June 2021 Presidents Message

June is always a good fishing month with plenty of angling opportunities to choose from. Pictured is a shad from Willamette Falls taken while fishing with Rob Crandall a couple years ago. I’m looking forward to doing this again soon. For the sake of comparison, I went back and re-read last year’s June 2020 Presidents message and things are definitely much better this year!

Hopefully you have been able to get out and enjoy some time on the water as we had plenty of good weather and water conditions last month. The CFF May fishing reports will be posted soon and we’ve got some good stuff to share.

We don’t have a speaker lined up for June, mostly because several of us, me included, are going to be out of town when the June meeting is scheduled. Given this, we will have an informal Zoom meeting at 7pm on June 8th to share flies, lies and the talk fishing. We did this last month and it was fun and informative. I’ll get an email reminder out a day or two before the meeting.

At the Zoom meeting last month it was suggested we have a contest to guess the background location of our favorite fishing spots. If you have a photo you’d like to submit for this contest please email it to me. Once we have 10 or 12 photos we’ll get the contest set up.

The June Fish A Long will be for Shad below Bonneville Dam at the Hamilton Island Parking Area. This is on the Washington side so we’ll go on June 12th, which is a free fishing weekend in Washington. Trux Dole fished there last year and had a great day; here’s his shad fishing report from last year and I’ll email the details for the upcoming fish a long soon.

The Wilder Lake has been rescheduled for November. Same deal; everyone who paid to go in March can fish for free.

I’m sending out email updates once or twice a month and most of you are already on our email list. If you’d like updates in real time put your email in the SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL option and you’ll get an email notice every time a new blog is published, which averages 3 to 5 times per month. If you’re on a PC this option is just to the right of this post, but if you’re on a smartphone you’ll need to scroll way down a ways to find it.

If there is anything you want to see on our blog, let me know. Thanks to Jim Adams for resuming his fly tying column!

For local fishing, Summer Steelhead and Spring Chinook are in the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers. While the numbers are down, they are being caught and are the very best fish of the year. They will be in ultra prime condition from now until the water drops and warms. PGE reports they are getting a very good return of native Spring Chinook on the Clackamas and last month I hooked one but lost it. Dang! This time of year Clackamas River fishing is best early in the morning before the rafters take over the river. The Oregon Fishing Club lakes are fishing very well, especially the ones down by Salem. This will continue until the water gets too warm. The Mount Hood Lakes have all be stocked and should be good options for float tubing. Last but not least, the Deschutes is fishing well but the Stonefly hatch is winding down. 

PGE advises Timothy Lake and Lake Harriet are open again. Access is from Hwy 26 only.

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a fun way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Type “June” or “July” and you’ll get all the past reports for that month. 

Please remember our sponsors, they are the lifeblood of the club. Stop by their shops and let them know your appreciate their support. Better yet buy something or book a trip. 

Good fishing! 

Dave Kilhefner 

Clear Lake Fish A Long Report

The Fish A Long at Clear Lake was a big success. We had 19 people turn out in spite of the very cool weather. It was overcast and breezy in the morning but then cleared off around lunchtime but the breeze never really let up.

Greg O’Brien was one of the first anglers to arrive and started catching fish right away. He ended up landing over 20 trout and lost a big brood stock trout that jumped several times before throwing the hook.

For most of us the fishing started out a bit slower but eventually we all figured out what the fish wanted and everyone ended up catching fish. For me the hot ticket was a size 10 olive ap emerger retrieved slowly just under the surface. I’d like to say I figured this out with astute observation but really, I was kicking in to get some coffee, letting the fly drag behind the tube and magically started hooking trout. By 10am I think we are all fishing the same way, with a slow just under the surface presentation using some sort of medium sized nymph pattern. Paul Brewer did best trolling with and against the wind while I had to troll across the wind to catch fish. That’s fishing!

With the cooler weather the water temperature dropped from 58° last weekend to 51° this weekend. This slowed down the morning Chironomid Hatch. Later in the day a few Callibaetis Mayflies came off but it was hard to tell with the wind.

Most of the trout were in the 9 to 11 inch range along with a few up to 14 inches.

It was great to see everyone. Thanks for coming out!

Fly Tying; May 2021

Josh Linn’s “MFFR” by Jim Adams

Well, it has been quite some time since the last Fly of the Month article has been posted on the club’s blog. Due to the COVID pandemic our regular club activities have definitely been disrupted. We have not had any of our monthly Fly Tying Nights but they will resume… someday. It has been suggested that we continue posting things of interest regarding Flies and Fly Tying, even though we cannot have our fly tying get-togethers yet. In case you haven’t noticed there is a major “happening” taking place on The Deschutes River as this is being written. The annual salmonfly hatch is in full swing and Josh Linn at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop recently hosted a Zoom presentation that he calls The Salmonfly Survival Guide. If you missed it you can click on this link to have a look. Josh includes a lot of information about presentations, gear, and flies patterns to help you be as successful as possible during the salmonfly hatch.

And that brings us to the MFFR. If you have ever fished the salmonfly hatch you undoubtedly have experimented with a number of different patterns. Everyone seems to have a go-to favorite. Josh has tweaked the popular Norm Woods Special into a fly in which he has a lot of confidence. A foam rubber body on the MFFR is the one alteration that Josh has added that results in improved flotation.

Here is one version of a manufactured Norm Woods Special with a dubbed body:

Below is Josh Linn’s MFFR, his foam body variation of a Norm Woods Special:

Here’s the MFFR recipe—
Hook: TMC 200R size 4
Thread: 10/0 Orange
Body: 2mm Orange Foam
Hackle: Metz #2 Ginger Saddle Hackle
Wing: Tan Calf Tail
Head: Orange Thread
Hackle: Metz #2 Brown Hackle
Check out this link for Josh’s youtube tutorial showing all of the details for tying the MFFR. It is especially interesting to see how Josh colors the foam material, trims it, and then winds it onto the hook shank. Josh then trims the hackle to allow the fly to sit low in the water, much like the naturals. The Royal Treatment will have all of the materials you would need plus they have packaged up some MFFR kits that have enough materials to tie up about 25 MFFRs.

Josh says that the big bugs should be out on the Deschutes through the first week of June so there is still time to get out on the water to take advantage of the salmonfly hatch.

Stay well, folks!

May 2021 Presidents Message

Photo caption: Dave and Elke with a stonefly caught redside on the Deschutes from several years ago.

April started off right with a fishing trip to the Crooked River in Central Oregon put together by Lane Hoffman., who spurred several of us into action with his announcement that he was going fishing on the Crooked and then on to the Malheur during the first weekend in April and anyone that wanted to was welcome to join him. I sent out an email to the club members for Lane and we ended up having an improptu fish a long. It was a great time and everyone caught fish, even some pretty big ones!

I hosted my first Zoom meeting and it went pretty well. Zoom is easy to use but there is still a learning curve. To all that attended, thanks!

We don’t have a speaker lined up for May 18th. If anyone has an idea please email me. If we don’t end up with a speaker we’ll have a get together on Zoom where we can share flies, lies and fishing plans for the upcoming months.

We have a new page on the website for the Fly Fishing Challenge. Check it out and then get signed up. It’s a fun contest plus it motivates you to get out and chase new kinds of fish with a fly.

We are going back to Wilder Lake this Month for the May 22nd Fish A Long, and here’s some great news: everyone who paid to go in March can fish on May 22nd for free. If you are not on that list, the cost is $80 for the day. I’ll get an email out with the details soon.

I’m sending out email updates once or twice a month and most of you are already on our email list. If you’d like updates in real time put your email in the SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL option and you’ll get an email notice every time a new blog is published, which averages 3 to 5 times per month. If you’re on a PC this option is just to the right of this post, but if you’re on a smartphone you’ll need to scroll way down a ways to find it.

If there is anything you want to see on our blog, let me know. Personally, I’d like to see more fly tying stuff but haven’t been able to get that going by myself. Volunteers?

Last month I won a couple of awards for my fishing articles in the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association Excellence in Craft Contest. When I was in school I struggled in English class so it’s really gratifying to win an award for writing.

For local fishing, Summer Steelhead are starting to show in the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers. While the numbers are down, they are being caught and are the very best fish of the year. They will be in ultra prime condition from now until around mid June. Spring Chinook are coming too, but that’s a whole new level of fly fishing insanity but they can be caught in the same water as summer steelhead, especially in the evening. The Oregon Fishing Club lakes will be fishing well and of course, the Deschutes Stonefly hatch is just starting as I’m writing this and will continue to get better. 

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a fun way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Type “May” or “June” and you’ll get all the past reports for that month. 

Please remember our sponsors, they are the lifeblood of the club. Stop by their shops and let them know your appreciate their support. Better yet buy something or book a trip. Last month I took this advice to heart and after having a good trip Euro Nymphing on the Crooked I swung by Royal Treatment to buy some fly tying supplies and talk to local expert Josh Linn about this technique. The Cliff Notes version of this conversation is Josh has a handout prepared with a list of his favorite nymphs and leader formula. After this, the next important tip was to finish the forward cast with a high rod tip, which is called a tuck cast, to get the nymphs to sink more efficiently and then keep your tippet as vertical as possible to reduce drag. All this probably falls under the heading of easy to say but hard to do, but I used the technique at the April Fish A Long and it worked great. Thanks Josh!

Good fishing! 

Dave Kilhefner 

April 2021 Fishing Reports

We had a lot of good fishing happen in April so this will be a picture heavy report. As always, pictures are first with the reports below.

From John Silkey: I finally get my first legitimate fishing report! Made the drive out to the Owyhee in early April and camped below the dam on a Friday. Beautiful weather; crystal clear blue skies and pleasant temperatures. Got into plenty of 8-12 inch browns Friday evening and all day Saturday. On Sunday was rewarded with a gorgeous brown in the 22 inch range. After an undefeated steelhead season (as in the steelhead are undefeated vs me) it was great to remember I do know how to catch fish… Already have plans to go back this summer. Word has it that even at 400cfs that stretch fishes really well.

From Wayne Hughes: Floated the Molalla river looking for some early Springers or some late Steelhead. Ended up running into some nice smallmouth bass. No steelhead came to my fly but lots of bass on spinners. 

From Lane Hoffman: Several us of hit the Crooked River in early April. The water was quite low, flowing at 55 cfs and running a chilly 42 degrees below Bowman Dam. The hatches were midges in the morning and mayflies in the afternoon, plus some fish were caught on woolly buggers, which could look like the plentiful cranefly larva. The weather was good and everyone caught fish plus several larger trout were landed.

From Lane Hoffman: after the April 3rd trip on the Crooked Gary Stein & I headed down to the Malheur River. We had the river to ourselves and fishing was very good!

From Richard Harvey: The large rainbows at the Oregon Fishing Club properties are in full swing now. 

From George Krumm: 1 springer trip, 1 springer. Maybe I will quit now and go out a hero (not likely).

From Chris Brehm: Sorry to miss the fish-along on the Crooked. I was at Crane Prairie for the opener. No Pix, nothing large, but decent action in the wind. Started the month with a return to Pyramid Lake with my brother. Overall slow fishing until the weather changed on the last day. Good action on Chironomids but still came up just short of my goal of a 10 lbr. Mid month hit Davis Lake for Bass. Very low water level meant dragging boats through the mud but fishing was fabulous on large streamers. Picture of my brother with just a few of the 25 or so Bass we got between us. Also pic of some fillets prepped for dinner. Hit Diamond Lake  this last week with great weather and good fishing on Chironomids at the south end of the lake. Pic of one of the nicer trout we caught. Can’t wait for the road to East Lake to open !

From George Coutts: 3 small whitefish on the Crooked and 2 nice rainbows at Warm Springs on the Deschutes.

From Brad Jonasson: Tom Flannery and I arrived late for the April Fish A Long on the Crooked River and headed below the CG. I caught 4 rainbows, including one 16′ Rainbow euro nymphing.