Hi Everyone, I’m planning a fishing trip to Montana for later this week or next week.
Usually fish the Blackfoot near Lincoln, Big Hole, Rock Creek, Flint creek and others. Two ways that we could do this: motel and restaurants or I have an RV with one bed and one couch, and housekeeping stuff.
If you might be interested in joining me give me a shout and we’ll see if it can work.
The “June Fly Fishing Reports” blog was a hit so here’s another edition for July.
Zach Epstein of Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitter fished at Rocky Ridge and put together a great video of trout attacking mouse patterns. He said he hooked about a dozen trout fishing this way–something to try next time!
Brad Jonasson provided these photo’s from the CFF’s annual Owyhee River Trip from last month.
While unsuccessfully chasing shad in the Willamette Dave Kilhefner picked a nice smallmouth bass.
Erik from Bridgeport Orvis store hit the Clackamas River. He says “the Clackamas provides a unique opportunity to catch decent trout close to Portland. However, these fish shouldn’t be in the river as they are clipped, residualized hatchery steelhead & clipped trout that made it through River Mill dam. You are encouraged to keep these fish as they compete with native species to the river.
There are Spring Chinook in the upper Sandy River. Dave Kilhefner was spey casting for them when this nice angler arrived then got one on a spinner. He graciously asked permission to make a few casts and his good Karma was quickly rewarded. It was a native and quickly released.
Hugo Jim traveled to New Orleans for a family get together and took time out to chase Redfish and got this beauty!
Jim Behrend went to the North Santiam and caught 2 smolt , a sucker plus he and his wife caught a bunch of small rainbows.
Greg O’Brien traveled to Puget Sound to fish for Sea Run Cutthroat Trout and Coho with the guys from a Royal Treatment. Fishing was slow, but they managed to get a couple really nice sea runs. They saw a few silvers from the beach but did not hook up with any.
Randy Clark, our speaker from Orvis Bridgeport got into some good Tiger Musky action up in Washington. Between himself and fishin’ buddy Ryan and they totaled up nearly 30 follows, 5 hookups, one broken line, and one fish landed that went 44″. He had one that was significantly larger follow the fly right to his feet, follow three large ovals at the boat then sit there staring at the fly right on it’s nose before turning away. Fast stripping small baitfish patterns in size 6 seemed best, using an intermediate line.
Adrian Choate is on a big road trip to Alaska! He’s at the Susitna (muddy) / Montana Creek (clear) confluence. He reports the Chum and Silvers are coming in plus Kings have been in the rivers for a while. Next are large , bead eating rainbows. If that isn’t enough, Grayling are taking dries aggressively. Gotta love Alaska!
Trux Dole reports the rod builders met and successfully prepped & attached both handles and rod seats, marked spines and line guides and learned how to wrap their guides. Big thanks to Ken B and Tom F for helping teach and tutor folks and to George C for sharing his tools and tips. Linda successfully repaired her childhood bamboo rod with a new wrapping on line guides and got her first coat of epoxy applied.
Thanks in absentia to Ron B for his materials and for ordering the supplies and all his years of teaching. He was missed but we charged on. Next step will be epoxying the guide wraps and adhering the tips.
My friend Jay got into some nice smallmouth in the lower Clackamas by the water intake.
Thanks to everyone for coming to Harriet Lake today. It was another fun CFF Fish-a-long!
The day was beautiful and clear with a slight morning chill. This is a popular lake in the summer and the lot filled up fast. Parking was a small challenge but we all got settled then enjoyed hot coffee, cinnamon rolls and some conversation before hitting the water.
The lake had been freshly stocked with legal 7″ to 8″ rainbow trout. It was easy to get them to bite but hard to hook them. We all had lots of short strikes between landing fish.
Harriet also holds brown trout and Greg got a healthy one about 15″ long plus we saw a few others taken.
Overall, the best fly was a green/orange seal bugger but similar leech type flies worked. Because the water is incredibly clear (and cold, 45 degrees!) and hunting Osprey’s live here, finding deeper pockets then getting the fly down worked best. An intermediate line worked well for this.
The club members fished out of float tubes but we saw other fly anglers catching fish off the large fishing dock.
Around lunchtime the wind came up and this ended most everyone’s fishing on the lake. We had a great lunch of build-your-own deli sandwiches and homemade macaroni salad. Afterwards a few folks said they were going to try fishing the nearby streams and creeks before heading home.
This months the fish-a-long will be at Harriet Lake. This is a small impoundment on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River.
We will meet on Saturday morning about 8am in the main parking area. Coffee & donuts plus a sandwich lunch will be provided. There is a $5 fee per car for using the park so you may wish to look at carpooling with other members.
The lake is 22 acres and contains rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout. There is a very long dock along the north bank but it is best fished from a floating devise such as a float tube. If you do not have a float tube the club now has a small fleet that you can use, so don’t use that as an excuse to not get out and fish!
The best fishing is at the top of the lake close to the inlet. It is probably best to use an intermediate lake line. As for flies a leach pattern works best….callibaetis nymph, seal bugger, woolly bugger, and chironomids fished sub surface with an indicator. As the lake has just been stocked a glo-bug colored dark with a felt pen looks a lot like a pellet. Below overhanging trees, ants will fall into the water and temp cruising trout.
The lake is due to be stocked with 3,000 legal size trout this week so fishing should be good. Also, along the way is the upper Clackamas River, which has trout and whitefish and the Oak Grove Fork is nearby too and has good numbers of cutthroat trout; these opportunities perfectly dovetail with the CFF Fly Fishing Challenge!
Last weekend I checked out several possible areas for our Fish-A-Long. Trillium is very beautiful but also extremely crowded on the weekends this time of year. The water was very low at Clear Lake and the restrooms needed some attention—yuck! Timothy Lake had potential but it was pretty crowded too so we will probably go there later in the year.
If you plan on coming please contact Dave Kilhefner or Paul Brewer so we know how much food to bring. Also, if you need a float tube we need to hear from you. All questions are welcome too!
We all have rods, reels, fly boxes, tools, etc. that we no longer use or need that we might be willing to trade, sell, or just give away. Someone else in the club might be on the lookout for one of those very items.
You might have an old rod, reel or line that someone might want for a grandchild. Bring ’em!
Maybe you have an old vest or rain jacket that just doesn’t fit well anymore. Bring it!
Perhaps you don’t tie flies anymore but still have some equipment or supplies. Bring ’em!
You probably upgraded something recently and don’t know what to do with your old stuff. Bring it!
We will swap, dicker, barter, buy, and sell. I hope to have time for members to share stories, memories, and tall tales about their fishing experiences. It should be a fun evening and might be the perfect time to bring along a family member or two. See you next Tuesday, July 17th.
Since we were not able to do a fish-a-long this month I asked our members to provide some June Fly Fishing Reports. The Clackamas Fly Fishers had a good month!
Lane Hoffman with a really nice early June Cape Code Striped Bass taken on a Sand Eel fly. He was fishing with Tom Phipps.
Carson Taylor with a Willamette Shad. This is from the CFF auction trip with Rob Crandall. The other winners Gary O’Brien and Carey Allison also got into plenty of shad that day!
Ed Rabinowe and Lane Hoffman hit Wild Billy Lake down by Klamath Falls for some good rainbow action. The largest trout took a #18 blood midge, but all the standard Stillwater patterns were working.
Nick Rowell hosted a trip to Christmas Island at the end of June. John Warren was supposed to join him but had to cancel due to breaking his hand–John can tell you how he did it for a free beer at the next meeting; it’s a pretty good story!
Bob Beswick had a great evening at the end of the Salmon Fly Hatch on the Deschutes with many trout landed, the largest over 18 inches.
Phil Bartsch had a good day up at Harriet Lake with his new float tube, netting 11 trout before the wind started picking up. A Teeny Nymph with a quick retrieve was the answer.
Trux Dole had a good afternoon on the upper Clackamas above N. Fork Reservoir with pocket water trout during a caddis hatch. A thunder & lightning storm added to the experience.
Jim Behrend and his wife fished the South Santiam River. Jim said the fishing was slow and several hours of fishing produced a few smolts and a couple small bass.
Thank you everyone for your June Fly Fishing Reports!
Summer is upon us and things will be winding down for the club over the summer. We will not be having a general meeting in August and no fly tying in July and August. Many of you will be busy with family and vacations, but do try and include some fishing activities.
Our speaker in June was Nick Wheeler from the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn. Nick, a self proclaimed Shad junkie, gave a great presentation on fishing for Shad in the Willamette and Columbia. He covered flies, gear, technique and locations to pursue these fish. The runs are gigantic and there is limited bank access to go after them . Many in the club will be going after them this year and most certainly next year.
We will not have a speaker at our July meeting as it scheduled to be a swap meet. Check around the place and come prepared to make some deals.
You can recall I mentioned that our Membership Director will be retiring at the end of this year. No one has responded to date and it would be great to have someone volunteer as they could work with Red for a few months to get a feel for the position. It really does not take a lot of time and it is a key role in the club. Please let someone on the board know it you are interested.
The July fish-a-long is in the works and more will be forthcoming. We are a volunteer group and sometimes schedules prevent our fish-a-long director from hosting the event as what happen in June. Again, please step up and help if you possibly can as hosting an event is not that big a deal.
Again there will be no meetings in August. The board wishes you and your family a enjoyable summer. We will see you in September.
Do not forget our sponsors as they are the lifeblood of our club. Stop by their shops to say hello and thank them for their support. Better yet buy something or book a trip to really underscore our gratitude for their support.
American Shad are called the little tarpon of the Columbia River. This silver-sided finned friend is one of the most underrated game fish of the Pacific Northwest. With returns in the millions and eager to eat a swung fly what’s not to like?
Nick’s presentation will include a brief history of this patriotic fish, explain how it got to the west coast, and go through recommended tackle, techniques, and potential spots to catch these fish. American Shad are known for putting up a fierce fight and do not give up easily. Be careful, like popcorn, these fish can be addictive and will keep you coming back for more.
Nick Wheeler has been fly fishing for Shad for over 15 years and working in the fishing industry just as long. Growing up in Northern California on the banks of the Russian River chasing Steelhead and Shad had been his favorite pastime. Living just feet away from the best Shad run on the Russian he was lucky enough to spend most days of the season on the water. Now living in Vancouver Washington and working at Royal Treatment in West Linn Oregon, he spends his time targeting as many species as possible (trout, salmon, steelhead and even carp), but every year he still devotes the entire month of June to chasing American Shad.