November 2020 Fish A Long Report

To be honest, it was really difficult to decide between Kilchis River Chum Salmon or another trip to Beavertail on the Deschutes River. This time of year Beavertail is consistently productive and good reports continued to hit my inbox along with some Kilchis reports. Decisions, decisions! The deciding factor was the big rainstorm due at the coast that would likely blow out the Kilchis and make wading difficult, so it was off to the Deschutes for redsides and hopefully a steelhead.

But nothing in November is easy as the same storm that was dumping rain on the coast was dumping snow in the Cascades, making for an interesting and somewhat slow drive over the hill. Still, we made it work; some of us braved the snow and others smartly took an alternate route thru The Dalles.

We had 8 people in attendance today; Dave, Paul, Kevin, Darryl, Rhona, Laura, Sue and Phil. When we rolled into Beavertail Saturday morning we saw that Kevin was camping, so we went to his campsite to finish our coffee and get rigged up.  

There’s more to enjoying a day in the outdoors than casting between wind gusts while hoping to hook a big one. Kevin told us there was a bunch of deer in his campsite in the morning. On our trek upstream to the fishing grounds we found fresh buck and doe tracks and it was fun to both observe and explain the subtle differences in the different kinds of tracks.

Darryl was already fishing when most of us arrived and reports he caught several small trout on beads. Around 10am he decided to head upstream for clearer water as the White River was very off color, probably due to the fire that burned thru much of canyon this summer. He had good success for trout and also landed a nice steelhead.

The off colored water and limited visibility definitely slowed down the trout fishing but we still managed to grind some out. The highlight of the morning was a big fish hooked by Sue that ran into her backing three times before the hook pulled out. It didn’t jump and was probably a salmon but it could have been a steelhead too.

We walked back to camp around noon to break for lunch. Paul set up his spotting scope and we were able to watch a lone Ram walking high on the rock face.

After lunch we fished down by the boat ramp for a while and caught several more fish before calling it a day. There were a lot of dead salmon in the shallows which signals eggs are the main food source, thus the hot flies this day were either small egg patterns or beads drifted along the bottom, usually under a strike indicator.

Thanks to everyone for attending this month’s Fish A Long and also thanks to those that provided fishing  reports to help us decide the best place to go.

November 14th Fish A Long

The November 14th Fish-A-Long will be a repeat of last month’s Fish A Long at Beavertail Campground on the Deschutes. Good fishing reports continue to roll in, the road has been graded and since most of us are still geared up from last month we might as well do it again!  

The plan: meet at Beavertail Campground between 8am and 9am. Due to COVID you’ll need to bring your own food and beverages.

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. Euro nymphing has become very popular but indicator nymphing rigs with small glo- bugs and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears work very well too. Consider beefing up your tippet to 8lb or 10lb as more steelhead are starting to show and they like to eat eggs too. Bring 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 putting on weight for the winter and will be concentrated below schools of spawning salmon, making for excellent fishing. 

Please email Dave at Dave@kbi-ins.com if you plan to attend so we can get a rough head count.

Presidents Message November 2020

After September, October was literally a breath of fresh air! Also, the fishing was very good as you’ll see when I post the October fishing reports later this month.

In case you missed this news last month Clackamas Fly Fishers has decided to extend paid memberships thru 2021; if you paid to be a member this year, it will be good for next year too.

The 2020 Fly Fishing Challenge is still going on. If you’ve completed the challenge please email me.

Last month I announced a free subscription to Fly Fisherman magazine. Darryl Huff was the first to respond and will receive a one year gift subscript. Congrats Darryl!

November is a very good fishing month as we transition from fall into winter. When the water is low like it is now I like to fish the Clackamas up at McIver for late summer steelhead but when the rains come and the river fills with leaves, I’ll quickly shift gears and hit the Oregon Fishing Club ponds for trout, which are on the bite as the water cools down. If the mountain road conditions are good, the trout and steelhead fishing on the Deschutes is another top option. An hour past the Deschutes, the John Day River is very good for steelhead. There is also Chum Salmon in the Kilchis and Miami Rivers by Tillamook.

We are shooting for Saturday November 14th for our Fish A Long. This date will be perfect for either Chum Salmon on the Kilchis River or for trout at one of the Oregon Fishing Club lakes by Salem. Depending on member response & preferences, we can do either or both of these options. The past 3 years low water conditions have prevented us from chasing Chums on the Kilchis but it doesn’t mean we will stop trying. I’ll post more about the Fish A Long early next week.

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a good way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. I’ve tested it out; type the word November or December in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

Please remember our sponsors this fall, they are the lifeblood of the club. It’s not too early for a little Christmas shopping or putting together your wish list. Stop by their shops and let them know your appreciate their support. Better yet buy something or book a trip.

Dave Kilhefner

Dave@kbi-ins.com