CFF September Fishing Reports

September was a good month to go fly fishing! Here’s some reports from our members and supporting members:

Randy Clark of the Bridgeport Orvis store caught this nice bull trout on the Metolius River along with a few browns, a brookie, some whitefish and a pile of redsides for “the Metolius super slam.” Great job Randy!

In mid September Dave Kilhefner fished the Deschutes River mouth and saw two steelhead taken by fly anglers plus a spin angler landed a 20+ pound salmon. The next day he had his first trip Kayak Fishing for Smallmouth bass near Mitchell Island on the Columbia River. The weather and wind cooperated and it was a great morning on the water with about a dozen smallmouth brought to hand. The bass averaged about 2lbs  and a couple were 3lbs.

David Mullins caught a half dozen 10″ to 12″ trout up the Clackamas near the Memaloose Bridge. They were taking dry flies; #14 Caddis with green or white bodies, and also a Red Humpy.

Phil Hager had a great trip to Central Oregon. On 9/19-9/21 he fished Fall River. A Midge nymph and a Tied Down Caddis, presented subsurface on a floating or an intermediate sinking line did the trick for Rainbows 8″ on up to 18″ and also Brookies  6″ to 9″ in size.

On 9/22 Phil fished Odell Creek (flows into Davis Lake): Same flies but only on a floating line and caught Rainbows up to 20″, but mostly 12″ or less.

Hosmer Lake was on the menu for 9/24. A Midge nymph and Pheasant Tail fished on and  intermediate line accounted for some nice Rainbows (1 @ 3 lbs and 1 @ 4.5 lbs) plus others in varying sizes, Brookies from about 12″ to 16″, Cutthroat and CutBows in the same size range. The water temp is changing and fish were moving down the channel to lower section.

Lava Lake was good on 9/25. Despite reports from everyone with fish finders saying all the fish were near the bottom, Phil lost count on Rainbows and Kokanee in about 2 hours of fast fish. An intermediate line with either a Brick Leech or TMC Nymph was the ticket (Leech size 10 3xl & TMC size 16).

John Warren stayed a couple extra days after the Deschutes River Fish-A-Long, fishing around Maupin. He continued to do well Euro Nymphing, with small dark Euro Nymphs working best. He even hooked a big fish that broke him off!

Carey Allison fished the Clackamas several times this month and had good success. He took 2 steelhead on surface presentations; both in the same hole but on different days. Also, he saw lots of steelhead holding in tailouts as well. Later in the month he floated with a buddy from Barton to Riverside; they didn’t find any steelhead but we ran into a massive drake hatch, which brought some of the rare Clackamas Sea Run Cutthroat out to play. He took two over 16″ in size was swinging  a size 6 moose hair caddis pattern just sub surface. Those SRC are crazy strong for their size, both fish tearing line and making his farlex scream. They also jump like crazy! Loads of fun.

One word of warning…while stepping out of the bottom of one of his favorite holes at dusk, on the lower Clack below Carver, Carey saw a cougar hanging out on the trail  used to walk back to his truck! Never thought we’d be seeing cougars anywhere below Carver!!

Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop fished several clients downstream from Mack’s Canyon from September 10-20. Fishing wasn’t red hot, but they did get a few steelhead most every day.

Smallish darker flies worked best and water conditions were and are perfect for floating line fishing. Now that the nets are out of the Columbia, fishing should be even better!

Here’s a video link to go with Mark’s pictures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xflbCqsCp4U

Ed Rabinowe had a very successful outing on the Lower Columbia River around St Helens before the salmon closure.

Nice job everyone!

Sept 22nd Fish A Long Report

Thanks to everyone who came to the Deschutes River Fish-A-Long this weekend plus extra thanks to Paul Brewer for organizing and Cheryl Kilhefner for the wonderful food. We had a great time, here’s a recap:

The river was in perfect shape; clear water and 57 degrees. The weather was good too, overcast in the morning improving to partly cloudy in the afternoon with a high of 72 degrees. The only bad weather were some strong wind gusts around mid-morning but fortunately they didn’t last more than a few minutes each.

Several of us camped at Beavertail and the campground was nearly full. Most of the angling pressure was directed at steelhead and the reports were the steelhead were a little scarce this weekend. Still, there were a few hookups but none from our group. Trux did get a “San-Diego Steelhead” about 9am swinging a big purple leech on a sink tip and those things do get the heart pumping before the big letdown.

Most of us went after trout and the morning fishing was very slow. John Warren got on the board early with his new Euro Nymphing setup. About mid morning some very small mayflies and midges started hatching. I put on a #18 Brown WD-40 and managed a couple fish letting it tick the bottom under an indicator, however it wasn’t an “ah-ha” moment by any stretch of the imagination as every bite was hard to get. By lunchtime we were all ready to take a break from pounding the water.

Cheryl Kilhefner prepared a great lunch of home-made spaghetti, Caesar salad and garlic bread. There was more than enough for second helpings, so we all dug in!

For the afternoon fishing we tried a different spot downriver and it fished much better. John was doing well with his Euro nymphing rig with a black Euro nymph producing the most action. Most of the trout were 10” to 12” but a few bigger ones up to 15” were brought to hand. I did OK with WD-40’s in brown and black colors; it’s amazing the fish can find a fly that small in a big river like the Deschutes but they can. Trux broke away from fishing small flies got a nice rainbow swinging a leech pattern. It was a fun afternoon and just to maintain the civilized aspect of fly fishing, the bite died down around happy hour.

CFF September 22nd Fish-A-Long

This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday September 22nd on the Deschutes River at Beavertail Campground.

The plan: meet at Beavertail Campground between 8am and 9am. We’ll provide coffee and doughnuts then we hit the river! After morning fishing a hot lunch will be served-home made spaghetti with sauce by Cheryl Kilhefner from this summers tomato garden harvest.

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. Indicator nymphing rigs with small glo- bugs and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears. Swinging for steelhead is a possibility too but reports indicate steelhead fishing has been slow. 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 usually hungry and can be concentrated below schools of spawning salmon, making for excellent fishing.  This is also a great fish along to make an overnight trip.

Please email Paul at ponzdog@icloud.com if you plan to attend so we can get a head count for the food.

September 18 Speaker Frank Day

Frank Day works at The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches as a Guide and Fly Manager. He began fly fishing at a very early age.

Frank now lives in Government Camp, Oregon, fishing a variety of watersheds. He is most commonly found on the local waters of Mt. Hood. He specializes in trout fishing on the local streams and high mountain lakes, but is equally at home swinging a sculpin on a light spey set-up on the Deschutes.

His presentation will focus on our local Mt Hood waters. It will be a great presentation you won’t want to miss!

Fly Tying: September, 2018

The October Caddis  (Anderson’s Bird of Prey Pupa)

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After taking a timeout from our monthly fly tying nights it will be great to get back to the vise to work on adding some new creations to our fly boxes. We certainly had more than our share of scorching hot days this summer. As the days get shorter and the sun moves across the sky in arcs that become progressively lower each day, the temperature will be dropping to more comfortable levels for both fish and flyfishers. As the waters cool down the fish will be sensing the change in the seasons, modifying their feeding preferences to match the continually changing insect hatches.

On many of our rivers and streams caddis flies provide an important part of the trout’s diet. The different caddis species tend to become smaller in size as the summer progresses culminating in sizes 16 and 18 on many waters. That is until fall when the October Caddis hatches. There is no mistaking what you are looking at when you see a large bug, almost the size of a golden stone, with a characteristic caddis-type fluttering flight in September and October. It has got to be the October Caddis (also called Fall Caddis or Orange Sedge). In the western United States you can expect to find October Caddis on most freestone rivers and streams and also some tailwater rivers.

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Adult October Caddis

I came across a timely article by Don Roberts in the September/October issue of the Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine. Roberts refers to noted flyfisher and author Gary Lafontaine who was once asked about what insects provide the best opportunity to catch big trout. His response included three bugs: the October Caddis, the Salmon Fly, and the Hexagenia mayfly. And in LaFontaine’s opinion the October Caddis “is the most important of the three — and the contest is not even close.” I’m sure that could be arguable, but it makes you think that the October Caddis should at least be given a close look by flyfishers.

Judging from recent reports it seems that this year’s caddis hatches have seen a pleasant return to decent levels on the Deschutes. One can only hope that will continue into the fall months and the arrival of the October Caddis. Don’t expect a snowstorm type hatch like you sometimes see with their smaller cousins, but what the October Caddis lacks in numbers it makes up for in physical size. Who doesn’t like plopping some really big bugs onto the water after flipping those little #18 caddis that you struggle to see in the last light of the day’s fishing?

Caddis flies undergo a life cycle called a complete metamorphosis of four stages— from egg, to larva, to pupa, and then adult. It is possible to catch trout on October Caddis larva patterns in the months leading up to the hatch of the adults. The larva build cases, usually made of an assortment of pebbles. Beginning in February the larvae will be available to trout until they begin to pupate in mid-August.  One of the more effective October Caddis larva patterns is the Cased Caddis, originated by John Hazel back in 1978.

The larvae can also be found in the water  without their cases, as they frequently emerge to build new cases as they grow.

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October Caddis larva outside its case

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October Caddis larva pattern

 

 

 

 

 

 

After pupating, October caddis usually begin hatching in mid-September, and adult flies will continue to be available to trout through the end of October. A good imitation for the adults is a size 6-8 Stimulator or Sofa Pillow type fly tied with a pale orange or yellow body with brownish wings and hackle.

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A typical adult October Caddis pattern

In order to cover all of your bases a well-equipped flyfisher should have fly patterns to cover the larva, pupa, and adult stages of the insect. But the question becomes to which stage of the life cycle of the October Caddis should you focus your attention. According to author Roberts, the pupa is the stage of the life cycle when the October Caddis is most vulnerable to hungry trout. While fish do take the larva in or out of their stony cases, and random adults are taken as they touch down on the water’s surface, it is the pupa stage that is when the insect is most preferred by fish. It seems to be difficult for trout to pass up what Roberts describes as “a nice squishy parcel of protein”.

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Anderson’s Bird of Prey October Caddis Pupa

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October Caddis pupa natural

 

I can personally attest to his opinion about the importance of the pupa stage of the October Caddis. I recall a fall day on the Deschutes when there were adult October Caddis naturals on the bushes and water in the evening but they, along with my adult imitation, were being ignored by the trout I was targeting. I was puzzled about why fish were passing up such a big meal. I had no success until I tried nymphing with a pupa pattern, and the trout certainly found it to their liking.

A fine pupa imitation of the October Caddis Pupa is Anderson’s Bird of Prey tied in a size 6 or 8. If you are going to fish it alone keep it along the bottom near the bank using your usual nymphing techniques. Another good option to increase your chances of success is to fish the Anderson’s Bird of Prey as a dropper beneath an adult imitation. You can try adding a slight twitch or strip to your presentation to briefly skate the adult and at the same time cause the pupa to rise in the water column. And don’t forget, if you are fishing on the Deschutes this is also the time of year that steelhead, hopefully, will be around. So rig your gear appropriately!

Our next Fly Tying Night will be Wednesday, September 26 at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn. We will be tying up some Anderson’s Bird of Prey flies that should be just in time for the October Caddis hatch. We will be starting at 6 pm sharp. Hope you can join us!

President’s Message September 2018

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What a quick summer and we are back in the swing of things at the club.  Many of you have been traveling, fishing, and enjoying time with family since our last meeting, but it is time to get things rolling.

We welcome a new speaker this month in Frank Day from the Fly Fishing Shop in Welches. Frank will be sharing some secrets on fishing Mt. Hood waters. This should be an interesting and informative presentation.

Our fish-a-long will find on the Deschutes for Steelhead. If you have not been on the river since the summer fires you will find a very different landscape. More details will follow.

Also, we really need some people to step up as our Membership Director will be retiring from his position on 12/31/18.  It does not take a lot of time and gives one the opportunity to be involved with the workings of the club.  Please, let myself or any member of the board know if your interested.

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.

Gil Henderson

 

CFF Member Auction – No Float Deschutes River Tour

You are bidding on 1 “seat” on a Guided No Float Trout excursion hosted by John Smeraglio of the Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop in Maupin.

John will take the auction winner and the raffle winner (from the September CFF meeting) on a custom day long trip of the Maupin section of the Deschutes river including below Shearer’s Falls.  Date to be agreed upon.

Local knowledge doesn’t get any better than this.

This trip is valued at $480 for 2 anglers for a full day.  This auction is open to paid up CFF members ONLY! If you want to make a bid  go to the Auctions button.  The auction closes Monday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m.

Let me know if you have any questions.  bartschp@gmail.com