Fly Tying: November, 2019

Fly Tying 101:  Beginning Fly Tying— Tools, Tips, and Techniques

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Fly fishing is a great pastime and there are few things in the sport as satisfying as landing a fish on a fly that was created by your own hands. Do you have an interest in fly tying but you don’t know where to start? Do the terms whip finisher, dubbing loop, bobbin, and hair stacker make your head spin because they sound like part of a foreign language?  Or have you attended a previous fly tying night and went away discouraged when you came to the quick realization that you were in way over your head? 

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I have been approached by a few club members that have wondered when we were going to have another Fly Tying Night aimed at the those folks that are really novices, including those that have never tied a single fly.  So we will be going back to the basics in November, covering the standard tools and techniques that you will need to get started on a very interesting and rewarding hobby.  Everyone should walk away with at least one fly that is ready to be field tested on the water.  And who knows, with the holiday season just around the corner, you may end up with some great ideas for your Santa Claus wish list in December.  

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So join us for an evening of beginning level fly tying on Wednesday, November 20th. (Note: This is the day after our CFF general meeting on the 19th. This is a change from our usual Fly Tying Night schedule in order to stay away from having the class the day before Thanksgiving.) We’ll be meeting at The Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn at 6:00 p.m.  Bring your own fly tying tools if you have them.  If you don’t have any equipment come anyway.  Our friends at The Royal Treatment will loan you everything you need. See you there!

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(If you are an experienced tyer that would like to come to help the beginners get off to a good start please join us. We had some experienced helpers that assisted at our last Beginning Fly Tying class and it was soooo very helpful!)

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Nov 9th Fish A Long Cancelled

Hi Everyone, we’ve decided to cancel the Fish A Long this weekend.

Lane Hoffman drove down to the coast recently and reports the water is very low and there were very few fish. Also, the 10 day forecast shows dry weather conditions persisting thru the weekend.

For those that want to get in some good Chum action, last year there were reports of very good Chum fishing the two days prior to the Nov 15th closure. Unfortunately we can’t schedule a mid-week fish a long to take advantage of this.

Some other local options:
-Thursday Nov 7th is the Beer & Cheer event with Simon Gawesworth. It’s at the Tap & Table on Ankeny and starts at 6pm.

-Several of the Oregon Fishing Club Ponds have recently been stocked with trout including the ones we fish the most; Rainier and Highland Lakes.

-The Deschutes River is still fishing well for trout.

2019 October CFF Fishing Reports

October is always a great month to get out on the water!

From Richard Harvey: Sea run cutthroats moved into the coastal rivers well in October plus bigger fish began to show up. Also got a surprise silver.

From Phil Bartsch: Gary Stein and I went up to the Crooked River last Thursday (10/24).  Water was really low and super clear, but we managed to catch more trout than white fish.

From Greg O’Brien: I got a little swung fly steelhead action, some excellent trout fishing, and even a some predawn saltwater action at Barview Jetty.

Hit some trout lakes too: the trout on Timothy Lake and Rocky Ridge were big and hungry for small black leech patterns.  Diamond Lake was tough fishing when snow and wind came in hard but managed a couple of rainbows, but no tiger trout before getting off the water in a hurry.  

From Dave Kilhefner: went back to Beavertail for the last Westfly Rondi. It was a repeat of the fish a long weekend the weekend before. Egg patterns were the ticket with great fishing Friday afternoon and steady fishing the rest of the weekend. The sheep were out in force on the rock wall during the day plus saw a very nice buck on the drive home.


December Speaker George Krumm travelled to the Naknek River in Alaska with a few friends for some fall swinging for big ‘bows.  Some large fish were landed up to 32.5” on big leeches using switch rods, commando heads and sink tips. George fished out of Katmai Trophy Lodge.  The weather was sometimes challenging with conditions ranging  from below freezing some mornings to wet and windy with winds up to 35 mph.


October 2019 Fish A Long Report

Sometimes you get really lucky and hit everything just right. This Fish a Long was one of those times! Water conditions were very good, the trout were biting & stacked up thick below schools of spawning salmon. This weekend, finding spawning salmon was the key and we did this with no trouble.

I arrived and Friday afternoon and found a note waiting for me on Darryl Huff’s windshield that said “Dave, fishing upriver. Bring egg patterns!” Darryl had been having an epic day and ended up landing over 100 trout. To rack up these impressive numbers he started at 8am then fished hard all day. By the time I set up camp there was only about an hour of daylight left but I managed to hook a trout on the very first cast then bring another dozen or so to hand using and egg fly provided by Mitch Moyer, who was featured in Jim Adam’s September Fly Tying article.

It rained pretty hard late Friday night but fortunately stopped before Saturday morning. The rest of the day we had periods of intermittent rain and wind gusts but for the most part the weather and water conditions were good. The trout bite held up but was not as red hot as the day before. Still, we all got fish and Darryl had another good day, bringing an 18.5” fish to hand. My fish story of the day happened using a two fly rig & hooking two fish at the same time. Thanks to luck and heavy tippet both fish made it into the net.

Besides good fishing with good friends, it wouldn’t be a proper CFF Fish A Long without a good lunch! Cheryl provided fresh cooked juicy burgers, homemade macaroni salad and chips. Across the river seven mountain sheep were putting on a show, chasing each other and doing their mating dance. Aided by Paul Brewers Leupold binoculars & spotting scope, it was quite a sight.

After lunch the bite slowed down but we still ground out a few. Cheryl and I stayed Saturday night and enjoyed a nice campfire under starry skies. I had hoped to fish a little more Sunday morning but the White River blew out and the river was out of shape. I’m sure it would have been possible to grind out a few more but after being spoiled the last couple days I was content to drink coffee & pack up camp.

Thanks to everyone for coming and making this a fishing trip to remember!

Fly Tying: October, 2019

The Comet

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It has been a club tradition for a number of years to head to the Oregon coast for our November Fish-A-Long where we go after Chum Salmon. It is hoped that by our November 9th outing we will have received enough rain (but hopefully not too much!) to draw these fish into our coastal rivers. The Kilchis River is our normal destination although the Miami River also has a run of chums.  If you have some extra time this fall, there are many more opportunities to catch chum salmon in Washington waters.  In fact, the WDFW website has a note indicating that Chum salmon are the most abundant wild salmon species in Washington state. Be sure to check out the Washington regulations if you are planning to head up there.

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Chum salmon are sometimes  regarded as the “ugly stepsister” of all of the species of Pacific salmon.  They can be chrome bright while still in the ocean but soon begin to develop characteristic markings as they prepare to enter freshwater.  After entering rivers chums are readily identifiable by their characteristic olive green coloration with purplish vertical striping and blotches along their sides. 

Chum Salmon– Ocean Phase                        Chum Salmon– Spawning Male

Chum salmon are sometimes referred to as dog salmon, with research showing two possible origins for that name.  One explanation is that name comes from the impressive mouthful of sharp teeth seen in the males as they approach spawning time.  A second explanation is that the reference to dog salmon comes from the habit of Native Americans feeding the flesh of the chum salmon to their dogs.  Chums are not known for their aerial acrobatics but they fight like bulldogs and are not brought in easily, so don’t go light in selecting your gear.

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Impressive Teeth! Be sure to bring a good set of pliers.

This month we will be tying up a fly called The Comet. Don Conway of Seattle is credited with coming up with the design for this fly back in 1934 and It was later popularized by Grant King in the salmon and steelhead rivers of northern California in the 1940’s. While we will be targeting Chum salmon there is no reason to think that it would not be effective for any of the species of Pacific salmon, as well as steelhead.  I have also read reports that the Comet is also an effective smallmouth bass pattern.  For Chums the fly is normally tied in chartreuse.  There is an old saying in regard to chum salmon… “it’s no use if it ain’t chartreuse”, regardless of the specific fly pattern.  However, many anglers report that if the chums aren’t responding to chartreuse flies it is time to switch to something that is hot pink.  So hopefully, we will have both the time and materials to tie up both chartreuse and pink Comets.  And if something happens with the weather and it messes with the Kilchis Fish-A-Long, all is not lost, as these flies can also be used as dandy steelhead patterns.

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Join us at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn on Wednesday, October 23.  Even if you are not planning to attend the Kilchis River fish-a-long the Comet would be a fly to have in various colors in your steelhead, salmon or smallmouth bass fly box. The Comet is not a difficult fly to tie and would be suitable for tyers of all abilities or experience.

We’ll see you at 6 pm !

Gil Henderson (left) and Lane Hoffman (right) with Kilchis River chum salmon.

 

CFF October 19th Fish A Long

This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday October 19th on the Deschutes River at Beavertail Campground.

The plan: meet at Beavertail Campground between 8am and 9am. We’ll provide coffee and doughnuts then we hit the river! After morning fishing a hot lunch will be served.

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 but reports indicate steelhead fishing has been slow. 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 Paul at ponzdog@icloud.com if you plan to attend so we can get a head count for the food.

President’s Message October 2019

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It seems this year we can only dream of catching a nice bright Steelhead, but a few are out there even if the run in the Deschutes is not up to past years. Anyway the Trout are still about and we can enjoy the fall days stalking them.

The club has been moving right along with interesting speakers and fun outings to some new venues. Things will keep on being fun as we begin the fall of 2019.

The speaker in September was Garth Wyatt, PGE biologist, who recapped the efforts to restore the Chinook, Coho, and Steelhead runs to the Clackamas River basin. Good progress has been made which will bode well for the fishery in the future.

Next we have John Wall from Portland Fly Fishing Shop to discuss local fishing opportunities. Join us to listen to this guides thoughts.

The fish-a-long this month will be on the Deschutes where we can pursue Steelhead and Trout. Of course good food and company included. Stay tuned for more information. Also, the fish-a-long for November will be on the Kilchis River for Chum Salmon. This is an annual event and is usually a lot of fun, but is also weather dependent. Again more information to follow.

As you saw on the site we have a joint meeting with the Fly Fishing Club of Oregon. The speaker location is downtown so leave early to avoid traffic. It will be well worth the trip.

Remember our sponsors are 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 outing with them.

Gil Henderson