Presidents Message August 2022

Every year is seems like summer will never get here but once it does it FLYS BY and I feel like the month of July was more like the week of July. Now I’m scrambling to squeeze in all the things I wanted to do once the weather gets nice.

We don’t have a meeting in August as many members are on vacation or simply can’t make it with all the things on their calendars. Our next meeting will be September 20th.

If you caught Lane’s presentation at the July meeting, I have scanned copies of the articles he recommended on Wyoming fly fishing and flies. Send me an email if you want copies.

We don’t have an official fish a long scheduled either, but several of us have some fishing plans in the works. Personally I like to go after Smallmouth Bass in the Willamette. If you are interested in jumping in let me know.

Several of you have asked me about the state of our club as we keep slogging thru the effects of COVID. Here’s a brief synopis of our finances, focus and future prospects. Financially we are doing as well as we ever. Even with paid memberships down a little financially we are doing great because we are not spending as much money. With meeting attendance down our club Focus has shifted towards Fish A Longs & club members getting out and fishing together more. When it looks like meeting attendance will pick up to 20 plus members I’ll book more paid speakers. On a VERY positive note, High Rocks is grateful for our monthly meetings regardless of number of attendees. Our Future looks good as our club has a strong core group of die hard fly anglers. One weakness is we haven’t had a board meeting in 2 years, but then with COVID there hasn’t been as much to talk about. Since we can’t put board meetings off forever and I’ll get an email out soon to organize a meeting, either on Zoom or in person. As always, everyone’s ideas and input are welcome. Feel free to call or email and I’ll get your ideas written down so they can be discussed and action taken.

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 “August” or “September” and you’ll get all the past reports for that month. 

If there is anything you want to see on our blog, I’m all ears.

Please remember our sponsors, 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

July 2022 Fish A Long Report

It’s not every day, year or even decade that you get a 26” rainbow on a dry fly, but last weekend the stars aligned and that’s what happened on Hosmer Lake. It’s a catch to remember and making it happen was a team effort, which I’ll explain at the end of this report.

Most of us arrived Thursday evening for a dinner of BBQ Chicken cooked by Lane & Laura. It was a little too late to do any fishing so we took a walk along the Fall River, which was just up the road.

Friday we hit Hosmer Lake and the weather was perfect. The fishing was good too but you had to be on your toes, all day the fish kept shifting gears. They’d go on and off the bite, hatches changed plus there were lots of short strikes. We caught brookies, rainbows and a few cutthroat. Damsel nymphs were the best subsurface pattern. With good numbers of callibaetis mayflies hatching you’d think that would be the fly to use but this day the fish preferred ants or dry damsels. That took a while to figure out but it paid off with my biggest dry fly trout ever, a fat & hard fighting 26” rainbow.

After a long sunny day on Hosmer it was great to get back to Chris’ place and down a few cold ones before inhaling some top notch BBQ Burgers cooked by Chris. Mmmm!

Saturday we hit East Lake and Chris’ brother Steve joined us. Again, the fishing was pretty good but you had to work for your fish. We tried for the numerous cruisers in the morning and while it was fun to cast to them, mostly they ignored your flies. Getting a follow & rejection was a small victory. Most of the fish we caught on East were rainbows but there were some small brookies mixed in and even a Kokanee. Damsel nymphs on an intermediate line worked OK but most strikes didn’t stick and strangely, most of the fish taken this way were small. Steve had this great beetle pattern and he brought enough for everyone. Today, we mostly pounded the banks with beetles. It worked good, got the bigger fish plus its just a fun way to fish.

It was a hot day on East so after chugging a few cold ones we had a delicious dinner of Flank Steak provided by Laura, then washed it down with “the good stuff” provided by Lane. We finished the eveing with a game of scrabble while flicking beetles off the table. Theres a lot of beetles so it’s no wonder that fly works so well.

Sunday we enjoyed a delicious pancake breakfast cooked by Chris. After we were stuffed to the gills with good food we went to Crane Prairie Reservoir, putting in at Quinn River launch. It was another sunny, mostly windless day. The preferred strategy on Crane is to suspend balanced leeches under an indicator in the channel. Laura got a takedown about 5 seconds after we started fishing but it didn’t stick. We all had a few strikes that didn’t stick! Lane landed a nice fish on a damsel nymph fished on an intermediate line. Since we had to drive home we wrapped it up early and got on the road.

This fish a long was really a team effort, both in terms of catching nice fish, eating good food and having a great time. Naturally I’d like to say I got that big rainbow on a dry because I’m such a good angler and luck didn’t have anything to do with it, but the truth is I couldn’t have done it without my CFF team. Chris put together a top notch fish a long and got us down there. Then he put me in the right spot on Hosmer Lake. Finally, I never would have had any dry damsel patterns in my fly box if Trux Dole hadn’t figured out that trout get focused on flying damsels & sometimes ignore other good hatches when the damsels are out in force, which he did several years ago at the Justesen Ranch fish a long.

Special thanks Chris for putting this together and to everyone that came and made this a fish a long to remember!

More Cool Pics:

CFF June 2022 Fishing Reports

Just like May, the June water levels and weather were a little crazy but June was still a great fishing month. Lots of us got out on the water and had good times. As always, pictures first with the reports below.

From Ian Porteous: Landed a big Spring Chinook on lower Neverending on the Sandy River. I was pleasanty shocked! Also managed to hook and lose a nice summer steelhead a week later on the lower Sandy.

From John Silkey: Spent a weekend out at Crooked River Ranch and got a few days in on the middle Deshutes in the canyon. Few fish but a gorgeous setting with no one around. The pattern was the same each day – hook an 8 inch rainbow on a beaded prince at the end of deep runs on one of the first few drifts, then nothing else the rest of the time on that run.  Even found a whitefish. Still well worth the hike down to the water (and back up!) 

From Trux Dole: Attempted an afternoon of Shad near Pinnacle Rock but the water still very high.  We tried bank fishing to no avail while gearheads anchored 40 yards offshore were slaying them. Managed to land a couple once we piled back into the small boat, but we were the Shad clowns as two of the three of us broke our rod tips trying to land fish, we had a broken net, then my buddy hooked a sturgeon (unlandable) and then we forgot to pull in the stringer before heading back and lost all the fish!

From Garrett Lesko: Here’s a bunch of photos from my June fishing trips: Three Creeks Lake, the South Jetty in Newport, South Twin Lake and the Lower Deschutes. 

From Phil Bartsch: Took my granddaughter, Pippa, fishing today for her first time. She caught 2 trout on the Clackamas at McIver Park. I’d say she was hooked for life.

From Jim Adams: I took advantage of the heads up about how well Harriet Lake was fishing. Knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to attend the club’s fish-a-long I went up a few days early with my brother Steve and the fishing was off the charts. Fishing from pontoon boats using intermediate sink lines we each netted 30 to 40 fish . It was a good day to experiment testing different patterns and I can honestly say that I couldn’t find a leech pattern that didn’t work. A new pattern for me that was very productive was an olive Landon Mayer mini leech tied on a jig hook. My friend Wes and I went back up to Harriet later in the week and it was a another 30-40 fish day, again mostly on leech patterns. Wes tried a gaudy 3-inch articulated pattern that had barbell eyes and legs and it was hammered by fish until it finally came apart. The following week I took another friend that is new to fly fishing up to Harriet. The fishing was not quite as good as the previous week but Jack was very happy after netting about 15 fish up to 17 inches on his first time stillwater fly fishing.

From Darryl Huff: Landed a nice Spring Chinook bead fishing on the Sandy. Made it out to Harriet Lake with Mike Shiiki, who has been doing very well there. The fishing had slowed down compared to the prior weeks, but we still caught quite a few on balanced leeches and large dry flies. Late afternoon they were refusing the large dries but during the last hour of light the fish committed vigorously & we had some great dry fly fishing. The Yellow Sally was my top producer. 

From Chris Brehm: Fished three days in Central Oregon. One day with just a few on Crane , then a windy day on East Lake landing a mix of Browns, Rainbows, and a gorgeous little Brookie on Nymphs and buggers. Third day was on Hosmer where I got some great action on  Purple Haze dries. Fish were in great shape and fought hard. Finished the month at Pelican Bay on Upper Klamath Lake. Fished hard all day trying everything sub surface with no luck. In the evening saw a few swirling up near the springs so in desperation I put on an Elk Hair Caddis and got the only fish of the day, a very fat 22” Redband.  Sorry about the poor photo but I can blame my brother for that. 

From Wayne Hughes: Put in some time chasing Tiger Muskie. I was told by a Local that the Month of June is not normally a good time to find biters. He was not quite correct with three straight of casting oversized flys resulting in only one follow. I am guessing we saw about 8-9 total fish in both Merwin & Mayfield. Managed  to land some bass and trout but overall it was tough fishing. I have been told July and August are better months; hope its really true! In June the water temp was cold in both lakes so hopefully the warmer summer temps will make the Tigers more aggressive.

From Chris Gardiner: Not local but if anyone ever found themselves in the Spokane area about an hour or so East you can drive up along the North Fork of the Couer D’Alene river in Idaho. It’s a beautiful river and the road has a ton of easy public access spots to fish. I had a free pass on Father’s Day weekend and did pretty fair on West Slope Cutthroat. They were pretty good fighters and didn’t let up, even in the net!

From Jim Bennett: First “big” bass of the season and a large mouth at that. Weighted in at 1.9 lbs. Caught near Hebb Park. Not on a fly unfortunately. Still trying to figure that one out. 

From Greg O’Brien: I’ve been doing hardly any fishing lately due to studying for by board exam coming up next week and I got COVID too, finally. That wiped me out for a few days.  

A friend a I floated Warm Springs to Trout Creek with my cataraft for a day of mainly trout Spey style fishing.  He went deep with his 4 wt using sculpins and T tips while I stayed more toward the top with a 3 wt, Scandi head and soft hackles.  I got one nice trout with a hard mid-swing grab near Warm Springs, then fishing was real slow as we went down through the Mecca stretch.  We had a tribal permit too, so could fish both sides once below Dry Creek.  We saw lots of back anglers and many rafts and guide drift boats were on the river too.  

I switch up to a dry dropper and had a couple small trout or smolts slash at a Yellow Sally dry and hooked a couple on a little rainbow warrior dropper.  Overall a slow but beautiful day.  One of the guid/client boats we saw often took out in front of us and said they only hooked 3 trout during the day, so not just slow for us.  Anyway, can’t wait to go back!  

I forgot that early June before another water spike I fished for Shad on the WA side below Bonneville.  I went with Spey rod since I was standing right at the willows.  5 wt Spey with T11 worked well.  I got a half dozen or so fun Shad in an hour or two before it started pouring rain.

From Dave Kilhefner: In early June I hit Harriet a couple times and did really well. Tried to do some Shad fishing but the water was pretty high, getting up into the parking lot at Clackamette Park so mostly I hit the OFC ponds instead. The fish were picky but after seeing a bunch of damsels flying around I tied on a damsel nymph and managed to land a pretty nice trout. Wrapped up the month by getting COVID and was really sick for 5 days but thankfully now I’m fine.

Thanks to everyone for providing these reports!

Presidents Message July 2022

According to the NOAA Climate website we are having La Niña year. Why should this be on your radar? Well, La Niña weather patterns come from cooler than average Pacific Ocean surface temps that cause, among other things, last months wet and stormy “Juneuary” weather. As we roll into summer it should be a lot easier to find quality fishing opportunities than it was last year, just be prepared for the occasional sudden rainstorm and a few more mosquitos.

It’s a relief to go into summer with the rivers full and the forests wet after the drought conditions the last few years, but all that rain “power washed” most of my Willamette Shad & Clackamas Steelhead fishing plans away this year. Fortunately fishing at Lake Harriet hit an all time peak last month, fishing better than it ever has before or likely ever will again, which is saying something! Trillium and Timothy Lakes were pretty good too.

We’ll have a REGULAR meeting Tuesday July 19th at High Rocks with the social hour starting at 6pm and the presentation at 7pm. I’ll get an email reminder out a day or two before the meeting.

We have a treat for our July 21st Fish A Long. Chris Brehm has generously offered to let us stay at his place south of Sunriver for the weekend. Details will go out via email.

While the The Fly Fishing Shop is closed, their website is still active. Here’s some excellent information on the local fishing opportunities on the Mt Hood Lakes.

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 “July” or “August” and you’ll get all the past reports for that month. 

If there is anything you want to see on our blog, let me know.

Please remember our sponsors, 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

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!

May 2022 Crooked River Fish A Long Report

You’ll notice this Fish A Long report features pictures of some really nice fish and scenery. If this was a fishing show it would be easy to bend the truth and say the fishing was hot, but the reality is the fishing was tough, very tough! Rich and I fished for 3 solid days and the first two days I was pretty sure I’d get skunked and nearly did. On the last day I caught 1 trout, but it was a big enough to make all the effort worthwhile.

Rich and I arrived Thursday night. It was a cold evening, an even colder night and we burned most of our wood. As the campfire burned the stars came out and were very bright! The guys in the site next to us said it snowed a little when they were setting up camp. Fortunately the cold snap was short lived. By the time we finished our coffee the following morning it was pretty nice out and stayed that way the rest of the weekend.

The river was off color with about 2 feet of visibility and flowing at 242 cfs. The week before it was at 125 cfs and since there wasn’t a full moon to blame the slow bite on, we blamed it on the increased water flow. The water temperature was 48-49 degrees which is pretty much perfect. Everything seemed OK but as I said before, fishing was tough!

Rich got into a few and I struggled. I was well on my way to earning my skunk stripe when a whitefish rolled on my two fly nymph rig. While I missed the strike, the dropper fly hooked it in the tail and I was able to bring it to hand. While the skunk was officially off, it felt like taking a hand off at the trout farm. Fortunately we had our traditional Mexican feast at the Mazatlan Restaurant in Prineville to look forward to, and it didn’t disappoint!

Saturday dawned with a repeat of Fridays good weather and slow fishing. We had our traditional fish a long breakfast of coffee and donuts, swapped recent fishing stories and got ready for the day.

Fishing was slow again today but Rich found a good pocket close to the deadline up by the dam with some willing trout and managed to hook 9 and land 3 in a couple hours, all on his little bright red midge pupa pattern. The biggest was 20” long and fat as a pig. It was a real brute!

We broke for lunch and I tied some of Rich’s bright red midge pupa’s for myself and also the guys in the camp next to us.

Armed with the the latest hot fly renewed our confidence. We worked downstream into the pocket water by the campground. Rich was able to grind out some trout by concentrating his approach around the rocks. I stuck with my “cover lots of water” steelhead approach and had no luck. Lesson learned: work harder on picking the water apart and working the structure! In the afternoon a huge cadds hatch came off. When the sun got low the fish started rising. I put on an Elk Hair Caddis, swung it just below the surface and did well. It’s also a really fun way to fish, especially after you’ve been hyper focused on nymph fishing all day!

Saturday night we hung out with the guys in the camp next to us. Like us, they traveled over from the Portland area to do some fly fishing and enjoy the dry east side weather. We built a big fire, talked fishing and had a fun night.

Sunday was another nice day. The plan was to hit the Crooked in the morning then maybe try the Deschutes on the way home. We hiked back up to towards the dam and while crossing the river saw an Osprey dive into the water and sink it’s talons into a fish so big it could not lift it out of the water. It was a tense two minutes while we watched & wondered if the Osprey might not make it. It was a relief when the osprey was finally able to unlock its talons and fly away to seek smaller prey next timel.

We went back up by the dam and fishing was tough. After pounding the water with my indicator rod, I switched to Euro nymphing and hooked a big trout on the first cast by slowly walking one of Lane Hoffman’s red squirmy worms down the current seam. We fished the water thoroughly for another hour or so without success. At lunch we broke camp and made a quick stop at the Deschutes by Warm Springs. The big stoneflies were active but it was the middle of the day and the trout were taking a siesta so we didn’t linger very long before calling it quits and heading home.

Even with the slow fishing it was a great fishing weekend with good weather and fun fishing companions. While nobody wishes for slow fishing, it’s a good teacher and I learned a few new tricks.

Next month’s fish a long is June 11th (free fishing weekend in Washington). We will be chasing Shad up at Bonneville Dam. Hope to see you there!

CFF April 2022 Fishing Reports

After a pretty slow winter fishing really picked up in April and our members had some great fishing. As always, pictures first with the reports below.

From Joshua Marsh: Had a great trip to Xcalak, fishing out of Casa Paraiso.  We had two slams in our group (tarpon, permit, and bonefish in a single day) and lots of action throughout. It was amazing fishing in a fantastic place with bones and permit caught right off the dock.  I’m sorry to say no permit for me, but next time!

From Keaton Andreas: I don’t have a fishing report, but I’ve been working on tying a pattern that I plan to target cutthroat trout with. My plan is to test them on resident fish at the opener on 5/22 at the Wilson River weather permitting. 

From Tim McSweeney: All I’ve been thinking about all winter is figuring out fisheries that are closer to home. Between work, and family life I don’t get out nearly as much as I’d like and when I do, it’s always been LONG day trips or weekend trips.

So what did I do? Went after smallmouth; never caught one and didn’t know anything about them. Drove 3 hours to a river that was way too cold, dirty and high to be fishing for them. I had a couple friends that casually fish and wanted to get out this weekend before our Spring’s got to busy. I threw out a couple ideas and they clung to this river and spot even though I knew it wasn’t the right time of year. In two solid days of fishing all we got was 1 eat & one lethargic smallie around 10″. Regardless, it was absolutely gorgeous, and was able to catch up and relax around the fire.

On our way home we stopped for 1.5 hrs at a popular state park on a much lower stretch of this river where the water was warmer but much dirtier. In the end we landed two good, thick fish and 3 dinks. Including my fish smallie that really doubled over my 6wt. I can’t wait to start fishing for these more, especially, you know, actually closer to home.

From Chris Brehm: Started the month fishing the Lower Sacramento near Redding. Got some beauties fishing Bubble Back Caddis and Peaches and Cream nymphs under indicators.  Went to Crane Prairie for the opener and got our son into some nice Cranebows inspite of rather slow fishing. Action on  Balanced Leeches and Rootbeer colored Chironomids.

From Dave Kilhefner: I’ve really taken my lumps this winter steelhead season. Finally some showed up in the upper Sandy for a few weeks. It was fun while it lasted!

From Greg O’Brien: Another club member and I hit the lower Deschutes to swing flies with trout spey gear.  It wasn’t lights out, but we got a few decent fish on sculpin patterns.

From Darryl Huff: I was able to squeeze in three trips to Warm Springs in the first week after the opener. Fishing was definitely good with perdigons leading the way as the most productive fly. Perdigons tied with Glo Brite Floss in Fl Highlander Green #13 consistently outperform all other colors for me. Water temps reaching 50 degrees seems the magic number to stimulate fish movement into faster water and increased feeding activity. My size 14 nymphs were for the most part completely ignored. The magic combination in most water was a size 16 with a 3.5 bead on the point, and a size 16 or 18 as the upper fly with a 3.0 bead. Fish were also caught on Walt’s Worm, Golden Stone, Jimmy Leg Stone, Rainbow Warrior, and Frenchies. 

From Ed Rabinowe: This beauty took a wooley bugger at tide change 😉

From Bob Beswich: Just a quick D report, no Stone flies in the Maupin area yet. I managed to land a few nice trout in the riffles with a nymph dropper; while it rained Saturday.

From Richard Harvey: The OFC properties have been good all month with warm water fish starting to get active. 

From George Krumm: Spring Chinook gear fishing has been great in the places that are open above Bonneville.

Great job everyone and thanks for sending in your reports!

May 2022 Presidents Message

Frankly, fishing last month was on the tough side. The crazy weather unsettled the local lakes and had the river levels bouncing up and down like a pogo stick. Still, I got out fishing when I could and had a few surprisingly good days for steelhead, and these days any good day for steelhead is a big surprise! As I’m writing this the sun is shining, all the trees have leaves and the nice spring weather raises my hopes for good fishing to come; May is one of my personal favorite fishing months!

When we had that one nice day last month luck was with me I ended up being part of a future episode of Angler West TV & a Salmon Trout Steelheader YouTube video, which is online now. I’m on from 5:40 to 8:30, click the link above if you want to check it out. I’m talking about swinging beads for steelhead, which was taught to my by master angler Phil Senatra, plus you can see my crazy boat.

We don’t have a speaker for our May 17th meeting as High Rocks had a big group book the meeting room and more power to them during these tough times! We can still have an informal & fun “flies and lies” meeting down by the fireplace. The “first beer free” rule will still apply.

Our May 21st Fish A Long will be at Clear Lake on Mt Hood. The last couple years its fished very well in May and by the time we have our fish a long it will have been stocked with thousands of trout varying from standard planters to brood stock hogs. While it’s possible to catch fish from shore, its best fished from a float tube and this time of year the best patterns are chironomids & callibaetis fished slow or small leeches stripped & trolled.

Good fishing reports are startig to roll in from the Deschutes. No big bug action yet but nymph fishing has been fair to good. Darryl reports a #16 green Perdigon has been best. Rich reports the OFC lakes are starting to fish very well and besides trout, the warmwater fish are getting active. Eric & Jack at NWFFO have been getting some nice bass pre-spawn largemouths recently. Being a steelhead nut, I have foolish hopes that summer steelhead will be cruising in the Clackamas. Early summer steelhead are the best fish of the year and since most folks are either chasing spring chinook or heading to the Deschutes it’s common to have the river to yourself.

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. 

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. Here’s a link to the Shad Fly: you’ll want a couple dozen of these for the June 11th Fish A Long at Bonneville.

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

April 23rd Fish A Long Report

We had wonderful weather for our April 23rd Fish A Long at Schmadeke Pond and it was very well attended. However, the fishing was a little slow and this was forshadowed by a report from Vickie Loftus, who guided CFF member Peter Lymm to his first stillwater trout the day before. Vickie reported the recent rains and cold fronts have chilled the water to 51 degrees and put the fish down for a while. Bites were slow in coming and when they did happen, short takes were common. This was our experience too.

On the good side, most of the trout were pretty big, everyone had some action plus not everyone struggled to catch fish. So the silver lining on this slow bite day was we learned some valuable new stuff as Mike Shiiki & son Nathaniel tube-trolled a small black leech on intermediate line and consistently hooked fish all day long. Mike says this is a really good technique on Timothy Lake as well.

Their hot fly was Egan’s Half-Wit Leech. Click the link for tying instructions.

I tried to imitate Mike & Nathaniel’s tube-trolling approach after lunch but couldn’t quite pull it off as I got a cramp in my leg. But I did find something that worked OK, slow trolling a white leech 10 feet under an indicator (much of Schmadeke Pond is 12 feet deep). I have seen this technique in the past and decided to give it a try today & started getting bites with some consistency. FYI, it’s also supposed to be a good tactic for bass when they are not very active; it’s called the “float n fly” technique.

It was a little strange that leeches were the only fly that was working well as I stomach pumped a couple trout and the only thing in their stomaches were Chironomids. Mysteries are part of fly fishing!

Around 3:30 fish started rising pretty good in the shaded area along the far side of the lake and I was able to get a nice one on top with a Shipman Buzzer. While different looking, it’s easy to tie and very effective, imitating a hatching chironomid. Plus it floats very well, making it an excellent dry fly for suspending a pupa pattern on a dropper.

Thanks to everyone for coming and making this Fish A Long a success. Next months Fish A Long will be at Clear Lake on Mt Hood. Hope to see you there!