April 2022 Presidents Message

Paul Deunk with a nice Silver from Kodiak Island.

Earlier this month I got some bad news that my friend Paul Deunk from Cleveland passed away. I met Paul on a fishing trip in Alaska and we remained friends. He battled some serious health issues over the years, including cancer, but always bounced back and kept living life the best he could. He was an inspiration. On the fly fishing side, he was a feature tyer at midwest fly fishing shows, a member of his local steelhead fishing club and managed to go fishing to Alaska most years. We kept in touch, mostly by texting, and we regularly sent each other pictures of our various interests & endeavors. I think my latest mountain biking adventure would have made him laugh, but I didn’t get to send him that one! Our last text exchange was about a Duck decoy he was carving; Paul was always doing something cool and different.

As I’m writing this Presidents Message it’s a very a nice spring day and after imaging trout rising at my favorite local lake for the umpteenth time, I decided to just go fishing, think of my friend Paul and catch a few trout in his honor. That mission was accomplished.

Over the last couple weeks I’ve (finally!) had some good success on steelhead…but with spoons. It’s been a busy month and I haven’t had time to get the spey rod going. Maybe next week! Locally Winter Steelhead are still available thru most of April plus Summer Steelhead start to show. Spring Chinook are coming too, but that’s a whole new level of fly fishing insanity. I did hook one on the spey last year but it ran way downstream then the hook pulled out. Still, it’s a great fly fishing memory.

We’ll have a regular meeting April 19th at High Rocks. I’ll be talking & answering questions about spring fly fishing opportunities on our local Pay to Play lakes like Oregon Fishing Club, Justesen Ranch and Rocky Ridge. We’ve had some great Fish A Longs at all these places but they’ve gone thru some changes. We’ll bring you up to date.

Speaking of Fish A Longs, we’ll be going to an Oregon Fishing Club lake and I’ll get an announcement out next week. With the warmer weather they are starting to fish very well.

In April trout fishing starts to heat up. Locally, the OFC lakes are fishing well. Further away the Deschutes and Crooked rivers are good too. Remember that good fishing on these rivers will depend on consistent water flows and irrigation season is just getting ready to start, so check the water flows before you head out. 

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 “April” or “May” and you’ll get all the past reports for those months. 

We’ve fixed the search funcion on the Fly Tying articles so if you type “fly tying” in the search box you’ll get all the old articles. There’s good stuff in there. Thanks to Jim Adams for bringing this to my attention.

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

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