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

November 2020 Member Fishing Reports

November is a sleeper month for fishing but it can be really good! Thanks to everyone for sharing your reports! Pictures are first with the reports below.

Richard Harvey floated the Kilchis River and time his trip perfectly. He got into dozens of chrome bright Chum Salmon. Here’s a video clip as well: https://clackamasflyfishers.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IMG_7759.mov

Hugo Jim and Greg O’Brien bank fished the Kilchis River and also had good success for Chum Salmon. They fished just above the Mapes Creek Boat launch and were hooking and landing fish all day.

Lane Hoffman made his annual trip to Louisiana for Redfish. He landed a half dozen of these on the first day. Great job Lane!

Dave Kilhefner landed a late run native Coho and and early run Winter Steelhead on the Sandy River.

Vickie Loftus had good trout fishing at the Oregon Fishing Club and also at Wilder Lake by Dundee. Here is her full report: https://stillwateradventure.com/2020/12/november-2020-fishing-report/?p=5731

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

Presidents Message December 2020

I hope everyone was able to enjoy a nice Thanksgiving. With the new COVID surge our household followed the guidelines and limited social contact. For me that means another excuse to go fishing but at the same time, I understand that isolation affects us all differently. If anyone feels a little too cooped up send me an email and we can at least talk fishing or better yet, go fishing!

In case you missed this news the last 2 months Clackamas Fly Fishers has decided to extend paid memberships thru 2021; if you paid to be a member this year, it will be good for next year too. However, going forward if you email me about where to pay I’m taking your money! (as a donation to the club)

The 2020 Fly Fishing Challenge is still going on. If you’ve completed the challenge please email me.

Fishing was good in November as you’ll see when I post the November fishing reports later this month.

December is shaping up to be decent fishing month. With storms blowing in from the Pacific Ocean timing good water conditions is the key. Several coastal streams like the Necanicum and North Fork Nehalem get good early runs of steelhead. Sometimes, the Clackamas and Sandy get a good shots of early fish too. The Oregon Fishing Club ponds usually fish good for trout, especially after a warming trend. The key to all these fisheries is to be packed and ready to go when the water conditions are good. You don’t want to miss the prime fishing windows.

We don’t have a club Fish-A-Long in December but that doesn’t mean I can’t be talked into some kind of fishing trip. If anyone has any good ideas let me know and we can get a group text going and make it happen.

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

Christmas is rapidly approaching so don’t forget to get your wish list out so you get all the stocking stuffers you want. Please remember our sponsors this fall, 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

October 2020 Fishing Reports

After September, October seemed like the best month of all times plus the fishing was good. Thanks to everyone for sharing your reports! Pictures are first with the reports below.

Rhona Dallison caught this personal best Sea Run Cutthroat trout on the coast throwing a hot pink streamer.

Rhona Dallison traveled to her old stomping grounds in Vermont and enjoyed some great trout fishing, with two people landing 24 in two hours.

Brad Jonasson caught a big on on the Crooked River Euro Nymphing.

Bob Beswick was on his way to Boise and stopped off at the Owyhee River, catching the last of a BWO hatch and some brown trout.

Greg O’Brien hit the Willamette River for Coho salmon and ended up catching a nice Smallmouth. Then he and his daughter Abigail used small streamers on Frog Lake to catch some big trout.

George Krumm had a great trip to the Naknek River in Alaska swinging big flies for big rainbows.

Richard Harvey enjoyed good fishing at the coast for Sea Run Cutthroats and also at the Oregon Fishing Club ponds for big trout.

Bob Beswick enjoyed a Fall day on the Fall River. His friend caught some nice trout on his first day fly fishing & Bob managed a couple of big ones too.

Jim Bennet got out on the Willamette River and managed to put a few bass and sturgeon in his boat.

John Silkey and two friends spent 4 days on the Clearwater chasing steelhead. They didn’t hook any steelhead but still had a great time in beautiful surroundings.

Richard Harvey went back at Beavertail Thursday and Friday and had great fishing until early Friday afternoon when the wind got to strong.

Lane Hoffman got this great photo of some Bighorn Sheep on his Elk Hunt to eastern Oregon.

Vickie Loftus had a good trip to several lakes in Eastern Oregon. She has her own website. Click here to read her complete report.

Frank Day of The Fly Fishing Shop had some great success for chrome salmon down on the Oregon Coast.

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

November 2020 Fish A Long Report

To be honest, it was really difficult to decide between Kilchis River Chum Salmon or another trip to Beavertail on the Deschutes River. This time of year Beavertail is consistently productive and good reports continued to hit my inbox along with some Kilchis reports. Decisions, decisions! The deciding factor was the big rainstorm due at the coast that would likely blow out the Kilchis and make wading difficult, so it was off to the Deschutes for redsides and hopefully a steelhead.

But nothing in November is easy as the same storm that was dumping rain on the coast was dumping snow in the Cascades, making for an interesting and somewhat slow drive over the hill. Still, we made it work; some of us braved the snow and others smartly took an alternate route thru The Dalles.

We had 8 people in attendance today; Dave, Paul, Kevin, Darryl, Rhona, Laura, Sue and Phil. When we rolled into Beavertail Saturday morning we saw that Kevin was camping, so we went to his campsite to finish our coffee and get rigged up.  

There’s more to enjoying a day in the outdoors than casting between wind gusts while hoping to hook a big one. Kevin told us there was a bunch of deer in his campsite in the morning. On our trek upstream to the fishing grounds we found fresh buck and doe tracks and it was fun to both observe and explain the subtle differences in the different kinds of tracks.

Darryl was already fishing when most of us arrived and reports he caught several small trout on beads. Around 10am he decided to head upstream for clearer water as the White River was very off color, probably due to the fire that burned thru much of canyon this summer. He had good success for trout and also landed a nice steelhead.

The off colored water and limited visibility definitely slowed down the trout fishing but we still managed to grind some out. The highlight of the morning was a big fish hooked by Sue that ran into her backing three times before the hook pulled out. It didn’t jump and was probably a salmon but it could have been a steelhead too.

We walked back to camp around noon to break for lunch. Paul set up his spotting scope and we were able to watch a lone Ram walking high on the rock face.

After lunch we fished down by the boat ramp for a while and caught several more fish before calling it a day. There were a lot of dead salmon in the shallows which signals eggs are the main food source, thus the hot flies this day were either small egg patterns or beads drifted along the bottom, usually under a strike indicator.

Thanks to everyone for attending this month’s Fish A Long and also thanks to those that provided fishing  reports to help us decide the best place to go.

November 14th Fish A Long

The November 14th Fish-A-Long will be a repeat of last month’s Fish A Long at Beavertail Campground on the Deschutes. Good fishing reports continue to roll in, the road has been graded and since most of us are still geared up from last month we might as well do it again!  

The plan: meet at Beavertail Campground between 8am and 9am. Due to COVID you’ll need to bring your own food and beverages.

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. Consider beefing up your tippet to 8lb or 10lb as more steelhead are starting to show and they like to eat eggs too. 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 putting on weight for the winter and will be concentrated below schools of spawning salmon, making for excellent fishing. 

Please email Dave at Dave@kbi-ins.com if you plan to attend so we can get a rough head count.

Presidents Message November 2020

After September, October was literally a breath of fresh air! Also, the fishing was very good as you’ll see when I post the October fishing reports later this month.

In case you missed this news last month Clackamas Fly Fishers has decided to extend paid memberships thru 2021; if you paid to be a member this year, it will be good for next year too.

The 2020 Fly Fishing Challenge is still going on. If you’ve completed the challenge please email me.

Last month I announced a free subscription to Fly Fisherman magazine. Darryl Huff was the first to respond and will receive a one year gift subscript. Congrats Darryl!

November is a very good fishing month as we transition from fall into winter. When the water is low like it is now I like to fish the Clackamas up at McIver for late summer steelhead but when the rains come and the river fills with leaves, I’ll quickly shift gears and hit the Oregon Fishing Club ponds for trout, which are on the bite as the water cools down. If the mountain road conditions are good, the trout and steelhead fishing on the Deschutes is another top option. An hour past the Deschutes, the John Day River is very good for steelhead. There is also Chum Salmon in the Kilchis and Miami Rivers by Tillamook.

We are shooting for Saturday November 14th for our Fish A Long. This date will be perfect for either Chum Salmon on the Kilchis River or for trout at one of the Oregon Fishing Club lakes by Salem. Depending on member response & preferences, we can do either or both of these options. The past 3 years low water conditions have prevented us from chasing Chums on the Kilchis but it doesn’t mean we will stop trying. I’ll post more about the Fish A Long early next week.

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

Please remember our sponsors this fall, they are the lifeblood of the club. It’s not too early for a little Christmas shopping or putting together your wish list. Stop by their shops and let them know your appreciate their support. Better yet buy something or book a trip.

Dave Kilhefner

Dave@kbi-ins.com