Thanks to everyone for coming to Harriet Lake today. It was another fun CFF Fish-a-long!
The day was beautiful and clear with a slight morning chill. This is a popular lake in the summer and the lot filled up fast. Parking was a small challenge but we all got settled then enjoyed hot coffee, cinnamon rolls and some conversation before hitting the water.
The lake had been freshly stocked with legal 7″ to 8″ rainbow trout. It was easy to get them to bite but hard to hook them. We all had lots of short strikes between landing fish.
Harriet also holds brown trout and Greg got a healthy one about 15″ long plus we saw a few others taken.
Overall, the best fly was a green/orange seal bugger but similar leech type flies worked. Because the water is incredibly clear (and cold, 45 degrees!) and hunting Osprey’s live here, finding deeper pockets then getting the fly down worked best. An intermediate line worked well for this.
The club members fished out of float tubes but we saw other fly anglers catching fish off the large fishing dock.
Around lunchtime the wind came up and this ended most everyone’s fishing on the lake. We had a great lunch of build-your-own deli sandwiches and homemade macaroni salad. Afterwards a few folks said they were going to try fishing the nearby streams and creeks before heading home.
This months the fish-a-long will be at Harriet Lake. This is a small impoundment on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River.
We will meet on Saturday morning about 8am in the main parking area. Coffee & donuts plus a sandwich lunch will be provided. There is a $5 fee per car for using the park so you may wish to look at carpooling with other members.
The lake is 22 acres and contains rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout. There is a very long dock along the north bank but it is best fished from a floating devise such as a float tube. If you do not have a float tube the club now has a small fleet that you can use, so don’t use that as an excuse to not get out and fish!
The best fishing is at the top of the lake close to the inlet. It is probably best to use an intermediate lake line. As for flies a leach pattern works best….callibaetis nymph, seal bugger, woolly bugger, and chironomids fished sub surface with an indicator. As the lake has just been stocked a glo-bug colored dark with a felt pen looks a lot like a pellet. Below overhanging trees, ants will fall into the water and temp cruising trout.
The lake is due to be stocked with 3,000 legal size trout this week so fishing should be good. Also, along the way is the upper Clackamas River, which has trout and whitefish and the Oak Grove Fork is nearby too and has good numbers of cutthroat trout; these opportunities perfectly dovetail with the CFF Fly Fishing Challenge!
Last weekend I checked out several possible areas for our Fish-A-Long. Trillium is very beautiful but also extremely crowded on the weekends this time of year. The water was very low at Clear Lake and the restrooms needed some attention—yuck! Timothy Lake had potential but it was pretty crowded too so we will probably go there later in the year.
If you plan on coming please contact Dave Kilhefner or Paul Brewer so we know how much food to bring. Also, if you need a float tube we need to hear from you. All questions are welcome too!
We all have rods, reels, fly boxes, tools, etc. that we no longer use or need that we might be willing to trade, sell, or just give away. Someone else in the club might be on the lookout for one of those very items.
You might have an old rod, reel or line that someone might want for a grandchild. Bring ’em!
Maybe you have an old vest or rain jacket that just doesn’t fit well anymore. Bring it!
Perhaps you don’t tie flies anymore but still have some equipment or supplies. Bring ’em!
You probably upgraded something recently and don’t know what to do with your old stuff. Bring it!
We will swap, dicker, barter, buy, and sell. I hope to have time for members to share stories, memories, and tall tales about their fishing experiences. It should be a fun evening and might be the perfect time to bring along a family member or two. See you next Tuesday, July 17th.
Since we were not able to do a fish-a-long this month I asked our members to provide some June Fly Fishing Reports. The Clackamas Fly Fishers had a good month!
Lane Hoffman with a really nice early June Cape Code Striped Bass taken on a Sand Eel fly. He was fishing with Tom Phipps.
Carson Taylor with a Willamette Shad. This is from the CFF auction trip with Rob Crandall. The other winners Gary O’Brien and Carey Allison also got into plenty of shad that day!
Ed Rabinowe and Lane Hoffman hit Wild Billy Lake down by Klamath Falls for some good rainbow action. The largest trout took a #18 blood midge, but all the standard Stillwater patterns were working.
Nick Rowell hosted a trip to Christmas Island at the end of June. John Warren was supposed to join him but had to cancel due to breaking his hand–John can tell you how he did it for a free beer at the next meeting; it’s a pretty good story!
Bob Beswick had a great evening at the end of the Salmon Fly Hatch on the Deschutes with many trout landed, the largest over 18 inches.
Phil Bartsch had a good day up at Harriet Lake with his new float tube, netting 11 trout before the wind started picking up. A Teeny Nymph with a quick retrieve was the answer.
Trux Dole had a good afternoon on the upper Clackamas above N. Fork Reservoir with pocket water trout during a caddis hatch. A thunder & lightning storm added to the experience.
Jim Behrend and his wife fished the South Santiam River. Jim said the fishing was slow and several hours of fishing produced a few smolts and a couple small bass.
Thank you everyone for your June Fly Fishing Reports!
Summer is upon us and things will be winding down for the club over the summer. We will not be having a general meeting in August and no fly tying in July and August. Many of you will be busy with family and vacations, but do try and include some fishing activities.
Our speaker in June was Nick Wheeler from the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn. Nick, a self proclaimed Shad junkie, gave a great presentation on fishing for Shad in the Willamette and Columbia. He covered flies, gear, technique and locations to pursue these fish. The runs are gigantic and there is limited bank access to go after them . Many in the club will be going after them this year and most certainly next year.
We will not have a speaker at our July meeting as it scheduled to be a swap meet. Check around the place and come prepared to make some deals.
You can recall I mentioned that our Membership Director will be retiring at the end of this year. No one has responded to date and it would be great to have someone volunteer as they could work with Red for a few months to get a feel for the position. It really does not take a lot of time and it is a key role in the club. Please let someone on the board know it you are interested.
The July fish-a-long is in the works and more will be forthcoming. We are a volunteer group and sometimes schedules prevent our fish-a-long director from hosting the event as what happen in June. Again, please step up and help if you possibly can as hosting an event is not that big a deal.
Again there will be no meetings in August. The board wishes you and your family a enjoyable summer. We will see you in September.
Do not forget our sponsors as they are the lifeblood of our club. Stop by their shops to say hello and thank them for their support. Better yet buy something or book a trip to really underscore our gratitude for their support.
American Shad are called the little tarpon of the Columbia River. This silver-sided finned friend is one of the most underrated game fish of the Pacific Northwest. With returns in the millions and eager to eat a swung fly what’s not to like?
Nick’s presentation will include a brief history of this patriotic fish, explain how it got to the west coast, and go through recommended tackle, techniques, and potential spots to catch these fish. American Shad are known for putting up a fierce fight and do not give up easily. Be careful, like popcorn, these fish can be addictive and will keep you coming back for more.
Nick Wheeler has been fly fishing for Shad for over 15 years and working in the fishing industry just as long. Growing up in Northern California on the banks of the Russian River chasing Steelhead and Shad had been his favorite pastime. Living just feet away from the best Shad run on the Russian he was lucky enough to spend most days of the season on the water. Now living in Vancouver Washington and working at Royal Treatment in West Linn Oregon, he spends his time targeting as many species as possible (trout, salmon, steelhead and even carp), but every year he still devotes the entire month of June to chasing American Shad.
Fly-Fishing for Smallmouth in Rivers and Streams by Bob Clouser. The book includes description on fishing the Umpqua and John Day Rivers for bass.
Smallmouth: Modern Fly Fishing Methods, and Techniques by Dave Karczynski and Tim Landwehr.
Reviews of these two books are in the summer 2018 Fly Fishing & Tying Journal (page 12), and on Amazon. Other library materials on bass fishing are: Fly Fishing for Western Smallmouth by David Paul Williams and the DVD Fly Fishing for Western Smallmouth by Joe Warren and Gene Hering
There is an overwhelming wealth of fly fishing information on the internet. One way of keeping up is to subscribe to weekly e-mail newsletters that may include fishing reports, new product information, and fishing techniques. Some of our sponsors send out weekly emails, and you should sign up. There are many others available such as Midcurrent.com, GinkandGasoline.com, and Troutbitten.com.
It would be a shame if each of us did not make it over to the Deschutes sometime during the trout season. In fact a number of trips would be more to the point. Dave Hughes refers to the Deschutes as his “river of renewal”. I know that, for me, just catching that first glimpse of the river on each and every trip never fails to lift my spirits.
When the salmonflies and golden stones have finished their annual show on the Deschutes it is time for anglers to move on to the insects that fill up the rest of the trout season. Some of the more dependable hatches involve caddis flies, with hatches that can often be very prolific, and at times almost mind-boggling. I recall one evening getting off the river at Beavertail with Gil Henderson after a day of fishing. As we loaded our pontoon boats piggyback style onto the top of his GMC Yukon, it was all we could do to keep from inhaling the swirling snowstorm of caddis flies that surrounded us during an epic hatch.
Caddis flies undergo a complete metamorphosis which involves the following stages:
egg —–> larva —–> pupa —–> adult
A commonly used larva pattern is the basic Green Rock Worm, which can also be tied in different color variations depending on the caddis species. A reliable go-to dry fly pattern for the adult caddis is Al Troth’s Elk Hair Caddis. But what do you use for the pupa stage, when the insect is transitioning from a stream bottom dweller to the flying adult insect? One pattern that has gathered a lot of fans is Brian Silvey’s Caddis Pupa. I came across a Youtube video of Jason Osborne from Northwest Flyfishing Outfitters where Jason mentioned that if he could only use one fly on the Deschutes it would be Silvey’s Caddis Pupa. Of course we are not just talking about a fly that is only to be used on the Deschutes, as caddis flies are more numerous and widespread than mayflies in western rivers and lakes. In one of his recent newsletters Joel La Follette of The Royal Treatment Fly Shop mentioned Silvey’s Caddis Pupa as one of only a couple of flies that he would not go anywhere without.
So what is it about Silvey’s Caddis Pupa that makes it so effective? Mark Bachmann of The Flyfishing Shop seems to think it has to do with the body material called “pearl core braid” that Silvey started experimenting with a number of years ago. As the pupa is emerging air bubbles develop between its layers of skin helping the emerging insect rise to the surface. The pearl core braid material used in the abdomen does a very good job of simulating the reflective appearance of the bubbles. And the pearl core braid comes in a range of colors that can be used to imitate a variety of caddis species.
You can fish the Silvey’s Caddis Pupa any number of different ways. You can nymph it, fish it on the swing, or fish it as a dropper. Casting it out in the current and then letting it swing and rise back toward shore does a good job of imitating a natural pupa rising to the surface to emerge as an adult. Brian Silvey says his favorite way is to fish it as a dropper under a dry fly.
Join us at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn for our next Fly Tying Night on Wednesday, June 27th to tie up some Silvey’s Caddis Pupae. As always we will be starting at 6:00 pm. Hope to see you there!
(Note: We will be taking a couple of months off from fly tying. This will be our last Fly Tying Night until we start up again in September.)