June 2022 Fish A Long Report & Presidents Message

This month the Presidents Message will be combined with June Fish A Long report. The two mesh together pretty well as it’s been nearly impossible to pick decent fish a long locations in 2022 with all the colder weather & high water making for unpredictable fishing. For instance, this month we were supposed to go for Shad at Bonneville but very high water put the kibosh on that. So when Mike Shiiki texted a couple weeks ago to say he’d made it down to Lake Harriet and not only was the “catching” on fire but there were lots of big fish too, it was a huge relief to finally have a “can’t miss” spot for the fish a long.

Unfortunately, I probably jinxed the weather by buying that extra box of donuts for all the people that were going to show up to catch a bunch of big trout last Saturday. The forecast was for heavy rain and on Friday we did have what could be described as a raingear test, but on Saturday the weather was pretty nice with a mix of low then high clouds and a few sprinkles from 8am to 2:30 pm.

With the high gas prices I’ve been trying to camp out and get in an extra day of fishing whenever possible & made a plan with Rich Harvey to fish Lake Harriet Friday afternoon. The forecast was for wet weather but the road from Rhododendron the Timothy Lake was dry: it turned out to be a good sign that didn’t last. By mid afternoon the rain arrived. Fortunately we caught a fair number of trout from 11” to 18”  plus Rich got the Lake Harriet trifecta, landing a cutthroat, numerous rainbows and a brown.

On weekends like this my outdoor clothing motto of “don’t buy if it’s not quick dry” really paid off and I was able to quickly dry out and get comfortable after enduring a good downpour out in my float tube.

While the campground at Harriet wasn’t full it was “fully reserved” so we drove a couple miles up the road and truck camped at Shellrock Creek camp & we were the only ones there. The rain let up at dusk and we built a nice fire and enjoyed a cold one and a cigar, but it was drippy under the trees. Then it started raining harder and harder so a little before 10 we went to bed. It was for the most part a restfull night but around 2 am driving rain woke me as it sounded like I was in a car wash ( I slept in the cab of my truck). Fortunately it didn’t last.

Saturday dawned rain free but the creek was high and flowing hard. I made the short drive to Harriet and met Dave Doble in the parking lot. Dave got geared up & started fishing while Rich and I BSed until 9:45 but no one else showed, so we got geared up and out on the lake then started catching fish right away. Better still, we had the lake to ourselves, I guess the weather forecast kept folks away. Then the clouds lifted and it got pretty nice out!

Rich stayed by the boat ramp area and I could see he was doing very well. Dave was stationed by the catwalk and he was doing well too. I kicked down around the corner and there wasn’t another soul in sight and the fish were cooperative. It doesn’t get any better!

We compared notes at the end of the day and there was really no “hot fly” as Rich was using a sparkly minnow looking fly, Dave did well on a #12 black woolly bugger and I tried various leech patterns and they all worked; the key on this day was to just get something in the water. Lots of strikes were soft and came on the drop. I missed many of them but connected with several dozen too!

Most fish were the 11-13” planters but we all landed a handful the larger rainbows up to 18” plus a brown or two. The lake was 48 degrees & the water was very clear on Friday but got colored up a bit on Saturday.

Weather was pretty nice in the morning but it got windy and rainy around 2pm so we decided to pack up and head home, otherwise we might have stayed another day and kept wearing out flies!

This month we’ll have a regular meeting at High Rocks on Tuesday, June 21st. Social hour starts at 6pm and the presentation starts at 7pm. The “first beer free” rule will still apply. Hope to see you there!

CFF May 2022 Fishing Reports

The water levels and weather this May were a little crazy, but as you’ll see from this report CFF members were flexible and found plenty of good places to fly fish. As always, pictures first with the reports below.

From John Silkey: Spent last week at Guide School on the S. Fork of the Snake in Idaho with Worldcast. Amazing experience! Got to dive deep into all things fly fishing for a week and spent most days on the water learning how to properly and safely pilot a drift boat while guiding clients. (Even got to do a little fishing and got this nice Yellowstone Cutt.)

I don’t own a boat yet but am looking to practice more, so if anyone needs an oarsman I’m keen to spend time paddling and getting to know area.

From Mike Shiiki: Lost Lake in the coast range: First time there and it was recently stocked with a bunch of hatchery rainbows and some steelhead.  The rainbows hit all day, all were hatcheries from 8-12″.  We trolled #14 black/red Half-Wit leeches on an intermediate line from our float tubes; this technique is still killing it! My friend Christian was using float line, no indicator and stripping a long leader with leaches/buggers.  Steelhead could be seen near the surface and occasionally rise. I ended up landing two that hit leaches; the first was 26″ and the second was bigger.  It’s an easy lake to get into, has a parking lot, bathroom and a hiking trail around it.  Worth checking out.  

My son Nathaniel and I made our first trip to Harriett Lake May 28th; the road from Timothy to Harriet is under construction AGAIN, but the detour is clearly marked & adds 15 min to the drive. It was worth the trip! We were the only ones out on the lake and we found some big fish by the inlet. Nathan caught a couple nice browns and an 18″ and 20″ rainbow, plus we found ALOT of 16-17″ hatchery rainbows down stream from the big orange barrier and into where the lake widens up.  It started pouring rain from about 12:30pm – 3:00 but the bite didn’t slow down at all.  Trolling black hal-wits on an intermediate line was the ticket.

Went back Monday 5/31 and it was a good day again, but not like the previous trip.  My friend Paul landed a 19″ rainbow and I landed a couple 18″ers. There just aren’t many people making that drive up there, so now’s a good time to go.

From Chris Brehm: I was able to spend a day on the Big D with my brother Steve fishing the Salmon Fly hatch. Fishing near Warm Springs and Dry Creek, we caught multiple fish up to 17″ on nymphs in the morning, then on big bugs from late afternoon til dark.( Steve’s shirt is off after falling in)

I had two trips on the ocean for Halibut. The first was 40 miles out of Westport WA, but was cut short by engine problems after quick limits of Lingcod. One might think that a 15 hour trip which featured an 8-1/2 hour return (limping back to port  at 5 knots) would cure me of long ocean runs, but 3 days later out of Newport I landed a 46″ Halibut near the “Rockpile”. Three of us limited on Halibut plus a few rockfish.

From Wayne Hughes: Fished Rocky Ridge lakes with Jim Teeny. We caught and released a lot of really nice fish in the 18-22” range. Of course all our fish were all hooked on Teeny Nymphs; Jim’s new size 14 leech in blue/black with silver bead and natural size 12 leeches were best. We used Jim’s 5’ ghost sink tip line and in the deeper part of the lake, the T-130 sinking line.

CFF Board Retreat: We had our annual board retreat at Rocky Ridge in early May. 15 to 25 mph winds made for a tough fishing day and Jim got his pontoon boat pinned against the rocks at Mules Ear when the wind was blowing especially hard. In spite of this we all got fish in the 18” to 22” range, landing about 10 fish each. Leech flies on an intermediate line worked the best by far.

From Dave Kilhener: I’ve been spey fishing the Clackamas for summer steelhead without any success. It’s a super slow year plus the crazy water levels haven’t helped but its fun to get out when the weather is nice plus you can’t catch them if you don’t try! On the first trip out I got my spey rod stuck togther and it didn’t seem like it would ever come apart again. I read up on various ways to get it apart and tried them all. After a couple weeks I tried packing the ferrel in ice & salt, let it sit for an hour and that did the trick.  

To put a bend in my fly rod I made a couple trips to the Oregon Fishing Club. The fish were finicky and my standard long tailed woolly buggers & half wits produced mostly short strikes, so I put on one of Phil Hager’s size #8 brick leeches and converted those short strikes into hookups!

Thanks to everyone for providing these reports!