April 2021 Meeting & Fish A Long

We’ll have a Zoom meeting April 20th at 7pm. Our presenter will be local book author Dennis Dauble who will be talking about Fly fishing in the Blue Mountains. Dennis is a retired fishery scientist, outdoor writer, presenter and educator who lives in Richland, Washington. He has written or edited five books and writes about fish and fishing for regional newspapers and magazines.

Our next Fish A Long is Saturday, April 24th on the Crooked River. This will be a “bring your own food & beverages” fish a long. The plan is to meet at Big Bend Campground between 8:30 and 9am Saturday morning. This time of year a consistent river level is the key to good fishing, so we’ll be monitoring the level closely as we are entering into irrigation season. If the river level jumps we will move the fish a long to the Deschutes River at Mecca Flats, as April 24th is opening weekend. Either way, we’ll have good fishing and fun times.

Here is the link to the Crooked River Guage

The 2021 Fly Fishing Challenge is underway but only 3 people have signed up. We have a new new Fly Fishing Challenge website page so please check it out and then get signed up!

CFF March 2021 Fishing Reports

Thanks to everyone for sharing your reports! Pictures are first with the reports below.

From Mike Miller: This beauty climbed on board while swinging an black & blue intruder jumped 6 times and fought like a champ this March on the Clack. Member In gratitude Mike Miller. (if CFF had a contest for the happiest fish picture, this would be the winner!)

From Dave Kilhefner: I was able to go steelhead fishing a few times in March and did OK, landing 4 steelhead. The best one was about 13lbs and took 2/3 of my line on the first run. After landing 3 on gear I switched over to the spey rod and after a few attempts got one swinging my tried & true Black & Blue Metal Detector.

From George Krumm: Fly fished for Bull Trout on Lake Billy Chinook. Went 3 times and caught fish every time, wish is wasn’t so far away! George was accompanied by CFF speaker Joe Warren, who did a great write up on his blog Fly Fish Pursuit and below the Lake Billy Chinook report is a good write up on Pyramid Lake you’ll enjoy reading. Check it out.

From Greg O’Brien: Steelhead fishing has sure been tough this winter!  I managed to get this nice hen on a guided day in Washington. Swung fly, solid eat, lots of jumping and multiple runs. It was awesome!

From Ryan Callahan: enjoyed my first fish a long at Wilder Lake and caught my two biggest rainbow trout!

From Jim Behrend: Rotator cuff surgery has me out of commission till mid-summer. (We’re sorry to hear that Jim and hope you have a speedy recovery!)

From Richard Harvey: the larger trout have begun to get active at the Oregon Fishing Club lakes.

From Vickie Loftus: Here’s my current fishing report on my Stillwater Adventure Blog.

Thanks again to everyone that contributed reports this month. Good fishing!

April 2021 Presidents Message

After everything that happened in February one thought that keeps bubbling to the surface is “wasn’t March nice?” I think it was! 

The fish a long at Wilder Lake was a big success so we’re going to go there again for the May 22nd Fish A Long. I’ll email the details this month. 

Over spring break I was finally able to bring a winter steelhead to hand. Getting a steelhead on the fly has been a long haul this winter, so it was pretty dang satisfying when it finally came together. The steelhead took a Black & Blue Metal Detector and if you’ve ever steelhead fished with me you know I fish with that fly about 90% of the time. It’s good to have a favorite fly.

Our first Zoom meeting went very well. If you missed it, Garrett Lesko gave us the basics & beyond of Euro Nymphing with plenty good info thrown on tying flies & good sources of tungsten beads, which as you you know are not cheap. It got me excited to give this method another try and so I took some of my own advice and bought a new Euro Nymphing rod from our sponsor The Fly Fishing Shop then gave it a pretty good workout over on the Crooked River.

We’ll have another Zoom presentation April 20th on Fly Fishing in the Blue Mountains by Dennis Dauble. 

Last month Kevin Brooks, CFF’s previous webmaster, contacted me about CFF’s old newsletters. He had them stored on an old hard drive and was cleaning house, so we have our old newsletters back: 126 of them dated from April 2001 until August 2013. They are fun and interesting to read. Anyone who wants to see them let me know and I’ll email you a link. 

In April trout fishing starts to heat up. Locally, the OFC ponds are fishing well. Further away the Deschutes and Crooked rivers are good too. Remember that good fishing on these rivers will depend on consistent water flows and irrigation season is just getting ready to start, so check the water flows before you head out. 

John Bartlett is posting Columbia River Carp Fishing Pictures, so that’s starting to happen. It’s something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. 

Winter Steelhead are still available thru April and Summer Steelhead start to show. Spring Chinook are coming too, but that’s a whole new level of fly fishing insanity.  

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a fun way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Type “April” or “May” and you’ll get all the past reports for that month. 

Please remember our sponsors, 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.  

Good fishing! 

Dave Kilhefner 

Fly Fish for Golden Dorado in Argentina!

Joe Warren, who has spoken at Clackamas Fly Fisher’s a few times, is hosting a fly fishing trip to the Parana River in Argentina for big golden dorado this fall.  He is looking for 1 to 2 anglers to embark on this adventure. The Parana is the second largest river of South America and home to some of the worlds largest Golden Dorado. This trip is priced at a great savings compared to others with 8 days of angling (not 5 or 6). Quality is the name of the game with fish up to and over 30 lbs!  The trip is arranged through Nervous Waters and hosted by Parana River Outfitters.  Contact Joe for more information.

When:  October 5-16th, 2021

Cost:  $3, 650.00, includes transport from final domestic flight to hotel, lodging, meals, and guiding.  Not included, international airfare, 2nd domestic flight and gratuities.

50% deposit due at sign up, final deposit due 60 days (Aug) before the trip.

Contact Info:

509-281-1835

jojo@wavecable.com

About the location and fishing:

https://www.paranariveroutfitters.com/fishing-the-middle-parana.html

Wilder Lake Fish A Long Report

Here’s the report from last weekends Fish A Long at Wilder Lake. First off, we got very lucky with the weather. It was raining hard in the early morning just before we arrived and then only rained once during the day, but this was during lunch and we were protected under the covered area.

We started the morning with hot coffee and donuts. Vickie Loftus of Stillwater Adventures provided a selection of fishing flies for everyone that attended and they were put to good use. Later we enjoyed a hot lunch provide by Cheryl Kilhefner.

The water temperature in the lake was 50 degrees, with a nice green color and 3-4 feet of visibility. I broke out my depth/fish finder and on the screen most of the trout were hovering at a depth of 6 to 8 feet down, even in the deeper water.

The fishing was slower than normal as the lake hadn’t really warmed up yet plus several weather fronts were moving thru, as a result the fish were not very active. We had quite a few short strikes. Even so, everyone got into fish and most of them were pretty good sized and fought well. Everyone had a very good time. Since the fishing was slower than normal the lake owner, Andy Wilder, very generously invited us to come back for a free day of fishing. I’ll get a survey email out soon so we can get this scheduled.

Thanks to everyone that could attend and for making our first fish a long of 2021 a great one!

March 2021 Presidents Message

Just when we felt it was safe to breathe a sigh of relief that 2020 was really over, 2021 says “hold my beer” and throws a mega ice storm at us. For the second month in a row we had to cancel our fish-a-long, but on a positive note we are for sure going to have our March 20th fish-a-long at Wilder Lake.

I’ve updated the 2021 Fish-a-long calendar. Check it out and mark the dates on your calendar.

Besides having a fish a long, here’s more good news: High Rocks Pub is open! I drive by it on my way home from work and for the first time all winter noticed cars in the parking lot and the open sign was on. Cheryl and I stopped in for dinner and enjoyed a nice meal. Unfortunately the meeting room is not open yet but having High Rocks open again is a big step in the right direction!

This March marks my one year anniversary as club President and it’s been a challenging year. The last actual meeting we were able to have was over a year ago in February 2020, when Mark Bachmann gave a presentation on the Sandy River. Since we haven’t been able to have meetings, I’ve focused on Fish-a-longs and keeping the website updated, mostly by posting monthly fishing reports. Since it looks like we won’t be able to have meetings for at least several more months I’d like to try a few Zoom meetings. People with good info to share have expressed interest in giving our club some presentations with a local flair. I’ll get a survey email sent out soon, please be on the lookout for it.

While the crazy weather put a damper on fishing last month there were lots of opportunities to help friends and neighbors with storm cleanup, which builds good karma. Last weekend Cheryl and I went out to fellow CFF member Rhona Dallison’s place to help cut up both large and small tree limbs knocked down by the heavy ice. We also cleared her river access trail and hopefully we’ll have some good steelhead reports from there in the near future. It was the fun day. The weather was great and Rhona & Kelly put on a top notch work party with plenty of food & refreshments that wrapped up around a big bonfire. Good times!

March signals the beginning of spring and many local fisheries begin to wake up and turn on. Trout in our local lakes will begin to get active as water temperatures rise from the low 40’s to the high 40’s. The Deschutes will have good fishing if water levels are stable. Last but not least, March is the best month for trophy steelhead so don’t hang up your spey rod just yet, even though I readily admit it’s temping with the slow year we’ve had so far.

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a fun way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Type “March” or “April” and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

Please remember our sponsors this, 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. Good fishing!

Dave Kilhefner

December & January Fishing Reports

Thanks to everyone for sharing your reports! Pictures are first with the reports below.

From Chris Brehm:  Pyramid Lake NV has been on my bucket list for a while. A break in the weather mid January was my opportunity. Although most people fish from shore and ladders, I took my boat down for 3 days of fishing.

Our catch included about 25 fish up to 7 lbs, but the huge Lahontans this lake is famous for eluded us. They call fish under 10lbs “Rats”. The biggest was taken on a Chartreuse and White Clouser. Hope to go back in March or April.

From Phil Renner: I got over to the Deschutes a couple of times in January for some good winter trout action. The weather was good and it fished really well. 

 From Darryl Huff: I’ve made a few trips to the Deschutes with my new trout spey rod and found a hand full of fish willing to chase a swung fly.

From George Krumm: Gear fished the Sandy and got a few nice steelhead using jigs and also bobberdoggin’.

From Rhona Dallison: On an unexpectedly windy day Laura McGuill, Gretchen Sminkey, Kelly Dezura and Rhona Dallison met up at the Deschutes Angler before heading to the river at Harpham Flat. Despite the crazy line-tangling winds, Kelly got into a couple Redbands with a weighted stonefly near the top of a riffle, plus Gretchen got a rainbow further downstream. While fishing we ran into Paul Brewer.

Thanks again to everyone that contributed reports this month. Good fishing!

February 2021 Presidents Message

It’s no secret that steelhead numbers are down this year, but there have been some OK reports from the coast. One of the consolations during these slow years is most of the fish you do see caught are bigger than average, so when you do get out there beef up those tippets with at least 12lb Maxima or 15 Fluorocarbon. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at the fly shop and heard sad stories of big steelhead lost to light tippets.

This may sound strange, but when the numbers of steelhead are below average I would rather fly fish for them. The reason for this is when I’m fly fishing, I expect to work for every fish and this holds true no matter how good the fishing might be. This mindset helps me settle in for the long haul and enjoy more time on the water, which is what it’s all about. On the other hand, when I’m gear fishing I expect to hook a fish or two every time out and when I don’t, I tend to get discouraged, find something else to do and don’t get my river time.

I wanted to have a fish a long last month but it didn’t work out so we’ll try again this month on Saturday, February 20th. There are a couple options and I’ll be sending a survey email out soon to see what sounds best to those that want to participate.

This is a good place to mention to sign up for the Fly Fishing Challenge; going forward members must be signed up beforehand to participate in the Challenge program

Our March 20th outing to Wilder Lake out by Dundee is still on. I’ll be sending an email out to get a head count for this fish a long soon.

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 February or March in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

Speaking of the search function, one thing you may notice is the last meeting we were able to have was last year in February, when Mark Bachmann gave a presentation on the Sandy River.

Please remember our sponsors this, 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. Good fishing!

Dave Kilhefner

Fly of the Month: Silvernator

The Silvernator by local expert guide Brian Silvey is a relatively quick fly to tie and has great movement in the water. It’s also fun to go a little wild with the color combinations. So get your materials, get creative, and see what color combinations you can come up with!

Originator: Brian Silvey

Tier and Photo Credit: Mike Brown is the owner of Mossy’s Fly Shop in Anchorage, AK.  He’s a lifelong Alaskan with a passion for family, fly fishing, and fly tying

Material List:

  • Tube: Pro Tube Nano Tube
  • Hook Guide/Junction Tube: Pro Tube Hook Guide Medium or Large
  • Thread: Veevus 140 pictured; any strong thread works.
  • Tail: Straight Cut Rabbit Strip
  • Wings: Ostrich Feathers
  • Flash: Holographic Flash or Angle Hair
  • Collar: Schlappen
  • Beadhead: Pro Tube Pro Flexi Bead pictured.

Step 1.  Place your tube with hook guide or junction tubing on to your mandrel, this will give you an idea of how long you want to make your tail.  Start your thread at the base of your junction tube.

Step 2.  Tie in your rabbit strip.  Cut the strip a little bit longer than the end of your junction tube.

Step 3.  Using 5-10 ostrich feathers, tie in on each side of the rabbit strip, I rotated the fly in the picture to show them on each side.  You want the wings to be even with the end of the junction tube or just a little longer.

Step 4.  Tie in your flash, 2-4 strands, and place them along each side of the fly.  Trim the flash with a feather cut to the end of your rabbit tail.

Step 5.  Tie in your schlappen and the base end.

Step 6.  Wrap the schlappen 2-3 turns and tie off.  Whip finish, but don’t build to big of a head.

Step 7.  Slide your bead head on, it should cover up your head and sit firmly again the schlappen collar.

Step 8.  Cut your tube and melt back to secure the bead head.

Presidents Message January 2021

Happy New Year! I hope everyone was able to enjoy some festivities. If you’re like me you breathed a sigh of relief as 2020 slid into the rearview mirror.

I’m looking forward to the New Year and have a couple “fishing resolutions” to share. First, I want to put in a better effort for winter steelhead this year than I did last year. Since my casting is pretty good, the waders are patched and my flies are tied all that’s left is to get out on the water and make it happen.  The  goal is to get at least 10 days on the water between now and April 15th. The second resolution is for spring and summer fishing: Beginning in June get out chase the Northwest’s warm water trifecta of carp, bass and shad. Naturally the Columbia River is the best place to do this but the Willamette is much closer so it may get the nod this year. My trusty 6 weight rod is up to this task but the fly inventory is woefully inadequate. It will be fun to tie new patterns and fill up a new fly box. It will be fun project that I’m looking forward to.

I have been asked a few times if the club is still viable. Here’s my answer: YES! Our club has a dedicated group of core members along with solid financials. With these two things we can go on for years. It’s understood with COVID not everyone is able to participate the way they used to. No worries, whenever the world gets back to normal we will be here when you are ready.

As we all know we are not able to have meetings and who knows how long this will last, it will be at least a few months but probably longer. Because of this club is planning to focus on fish a longs for the first half of 2021. We have some good stuff lined up. For January and February we will be going to the lower Sandy River as it has excellent bank fishing opportunities for steelhead fly fishing. In March we have a special opportunity to fish a new private Lake out by Dundee called Wilder Lake. I was able to test fish this lake can assure that you will like it! Then in March and maybe April too we will head over to the Crooked River. You’ve probably noticed we’re doubling up on some locations. We are trying this because learning the water is the best way to be more successful, and it’s very difficult to learn one place when are always jumping around to new spots.

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 January or February in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

January is a great month to get good deals after Christmas so get out to your local fly shop buy all the stuff that Santa forgot. Please remember our sponsors this, 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