Hagg Lake Fish-a-long Report

We had a great day at Hagg Lake last Saturday. The weather was good with mild temperatures, no rain and very little wind.

About 12 people joined the Fish-a-long including a new member Sue Deering. Sue was first on the water and did well casting & also trolling green/black woolly bugger on intermediate line, which was the best fly fishing tactic this day.

The Simi Seal Leech, featured at our March Fly Tying night, was a good pattern too.

Fishing was interesting and everyone had lots of strikes but relatively few hookups. Short strikes, lots of them, were the norm this day. The trout that were caught were about 12 inches long and fought stubbornly. We heard from some other local fly anglers that trout to 18” were possible.

The water was a pea green in color but it was clearer than it looked with 5’ to 6’ of clarity. The temperature was 55 degrees. There were no visible hatches. Those of us with fish finders noted the almost all fish were about 9 feet deep.

Hagg Lake has a good population bass and we hoped to catch some, but the water was a little too chilly for good bass activity. Common wisdom says Smallmouth’s like water temps around 65 degrees and Largemouth’s closer to 70.  

This is a good place for float tubing and kayaking. There is really not enough room to fly cast from the bank. Also, the banks are clay and a little slippery.

The parks are nice and we were able to set up a good place for lunch, which was Taco’s with ingredients provided by Cheryl. We had a ton of food and everyone enjoyed seconds. Thanks again for everyone that came to make this fish-a-long another successful event!

Henry Hagg Lake Fish-A-Long

This month’s Fish-A-Long will be this Saturday at Henry Hagg Lake, located near Forest Grove. Hagg Lake was stocked April 1st with 7,000 legal rainbows and 400 trophies. Beside trout, good size Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass are available. This is a new location for us and we are looking forward to exploring new water!

What: Rainbow trout and bass

Were:  Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove

When:  Meet at the Sain Creek picnic area at 8:30 AM. There is $7 day use fee.

Equipment:  Best fished with a float tube and standard lake patterns. The weather should be OK but rain is always a possibility this time of year.

Lunch: Coffee, donuts and Lunch will be provided.

Directions:  About an hour’s drive west of Portland: you can take either Hwy 26 to North Plains then head south on Hwy 47 past Forest Grove to Scoggins Valley Rd then on to the lake. There are several alternate scenic routes on Mapquest. Once at the lake, pay at the fee booth for your day pass then go left drive across the dam then follow West Shore Drive to Sain Creek  Picnic Area.

If possible send me a text or email so I know who will be there. Paul 503-635-3156 or ponzdog@icloud.com

Fly Fishing Hagg Lake Video by Micole Jensen, who did a presentation on Kayak fishing for CFF a while back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84Th1W3H6fM

Fly Tying: April, 2019

Euro-Nymphing Flies

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This month’s fly tying article is going to be a bit different.  Instead of highlighting one particular fly we are going to be looking at a whole family of flies.  

Background Info:

European nymphing?? It seems that the whole fly fishing world is euro-nymphing.  But it is not a matter of just getting on the bandwagon of the newest fad, because in fact, euro-nymphing is not really all that new. Although new to many of us, it has proven to be very effective since the 1980’s.  (Some flyfishing historians will argue that european-nymphing is simply another step in the development of high-stick nymphing techniques that have been evolving for the past 150 years!)

Perhaps you are on the fence in deciding whether to jump into euro-nymphing. Well, when you hear that the highly competitive USA fly fishing team has added euro-nymphing to its arsenal of methods, it should make you sit up and notice.  Back in 1989 the fly fishing world was changed when Polish angler Vladi Trzebunia caught more fish by himself than the combined total of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place teams at the world championships! A little closer to home, when Josh Linn, the “Fly Czar” at The Royal Treatment Fly Shop, tells me he recently had a 20-fish day on the Metolius I really start paying attention!  That is no easy feat on that river.  Now, I don’t get over to the Metolius very often, but I am not sure if I have landed 20 fish on that river in my lifetime. So we are in for a treat this month getting to have Josh as our guest speaker and also have him available as the guest tyer to share his knowledge at our monthly Fly Tying Night. (And at our meeting be sure to ask him about landing two fish at once. Also on the Metolius!)

So, what is euro-nymphing?  In its simplest description, it is a way to fish subsurface flies without using a strike indicator or adding extra weight onto your line.  it is a method of maintaining a tight connection with your fly, a method to dead drift your fly and to eliminate slack in your line, and a method to maintain control over the depth and speed of your drifting fly.  Some people call this Czech nymphing, some call it European nymphing, and some call it tight-line nymphing. You can call it whatever you want.

There are a number of variations of euro-nymphing styles (Polish, Czech, Spanish, French, etc), each employing both similarities and differences to the other methods. If you study them all and overthink too much, all of the information will soon put your brain on overload.  Before you blow a fuse and get discouraged, we’ll let Josh break down this whole European-style nymphing to the basics and teach us enough to get us started.

Euro-Nymphing Flies:

The types of flies for euro-nymphing will differ from many of the nymph patterns that you are accustomed to using.  They nearly all are heavily weighted for their size, usually employing tungsten beads to get them down to the desired depth.  Along with the tungsten beads tyers often add wraps of lead wire for additional weight.

You will notice that many of the euro-nymph flies are also sparsely tied and have a smooth and streamlined appearance. This aids in getting the flies down quickly to the fish zone.  Many of our standard nymphs have a bushy or rough look to them, which causes them to drop more slowly due to added friction as they sink through the water column. Many patterns employ a bright hot spot near the head or tail, or both. The appearance of many of the flies can best be described as “attractor” patterns since they do not seem to closely resemble any life forms in the river, (or on this planet for that matter). Suffice to say we are not trying to closely “match the hatch” when tying up many of the euro-nymph patterns.

Flies for euro-nymphing are rapidly evolving. Here are a number of euro-nymph patterns presently in use:

The Perdigon

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This fly was first developed by the Spanish competitive fly fishing team but really was made popular by the French team. Wraps of lead wire are often added behind the tungsten bead head.  The tail is generally coq de leon. Using different materials for wrapping the body accounts for the numerous variations of this fly.  It generally is tied with a very smooth and streamlined look, and needs to be coated with UV resin or clear fingernail polish.  It is interesting to note that the name Perdigon comes from the Spanish word “perdigones” which translates as “pellet” or “shot”, as in bird shot.  So the Perdigon is literally a weighted pellet with a tail, and it drops through the water like a rock.

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The Mic Drop

A Perdigon style fly with a body made of thread wraps ribbed with wire.

 

The Quilldigon

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Basically a Perdigon made with a peacock quill body.

 

 

The Frenchie

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Most of the credit for this fly seems to go to Lance Egan, a member of the USA fly fishing team.  He actually says his version is a variation of a previous pattern (perhaps borrowed from the French team?, hence the name). Using pheasant tail fibers in the body, it is sometimes described as a pheasant tail with a hot spot. Egan says he won one session of the world championships in 2006 using the Frenchie.

The Thread Frenchie

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As the name implies, this fly substitutes thread for pheasant tail fibers in the body.

 

 

The GTI Caddis

Euro Nymphs

 

Another Lance Egan pattern, GTi is a short for “Go To Imitation”.  It is a larger fly and makes a good point or anchor fly in a euro-nymph rigging.

 

The Red Princess  (or Czech Princess)

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Not as smooth in appearance as many euro-nymph patterns due to an added cdc collar.  (Club member Kevin Luettgerodt likes this pattern after recently landing a beautiful 18-inch redside on the Metolius.)

 

Join us on Wednesday, April 24th at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn for our next Fly Tying Night. Guest tyer Josh Linn will be guiding us in tying up euro-nymph patterns, including some of those shown above. We will be starting at 6 pm.  Hope to see you there!

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April Auction – SAGE Igniter Rod

The CFF April auction is for a truly high end item!  A SAGE Igniter 9′ 5wt ultra fast 4 piece graphite fly rod.  This rod retails for $900.  Our thanks to Northwest Flyfishing Outfitters for the donation!

According to the SAGE website: “The most demanding conditions require a different kind of tool. Strong head wind? Fish at distance? Bulky rigs? Heavy sink-tips? The IGNITER is tuned to handle the most technical of conditions. Not a rod for the everyday angler, the IGNITER is equipped with a high line speed taper to carry large amounts of line at distance with wind cutting performance. Perfect for streamer fishing with heavy sink tips or covering big water when conditions turn south. If you bring the will, the IGNITER will supply the way.”

Here are the specs:

Length: 9’0″ . Line Weight: 5

Action: Ultra-Fast . Pieces: 4

Material: Graphite . Measured Weight: 2.97 ounces

Stripping Guides: Stainless frame/Alconite insert . Guides: Chrome snake guides

Reel Seat: Cocobolo Wood/Aluminum . Rod Tube/Sock: Yes/Yes

This auction if open to paid up CFF members only. To make a bid go to the AUCTIONS page. The April Auction ends at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 16.

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

April 16 Speaker Josh Linn

Josh Linn of Royal Treatment Fly Fishing will be CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, April 16th.

Josh’s presentation will be on the increasingly popular technique of Euro Nymphing: Learn about the flies, tackle and techniques used in Euro Nymphing to increase your trout fishing success. It will be a great presentation you won’t want to miss!

Meeting details: https://clackamasflyfishers.org/meetings-events/

Royal Treatment Fly Fishing: http://www.royaltreatmentflyfishing.com/