November 2021 Fishing Reports

November is a sleeper month for fishing but when water conditions are right it can be really good! Thanks to everyone for sharing your reports! Pictures are first with the reports below.

From Darryl Huff: Fishing was good on the Deschutes except during short periods when river flows were rising and falling. Egg patterns remained a favorite as fish were waiting for salmon eggs. At times the trout were very interested in euro nymphs and swung flies. A hand full of steelhead were hooked and released on the trout setups.

From Hugo Jim: At the beginning of the month I went to the Kilchis and got a few Chums. This Thanksgiving I visited Hawaii with my wife and kid, while we were there I took a day to chase after Bonefish. It wasn’t easy but the guide helped me landed my first Hawaii Bonefish. During the visit at Oahu’s Polynesian Cultural Center, I lost to my daughter during our fishing competition at the Tahiti Island Village. 

From Chris Brehm: Only got out once in November. Coho come into Tahkenitch and Ten Mile lakes in November-December. You are allowed one unclipped fish per day, 5 per season. I tried getting them on streamers, but these were all caught on light spinning tackle with twitching jigs and spinners in beautiful weather.  It’s a fun fishery because the Coho like to hang out near the shore and logs. Almost feels like Bass fishing.

Presidents Message December 2021

I hope everyone enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving. Fishing was challenging in November with the big rain storm that rolled thru in the middle of the month but some folks did well as you’ll see when I post the November fishing reports.

Clackamas Fly Fishers has reinstituted membership fees for 2022. However if you paid to be a member in 2021 it will be good for 2022 too. Here is the membership link plus I will be sending membership notices out to everyone. Last year I let membership tracking lapse so if you paid in 2021 you’ll need to let me know. That said, if you participate in the club I will guarantee you’ll get a solid value for the $35 you pay to be a member.

To get the membership value package started off right everyone that comes to the December and January meetings at High Rocks will get a free beer on me. This suggestion comes courtesy of Tom Flannery who helps Brad with the Fly fishing Challenge. BTW, the 2021 challenge is still going on. If you’ve completed the challenge please email me or Brad.

The “big 3” activities our club focuses on are meetings, fly tying and fish a longs. Looking forward we are going to have a few in-person speakers next year but mostly Zoom speakers on the big screen TV at High Rocks. Why? Zoom presentations cost much less because there are no travel expenses. Also, we can book speakers from all over the country & not just within driving distance. Fly tying will still be limited to monthly fly tying articles as COVID is still with us. Fish a longs will be expanded to include camping whenever possible as last year many of the people that came to the fish a longs camped too whenever this was possible. I’m still in the planning phase so if you have suggestions by all means let me know!

December is shaping up to be decent fishing month with the most dependable fishing available at the Oregon Fishing Club ponds for trout, especially after a warming trend. Here’s a good winter trout fishing primer from Vickie Loftus After that dang November storm blew thru we’ve had good water conditions and good timing is the key to taking advantage of winter fishing. You’ll need to be packed and ready to hit the prime fishing windows when they open up. Several coastal streams like the Necanicum and North Fork Nehalem get good early runs of steelhead. The Clackamas and Sandy get random shots of early winter steelhead too plus this year there are a good number of native, late running coho this year. Here’s a link to the PGE fish counts so you can see for yourself.

We don’t have a club Fish-A-Long in December but I put out the word that I’m open to helping folks with their spey casting and winter steelhead presentation basics. I’ve got 4 people signed up so far so if you are interested in this email me and I’ll put you on the list.

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 and it works! Type the word December or January in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

Now is the perfect time for Christmas shopping plus don’t forget to get your wish list out so you get all the stocking stuffers you want. 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.

Dave Kilhefner

October 2021 Fishing Reports

October is a big fly fishing month and so we have a lot of good reports to share. As always, pictures are first with the reports below. Enjoy!

From Wayne Hughes: October day on the Willamette river featured both Smallmouth bass, Jack Salmon and Silvers during the float. White & blue Clousers caught everything that day. 

From George Krumm: My annual trip to swing for Naknek rainbows went well. I also did a fly-out to Ugashik Narrows to fish for Arctic char. We caught lots of big rainbows. The char are Arctic Char & not Dolly Varden. Fish bit on a variety of flies like my LST (big-ass Leechy Sculpiny Thing) and flesh flies. I host a trip up there every year.  If anyone wants to join me next year, the dates are October 1st – 8th, 2022. I have 3 or 4 spots left.

From Chris Brehm: I was planning to attend the October Fish a long but got a last minute tip from a friend about fresh Coho in the Siuslaw tidewater near Mapleton. We landed and released 10 bright (but all native) Coho on Twitching Jigs and Spinners.

After reading the Fishalong report, I made the trip to Beavertail on the Deschutes on October 27th. Using egg patterns I was able to land a few up to about 14″ along with some whitefish. From there I drove to Bend to fish two days before the season closed on Crane Prairie. A buddy and I landed about 15 fish in good weather on Thursday and about 25 more in drizzly weather on Friday in  47 degree water. The fish were in prime fat condition, sized from 14″ to 20″ and were caught using various methods including my lucky Red Bead Pine Squirrel Leech pattern. The attached photo is from a previous trip, but illustrates why this is one of my favorite fisheries.

From Mike Shiiki: The day after the fish a long my son Nathan and I went back to Beavertail and then down above “Grumpy’s” on Sunday. He brought one of his friends for his first fly fishing trip & had a great day. Beavertail was the same as the day before, but we got into a Whitefish convention downstream at the Grumpy’s run.  I lost count down there, but ALOT of whities along with one lost steelhead that busted off my 3 wt euro stick after coming out of the water 3 times.

Other pics: October at Timothy Lake in the float tubes was really good – my son and I, and Darryl reeled in multiple 24″ size rainbows; I heard ODFW dumped in a load of trophy sized fish and I’m assuming we landed some of them. 

I hit the Molalla 1 day, and only fished about 90 minutes but landed a cutthroat, a couple whitefish and a little rainbow.

Also my son hit the Wilson River and landed a couple nice cutties last month

From Greg O’Brien: Got out with another club member a couple of times in October. We had a trout spey day on the McKenzie that was slow due to rapidly rising water but managed a couple nice trout. We also got into a couple Coho on SW WA rivers. 

From Tim Mahoney: I went to the Metolius for a few days mid month and caught a few nice rainbows and a small Bull trout for my first time euro nymphing. It was cold in the mornings, but nice that it wasn’t overly crowded.

At the fish a long I caught one white fish. The next day I went down River to Macks Canyon area and caught about 15, half redsides and half white fish. The biggest redside was this 18” long. I also had a steelhead on for about 15 seconds as he stripped off line and jumped in the center of the River before the 5X tippet broke off. That’s was exciting!

From Dave Kilhefner: the weekend after the fish a long I went back to Beavertail and met up with Mike Shiiki and Darryl Huff. Fishing had slowed down a little but we all got into several trout and redsides. We tried standard indicator & Euro nymphing tactics, but Darryl’s indicator & bead was the most effective method this day.

CFF November 16th Meeting

Our November 16th meeting will feature local author Dennis Dauble talking about the History of Fish and Fishing in the Columbia Basin.

You can attend either the in-person meeting at High Rocks or watch the presentation on Zoom. Dennis will be talking to us via Zoom, and we will beam that in to the Big Screen TV at the High Rocks meeting room. We did this last month and it worked very well and the picture above is from last month. 

Here is the Zoom meeting link: 

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84869996765?pwd=aldYeFMzMy9Xc0pmU1FTOW9FZ0h4UT09

I’ll be at High Rocks at 6pm for food, refreshments and conversation. The Zoom meeting will open up at 6:30 to get logged in and settled with the presentation starting at 7pm. 

We will also be awarding the 2021 Fly Fishing Challenge awards at this meeting. So far this year’s award winners are Dave Kilhefner, Mike Shiiki, Dan Molyneaux, Brad Jonasson, Gil Henderson, Tom Flannery, George Coutts and Paul Brewer. Award winners please try to attend in person. It’s understood there are Covid concerns, and some may opt out, but in-person presentations have several benefits.

We look forward to seeing everyone either in person or on Zoom!

Presidents Message November 2021

November is a very good fishing month as we transition from fall into winter. After several years of unusually dry fall weather we finally have some regular & normal rainfall!

When fall rains come often the rivers fill with leaves. When this happens I like to 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, trout fishing on the Deschutes is another top option. There is also rod breaking & hook straightening Chum Salmon in the Kilchis and Miami Rivers by Tillamook.

We’ll have another combination in-person & zoom meeting this month at High Rocks on Tuesday, November 16th. I’ll get an email out with the details next week.

The 2021 Fly Fishing Challenge is still going on and we have a very cool challenge pin this year-which is pictured. If you’ve completed the challenge please email me or Brad.

Last year Clackamas Fly Fishers extended paid memberships thru 2021. In 2022 we are going to resume paid memberships. If you paid to be a new member in 2021, it will be good for next year too. If you are a member and haven’t paid since 2020, you’ll need to pay dues in 2022. If that sounds a little confusing, don’t worry. We have a spreadsheet and are also pretty easy people to deal with.

We are shooting for Saturday November 13th 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. Unfortunately Wilder Lake was hit very hard by the hot summer weather and is not an option for a while.

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

October 23rd Fish A Long Report

Late October can throw a variety of surprises at you and this year was no exception. Trout fishing had been rated as “hot” but on Thursday someone turned on the spigot and the water level jumped from 3,600cfs to 4,500cfs; besides more water there were more leaves in the water and the bite was a little off. But just like in years past, trout and whitefish can’t resist the egg bonanza when the Chinook are spawning.

This fish a long is one of our clubs most popular and was well attended. The weather was pretty mild, the wind was light and everyone got into fish with some breaking into double digits. Rich got a big sucker that pulled hard and fought long; for a while we thought it was a small steelhead. The day before Darryl did get a chrome steelhead that was quickly released. Tim got a double on redsides fishing a two fly rig.

Interestingly we all had a much higher than average number of missed strikes & short bites today. The hot fly was some sort of small orange egg pattern but all flies with orange on them worked.

There were no Bighorn Sheep playing on the wall this day but we had some good sightings right along the road.

Thanks to everyone for coming! Next month we will try to hit the Kilchis River for Chum Salmon but if the water conditions are poor (like they have been the last 4 years) we will go to an Oregon Fishing Club lake.

September 2021 Fishing Reports

September cooled off nicely which caused fishing to heat up and CFF members enjoyed some good fishing. Thanks to everyone for contributing your fishing reports!

Sorry these are a little late, but here are our September reports; pictures first with the report following. Enjoy!

From Chris Brehm: Fished Kelly Creek and N Fk Clearwater River in Idaho for 5 days.  Caught Cutthroat on October  Caddis  and Whitefish on Nymphs up to 16”.  Rivers were full of colorful Kokanee , Fall foliage starting to turn and bears were stuffing themselves on Elderberries and camp coolers. Long drive but worth it.

From Kevin Rogers: Recently I’ve done a bit of euro nymphing, had a slow start to the morning, but got my first ever double today

Defiantly got the adrenaline going! On the Molalla, up at the molalla river recreation area. About 30min from the house 

From John Silkey: attached is one photo from the fish along weekend – a decent cutthroat I caught on the Trask (my first time on that river!) over off of N. Trask Road, maybe 3 miles upstream of OFC #3. Caught a couple stripping a Mickey Finn through a couple deeper pools. I was sick the weekend of the fish along so figured I wouldn’t bring that to the lunch meet up.  But thanks for organizing it! Sea runs remain on my list and now I have more confidence to go chase.

From Darryl Huff: Fishing Warm Springs before the steelhead closure with a 9′ 5wt and 5x tippet, I came across a keeper. It had a clipped adipose and maxillary indicating that it was from the Round Butte hatchery program. It took a size 16 green perdigon. 

From Dennis Murphy: I’m not a big fan of the heat that the month started with but I still got out there to hunt down some carp. It took me a few outings to get it down, but once now that I get it, I’m catching em! If you haven’t fished for carp before, you’re sight fishing for them, which means you really need blue skies so you can see them. Once you see them, you’re looking for some key behaviors so you know you can catch them, the most important being tailing. Tailing is when they’re face down in the mud sucking up plant matter, crawfish, clams, etc from the ground. There’s some other behavior such as clooping, cruising, and sunning, but those usually mean you’re not catching that fish. I recommend using a 9′ 8wt rod with a floating line and a 10ft leader (I build my own). Fly selection is tough since you really want some specialized ones, I recommend John Montana’s Hybrid Carp Fly.

From Dave Kilhefner: Got into a few nice smallmouth on the Willamette River by Gladstone. A light colored Clouser Minnow was the ticket.

Presidents Message October 2021

October is one of my favorite months of the year and one big reason is the October Fish A Long at Beavertail Campground on the Deschutes River. With the great fishing and canyon scenery it’s hard to beat! It will be on Saturday, October 23rd and in the past many of us have camped there. I’ll get the details of this popular Fish A Long out the week before.

For our October 19th meeting, I’ve been thinking Maybe we could have both a Zoom and In-Person meeting? I think it’s possible. Basically, the presentation would be on Zoom and at that point it’s pretty easy to hook a laptop to big screen TV for the in-person folks. Stay tuned as those details will be emailed to you a week before the meeting.

Speaking of email, we will go back to having email reminders every time a new blog is posted (this is called an RSS feed). For our club, this is the easiest & most popular to keep the information flowing.

Brad Jonasson want’s everyone to know the Fly Fishing Challenge is still open and to sign up if you haven’t already.

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

With all the fly fishing opportunities this month try using the Meet Up function on our Webpage Forum to schedule fishing trips with other members.

Late next week I’ll post the September club reports and I’m happy to report we have some good stuff.

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

Good fishing!

Dave Kilhefner

September 2021 Fish Along Report

Thanks to everyone that attended our September 25th Fish A Long for Coastal Sea Run Cutthroat. This was an “exploratory” trip for our club, meaning most of us had only a vague idea of where to go or how to fish for Sea Run Cutthroat Trout. However, by the end of day we had a much better handle on what to do to be successful as you’ll see.

My day started early, waking up at 4am to finish packing and pick up George in Sherwood for the drive to the coast. We arrived in Tillamook just as it was getting light but had no idea where to start, so we drove around for about 45 minutes checking out various fishing access points along the lower Trask River. We eventually settled on the OFC #2/Burdick location a few miles above tidewater. There we were soon joined by Rich and his son. Since Rich actually knows how to catch Sea Runs, having him arrive at the same place as us was a confidence booster.

Rich and his son went downstream and George and I went upstream. We saw a few salmon rolling and a few guide boats pulling their way thru the super shallow riffles. The water was very low at only 74 cfs, gin clear and probably in the mid 60’s. After the warm summer the rocks were super slippery too so you had to move slow while wading. We saw a few cutthroat jumping in the deeper water close to the bank, but being new to the game couldn’t get into casting range without spooking them. We later learned from Rich it’s important to do your wading on the shallow side, then be stealthy as you cast to the far bank on the deep side then strip your fly back pretty fast; and keep moving! I walked upstream on what felt like a slip & slide and found a pool that allowed me to fish the correct way and connected with a small feisty Cutthroat. Downstream Rich got two nice Cutthroats in the 16-18 inch range. Around mid morning we decided to go to the Sollie Smith Bridge area on the lower Wilson and it was pretty much a repeat of our Trask experience: Rich got a couple nice ones and the rest of us got a small resident trout or two.

As I mentioned earlier, this was an “exploratory” Fish A Long. I received a few texts from people wondering where to go, but as I said earlier I didn’t really know where to go thus couldn’t really offer any advice better than “somewhere along the lower river would probably be best.” Sorry for my lack of knowledge, but our club made big strides on this fishery and next year will be better!

This fish a long was well attended and over a dozen of us met at the Wilson River Footbridge Trailhead.  Our club has a new sign that Ken generously helped design so people can find us when we are out in the boonies chasing fish. It was fun to trade fish stories from the day and nearly everyone got fish, but to be unusually honest for a fisherman not all were Sea Run Cutts! But, it was a very nice day and good times were had by all. Thanks again to everyone that helped make this fish a long a success. I’m sure we will do it again next year!

August 2021 Fishing Reports

August was another hot month but CFF members were able to get out and enjoy some good fishing. Thanks to everyone for contributing your fishing reports!

Here are our August reports; pictures first with the report following. Enjoy!

From Greg O’Brien: I started the month with a guided tiger Muskie trip with Mike Sturza that culminated in about a million casts with an 11 wt, 1 missed shot, numerous follows and a sore body  My buddy got one though. I then floated the Deschutes with my brother and a couple other friends and got some nice trout on swung flies. Finally I switched to warm water mode and got a few bass and a 20” pikeminnow in the Willamette close to home.  

From Ron Maben: Fished the Metolius River, which is new water for me.  The upper skinny water fished quite well for 8in – 11in fish, on a #14 light colored elk hair caddis; it was pleasant small water dry fly fishing. Then I fished down river from the hatchery & saw fish feeding on the surface but couldn’t tell what they were taking but they seemed to be ignoring the caddis on the water. Put on a #16 quigleys cripple and instantly tied into a measured 16 + inch fish that made three strong runs taking lots of line before I could finally get it to net. When I netted the fish, people across the river applauded!  

From Tim McSweeney: Spent a week on the Metolius chasing bull trout and red sides. The fishing was spectacular with bulls up to 30” from morning till afternoon and then dry fly fishing for redsides till I couldn’t see. It was a really great week fishing in many different ways.

From Dennis Murphy: August was a busy month and it was hard to find time to get out to the water. I had a couple trips, some successful and some not.

Put two weekends into fishing for surf perch along the coast near Cape Lookout. Both times I got skunked. The conditions seemed right, but even the gear guys were getting nothing. I was using my 7wt two hander to overhand cast a 30′ T-14 to 5′ of flouro with shrimp, minnow and sandcrab patterns. It was a heck of a shoulder workout and I was definitely sore after the first time. The second time out things felt much easier as I got the hang of the two handed overhand cast while wearing a PFD and stripping basket. The best part of the coast those weekends was dodging the high heat in Portland! The time of year isn’t great for surf perch so I’m holding off until they move closer to shore again.

Took one other trip up the Old Clackamas Highway on an exploratory trip with a friend. We took what seemed like an obvious trail down to the water but was more of a rock climbing adventure. After spending some time getting nibbles from small fish and eating our fill of blackberries we got ready to pack it up and head home. I decided to make one last cast into a good looking pool on the way out and got a good hit. A solid 12″ trout! Repeating the mantra “just one more cast then we’ll go” I landed a 10″ on my second cast. On the third, my fly was slammed and I was caught off guard by a 15″ trout. I made one last cast hooking up with another 10″ before respecting my mantra and heading out.

From Dave Kilhefner: Jim Bennett and his trusty dog Bob did well on smallmouth bass last month above Willamette Falls and agreed to show me & George Coutts the ropes. We put our boats in at Hebb Park and worked our way downstream, hitting several of Jim’s favorite spots along the way. Fishing was not hot but it was steady and we all ended up getting several smallmouths. Favorite flies were Clouser Minnows and Woolly Buggers fished on full sinking T-200 lines.