Sometimes you get really lucky and hit everything just right.
This Fish a Long was one of those times! Water conditions were very good, the trout
were biting & stacked up thick below schools of spawning salmon. This
weekend, finding spawning salmon was the key and we did this with no trouble.
I arrived and Friday afternoon and found a note waiting for me on Darryl Huff’s windshield that said “Dave, fishing upriver. Bring egg patterns!” Darryl had been having an epic day and ended up landing over 100 trout. To rack up these impressive numbers he started at 8am then fished hard all day. By the time I set up camp there was only about an hour of daylight left but I managed to hook a trout on the very first cast then bring another dozen or so to hand using and egg fly provided by Mitch Moyer, who was featured in Jim Adam’s September Fly Tying article.
It rained pretty hard late Friday night but fortunately stopped before Saturday morning. The rest of the day we had periods of intermittent rain and wind gusts but for the most part the weather and water conditions were good. The trout bite held up but was not as red hot as the day before. Still, we all got fish and Darryl had another good day, bringing an 18.5” fish to hand. My fish story of the day happened using a two fly rig & hooking two fish at the same time. Thanks to luck and heavy tippet both fish made it into the net.
Besides good fishing with good friends, it wouldn’t be a proper CFF Fish A Long without a good lunch! Cheryl provided fresh cooked juicy burgers, homemade macaroni salad and chips. Across the river seven mountain sheep were putting on a show, chasing each other and doing their mating dance. Aided by Paul Brewers Leupold binoculars & spotting scope, it was quite a sight.
After lunch the bite slowed down but we still ground out a few. Cheryl and I stayed Saturday night and enjoyed a nice campfire under starry skies. I had hoped to fish a little more Sunday morning but the White River blew out and the river was out of shape. I’m sure it would have been possible to grind out a few more but after being spoiled the last couple days I was content to drink coffee & pack up camp.
Thanks to everyone for coming and making this a fishing trip to remember!
This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday October 19th on the Deschutes
River at Beavertail Campground.
The plan: meet at Beavertail Campground between 8am and 9am. We’ll provide coffee and doughnuts then we hit the river! After morning fishing a hot lunch will be served.
Beavertail campground has ample parking and lots of good fishing water. It’s
located 21 miles north of Maupin on the Lower Deschutes Access Rd. From Maupin
to Shears Falls is paved and the last 10 or so miles to Beavertail is gravel
Gear: 4 to 6wt rods with matching reel & floating lines. Euro nymphing has become very popular but indicator nymphing rigs with small glo- bugs and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears work very well too. Swinging for steelhead is a possibility too but reports indicate steelhead fishing has been slow. Bring waders with felt or cleated boots and layered clothing (can be cool in the morning).
This is a very nice time to fish the Deschutes River for trout –
they’re usually hungry and can be concentrated below schools of spawning
salmon, making for excellent fishing. This is also a great fish along
to make an overnight trip and we will probably have a few overnight campers in
Please email Paul at email@example.com
if you plan to attend so we can get a head count for the food.
John Wall of The Portland Fly Shop will be our Oct 15th speaker. He will be accompanied by Chris Matthews of Semper Fli Guide service and together they will be presenting info about our local fly fishing opportunities.
It will be an informative presentation you won’t want to miss!
From Darryl Huff: My favorite words are still “dad, can we go fishing”!!! Some pictures from Father & Son days on the Deschutes.
From Jim Behrend: Pat and I went to Crane Prairie Reservoir and caught a few large rainbows and some Kokanee salmon. We went with a guide from Fly and Field in Bend which of course was very helpful. Then we went to the Wilson this week and had a good day fishing for sea run cutthroat. Caught a couple in 16-18 inch range and a bunch of smaller ones.
From Richard Harvey: While waiting for the silvers to show up in the Clackamas River the evening caddis hatches have been producing some pretty rainbows.
From Phil Hager: Ran over to central Oregon for 12 days and just got home.
Hosmer Lake: Fish are moving down from the upper lake and results have slowed down a bit, but very active during heavy rain squalls. Lots of Brookies, some RB’s and some Cutts on my little black & grey TnMC Nymph.
Lava Lake: Real slow, only hit a half dozen RB’s there. Water very cloudy on north end clearer on south end. (Reversal on “normal” conditions.)
Crane Prairie: Cow Camp and Cultus River area the water was clear and cold. 5 nice ones was all and all on the Brick Leech pattern. TU guys that went to Rocky Point said the water looked like split pea soup and in short order hit 12 and landed 7. All in the 18″ to 22″ size range.
Fall River: Seemed dependent on weather. Cloudy and rain, very active. Sun out, pretty quiet. Caught Browns, White fish and Rainbows below the falls, lots of various sized RB’s in the camp zone.
Crooked River: Very cloudy water. Like I told a friend from Prineville that stopped by, “lots in the 15″ range and several 24″, if you line up enough of the 4″-6″ size I’m catching!”. Most of those on my grey TnDH emerger.
John Day at Lepage: Lost count on Small mouth bass that ranged from 5″ to about 12″ in size. Most of those on the Brick leech. Planned a 2nd day there but there were stout winds coming out of the west and decided to head home.
From Jacob Noteboom & Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop:
The Deschutes River has especially been afflicted by White River run-off in the lower 50-miles for nearly the whole month of September. However, we all know that luck favors the angler who has a fly in the water. The best anglers got steelhead regularly with floating lines and small flies when the visibility was 2-feet or better. The last half of the month was far better than the first part. This probably had more to do with fish movement than watercolor.
was good month for trout fishing on the whole lower 100-miles of the Deschutes.
Hatches have been prolific. Mayfly,
midge & caddis have provided an evening smorgasbord. As usual the majority of fish were hooked were
within 10 feet of the bank.
The Lakes on Mt. Hood have all been stocked for the season including some “trophy trout” (18 inches or so). Harriet Lake had improvements done to its docks and accessibility from the bank has nearly doubled. If you haven’t been up there since the docks went in, head up and check it out! Timothy Lake fishes very well this time of year as pressure decreases. The boat at the dam remains open. Callibaetis mayflies hatch well into October and fish can be very active on the surface, especially with a light drizzle of rain coming down.
We are starting to see more and more Coho and Chinook making their returns to the Columbia tributaries. With recent freshets of rain hitting our systems, the rivers will begin to rise and dirty temporarily, and these bright silver bullets will shoot upstream at a surprising rate. The fish will come in small waves at first, so expect spotty numbers and slow days with intermittent action until there are enough fish in the system for the fishing to be consistent. Pink wiggly flies on twitched swings are the ticket. We will see if the predictions of a strong Coho run will come into fruition soon enough, hopefully.
From Dave Kilhefner: After the Coffenbury Lake fish a long Cheryl and I stayed in Waldport and fished for Silvers out in the Columbia River by Hammond. We had a great time on the water but unfortunately there were no fish around so we didn’t get any. Also, we didn’t see anyone else getting any either and the ODFW fish checkers said very few fish were caught.
On the good side, the Clackamas River has good numbers of silver salmon right now and fish are being caught.
Royal Treatment Fly Fishing will be hosting it’s Third Annual Fly Fishing Symposium and Taco Bar at Willamette Park in West Linn, on Sunday, September 29th from 10:00 to 6:00.
If you made it to this party last year you know how much fun we had. Well, this year we’re kicking it up a notch. Oh sure, we’ll have all of the Fly Fishing Rockstars you know and love sharing their talents and expertise, plus casting instruction for kids and beginning anglers, kayak test drives, free clinics, and a multitude of other outdoor related activities.
Make plans to join us for a full day of fly fishing fun!
Where: Willamette Park in West Linn, OR
When: Sunday, September 29th, from 10 to 6
What: Free Casting demos, Wading clinics, Tying demos, entomology displays, kids’ casting and fly tying, Spey clinics and more.
Free Kids’ Fly Casting and Fly Tying Sessions all day (for the young and young at heart)
Kayak test drives and clinics with eNRG Kayak
Meet factory reps and test cast the latest rods from Sage, Winston, CF Burkhiemer, Scott, G.Loomis and Echo.
Learn about fly lines and test the latest offerings from Airflo, Rio and Scientific Anglers.
Hang out at the Bug Boat and learn about bugs with Rick Hafele and the Deschutes River Alliance.
Contests and prizes
Overland Vehicles on display
Electric Bikes from Lakeside Bicycle
Other Outdoor Related Gear and Clinics
Simms Taco Bag Taco Bar offering free tacos to the first 400 guests (pick up your tickets at the Simms booth)
Coffenbury Lake was a brand new location for us. After doing
the basic internet research, Cheryl and I decided to turn this Fish A Long into
a little mini vacation and booked a nearby VRBO for the weekend. We arrived the
night before and checked out the lake and the picnic area. We liked what we saw
plus got to see an Elk feeding by the lake.
On Saturday we arrived
at Coffenbury Lake around 7am. First light was about 6:30 am and some local
anglers were already fishing. It was raining during the night but luckily it stopped
in the morning and for weather we had high clouds, little wind and mild
temperatures; perfect conditions. The water was 66 degrees with about 3 feet of
visibility. According to the locals the water level was way down and the usual
water depth on this day was 5 or 6 feet with a weedy bottom.
We learned the lake had been stocked on Wednesday and that
the early morning bite was best. Unfortunately for us fly fishers the “hot fly”
was garlic powerbait; the bait anglers did pretty well catching 17-19” stocked
We hooked a few trout on flies but for the most part, small
perch made up most of the fly caught fish. Sometimes a team effort helped. In
the morning I was changing flies when unknown to me a fish started rising
behind me; Cheryl called out and pointed emphatically to turn around so I did
and then threw my fly into the last rise ring and was rewarded with a strong
strike. It was a good fish and I fought it for a while before the hook pulled
out. That would be my only trout of the day.
Coffenbury also has a large population of small perch. Their
constant strikes kept things interesting, plus they helped a couple folks
finish their 2019 Fly Fishing Challenge.
The sun came out for lunch and we enjoyed fantastic food:
homemade spaghetti, ceasar salad and garlic bread.
After lunch we fished for another hour or two. A few more
trout were hooked and lots of small perch. When the sun came out, the ambiance
of the lake changed from quiet dawn anglers to young families & the cries
of children enjoying a nice day on the lake. While the trout catching could
have been a little better, all in all it was a good time. Thanks to everyone
Garth Wyatt is a fish biologist for PGE and is going to discuss fish population response to improved fish passage infrastructure in the Clackamas basin. It will be a very informative presentation you won’t want to miss!
Coffenbury Lake, located in Fort Stevens State Park by Warrenton, will be the location for the September 21st Fish-a-long. The lake contains rainbow & cutthroat trout along with warm water fish. Coffenbury was recommended by CFF speaker Jeff Morgan plus it’s due to be stocked with 500 trophy rainbow trout right before the fish-a-long.
This is a new location for us. Given the number of new float tubes at the Round Lake fish-a-long this summer, I wanted to schedule one more lake trip this year.
Those planning to attend, please RSVP to Dave@kbi-ins.com by Sept 17th so we know how much food to bring.
What: Cutthroat & Rainbow Trout and Warmwater Fish.
Were: North Boat Ramp at Coffenbury Lake in Fort Stevens State Park
When: Saturday, September
21. Meet at the boat ramp area between 8am and 9am. I will probably be there a
little earlier to catch the first light bite.
Equipment: There are two fishing docks but the lake is best fished from a float tube or small boat & 4-6wt rods . The lake is not deep so a floating line is all you’ll need but if you prefer an intermediate line that will work too. The weather should be OK but rain is always a possibility.
Flies: Standard lake patterns.
Food Provided: Coffee & donuts for
breakfast and CFF executive chef Cheryl will make us something good for lunch.
Directions: It’s an easy 2hr drive from Portland with paved roads the whole way. Drive to Ft Stevens Park then stay on Peter Iredale Rd to the boat ramp. There is a $5 day use fee.
From Darryl Huff: I have fished a single hand fly rod for years but had never tried the spey rod. Being a part of the Clackamas FlyFishers gave me the bump I needed to give it a try. My casting needs a lot of work but after a few trips to the Deschutes I was catching fish!
From Carson Taylor: Motivated by an internet article by Chester Allen (who spoke at a club meeting several years ago), I fished for bass on the Willamette close to downtown Portland off Macadam Avenue. Chester is working in downtown Portland and fishes for bass during his noon hour.
Fishing was not red hot, but I caught five bass in three two-hour early morning trips, mostly on leech and woolly bugger flies. It’s nice to fish 10 minutes from home instead of driving for 2–3 hours.
From Dave Kilhefner: In mid August I fished with guide Drake Radditz at Bouy 10 and caught a nice 25lb Chinook.
From Phil Hager: Spent 8 days in central Oregon with mixed results.
Link and Hand lakes, up by Suttle Lake, were slow, with just a few catches of smaller fish. Both East and Lava were suffering the “August doldrums” with only 1 caught on Lava and not even a bump on East.
Hosmer, however, was a different story. Fished the upper lake and it was like I could do nothing wrong! Using my intermediate line I lost count on catches in the first hour both times. My “Brick Leech” and black and grey TMC nymph were getting fish almost immediately with Rainbows, Cutts, and Brookies ranging in size from 12″ to about 24″ and fat and healthy. Right shoulder was tired in about 3 hours and it wasn’t from casting.
If anybody wants to go along I’m heading back up the 9/15 to camp at Lava and fish Hosmer and Lava, then over to Fall River the 19th for 4 nights (TU outing), and will hit Crane the 22nd. From there I plan on going over to the Crooked the 23rd & 24th and down to the Le Page, on the John Day, the 25th & 26th, to see how they are doing.
From Adrian Choate: Spent a week fishing SW Montana. Hit Rock Creek, the “Mighty Missouri “ and the Madison. The fish weren’t easy but managed to raise some big Bows and browns. Am considering a month in Ennis next summer!