Presidents Message September 2020

In spite of all the craziness in the world right now, summer is doing what it has always done: go by too fast!

Unfortunately the COVID situation is definitely not going by fast and so we are going to have to adapt. Many folks seem to be adapting pretty well but there are a fair number of people that are sequestered. If you know someone like this I would encourage you to reach out and make contact, either by phone or email and let them know they’re not forgotten.

This summer I had a goal of fishing at three places; some new lakes on Mount Hood for trout, the upper Sandy River for salmon and the Columbia River for carp. I managed to fish two of the three. The Mt. Hood lakes fished well, as usual the upper Sandy River salmon skunked me and once again didn’t manage to get out on the Columbia for carp. I still have my Carp fishing cheat sheet notes from the John Bartlett presentation (a.k.a. John Montana) and will hopefully put them to use next summer.

Also, every summer I try to do an overnight backpacking trip. Last month I backpacked up on Mount Hood with my daughter Kelsey and her boyfriend Tim. Unfortunately Kelsey got a bad case of blisters and not wanting to turn the hike into a death march, we cut it short and did not stay overnight. We commiserated in fine style at the Brightwood Tavern with good food and libations, so it ended up being a great day plus we saw some extremely beautiful scenery.

Another personal goal this summer was to see the NEOWISE Comet with my own eyes. This seemed like it should be pretty easy to do but it took five tries; FIVE! I even made a special evening trip to Altamont Park in Happy Valley but the view of the Northwest sky was obscured by smoke from a building fire from the protests. If that wasn’t bad enough, Cheryl got tons of mosquito bites while we sat in the park waiting for it to get dark.

In July we had three new members join. Welcome to Lauren, Rhona and Jim!

Clackamas Fly Fishers has always taken the month of August off as far as meetings and fish longs go. With all the cancellations we’ve had this year I wanted to try and do an August activity such as a fish along or get together but time got away from me. My apologies!

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a good way to get ideas for current local flyfishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Simply type the word August or September in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

It’s been really crowded on our local waters the summer, as in extra crowded times two! This makes fishing a little more challenging but as you can see from our fishing reports are members are still getting out and making it happen. My hat is off to everyone for doing this.

As we go forward it’s not certain when we may begin having regular meetings again. People have suggested Zoom presentations. While I think this could be a good idea our local fly shops are doing a great job Zooming and Blogging. Personally, I don’t want to compete with them in this area as we need to support them, not compete with them. Going forward, at least for the next couple months, Clackamas fly fishers will focus on flyfishing activities we can either do together or at least help each other with our flyfishing goals. As always, I’m open to any ideas you may have.

On the conservation front, on August 24 it was announced the Pebble Mine has been blocked, at least for the time being. This is great news but at the same time I do not believe the fight is over yet.

Next weekend on September 12 and 13th is the annual Clackamas River down the river cleanup hosted by the Clackamas River basin Council. It is a fun and worthwhile event. Here is the link: Http://clackamasriver.org/events/down-the-river-cleanup/

August 2020 Fishing Reports

The month of August always flies by and it seems like it only lasted about a week. Still, we have a lot of variety and good fishing reports this month.

Thanks to everyone for your reports! As always, pictures first with the report below.

From Richard Harvey: the sea run cutthroats are starting to show up on the Oregon coast, plus I had some fun with rainbows in the Clackamas River as well.

From Lane Hoffman: Traveled to the Togiak River in Alaska. Great trip with great weather & almost ran out of sunscreen. There was just enough wind to keep the bugs away!

From Dave Kilhefner: George Coutts and I hit the Willamette River by Salem for Smallmouth Bass. We also caught a few good sized Pikeminnows. We tried Poppers and had a few short strikes but the best tactic was a clouser minnow fished on a full sinking line.

From Rhona Dallison: Laura McGuill and I tried to get one of the first come/first serve campsites at Laurance Lake on a Thursday but they were all already full. We found a great riverside group campsite on the East Fork of the Hood River at Toll Bridge Park near Parkdale. Four other ladies joined us over the next couple days. The East Fork was a bit milky but I fished it that evening with a 3 weight and had success floating a nymph down the riffles and in the pockets, hooking into 3 feisty small rainbows. The next day we did a hike up to Tamanawas Falls, which was breathtaking. Laura and another fishing friend, Sue Liwanag, scouted some local creeks and a reservoir for fishable water while the rest of our group headed up to Laurance Lake. The Lake was fiercely windy so float tubing and kayaking were out of the question. We encountered one Tenkara fisherman at the head of the lake where the Clear Branch flows in. That evening Kelly and I explored some pull offs on the East Fork and eventually found a nice pool where she caught her first fish on a fly rod—a small rainbow with parr marks, by roll casting into a pool below some overhanging alders. She’s hooked! Kelly and I hoped to spend some time fishing at Trillium Lake on the way home but it was an absolute zoo when we got there Sunday morning. Later in the month Laura, Sue and I went to the Wilson River (Donaldson’s Landing) and the Trask River (The Peninsula area) and caught some small cutthroats and rainbows. Laura and I saw a steelhead (?) in the Wilson but couldn’t entice it to take our offerings. It was a beautiful day on the water—I saw river otters in a pool I was fishing on the Wilson, and a herd of elk crossed below where Laura!

From Dave Kilhefner: went backpacking on Mt Hood with my daughter and her boyfriend. No fishing but the views were spectacular.

From Ed Rabinowe: Bouy 10 was good!

From Jim Behrend: Went to North Santiam with my wife. We caught a bunch of trout using caddis nymphs.  No other nymph got even a nibble.

From Chris Foster: A buddy and I fly fished Crane Prairie one day at Quinn River and Cultus Channel. The lake was very crowded. Fortunately we got into a Callibaetis Hatch #12 in the late afternoon and hooked and released about 30 Trout running 14-20 inches plus a couple of big Kokanee (17 inches!) using Callibaetis nymphs with an Intermediate sink line and also floating lines. We slow trolled flies behind my drift boat and also cast to rising fish.

The next day we fly fished Paulina Lake and released about 20 rainbows and 10 browns. The fish ran 12-19 inches with the largest a 19 inch brown (buck). We used Callibaetis nymphs, streamers and chironomids. The water was a beautiful blue color plus there was not much wind.

Paulina was not very crowded. I would fish Paulina again and wait until late September or October for Crane Prairie. 

From the Oregon Fishing Club: this is the time of year that our lakes and ponds look and fish their worst.  The hot summer days and the warm nights combine to keep water temperatures up so we are in the middle of the slowest fishing time of the year for the Club still-waters.  The one exception for trout fishing is in the early morning hours at Rainier lakes.  Members are even hitting trout on dry flies, but only up until about 9:00am.  If you never remove the trout from the water and quickly release the fish, we are experiencing no known mortality issues.

All other locations that have warm water fish populations are still producing a few strikes. In these locations it is best to target the warm water fish and leave the trout alone.

The Club does not plant additional trout into the still-waters until water temperatures drop. Generally this happens as early as late September, but sometimes as late as early November.  It all depends on what Mother Nature decides to do over the next couple of months.