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.

FREE Dave Hughes Webinar

Hi Everyone, I REALLY WISH I COULD CLAIM CREDIT for this but truth be told the fine folks at WaterWatch have set this up. Next Wednesday, August 19, at 6 PM PDT, join WaterWatch of Oregon onto learn from a true master of fly fishing: Dave Hughes.

In this fourth and final installment of WaterWatch’s popular Summer 2020 Webinar Series, Dave will give an insider’s view of how a master angler goes about his craft. Dave will offer 10 practical tips on how to pursue, think like, and catch more trout. This being Dave, the presentation will include stories highlighting situations where those 10 practical tips made all the difference out there on the water.

Anglers of all skill levels will enjoy and benefit from this special evening of lessons learned and casual storytelling. Dave’s tips, which span the spectrum from basic tips for trout fishing to a more nuanced understanding of rivers, insects, fish and anglers, could only have been earned through a lifetime of practice, study and writing on trout fishing. Like an unwieldy fishing vest that gets winnowed down over the years to a single box of magic flies, this presentation reveals many of the basic truths about effectively pursuing trout—truths that represent a lifetime of patient practice, observation and reflection.

The event is free. You can register for the webinar right here:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_r3wzHSSaSImLn2RKuDUQLQ

For further information, WaterWatch’s events page is here:

July 2020 Fishing Reports

July was a hot one but CFF members were able to get out, keep cool and have some good fishing. Thanks to everyone for contributing your fishing reports!

The Corona Virus has created some very crowded conditions in the great outdoors. When venturing out it’s important to be patient and maintain responsible social distancing.

Here are our July reports; pictures first with the report following. Enjoy!

From Trux Dole: (this got lost in my inbox, it’s a June report) 1st time fishing for Shad was a total hoot! Buddy took me out to Beacon Rock. It took 45 minutes to get dialed in on the right seam and then it was a fish per cast. Thankfully I was using two handed rod!

From Greg O’Brien: Clear Lake on the 25th turned on with a massive mayfly hatch at about 10 am and it was lights out fishing for about an hour.  Fish rising and slashing for a 200 yard stretch. 

Earlier in July my wife and I made a road trip to Montana for a couple days of fishing with a guide (a package she bid on and won at her school’s fundraising auction).  We fished the Clark Fork one day and the Big Hole the second day.  Fishing was good on the Clark Fork for scrappy rainbows, and excellent on the Big Hole for cutthroat, rainbows, browns and also a few whitefish.  

Also got a nice Smallmouth Bass on the Willamette.

From Darryl Huff: Fishing on the lower D has been great. This year’s return has produced a lot of fish in the 8-10 pound range. So far it seems that 75 percent are natives. Also, we are starting to hook a few salmon as well.

From Carson Taylor: Just got back from a family vacation at Sunriver. Fishing wasn’t great but this nice brown trout fell to a muddler minnow fished along the west bank across from Sunriver.  Also caught a cutthroat caught on a Carey Special at Hosmer Lake.  

From Lane Hoffman: Went to Badger Lake, a beautiful lake east of Mt Hood. The fishing was really good, caught 25 plus trout from 6 to 18 inches. Really fat & strong fighters, nice fish. Very few visitors because the last 12 miles of road is really rough. Went to Lost Lake for the Hex hatch in the evening but the hatch never really materialized.

From Rhona Dallison: Went to Badger Lake with Lane Hoffman but the wind was very strong. We couldn’t use our float tubes and ended up catching a few small ones from shore.

From Dave Kilhefner: I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to catch a spring chinook in the upper Sandy River. Glacial runoff from the hot weather has made conditions difficult.

July 25 Fish A Long Report

One of the big challenges to hosting a fish a long is finding a place that will accommodate approximately 10 anglers. With the pandemic it’s at least twice as hard to find a good place as the great outdoors has become a lot more crowded and the Mt Hood Lakes were especially crowded this weekend!

Earlier this month we brainstormed and came up with a new format for having a Fish A Long; basically we pick an area with several fishable waters close by and agree to meet somewhere for lunch. If possible we keep in touch with a group text. While it’s not perfect, it was was reasonably successful as we were able to spread out and have a fun fish a long. We had 11 members attend and while we didn’t catch a ton of fish, it was a really nice day and we all fished some beautiful waters. Here’s how we did:

Tom was supposed to start at Timothy Lake but couldn’t make it. This was probably for the best because after lunch Paul & Lane tried to show new members Rhona & Laura places to fish at Timothy and also the Oak Grove Fork but it was too simply to crowded.

Dave & George hit Clear Lake first thing in the morning. The water was very low so they opted to fish from shore by the dam after talking to two anglers that used Tenkara rods to dapple flies over the weedbeds with fair success. Dave got a fat 23” rainbow on a Green Devil down by the dam.

Anglers were putting in float tubes at the Clear Lake boat ramp so we went
to see if it was anyone from the club and ran into Greg and Hugo, who were
camping with their families.

When the sun hit the water the fish activity died and we went to check out
Frog Lake. It was pretty crowded so we headed out to find Paul & Lane at
Barlow Creek.

Paul & Lane started at Barlow creek and got some small but colorfully marked trout on dries. Then Paul, Lane, Dave and George spread out along the upper White River by the bridge but didn’t have any success. After this it was time to meet everyone for lunch.

Jim Adams tried Clear Lake in the morning and said no matter where he took his tube, the water was very shallow. Clear Lake has been drawn way down due to irrigation demands.

New members Rhona & Laura fished the Salmon River at the rock climbing wall a few miles up the Salmon River Road. It’s a beautiful spot. 

New member Jim Bennett tried Clear Lake and then Frog Lake.

Red hit some small creeks and got several small trout on dry flies.

The Frog Lake Sno Park area was incredibly crowded at lunchtime so we opted to head across the road where the chain up area offered reasonable parking, plus we could put our chairs in a shaded old growth forest rather than a baking hot parking lot. It was a good move!

Next month we are talking about having a get together at the Westmoreland
Casting Pond plus we are also looking at places for our August Fish A Long.
Suggestions are always welcome!

July 25th Fish A Long

Ok everyone, we are really going to have a fish a long this month, its NOT going to get cancelled but it will be a little different.

What is different is we are not going to meet at one specific body of water, but rather a general location: Mt Hood. This will allow us to travel alone or in small groups to maintain our social distancing plus fish where and how we want to during “the new normal.”

After fishing in the morning, we will plan on meeting at the Frog Lake Trailhead & Sno Park area to have lunch and trade flies and lies. If you aren’t familier with this area, its a large paved parking area where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses Hwy 26. It has plenty of space and bathrooms. To maintain social distancing, plan on bringing your own chair and lunch.

Some of the fishing locations available within a half hours drive are the Salmon River, Still Creek, Trillium Lake, Clear Lake, Frog Lake, Timothy Lake and the upper White River.

What- Trout

Where- Mt Hood Lakes and Creeks

When- First light until 1pm lunchtime

Saturday, July 25th

Things to Bring:

  • Lake and small stream tackle for Trout
  • Float tubes for lakes
  • Layered clothing
  • Folding Chair + your lunch
  • A positive attitude

Directions- take Hwy 26 for 7 miles past Government Camp to the Frog Lake Trailhead and Sno Park & look for familiar faces. Its a large paved parking area with restrooms.

RSVP to Dave Kilhefner (Dave@kbi-ins.com) so I can put you on the group text list. Hope to see you there!

Presidents Message July 2020

You’re probably thinking “funny cartoon Dave, but that could never happen!” On the other hand, with everything that is going on these days stranger things ARE happening…all the time.

The other day, I ran into my old neighbor. While catching up, he said he had been watching a lot of news and all the media hype got to him, which is no easy task. He didn’t realize how bad his personality had suffered until his adult son told him to stop biting everyone’s head off every time they tried to talk to him. To his credit he cut WAY back on watching the news and his outlook got much better. I don’t watch hardly any news myself and can say it’s a great anxiety reliever.

Of course, it’s hard to lower your of anxiety if you feel isolated and out of touch. After doing some brief research about the 1918 Pandemic I realized this thing was going to take a while; far longer than I would be able to stay isolated indoors. For my own health and peace of mind I tried to find a reasonable, logical approach and decided to use the strategy Sweden is employing. A brief paraphrase from the article; “recognize that the world is only in the first stage of dealing with a long, uncertain battle with Covid-19 so Sweden is keeping much it’s of society open while training people to observe distancing guidelines — is the only realistic way to cope in the long run.”

So far, I’m staying healthy plus spending a reasonable amount of time out of the house and on the water. To do this, I have my supplies. Some are visible and obvious like face masks and hand sanitizer. However, my most important “supply” is extra patience and lots of it! If a store is too crowded, I come back another time. If a car is driving crazy, I get out of its way. If someone is in a hurry and putting off the “human tuning fork vibe” I give them distance and let them go first.

We had some pretty good fishing in June along with lots of pictures to share. Thanks to everyone for sending these in. With the cool weather continuing, fishing conditions are looking pretty good for July. Personally, I’m hoping to hit some Mt Hood Lakes in my float tube, chase carp for the first time on the Columbia and maybe try for Spring Chinook on the upper Sandy River. This barely scratches the surface of what’s available but it’s good to have a plan plus a back up plan; if your first choice doesn’t work out you can still enjoy some time outdoors. Mainly, I’m going to stay positive and keep my fly in the water as much as possible. Fish will be caught!

Unfortunately the High Rocks Banquet Room will not be open for our meeting so we won’t have one in July. To make up for this we will get more fishing info and opportunities posted on the website, so stay tuned. Also, our Forum is a good place to share ideas and information.

Last year our July Fish A Long at Round Lake was our best attended fish a long ever (or at least for the last several years). It was a great time but as you can imagine, Fish A Longs or club initiated fishing trips will have to change for a while. It makes to most sense to travel alone or in small groups of 2 or 3 but we can still get out there!

Also, if you have any suggestions for the club or need any info, please get in touch.

Dave Kilhefner (Dave@kbi-ins.com)