October 18th Speaker – Josh Linn

Clackamas Fly Fishers is pleased to welcome back Josh Linn as our October speaker. His presentation will be on fall Trout and Steelhead fly fishing.

Josh’s bio:

Growing up I started fishing with my family, learning from my father and grandfather and we had a lot of good experiences. 

As I got older I started going to the Deschutes and met a guide over there, Doug Cook. He was an extremely good fly tier and an amazing fly fisherman. At that time I didn’t really know that much about fly fishing but that changed when Doug took me under his wing.

He and taught me everything he knew; the art of tying flies, fly fishing and rowing drift boats. I became his chauffer for about 5 years, learning the Deschutes river like the back of my hand.

During this time I was kindling a relationship with my best friend Marty Sheppard. Marty and I started fishing together and in the late 90’s Marty introduced me to the Spey rod and It has been downhill ever since!

I have guided all over the Northwest; Bass and Steelhead on the John Day, Trout and Steelhead on the Grand Ronde, Whitewater rafting in Hells Canyon, Steelhead on the Sandy, Clackamas and Klickitat.

My main passion is catching anadromous fish on a swung fly, most recently in remote Alaska on the infamous river X and the Sandy River for Steelhead and Kings. The waters I guide are perfectly suited for a Spey rod.

Like most fisherman and guides I have a passion for photography and developing flies, so Fly fishing has become a hobby inside of a hobby. There are many aspects of Fly fishing. You can get as much out of fly fishing as you want to put into it.


Flytying: October, 2016

The Kilchis Killer

It has been a club tradition the past few years to head to the coast for our November Fish-A-Long. Our target will be Chum Salmon, and it is hoped that by our November 12 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. Chum salmon are much more plentiful 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.

Chum salmon are sometimes regarded as the “ugly stepsister” of all of the species of Pacific salmon. They can be mint bright while still in the ocean but soon develop darker 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 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.

This month we will be tying up a fly called The Kilchis Killer. Noted Oregon fly fisherman, author, and fly tier John Shewey is credited with coming up with the design for this fly. The name might be a bit of a misnomer, at least for the state of Oregon, as all fishing for chums is strictly catch and release. Just consider it a killer fly for attracting, but not killing the chums. There are many more opportunities for chum salmon in Washington waters so check the regulations if you are heading up there. The fly is normally tied in chartreuse. As Lane Hoffman says, 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 Kilchis Killers. 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 terrific steelhead patterns.

Unlike last month’s fly, this one will be suitable for tiers of all levels of experience.  Join us at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn on Wednesday, October 26 to tie up some Kilchis Killers. We’ll see you at 6 pm !

President’s Message October 2016

Here we go on the last part of the year as fall arrives with winter shortly on it’s heels. Where has the year gone as it seems like it was just spring a short time ago.  Unfortunately, it has been a weak year for the return of Steelhead, Coho and Chinook in our local water ways. Of course some have been successful in catching them, but on the whole it has not been a strong year.  We still have a lot of enjoyable activities and speakers to keep our interest in the upcoming weeks.

Our speaker last month was Cheryl McGinnis, Executive Director,  of the Clackamas River Basin Council and she discussed many of their projects for fish habitat as well as the annual Clackamas River Cleanup. This is an activity that we as a club should support each year with participation from our members. You do not have to have a boat to help. We will keep you posted as the next one in September 2017.

Our October speaker is Josh Linn of the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West LInn.  Josh has spoken to us before and always does a great job. He will be speaking on Steelhead Fishing in the Fall.  This will coordinate well with our planned October fish-a-long on the Deschutes River.

Speaking of a fish-a-long it looks like our last one on October 2nd was fun for all that attended. It was on the Deschutes and the group pursued both Trout and Steelhead. Appeared to be great weather and a fun time for all.

As mentioned we plan to have our next fish-a-long will be on the Deschutes on October 22nd and we will again try for Trout and Steelhead.

Wanted to give you a heads up as regards the November fish-a-long where we have traditionally tried for Chum Salmon on the Kilchis River. The season ends on 11/15/16 so we will have our November fish-a-long on Saturday 11/12/16.  Mark your calendar and stay alert as it is always  weather dependent.

Do not forget fly tying on Wednesday 10/26/16 at Royal Treatment Fly Shop. More details to follow as to pattern and time.

Remember our sponsors by visiting their shops when you are in their area. Stop in and purchase something, book a trip, or just say hello and thank them for their support.

Gil Henderson



Deschutes River Fish-A-Long Report

First a BIG THANKS to Paul Brewer for opening his Maupin home and hosting this months Fish-A-Long.

Around 8am we all met at Paul’s place for coffee and donuts then headed down river to Beavertail Campground, which is about 10 miles below Sherars Falls.

The gravel section of the road was in bad shape—deep wash boarding made for slow going. According to the locals, boat trailer traffic and especially the heavier jet sleds make the washboards worse.

We arrived at the Campground around 9:45 and couldn’t resist trying to spot some mountain sheep on the huge canyon wall across the river. We thought we saw a couple but they disappeared into the shadows before we could get a good view with binoculars.

After wadering up we all headed upstream to a big flat that attracts spawning chinook salmon. The fishing plan was to target the trout and whitefish that gather below the salmon to feed on loose eggs, using small glo bugs under strike indicators.

Salmon were present but not in large numbers. Everyone had some trout action fairly quickly but then the bite died down. We fished until around 1pm then headed back to Maupin to grab a tasty lunch at the Riverside.

After lunch some folks had to head home while others stayed to fish thru the afternoon. We went upstream towards the locked gate area. The road was much better but there were a lot more anglers too.

It was a beautiful fall day; crisp but not cold with blue skies and only an occasional breeze.

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Justensen Ranch Lakes Fishing Report

Last weekend I was able to fish the Justensen Ranch Lakes with my good friend Dick Law.

Mostly these are small 2 to 3 acre lakes but a couple are larger. They were created about 50 years ago to control flash flooding on Buck Hollow and Shaniko Creeks, which are the major steelhead spawning tributaries of the Deschutes and John Day Rivers.

The trout are fat and healthy and can get pretty big, typically running 14 to 20 inches long but there are some real trophy’s swimming around so it’s always good to use a heavier tippet. I like 8lb fluorocarbon.

The shoreline cattails require you use a float tube. The lakes are fairly shallow so a floating line is all that’s needed to get your fly in the strike zone. This trip the hot fly patterns were Carey Specials, Marabou Damsels and Chironomid Pupa patterns like the Frostbite with red, black & purple working the best.

October 1st Fish-A-Long

This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday October 1st on the Deschutes River in Maupin.

The plan: meet at Paul Brewer’s place in Maupin between 8am and 9am. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided. We can meet at the Rainbow or the Riverside in Maupin for lunch later.

Please email Dave@kbi-ins.com if you plan to attend so we can get you a map to Paul’s place and also so we can get a head count.

Gear: 4 to 6wt rods with matching reel & floating lines. Indicator nymphing rigs with small glo- bugs and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears. Swinging for steelhead is a possibility too but reports indicate steelhead fishing has been really slow. Waders with felt or cleated boots and layered clothing (can be cool in the morning).

Lunch: We can meet at the Rainbow or the Riverside in Maupin for lunch around 1pm.

This is a great time to fish the Deschutes River for trout as they will be concentrated below schools of spawning salmon and fishing can be excellent!

Questions: E-mail Dave@kbi-ins.com


CFF Raffle News for September

Our sponsor for tonight’s Raffle is Cabela’s.  Tonight we will Raffle:

* Cabela’s RLS+Fly Combo. 9′ 8wt 4pc rod with large arbor reel, WF8F line and backing.  A good stick for a single-hander to chase steelhead or other meaty monsters.

*Cabela’s Catch All Gear Bag with some useful tools.

And for the fly tying crew:
* Carson Magnify LED desk magnifier.

In addition, EVERYONE in attendance will get a Cabela’s couupon worth $20 off any purchase of $150!

Fly Tying: September, 2016

The Pom Skater


Although my days out on the rivers and lakes have been sparse, hopefully you have been able to get out and wet a line over these summer months. And after a summer hiatus from our monthly fly tying nights, it is time to get back at it. October’s Fish-A-Long is scheduled to be in the Maupin area and it is hoped that with the cooling of temperatures the steelhead action will be picking up on the Deschutes. The thrill of catching a steelhead on a fly is what draws us to The D in late summer and fall. And to see a chrome and crimson beauty swirling onto a fly on the surface is enough to cause a fisherman’s heart to go out of rhythm. I recall it happening to me a few years back. A steelie caught me by surprise, taking a whack at my fly as it waked across the surface. After regathering my wits I put the fly back in the same area and the fish came back again, this time rewarding me with a good battle before I eventually released it. Whatever it is that makes a steelhead that aggressive, it is what steelheaders dream about. Since that memorable morning, if the conditions are right, I have tried to make it a practice to try a skating pattern when first swinging a fly through a good looking run.

Here is a link to some video footage on the North Umpqua showing some great spey casting as well as some aggressive steelhead coming to the surface for a skating/waking fly. Enjoy.

For Fly Tying Night this month we are going to be tying a popular high-floating pattern called The Pom Skater. In inquiring about the name, Pom is apparently short for pompadour, in reference to the shape of the head of the fly resembling the pompadour hairstyle which is characterized by the hair being swept upwards from the face and worn high over the forehead. Think Elvis Presley in the 1950’s. (A little history here… the pompadour hairdo is named after Madame de Pompadour, a mistress of King Louis XV.)

In researching this month’s fly I found that there is no single answer about the difference between “skating” and “waking” flies. On one hand, I have been told that they are essentially the same thing. And, on the other hand, I have been told that there is a distinct difference between the two groups of flies. In both cases the information was shared to me by people much more knowledgeable than I. So, to simplify things, for our purpose we will assume that the terms skaters and wakers refer to essentially the same thing… dry flies that are fished under tension as they as swung downstream, creating a disturbance on the surface of the water.

The Pom Skater is tied with thick sealed-cell foam that makes it virtually unsinkable. In the family of skating/waking flies the Pom Skater is one of the less complicated examples for us to tie. As with all skaters/wakers it is generally fished down and across under tension, creating a V-shaped commotion in the water, thus making it easy to see as it tracks across the water. The wake created by the fly is believed to be possibly more important to attracting an interested steelhead than is the specific pattern that you choose. These flies tend to fish better when tied on with a loop knot, resulting in the flies being able to move more freely, responding to subtle changes in the current.

The Riffle Hitch
In this discussion it would be appropriate to include some information about the “riffle hitch”, a simple knot that can be added to a streamer or classic wet fly, causing it to wake across the surface. The knot causes the fly to turn more perpendicular to the current, creating more tension and drawing it to the surface, where it will create a wake.
History of the Riffle Hitch:
Although Lee Wulff is often credited with inventing it, he really was apparently just the first to describe the use of the Riffle Hitch (or the Riffling Hitch, or the Portland Hitch) in his book The Atlantic Salmon. Wulff himself states that no one really knows who invented the hitch. One of the commonly told stories is that sailors from British ships anchored off Newfoundland and came ashore to fish with gut-eyed salmon flies. They gave the old used flies away to local anglers on Portland Creek. The locals, learning that the gut eyes were becoming old and brittle, added a couple of half hitches behind the eye for added insurance, trying to extend the life of the flies. This caused the flies to skate or wake and the local Portland Creek anglers started using the hitched flies almost exclusively as they found it more effective than fishing the flies wet.

(For those that want to learn more:  in the fly tying tradition of less minutiae not being enough, believe it or not, there is a whole 120 page book on just the Riffle Hitch! It was written in 1998 by the well-known fly fisherman and tyer Art Lee and is called “Tying and Fishing the Riffling Hitch”.)

How to Tie The Riffle Hitch:
1. Tie the fly on using your usual favorite knot.
2. Make an overhand loop in the tippet in front of the eye. Slide the loop down over the eye, forming a half-hitch knot behind the head of the fly.
3. Make a second overhand loop and form a second half-hitch in front of the first one.
4. Adjust your half hitches so that the tippet is coming out of the side of the fly that is facing you in the current. (The half hitches would need to come out of the other side of the fly if you were fishing from the other side of the river.)

Here is a link demonstrating the riffle hitch:

All steelheaders should have a skater/waker fly that they have confidence in, especially in the summer and fall months. We’ll be meeting for our monthly Fly Tying Night on Wednesday, September 28 at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn at 6 pm. We will be tying up some Pom Skaters and also learning to add a riffle hitch to a fly to turn it in to a skater/waker. Bringing your own Super Glue or Zap-A-Gap would be helpful. Hope you can join us!


President’s Message September 2016





Wow, the month off went really fast and it is time to get back into the swing of things. Hope you all had a chance to get out on a river or lake in the last few months.  We should have some good opportunities for Steelhead, Salmon and Trout in the coming weeks so all is not lost. Now on to what is coming up this month

Our speaker is Cherlynn McGuinnis of the Clackamas River Basin Council who will share with us developments on the Clackamas and neighboring streams. It is our home water and should be an interesting presentation.

Our fish-a-long this month is in the works and hopefully will be pretty close to home. For a change we would like to target Coho, but we will need to work out some logistics. More to come.

Fly tying will be on again on Wednesday 9/28/16 at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop. Our pattern this month will be a Steelhead skating fly.  This will support our planned Steelhead fish-a-long on the Deschutes in October.

Remember our sponsors by visiting their shops when you are in their area. Stop in and purchase something, book a trip, or just say hello and thank them for their support.

Gil Henderson