May 2023 Fish A Long Report

This months Fish A Long was about more than fly fishing. Besides catching fish in a beautiful coastal forest setting,  we had a steak lunch, camp fires plus some very good weather.

Several of us decided to have a long weekend, starting off with a late lunch at Copper River in Hillsboro on Thursday before hitting Howell Ponds for Bluegill. We fished for a few hours then headed to Rainier Lakes, arriving about 8pm, pitched camp and started a fire. 

On Friday we slept in then enjoyed coffee and conversation around camp. There didn’t seem to be any reason to rush as the early morning anglers were not catching anything, so we eased into the day and started fishing around 10:30 then quit for lunch at 2:30, all of us doing pretty good on Chironomids, both cast & slowly strip or dangled under an indicator. With the warmer weather many of the trout were six to eight feet down in the cooler, deeper water near the dike.

We made a run to Longview and had a late lunch at this great place called Porky’s then picked up a few supplies for our Saturday lunch at Fred Meyer. 

On Saturday I went down the hill to open the gate, made coffee and waited for people to arrive from 7:45 to 8:30 while listening to an Audible book. It was a relaxing way to start the day. 

With the warm weather all week the bite was a little slow but everyone got fish. 

The best flies were Red V-Rib Chironomids, Brown Snow Cone Chironomid and an Olive Chironomid w/red tail, all around size 12-14. 

Our steak lunch was a big hit and we had a perfect day for it. Afterwords several of us had a strong case of food coma. This lead to the invention of a new effective technique; dock nymphing. This is nothing more than being too lazy to put back on your waders and fins to float tube, so you sit on the dock, soak an indicator rig close by and tell jokes & lies until a cooperative fish comes along. It’s surprisingly effective! 

The weather turned cooler on Saturday evening. Sunday dawned cool & cloudy. We each caught a few in the morning before packing up and heading home.

Thanks to everyone for coming and making this months Fish A Long a success!

CFF April 2023 Fishing Reports

For the most part April continued to be unseasonably cool but good times were had and nice fish were caught! Pictures first with the reports below.

From Dave Kilhefner: finally caught a winter steelhead on the Sandy!

From Chris Brehm: hit Lake Billy Chinook for bull trout with my brother Stevie.

From Rich Harvey: had a very nice day on the Deschutes at Maupin in early April. Found this really cool old CFF hat at Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitters. The OFC lakes are really picking up with the warm weather; Dave Hopkins and I did really well on our first trip to Turner Lake throwing streamers. Later in the month we went back and they were taking a red chronimids about 3’ deep in 5-6 ‘ of water.

From Darryl Huff: got my granddaughters out fishing at Commonwealth Pond by Beaverton.

From Matt Baker: Got out the west fork of Dairy creek, Williams creek and some other creek. We had a number of strikes on all three creeks and were able to land a few using elk hair caddis and blue wing olives.  Be prepared for LOTS of stinging nettles. Here is my friend Ben on the un-named creek with a fish and another with him walking along Williams creek.  

From Ian Porteous: Carp season is on. It’s seriously fun fishing, I’m hooked!

Thanks to everyone for contributing your reports!

May 2023 Presidents Message

My apologies for the late presidents message. April went by so fast that its hard to believe May is here. Just like last year, crazy weather unsettled the local lakes and melting snow has the rivers flowing high. Still, there is good fishing around, but you have to be flexible, do a little research plus pay attention to the river gauges & weather reports.

Our speaker for our May 16th meeting will be Micole Jensen. His website is and thus he’ll be talking about Kayak Fly Fishing. Also, he has some new cool kayaks to talk about and I’m looking forward to his presentation and hope to see you there.

Our May 20th Fish A Long will be at the Rainier Lakes, an Oregon Fishing Club property out past Vernonia. Just like last month, several of us will be camping. It will be a good time!

As soon as the Deschutes drops a little it should be game on. The big bug action isn’t happening just yet but nymph fishing is always dependable this time of year. Lane fished Rocky Ridge Lakes recently and had a good day. Lake Billy Chinook is producing good to excellent action for bull trout; this is the first time I’ve reported that. The point is, everything is changing these days and it’s important to be on the lookout for new fly fishing opportunities. They are out there!

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 “May” or “June” 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 you appreciate their support. Better yet buy something or book a trip.  

Good fishing! 

Dave Kilhefner

April 2023 Fish A Long Report

Our fish a longs are starting to morph into some first rate guys weekends! Rich came up with idea to head out Friday & camp at the lake. But first we’d stop at the newly opened Smokehouse Chicken & Guns in Gales Creek before hitting Howell Pond (we didn’t want to soremouth the fish in Schmedeke before the fish a long). It was a great place to fuel up before fishing.

Fishing at Howell Pond wasn’t hot but we all got some nice fish up to 19 inches. Rich stuck to throwing small “no see um” dries to match a hatch of small dark midges while Dave & I got our fish on leeches.

After fishing we had good burgers at the Gales Creek Tavern before driving to Schmedeke Pond to camp for the night.

Saturday dawned a little misty with drizzle off and on thru the morning.

Woke at 7am with a call from Chris B who got to the lake early. His extra effort paid off with a 27 inch piggy rainbow that took a brown balanced leech in the morning.

The afternoon weather was very pleasant with little or no wind and the perfect amount of cloud cover to keep the fish focused on the surface. The trout rose all day to larger sized “bomber” midges, but they were very picky! Rich solved the fly pattern riddle and got 18 fish on dries. A Midge Cripple was the best pattern with Griffitts Gnat a close second.

Midge pupa patterns fished close to the surface produced too but it was a grind. Most of the trout were good sized and we all agreed the effort was worth it.

Since the weather was nice Rich & I decided to stay one more night. The next day we ran into some locals that had the bomber hatch wired using a foam “suspended” midge pattern that hung vertically in the surface film. Those picky fish loved them.

This fish a long was very well attended. It was great to see everyone having a good time on the water. Thanks to everyone for coming!

2023 CFF March Fishing Reports

March continued to be unseasonably cold but good times were had and some really nice fish were caught! Pictures first with the reports below.

From Mike Henderson: I got in a trip in late March on the Hoh chasing steelhead and hooked into a really nice 25lb buck. Overall not a lot of bites but a few bigger fish. The OFC ponds are starting to wake up a little; had a great day two weeks ago at Blue Den throwing bugger patterns. 

From Josh Marsh: Good day at OFC’s Shauna Pond!

From RJ Desnoyers: Floated the Clackamas from Barton to Carver with Dave K. It was the first time rowing my new driftboat on a river! Did good rowing and hooked one steelhead on my spey rod that came off. Next time!


From Bob Beswick: Made a quick visit to the Metolius in between snow last week. Just a few fishermen out, and managed to hook a couple of fish.Beautiful and worth the drive to the Lower Bridge area.

From Mike Shiiki: SPRING BREAK! WHOO HOO!! Hit the Owyhee with my son Nathanial. Once again March is a good time on Owyhee, although chilly temps from upper twenties to highs around 40 plus cold winds…and a little snow, my son Nathaniel and I did well all through the river in the deeper slower pools and tailouts where the browns seemed to be holding. We spent 2 and half days on the river, one day we did great during a post lunch hatch, using a double dry setup with a larger “sighter” dry, followed with size 20/22 dry midges. Streamers on an intermediate line was a good strategy too.

From Rich Harvey: Turner Lake is starting to get active. Had good action stripping streamers. Later in the month Dave Hopkins and I hit Big Tree and caught some nice fish. When the weather is warm the fishing heats up too.

From Lane Hoffman: Had couple good days on Rocky Ford Creek, not in terms of numbers of fish but size was good. It was cold and windy!

From Darryl Huff: found this old guy at Oxbow in late March.

Thanks to everyone for contributing your reports!

April 2023 Presidents Message

This year has me asking the question “is 2023 the worst steelhead year ever?” It’s been a very tough season! In spite of this, we will have a few good steelhead photo’s in the March fishing reports. However, when April rolls around my mind shifts to trout fishing. The OFC lakes are beginning to come to life as the water warms up plus the Deschutes and other local streams will pick up too. We have above average snow pack this year so remember to check the water flows before you head out, plus be stocked up with some high water patterns like squirmy & san juan worms.

Our April 18th meeting at High Rocks will feature Garrett Lesko as our speaker. He’ll be talking about stillwater fishing and of course, will bring lots of his great flies to check out. I’m looking forward to his presentation.

Our April 22nd Fish A Long will be at Schmedeke Pond. We went there last year at this time and everyone had a great time and some big fish were caught.

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 those months. 

Please remember our sponsors, they are the lifeblood of the club. Stop by their shops and let them know you appreciate their support. Better yet, buy something or book a trip.  

Good fishing! 

Dave Kilhefner

March 2023 Fish A Long Report

With all the cold weather this winter some of us had a good case of cabin fever and decided to have a multi-day camping trip rather than a one day fish a long.

Rich got the river on Thursday afternoon and enjoyed some good fishing, getting a couple nice sized redsides on streamers before the afternoon wind blew him off the river. I arrived about the time the wind was in full force so I found Rich and we had an early dinner at the Riverside. The big news was tonight we were able to see the Northern Lights. I’ve never heard of them being visible this far south before, but according to NASA the sun emitted the strongest solar flare in the past five years and the Northern Lights were visible as far south Phoenix, Arizona.

On Friday the fishing was dead; as in totally dead. The big winter storm front rolled thru and nobody touched a fish. Darryl got a take down that didn’t stick. That was it for the Friday crew. Fortunately Rich and I thought ahead and made dinner reservations at the Riverside and we all enjoyed a well earned hot delicious meal after battling that epically slow bite, chilly weather and a strong Deschutes canyon wind.

Saturday was much better. In addition to the six people camping out at Harpam Flats on Friday night four more showed up. The winter storm that shut down the bite on Friday also made driving conditions a little sketchy going over the mountain so most people drove up the gorge and dropped down from The Dalles. With the water temp at 45 degrees the morning bite was pretty slow but it picked up in the afternoon and the fish got interested in a decent Blue Wing Olive hatch. Darryl got one on a dry but everything else was a subsurface show. Afterwards we had dinner at The Rainbow.

Sunday dawned sunny and calm. A couple of us considered fishing the whole day but the wind came up early and personally, I was glad as it got me home at a reasonable hour. Looking back it was great to get out of town, catch a few fish and enjoy some good restaurant meals. It was another fun and successful Fish A Long, thanks to everyone for coming!

February 2023 Fishing Reports

With the cold weather February wasn’t the easiest month to find fly fishing success but several of us got out and made a few things happen. Good times were had and some nice fish were caught! Pictures are first with the reports below.

From Keaton Andreas: Caught my first Steelhead on the Necanicum River back on February 18th!

From Darryl Huff: from early February; fishing started improving in Oxbow.

From Joe Warren: fly fished Lake Billy Chinook and Fall River with a good friend in mid February & got some nice ones. See the full write up on my Blog.

From Chris Brehm: Spent a lot of hours chasing winter Steelhead in January and finally scored in February. First was an 11lb hatchery chromer, then a week later fishing with our son Sammy, we caught and released 2 bright natives along with this bruiser. All were caught on plugs in low clear water on the Sandy.

From Dave Kilhefner: borrowed a fishing step ladder from Chris Brehm and hit Pyramid Lake with Joe Warren. See the full write up on Joe’s Blog.

From Greg O’Brien: My brother and I finally made our multi-cancelled and delayed trip to a warm saltwater location.  We went to the Grand Slam Lodge in Mexico for 4 guided days of fishing.  It was only my second time tropical saltwater fishing, and was pleased to find that my time spent casting and double hauling the 8 and 9 wts lately helped me out. It was really windy 3 of the 4 days but we caught many Bonefish and Jacks plus a few other cool species. We had a few legit shots at Permit and Snook but they didn’t eat.  Fun times, and I can’t wait for my next tropical saltwater trip which will hopefully be Christmas Island in 2024.

From Mike Shiiki: February was a little slow in the OFC lakes, but was always able to fool a couple of large ones.  Only had a couple hits at Turner Lake, but they were both XL and hanging out near the grassy banks.  Blue Den lake, did alright casting towards/near trees on that day but that place seems like they’ve been in different spots every day.  Ranier Lakes was the most productive but a couple times the Middle Lake was iced over the past couple months.  Still having success in our tubes with intermediate sink line, midge tip lines, and leeches. 

From Terry Martin: Fished Blue Den lake with Craig. Wate temp was 45 degrees and we caught fish all day long with red & black balanced leeches and black chironomids.

Fish A Long Report: with the low water the February Fish A Long fishing was very slow. No steelhead were hooked, seen or even rumored to be present in the Sandy. However, I recently recieved several donations of some very nice fly tying materials and decided to get them out and so our members could choose what they wanted. Rich and Ian both made a good haul!

Thanks everyone for contributing your reports!

March 2023 Presidents Message

It’s no secret that Fly Fishing in 2023 has been a little challenging so far. We have low steelhead numbers plus the cold weather has made both the fishing and the drive over to the Deschutes challenging. Never-the-less I’m optimistic it will get better; it always does if you keep casting!

We’ll have a regular meeting March 21st at High Rocks. Our speaker is Michole Jensen, owner of He’s also the communications director for the Deschutes River Alliance.

This month marks three years as your club President. Over the past few years local fishing has been in a constant state of change, so it’s more important than ever to be flexible, roll with the punches and be ready when a window of opportunity opens.

Adapting to changing conditions is more important than ever and has become “the new normal.” For example, in years past the Crooked River was our go-to fish a long destination in March, but due to the low water fish kill last year we’ve had to shift gears so and go to the Deschutes around Maupin. There’s good camping & restaurants nearby plus it will be good to bend a rod after this year’s super slow winter steelhead season.

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 & warming. Last but not least, March is the best month for trophy steelhead so keep flinging flies with your spey rod.

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

January 2023 Fishing Reports

Admittedly, January wasn’t the easiest month to get on the board but several of us got out and tried to make something happen. Fishing success or no, good times were had! Pictures are first with the reports below.

Lane Hoffman put on a first rate “Louisanna Boil” for new years day. Thanks Lane!

From Dave Kilhefner: Chris Brehm and I floated Upper to Lower McIver on the Clackamas. Fishing was slow but we saw one big old summer run caught plus caught a jack steelhead on a spoon.

From Darryl Huff: The lower Sandy River was OK in January. Fishing wasn’t hot but I stuck with it and ground out a few with beads.

From Dave Kilhefner: Got the boat out a few times to make sure it’s running OK and ready for February and March when the Clackamas steelhead show up in better numbers. Fingers crossed!

The January Fish A Long was a success. Many of us improved our spey game on both the casting and presention levels.

Thanks to everyone that provided reports!