

Last month I announced a free subscription to Fly Fisherman magazine. Darryl Huff was the first to respond and will receive a one year gift subscript. Congrats Darryl!

November is a very good fishing month as we transition from fall into winter. When the water is low like it is now I like to fish the Clackamas up at McIver for late summer steelhead but when the rains come and the river fills with leaves, I’ll quickly shift gears and hit the Oregon Fishing Club ponds for trout, which are on the bite as the water cools down. If the mountain road conditions are good, the trout and steelhead fishing on the Deschutes is another top option. An hour past the Deschutes, the John Day River is very good for steelhead. There is also Chum Salmon in the Kilchis and Miami Rivers by Tillamook.

We are shooting for Saturday November 14th for our Fish A Long. This date will be perfect for either Chum Salmon on the Kilchis River or for trout at one of the Oregon Fishing Club lakes by Salem. Depending on member response & preferences, we can do either or both of these options. The past 3 years low water conditions have prevented us from chasing Chums on the Kilchis but it doesn’t mean we will stop trying. I’ll post more about the Fish A Long early next week.

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a good way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. I’ve tested it out; type the word November or December in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

Please remember our sponsors this fall, they are the lifeblood of the club. It’s not too early for a little Christmas shopping or putting together your wish list. Stop by their shops and let them know your appreciate their support. Better yet buy something or book a trip.

Dave Kilhefner

Dave@kbi-ins.com

October 24th Fish A Long Report

During the month of October my mantra for fishing the Deschutes is “find the salmon and you’ll find the trout!” The weather can be bad, the White River can be blown but trout and whitefish can’t resist the egg bonanza when the Chinook are spawning.

Seven of us braved the chilly weather conditions and colored up water but the payoff was sweet! Everyone got into plenty of fish and most of us broke into double digits.

As an added bonus, the Bighorn Sheep were playing on the wall and Richard Harvey got a nice video of two rams chasing a ewe.

Thanks to everyone for coming! Next month we’ll try to hit the Kilchis River for Chum Salmon but if the water conditions are poor (like they have been the last 3 years!) we will go to an Oregon Fishing Club lake.

September 2020 Fishing Reports

September was a difficult month with all the fires. In spite of everything, we have some good fishing reports to share. Thanks to everyone for sending them in! Pictures are first with the reports below.

Greg O’Brien was chasing Striped Bass in San Francisco Bay with his brother and got this Leopard Shark.

Greg O’Brien hit Willamette River for Smallmouth bass, landing some nice bass using an intermediate line and clouser minnow. Later in the month he landed a nice hatchery steelhead behind some spawning chinook then caught a Jack Chinook on the Deschutes while chasing steelhead.

Sadie Hibbard caught this huge bluegill in an eastern Oregon pond.

Ed Rabinowe claims he caught this beautiful Chinook trolling an October Caddis on his 3wt fly rod 😉

Darryl Huff fished the Deschutes at Warm Springs for some really good trout fishing and also hit the mouth for Steelhead.

Dave Kilhefner and George Coutts tried to fish the Deschutes at Warm Springs in late September but the smoke was thick, so they headed to Maupin and managed to land a few small trout.

George Krumm had a productive month on the Columbia, landing limits of Salmon and Crab.

Rhona Dallison got this great video of Chinook Salmon spawning in the Sandy River on Mt Hood.

Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop sent in these “Steelhead Armageddon” photos from a very smoky Deschutes River. Kudo’s for sticking it out and making it happen!

Nick Amato provided these photos of the fire jumping the Clackamas River less than 1/2 mile from his home. It was a little too close for comfort!

My Friend Eduardo Barrueto Guarda from Chile put together a new video about his fly fishing lodge. It reminds me that someday life will get back to normal and that there are many beautiful places in the world to go and see.

October 24th Fish A Long

This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday October 24th on the Deschutes River at Beavertail Campground.

The plan: meet at Beavertail Campground between 8am and 9am. Due to COVID you’ll need to bring your own food and beverages.

Beavertail campground has ample parking and lots of good fishing water. It’s located 21 miles north of Maupin on the Lower Deschutes Access Rd. From Maupin to Shears Falls is paved and the last 10 or so miles to Beavertail is gravel road.

Gear: 4 to 6wt rods with matching reel & floating lines. Euro nymphing has become very popular but indicator nymphing rigs with small glo- bugs and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears work very well too. Swinging for steelhead is a possibility too. Bring waders with felt or cleated boots and layered clothing (can be cool in the morning).

This is a very nice time to fish the Deschutes River for trout – they’re usually hungry and can be concentrated below schools of spawning salmon, making for excellent fishing.  This is also a great fish along to make an overnight trip and we will probably have a few overnight campers in our group.

Please email Dave at Dave@kbi-ins.com if you plan to attend so we can get a head count.

Presidents Message October 2020

From last years October Fish A Long

It seems like about 20 minutes after I hit the send key for the September Presidents Message Clackamas County erupted in flames. I’ve lived here since the late 70’s and have never seen anything like the wildfires last month. Several of my friends homes were seriously threatened. Cheryl was very fearful our cabin on Mt Hood would be lost but then PGE wisely shut down the power grid for more than a week and this probably saved much of the Sandy River corridor. My daughter evacuated her home on Oregon City for a few days because the smoke was terrible.

In spite of all this, several of us still wanted to have a September Fish A Long but chose not to. With everything going on, the last thing the great outdoors needed was more non-firefighting humans poking around.

But this month on Saturday the 17th we are going to have our traditional October Fish A Long at Beavertail Campground on the Deschutes River. I’ll get the details out the week before we go. For November, we’ll likely go to an Oregon Fishing Club lake.

Because this has been such an unusual year, the board has decided to extend paid memberships thru 2021; if you paid to be a member this year, it will be good for next year too.

The 2020 Fly Fishing Challenge is still going on. If you’ve completed the challenge or need the details please email me.

If anyone wants a free subscription to Fly Fisherman magazine, I received one of those free gift subscription offers. The first club member to email me gets it.

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a good way to get ideas for local flyfishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. I’ve tested it out; type the word September or October in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

Speaking of reports, next week I’ll post the September 2020 club reports and I’m happy to report we have some good stuff.

Please remember our sponsors this fall, they are the lifeblood of the club. Stop by their shops and let them know your appreciate their support. Better yet buy something or book a trip.

Dave Kilhefner Dave@kbi-ins.com

Special Oregon to Iowa Fishing Report

By Scott Satterlee

After living in Portland/Lake Oswego for the last 8 years I finally joined the Clackamas Fly fishers about the time that Covid hit, and I don’t think I’ve had a chance to meet anyone from the club. We moved to Iowa about two months ago and I decided I would fish my way east. I fished the Madison, Gibbon, Tongue, and Henry’s Fork. I had the best luck on the Tongue in Wyoming. However the most picturesque was the Madison. Throughout the day I saw hundreds of fish come to the surface, yet, even with sound advice (and flies) from the fly shop in Island Park, Idaho I walked away empty handed. Nevertheless it was so beautiful I did not feel disappointed. The Gibbon was better, though not crazy, just some good consistent fishing or rather catching. The Tongue was the best fishing, partly because I saw several Moose (from a safe distance), and had really good Brown trout fishing, though nothing huge. I fished that river in the Bighorn National Forest.

For those of you who might wander to Iowa or Wisconsin there is some good trout fishing here. Much different from Oregon or Washington, yet the Driftless region, particularly, offers many opportunities for both wild and stocked fish. In Iowa there is a native Brook trout population, and in some rivers, a well-established and naturally reproducing Brown trout fishery. Most of the time there are few, if any, other Anglers, and strangely the season is open year-round. Rattlesnakes are rare and Cougar are virtually unknown in these parts. One last bit of information, The Brule river in Northern Wisconsin offers some wonderful Brown trout fishing, when last I fished it with a guide, we started at about 9 PM and fished until 3 AM. I caught several large Browns, including one that was worthy of mounting (they all went back into the river). Fishing at night brought some interesting challenges, not the least of which was fishing in a tight bend as the sun set completely and the bats came out to feed. Like a scene from a Batman movie, we were surrounded by bats. It was only for five minutes, but it was a LONG five minutes. That said, I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

Finally, my wife and I went to Northern Minnesota and fished for Walleye. We did not fly-fish as they range from a minimum depth of 6 feet, and can be found as deep as 40. We also fished for Smallmouth and the fly-fishing was excellent. Many of the lakes on the Minnesota-Canadian border have wonderful Smallmouth fishing. For Walleye and Northern Pike we took a guide for three days, we caught our limit, and had shore lunch of Northern and Walleye (that we had caught that morning) daily. I can think of few things that we have enjoyed as much. As an aside, Northern Pike are super tasty, some say better than Walleye, and Walleye are the prized fish here. 

I would be glad to share any information I have, for any that have occasion to visit Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin.

Presidents Message September 2020

In spite of all the craziness in the world right now, summer is doing what it has always done: go by too fast!

Unfortunately the COVID situation is definitely not going by fast and so we are going to have to adapt. Many folks seem to be adapting pretty well but there are a fair number of people that are sequestered. If you know someone like this I would encourage you to reach out and make contact, either by phone or email and let them know they’re not forgotten.

This summer I had a goal of fishing at three places; some new lakes on Mount Hood for trout, the upper Sandy River for salmon and the Columbia River for carp. I managed to fish two of the three. The Mt. Hood lakes fished well, as usual the upper Sandy River salmon skunked me and once again didn’t manage to get out on the Columbia for carp. I still have my Carp fishing cheat sheet notes from the John Bartlett presentation (a.k.a. John Montana) and will hopefully put them to use next summer.

Also, every summer I try to do an overnight backpacking trip. Last month I backpacked up on Mount Hood with my daughter Kelsey and her boyfriend Tim. Unfortunately Kelsey got a bad case of blisters and not wanting to turn the hike into a death march, we cut it short and did not stay overnight. We commiserated in fine style at the Brightwood Tavern with good food and libations, so it ended up being a great day plus we saw some extremely beautiful scenery.

Another personal goal this summer was to see the NEOWISE Comet with my own eyes. This seemed like it should be pretty easy to do but it took five tries; FIVE! I even made a special evening trip to Altamont Park in Happy Valley but the view of the Northwest sky was obscured by smoke from a building fire from the protests. If that wasn’t bad enough, Cheryl got tons of mosquito bites while we sat in the park waiting for it to get dark.

In July we had three new members join. Welcome to Lauren, Rhona and Jim!

Clackamas Fly Fishers has always taken the month of August off as far as meetings and fish longs go. With all the cancellations we’ve had this year I wanted to try and do an August activity such as a fish along or get together but time got away from me. My apologies!

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a good way to get ideas for current local flyfishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Simply type the word August or September in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

It’s been really crowded on our local waters the summer, as in extra crowded times two! This makes fishing a little more challenging but as you can see from our fishing reports are members are still getting out and making it happen. My hat is off to everyone for doing this.

As we go forward it’s not certain when we may begin having regular meetings again. People have suggested Zoom presentations. While I think this could be a good idea our local fly shops are doing a great job Zooming and Blogging. Personally, I don’t want to compete with them in this area as we need to support them, not compete with them. Going forward, at least for the next couple months, Clackamas fly fishers will focus on flyfishing activities we can either do together or at least help each other with our flyfishing goals. As always, I’m open to any ideas you may have.

On the conservation front, on August 24 it was announced the Pebble Mine has been blocked, at least for the time being. This is great news but at the same time I do not believe the fight is over yet.

Next weekend on September 12 and 13th is the annual Clackamas River down the river cleanup hosted by the Clackamas River basin Council. It is a fun and worthwhile event. Here is the link: Http://clackamasriver.org/events/down-the-river-cleanup/

August 2020 Fishing Reports

The month of August always flies by and it seems like it only lasted about a week. Still, we have a lot of variety and good fishing reports this month.

Thanks to everyone for your reports! As always, pictures first with the report below.

From Richard Harvey: the sea run cutthroats are starting to show up on the Oregon coast, plus I had some fun with rainbows in the Clackamas River as well.

From Lane Hoffman: Traveled to the Togiak River in Alaska. Great trip with great weather & almost ran out of sunscreen. There was just enough wind to keep the bugs away!

From Dave Kilhefner: George Coutts and I hit the Willamette River by Salem for Smallmouth Bass. We also caught a few good sized Pikeminnows. We tried Poppers and had a few short strikes but the best tactic was a clouser minnow fished on a full sinking line.

From Rhona Dallison: Laura McGuill and I tried to get one of the first come/first serve campsites at Laurance Lake on a Thursday but they were all already full. We found a great riverside group campsite on the East Fork of the Hood River at Toll Bridge Park near Parkdale. Four other ladies joined us over the next couple days. The East Fork was a bit milky but I fished it that evening with a 3 weight and had success floating a nymph down the riffles and in the pockets, hooking into 3 feisty small rainbows. The next day we did a hike up to Tamanawas Falls, which was breathtaking. Laura and another fishing friend, Sue Liwanag, scouted some local creeks and a reservoir for fishable water while the rest of our group headed up to Laurance Lake. The Lake was fiercely windy so float tubing and kayaking were out of the question. We encountered one Tenkara fisherman at the head of the lake where the Clear Branch flows in. That evening Kelly and I explored some pull offs on the East Fork and eventually found a nice pool where she caught her first fish on a fly rod—a small rainbow with parr marks, by roll casting into a pool below some overhanging alders. She’s hooked! Kelly and I hoped to spend some time fishing at Trillium Lake on the way home but it was an absolute zoo when we got there Sunday morning. Later in the month Laura, Sue and I went to the Wilson River (Donaldson’s Landing) and the Trask River (The Peninsula area) and caught some small cutthroats and rainbows. Laura and I saw a steelhead (?) in the Wilson but couldn’t entice it to take our offerings. It was a beautiful day on the water—I saw river otters in a pool I was fishing on the Wilson, and a herd of elk crossed below where Laura!

From Dave Kilhefner: went backpacking on Mt Hood with my daughter and her boyfriend. No fishing but the views were spectacular.

From Ed Rabinowe: Bouy 10 was good!

From Jim Behrend: Went to North Santiam with my wife. We caught a bunch of trout using caddis nymphs.  No other nymph got even a nibble.

From Chris Foster: A buddy and I fly fished Crane Prairie one day at Quinn River and Cultus Channel. The lake was very crowded. Fortunately we got into a Callibaetis Hatch #12 in the late afternoon and hooked and released about 30 Trout running 14-20 inches plus a couple of big Kokanee (17 inches!) using Callibaetis nymphs with an Intermediate sink line and also floating lines. We slow trolled flies behind my drift boat and also cast to rising fish.

The next day we fly fished Paulina Lake and released about 20 rainbows and 10 browns. The fish ran 12-19 inches with the largest a 19 inch brown (buck). We used Callibaetis nymphs, streamers and chironomids. The water was a beautiful blue color plus there was not much wind.

Paulina was not very crowded. I would fish Paulina again and wait until late September or October for Crane Prairie. 

From the Oregon Fishing Club: this is the time of year that our lakes and ponds look and fish their worst.  The hot summer days and the warm nights combine to keep water temperatures up so we are in the middle of the slowest fishing time of the year for the Club still-waters.  The one exception for trout fishing is in the early morning hours at Rainier lakes.  Members are even hitting trout on dry flies, but only up until about 9:00am.  If you never remove the trout from the water and quickly release the fish, we are experiencing no known mortality issues.

All other locations that have warm water fish populations are still producing a few strikes. In these locations it is best to target the warm water fish and leave the trout alone.

The Club does not plant additional trout into the still-waters until water temperatures drop. Generally this happens as early as late September, but sometimes as late as early November.  It all depends on what Mother Nature decides to do over the next couple of months.