Thanks to everyone for coming to Harriet Lake today. It was another fun CFF Fish-a-long!
The day was beautiful and clear with a slight morning chill. This is a popular lake in the summer and the lot filled up fast. Parking was a small challenge but we all got settled then enjoyed hot coffee, cinnamon rolls and some conversation before hitting the water.
The lake had been freshly stocked with legal 7″ to 8″ rainbow trout. It was easy to get them to bite but hard to hook them. We all had lots of short strikes between landing fish.
Harriet also holds brown trout and Greg got a healthy one about 15″ long plus we saw a few others taken.
Overall, the best fly was a green/orange seal bugger but similar leech type flies worked. Because the water is incredibly clear (and cold, 45 degrees!) and hunting Osprey’s live here, finding deeper pockets then getting the fly down worked best. An intermediate line worked well for this.
The club members fished out of float tubes but we saw other fly anglers catching fish off the large fishing dock.
Around lunchtime the wind came up and this ended most everyone’s fishing on the lake. We had a great lunch of build-your-own deli sandwiches and homemade macaroni salad. Afterwards a few folks said they were going to try fishing the nearby streams and creeks before heading home.
This months the fish-a-long will be at Harriet Lake. This is a small impoundment on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River.
We will meet on Saturday morning about 8am in the main parking area. Coffee & donuts plus a sandwich lunch will be provided. There is a $5 fee per car for using the park so you may wish to look at carpooling with other members.
The lake is 22 acres and contains rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout. There is a very long dock along the north bank but it is best fished from a floating devise such as a float tube. If you do not have a float tube the club now has a small fleet that you can use, so don’t use that as an excuse to not get out and fish!
The best fishing is at the top of the lake close to the inlet. It is probably best to use an intermediate lake line. As for flies a leach pattern works best….callibaetis nymph, seal bugger, woolly bugger, and chironomids fished sub surface with an indicator. As the lake has just been stocked a glo-bug colored dark with a felt pen looks a lot like a pellet. Below overhanging trees, ants will fall into the water and temp cruising trout.
The lake is due to be stocked with 3,000 legal size trout this week so fishing should be good. Also, along the way is the upper Clackamas River, which has trout and whitefish and the Oak Grove Fork is nearby too and has good numbers of cutthroat trout; these opportunities perfectly dovetail with the CFF Fly Fishing Challenge!
Last weekend I checked out several possible areas for our Fish-A-Long. Trillium is very beautiful but also extremely crowded on the weekends this time of year. The water was very low at Clear Lake and the restrooms needed some attention—yuck! Timothy Lake had potential but it was pretty crowded too so we will probably go there later in the year.
If you plan on coming please contact Dave Kilhefner or Paul Brewer so we know how much food to bring. Also, if you need a float tube we need to hear from you. All questions are welcome too!
We all have rods, reels, fly boxes, tools, etc. that we no longer use or need that we might be willing to trade, sell, or just give away. Someone else in the club might be on the lookout for one of those very items.
You might have an old rod, reel or line that someone might want for a grandchild. Bring ’em!
Maybe you have an old vest or rain jacket that just doesn’t fit well anymore. Bring it!
Perhaps you don’t tie flies anymore but still have some equipment or supplies. Bring ’em!
You probably upgraded something recently and don’t know what to do with your old stuff. Bring it!
We will swap, dicker, barter, buy, and sell. I hope to have time for members to share stories, memories, and tall tales about their fishing experiences. It should be a fun evening and might be the perfect time to bring along a family member or two. See you next Tuesday, July 17th.
Since we were not able to do a fish-a-long this month I asked our members to provide some June Fly Fishing Reports. The Clackamas Fly Fishers had a good month!
Lane Hoffman with a really nice early June Cape Code Striped Bass taken on a Sand Eel fly. He was fishing with Tom Phipps.
Carson Taylor with a Willamette Shad. This is from the CFF auction trip with Rob Crandall. The other winners Gary O’Brien and Carey Allison also got into plenty of shad that day!
Ed Rabinowe and Lane Hoffman hit Wild Billy Lake down by Klamath Falls for some good rainbow action. The largest trout took a #18 blood midge, but all the standard Stillwater patterns were working.
Nick Rowell hosted a trip to Christmas Island at the end of June. John Warren was supposed to join him but had to cancel due to breaking his hand–John can tell you how he did it for a free beer at the next meeting; it’s a pretty good story!
Bob Beswick had a great evening at the end of the Salmon Fly Hatch on the Deschutes with many trout landed, the largest over 18 inches.
Phil Bartsch had a good day up at Harriet Lake with his new float tube, netting 11 trout before the wind started picking up. A Teeny Nymph with a quick retrieve was the answer.
Trux Dole had a good afternoon on the upper Clackamas above N. Fork Reservoir with pocket water trout during a caddis hatch. A thunder & lightning storm added to the experience.
Jim Behrend and his wife fished the South Santiam River. Jim said the fishing was slow and several hours of fishing produced a few smolts and a couple small bass.
Thank you everyone for your June Fly Fishing Reports!
American Shad are called the little tarpon of the Columbia River. This silver-sided finned friend is one of the most underrated game fish of the Pacific Northwest. With returns in the millions and eager to eat a swung fly what’s not to like?
Nick’s presentation will include a brief history of this patriotic fish, explain how it got to the west coast, and go through recommended tackle, techniques, and potential spots to catch these fish. American Shad are known for putting up a fierce fight and do not give up easily. Be careful, like popcorn, these fish can be addictive and will keep you coming back for more.
Nick Wheeler has been fly fishing for Shad for over 15 years and working in the fishing industry just as long. Growing up in Northern California on the banks of the Russian River chasing Steelhead and Shad had been his favorite pastime. Living just feet away from the best Shad run on the Russian he was lucky enough to spend most days of the season on the water. Now living in Vancouver Washington and working at Royal Treatment in West Linn Oregon, he spends his time targeting as many species as possible (trout, salmon, steelhead and even carp), but every year he still devotes the entire month of June to chasing American Shad.
Last weekends Fish-a-long to Rocky Ridge was another good time with good friends, good food and good fishing.
For the crew that arrived on Friday night Lane served up some Elk Enchiladas. If that wasn’t enough, Tim served up some great smoked ribs for Saturday nights dinner. Good eats, thanks guys!
Saturday dawned with overcast skies but we had no rain or wind. Fish were rising here and there. Several of us started on the middle lake (Wild Rose). Naturally I tried a Green Devil but it wasn’t working so I switched to chironomids but strikes were slow in coming. A fine fishing riddle is brewing!
The water temperature was 64 degrees and the lake had good clarity. The conditions were ripe for a damselfly migration but chucking and olive/brown marabou damsel nymph didn’t produce.
After a while I finally brought a fish to hand on a small olive chironomid pupa. A stomach pump revealed a very a small damsel nymph, a few light olive chironomids and small scuds.
At lunch we compared notes. The upper lake (Mules Ear) was fishing better but the fishing was not hot. Lane did OK on his favorite seal bugger/intermediate line combo and Nancy did OK fishing with dries. Paul went down to the lower lake and did well on bass. Lastly, Lane observed a few callibaetis mayflies coming off and suggested we try fishing callibaetis nymphs after lunch.
Tim, John and I stuck with the middle lake. John and Tim went down by the dam and some callibeatis were coming off. John did well on calibaetis dry and emerger patterns on a floating line and Tim did well with a beadhead calibaetis nymph on an Intermediate line. The calibaetis were coming off sporadically, sort of in spurts, and when that happened the fish would stop keying on chironomids and would go after the larger mayflies.
I stuck to the flats near the boat launch. Strangely, the callibeatis mayflies were not hatching here (I tried them!) so I stuck with chironomids and did OK, but mostly I got short strikes, which tells me my fly was close but still not really the right one. About a half hour before I had to leave I saw some larger chironomids emerging—the pupa were chestnut brown and about a size 12. I had some similar patterns in my fly box, put one on and got several hard takes and landed a couple nice fish in short order. Finally! It was a great way to end the day.
Last week Gil fished the Deschutes around Maupin, reporting he saw plenty of big bugs in the bushes but not many flying over the water. He managed to catch a couple on dries but it was necessary to cover a lot of water to find a player. The stonefly fishing should be at it’s best in a week or so.
Yesterday I was able to fish the Warm Springs Indian Reservation water with Elke & Alysia of Littleleaf Guide Services. Because you always have miles of untouched water to yourself I can’t say enough good things about this angling experience.
We met at 11am at Kah-Nee-Ta; no need to get up early this time of year! The weather was warm, the skies overcast and a light breeze was blowing upstream, making for perfect fishing conditions.
Arriving at the river it seemed the flows were a little faster than normal. Discharge from Pelton dam was 4100 cubic feet per second, water temperature was perfect at 55 degrees with about 4’ to 6’ of water clarity.
I had a refusal at the first stop and then landed a 16” fatty at the next stop. This time of year, when a fish commits to your fly you can see, hear and sometimes feel the strike!
Today all the fish took one of Elke’s Predator Stonefly’s. Alysia showed me a recent picture of a 26” redside she landed, so I stuck with heavy 2x and 3x tippet (8lb & 10lb). Every stop produced some sort of action, mostly refusals but often enough a player would hammer your fly. As Gil said in his report, covering water is the best way to find the fish that wanted to eat.
I managed a dozen or so, but numbers do not really represent all the fun I had watching fish slash at my flies all day. The average size of the fish was around 16 inches and my biggest brought to hand was in the 19 to 20 inch range. However, standing on a steep bank with a good view of the bottom structure I had a much larger redside come up twice only to refuse my fly at the last instant.