Rocky Ridge Ranch Lakes Fishing Report

Last weekend the Clackamas Fly Fishers had a fish-a-long at the Rocky ridge Ranch Lakes. The fishing and comradery were great but due to blustery cold weather Saturday and perhaps the effect of a full moon the catching was just fair.

Lane did well on the Middle Lake at o-dark-thirty casting a big seal bugger, the highlight landing a trout approaching 10lbs. Unfortunately the cameraman was still enjoying morning coffee so there are no photos.

Once it got fully light out the bite dropped off sharply. However, Trout looked to be actively sipping Chironomids and we were able to do a stomach sampling from one trout and tie some flies to “match the hatch.” This usually produces excellent results but this time it failed miserably. That’s fishing! We did land more trout casting and stripping Woolly Buggers but the wind intensified as evening approached and so cocktail hour came early.

Tim returned from the fishing the Lower Lake with an excellent report, so we planned to fish the Lower Lake the next day (Sunday).

Sunday dawned clear and it seemed like a good idea to chase “the big ones” of the Middle Lake at first light. The action was consistent until the sun hit the water, then the bite stopped. One big trout was hooked that managed to break off a 10lb tippet and a couple other nice trout were brought to hand and released.

After a leisurely breakfast we took our float tubes to the lower lake and enjoyed several hours of fast action on 13” to 16” trout with a few larger ones hooked as well.

Below are some pictures from the weekend: enjoying cabin time, trout rising at sunset, Ken fighting a big trout, stomach sampling of Chironomids, early morning moon over the Middle Lake, a fat rainbow just before release and a before and after shot of Tim’s hot fly pattern.

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Rocky Ridge Ranch Fish-A-Long

This coming weekend (May 21 & 22) will be our annual trip to the Rocky Ridge Ranch Lakes.

This is one of the finest fisheries available and limited to 8 anglers per day. As of now we have 1 opening for Saturday the 21st and 2 openings for Sunday the 22nd. The cost is $100 dollars per day (normal cost is $135). We also have a few spaces at the lake cabin for $30 dollars a night. There are 6 beds available.


  • 5 to 7wt outfits with at least 75 yds backing
  • floating & intermediate sinking fly lines
  • 9 ft leaders from 5X to 1X tippets; fluorocarbon best for sub surface presentations
  • float tubes or pontoon boats, but there is plenty of bank access
  • big landing nets
  • waders & layered clothing with rain gear (it’s Oregon)
  • camera, don’t want to miss that big fish picture, it can happen here!

The plan is to meet Sat or Sun morning at the middle lake cabin. Lane will be there so what time you show up is up to you. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided.

We’ll have soft drinks and water but you’ll need to bring a lunch. Instruction and spare equipment is available.

For those staying at the cabin, contact Lane & we’ll get a dinner menu. There is a tavern/restaurant, a few miles away. Directions can be found at

This is one of our best outings of the year. Last year there were many very large fish landed, one day we landed 4 or 5 fish over 10 pounds!  This is truly a trophy fishery, and shouldn’t be missed.

Questions see Lane at the CFF Monthly meeting Tuesday May 17th or E-mail.

Recommended summer reading

On our new website you can find the library catalog. I can’t add rows yet for new items, but I’ll inform you of acquistions.


Fairly recent books that are well worth reading include:

George Daniel, Strip-Set: Fly-fishing techniques tactics, & patterns for streamers

Denny Rickards, Stillwater Presentation

John R. Anderson, Fly Fishing Oregon’s Crooked River

Dave Hughes, Wet Flies Second Edition

Michael Gorman, Effective Stillwater Fly Fishing

Michael Gorman, American Nymph Fly-Fishing Guide

Fly Tying: May, 2016


The Foam Body Elk Hair Caddis

The caddis fly is an important part of the trout’s diet on many of our rivers. There are many different caddis patterns available in all phases of this insect’s life cycle… the larva, pupa, and adult. For many of us the go-to pattern in the adult stage has been the Elk Hair Caddis.  It is a good idea to carry a variety of Elk Hair Caddis flies to cover the myriad number of size and color variations that hatch during the course of the fishing season.

Al Troth is credited with coming up with the original design for the Elk Hair Caddis back in 1957.  It remains one of the most popular dry flies of all time.  Al has been featured in numerous books and was three times on the cover of Fly Fisherman magazine.  Troth said he was experimenting with wet fly designs but found that this new pattern with elk hair floated like a cork so he knew he was onto something good.  The pattern has become a versatile favorite of fishermen because it can be fished so many different ways: it can be dead drifted, it can be skittered across the surface, it can be slowly stripped in the surface film, and it can even be used to simulate a diving caddis.

The standard version of the Elk Hair Caddis has a body comprised of hair dubbing and palmered hackle reinforced with ribbing.  The hackle is especially helpful in choppy water to help maintain flotation.  But for calmer water the hackle is sometimes trimmed down on the underside to allow the fly to sit lower and more evenly on the surface.  The wing of the fly is elk hair but deer hair is a good substitute.  Elk hair and deer hair are both hollow and provide the majority of the floatation of the fly.  Because the elk hair is thicker it holds more air and therefore tends to float better.  The deer hair is thinner and for that reason some tyers tend to prefer it for the smaller caddis patterns.  The fly can be tied in a variety of colors of wing, hackle, and body colors to simulate different species of caddis.

As well as the standard Elk Hair Caddis floats it will eventually get saturated with water and no longer stay on the surface.  Not too long ago a friend of mine asked me to see if I could improve further on the original Troth design of the Elk Hair Caddis by using other materials to increase the flotation even more.  Sure I said, and went on to experiment with some different body materials.  If I had been paying attention I would have realized that the solution had already been worked out by numerous fly tyers working with both standard 2mm foam, and thinner razor foam which comes in both 1mm and .5 mm thicknesses.  The razor foam seems to work well for the smaller size caddis patterns.  Fly shops are now carrying variations of the original Elk Hair Caddis that are made with a foam body material.  One local shop told me that all of their Elk Hair Caddis flies have a foam body.  They carry nothing else.  Lesson learned… when you think you have an idea for a new fly design there is a chance that someone has already come up with it!

Join us at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn on Wednesday, May 25th to tie up some foam body Elk Hair Caddis flies.  See you at 6 pm.

Spring Chironomid Fishing Report

On Friday May 6th Lane Hoffman and Dave Kilhefner took off for the afternoon to fish Little Tree and Big Tree Lakes at the Oregon Fishing Club. The afternoon could not have been better with clear skies and a nice breeze.

Lane wanted to chase Bass with Streamers and Poppers. He was on the board first with a nice Largemouth about 3 lbs, which took his second cast close to a weed edge. He saw more bass but could not entice them to strike.

Dave started fishing Chironomids with a floating line & long leader, letting them sink for a full minute & slowly raising them back to the surface with a long slow pull & repeating. The trout found this hard to resist and he caught a lot of them doing this. Seeing the action, Lane joined in the fun and caught the biggest trout of the day which was a fat 20 incher. Most of the trout were in the 15 to 18 inch range.

The bite slowed down around 4:30. Our afternoon fishing excursion saw about 30 trout and one bass brought to hand and released.

Lane’s big trout and the hot fly patterns, epoxy buzzers tied on size 14 hooks, are pictured.

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May 17 Swap Meet

The focus of our May 17 meeting is a Swap Meet.
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.
For example, the club has accumulated a variety of rod tubes over the years. I will bring those to give away.
I also inherited a light weight set of mens’ waders and wading boots and a set of ladies’ hip waders and boots from my in-laws. Perfectly good, but wrong size for us.

You might have an old rod or reel 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 on May 17.

Let me know if you have questions.
Phil Bartsch
CFF Raffles and Auctions

May Auction -SHADow Warriors

Time for something a little different.
CFF is offering 2 seats on a half day SHAD fishing trip on the Willamette River sponsored by Rob Crandall of Watertime Outfitters. This trip will be in June.
One seat will be raffled off at the May 17 CFF club meeting.
The other seat is up for auction. You will be bidding on one seat on a half day (4 hour) shad fishing trip on the Willamette River (date to be determined). This trip is valued at $325.

To make a bid send an email to
Be sure to include
Your full name.
Your bid.
Your phone number.

The email will be time stamped so I will have them in correct order. I will update to the membership list as I receive bids.

The auction ends at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17. The other seat will be raffled off at the club meeting.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Phil Bartsch
CFF Raffles and Auctions

Diamond Lake Fishing Report

Last weekend I had the chance to fish Diamond Lake in southern Oregon for the first time. Being late April, it was a little too early in the season to experience the trout fishing that Diamond Lake is justifiably famous for as the water temperature was a chilly 44 degrees. Also, the high desert spring weather was bi-polar with sleet & snow the first day shifting to bright and sunny the next.

In spite of this, we all caught some nice trout. My friend John caught a 21” fat rainbow off the bank and I got one that was 19”. Some friends of ours brought their boats, anchored up not far from the lodge and brought some nice trout to hand as well.  Fat 10” to 12” specimens made up the bulk of the action.

Much of the lake is not very deep and so floating or intermediate fly lines worked fine. The hot flies were streamers and nymphs and a combination of a streamer in front with a nymph trailer covered all the bases. I tried chironomids under an indicator but the fish were not active enough to hunt them down before my patience with this technique faded.

Naturally, a float tube or small motor boat is best BUT fishing off the bank worked surprisingly well too. If you have a good roll cast all you had to do was reach the drop off 20 to 30 feet offshore and you were in business. The lake has a paved bike path close to the shore and walking along this while looking for likely looking structure in the form of drop offs, foam lines and fallen trees worked well.

The lodge had good burgers & such and after a chilly spring day nothing beats some good hot food in a rustic atmosphere.

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