There seems to be a pattern with our winter fish-a-longs this year; just like last month I’m typing this report on a windy, rainy Sunday and feeling thankful we had much nicer day yesterday for the Sandy River fish-a-long.
With the higher water conditions we had a light turnout. Thanks to everyone for coming. A special thanks to Cheryl Kilhefner for her delicious lunch.
We started out the morning by enjoying hot coffee and telling fishing stories for about 45 minutes before wadering up and hitting the water. The stories were good and there didn’t seem to be any good reason to rush to get out there.
The water was running a little high; right at 12’ on the Sandy River gauge. The color was better than we guessed it would be, a nice winter steelhead green with about 2 feet of visibility. The current in the center of the river was too fast to make a good presentation so we concentrated on the slower water lane on our side of the river.
The fish gods were smiling and we landed a nice native winter steelhead about 11 pounds; a health hen steelhead that was perfect except for a sea lion bite down by her tale.
Our next fish-a-long will be at the Oregon Fishing Club for Stillwater trout fishing.
Based partly on success in international competition, the various European techniques—Czech, Polish, French—have stirred interest in America recently. In competition, suspension indicators and split shot are not allowed. Techniques include 10–11 foot single-handed rods, very long leaders incorporating high visibility “sighters” for strike indication, weighted flies that allow longer casting with long leaders, and sometimes thin diameter fly lines. The techniques are related to short-line, high sticking nymphing.
A new library acquisition is the excellent, highly recommended DVD by Devin Olsen and Lance Egan, Modern Nymphing: European Inspired Techniques. The DVD includes description of when to use conventional nymphing versus Euro methods.
Two other DVDs featuring Lance Egan are also available. The titles are Nymphing Foundations and Nymphing Expert Tactics. The first is on conventional techniques and the second on European techniques. Egan is the guy who landed 72 trout in three hours on the Crooked River in October 2012 during the U.S. National Fly Fishing Championship; see Don Robert’s article in Fly Fishing & Tying Journal, Spring 2013.
Featuring Euro-techniques, we also have the valuable book Dynamic Nymphing by George Daniel, who is a friend of Lance Egan. Daniel also has several YouTube videos.
OK, pay attention, this might be on your Bucket List!
You will be bidding on one (1) seat of four on a 2 day, 2 night jet boat trip on the Lower Deschutes River in late October 2017 with host/guide Mark Bachmann! This trip is sponsored by The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches. Each seat is valued at $1000. The other seats will be auctioned 1 per month until gone.
Here’s a description:
Arrive at Mack’s Canyon around noon. Load gear in the boat which is already in the water and run to camp. Stow your gear and get comfortable in camp. Enjoy some refreshments as you prepare your fishing gear for the afternoon hunt. Fish that evening, the subsequent full days of your trip, and the last morning. Depart from Mack’s Canyon around noon on the last day, leaving right after brunch. Your fully licensed and insured guide is an avid fly fisherman and has many years’ experience landing and releasing these beautiful fish. He has lived and worked many days in the area where you will be fishing. You are part of his fishing team. He provides the boat, camping gear and food, special flies and expertise. It is his job to operate the boat effectively and safely, entertain you, cook, set camp, locate fish, teach skills and help you in any way he can.
Detailed dissertations on regional history, geology, morphology, biology, and ecology are available at no extra charge. “That’s what I do.” –Mark Bachmann
Bidding is open only to CFF members. MIMINUM BID $400. BUY IT NOW FOR $1000.
Since the 2010 implementation of the Selective Water Withdrawal (SWW) Tower in Lake Billy Chinook and new water management at the Pelton-Round Butte dam complex, river users have observed extensive environmental changes in the lower Deschutes River. The DRA formed in 2013 to investigate those changes. Thus far, the DRA has documented many ADVERSE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS in the lower Deschutes River related to warm water discharge temperatures, shifts in hatch timing and declines in aquatic insect populations, and the rampant proliferation of nuisance algae throughout the river.
When water chemistry, algae production, and macroinvertebrate populations change rapidly in a river system there is cause for alarm.
Jonah and Greg’s presentation will provide an overview of the conservation issues in the lower Deschutes River, then focus on the DRA’s most recent monitoring research findings, followed by a discussion of current advocacy work and where the DRA’s efforts are headed in 2017.
Last month we held a class for beginning fly tyers titled “Fly Tying 101: Tools, Tips and Techniques. We had a large turnout and those in attendance had a good introduction to fly tying and hopefully left with a Wooly Bugger(s) that will see some action in the coming months.
This month we would like to continue helping novices get off to a good start as we further explore the basic tools and techniques for tying flies. We will focus more closely on the use of a whip finisher, as most of those in attendance last month had not quite mastered that skill yet. (Yes, it does take some time, so don’t get discouraged!) We’ll also give some new instruction on learning to apply dubbing correctly, a skill necessary in forming the body of many artificial flies.
The fly we will be focusing on will be The Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear, or just Hare’s Ear as it is commonly called, arguably the most popular trout nymph pattern in the world. The Hare’s Ear is said to be an impressionistic nymph as it can imitate many forms of insect life in the trout’s diet. It can be tied weighted or unweighted, in an unlimited variety of colors, and in a wide range of sizes, typically from 8 to 18. Historically, Hare’s Ears were tied with fur from the face, or mask, of hares (and not the hair from just the ears). You can buy packaged hare’s ear dubbing which often blends natural furs with modern day synthetics. But many tyers still prefer to purchase a whole hare’s mask and use the guard hairs and underfur, mixed together by hand or by using an electric blender.
Some anglers like their Hare’s Ears to be tied slim and streamlined. Others anglers prefer the flies to be bushy, and the more scraggly looking the better. Compare the two flies below, both Hare’s Ears, but each having a distinctive profile:
Whatever your preference, you can never have too many Hare’s Ears in your fly box. In fact, with all of the color and size variations possible, and bead head/no bead head choices and weighted/unweighted options, and with different wing case materials being used, it is possible to fill up whole fly boxes with just Hare’s Ear variations and nothing else!
Our next Fly Tying Night is Wednesday, March 29. We’ll be meeting at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn at 6:00 pm. Bring your own fly tying tools if you have them. If you don’t have any equipment come anyway. Our friends at The Royal Treatment will loan you everything you need. Hope that you can join us!
The rivers are getting into fishable shape more often as the days of winter wane. Of course we all hope that the fish will take the opportunity to start getting aggressive and tug or hit a fly. Be aware that we have an great snow pack which could mean some higher water in many of our rivers this spring. We will be adjusting some fish-a-longs to reflect water conditions.
Our February speaker was Mark Bachmann, owner of the Fly Fishing Shop, and he gave us a very interesting program on the history of the Sandy River. He tied in some great pictures of Steelhead, Chinook, and Trout that were caught in that river. It was a really interesting program. Mark has been the longest supporter of our club and we appreciate his continue interest and support.
The speaker for March will be from the Deschutes River Alliance and we will get an update on their efforts to protect this river. All of us who have fished the river for a number of years have experienced the changes and many of those seem to have had a negative impact on the fish. This should be an interesting update.
Wow, as you read we had a great fish-a-long at McIver Park on the Clackamas River. We were targeting Steelhead and although no fish were caught all was not lost as some members assisted other members who were new to Spey casting. In addition a nice lunch of hot dogs and chili topped off an pleasant day.
This month if conditions allow we will again try for Steelhead by going back to Dave Kilhefner place on the Sandy River. It will be on Saturday 3/25/17 and more details will follow.
As mentioned at the last meeting The Fly Fishing Shop has donated a Deschutes Steelhead trip for four members. It will be after 10/15/17 and will cover water below Mack’s Canyon for two days of fishing. It is absolutely a lights out opportunity for some members to have a great fishing experience with one of Oregon’s premier Steelhead guides, Mark Bachmann. More details will follow as we plan to auction a seat a month.
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.