CFF February & March 2022 Fishing Repots

We didn’t have many February Fishing Reports so February and March are combined, but somehow we managed to put together some really good stuff. As always, pictures first with the reports below.

March:

From Ian Porteous: I don’t think I’ve ever tried harder for a fish! I’ve been fishing for weeks and missed one at the run before and thought that was it. Then I got this one!

From Dave Doble: No fly fishing for me in March. In March I change over to springer fishing. Just for bragging purposes, here is my first springer of the year! (Congrats Dave!)

From Chris Brehm: I started the month fishing the Owens River near Bishop California and managed a few small Browns on Zebra Midges. Fishing for Bull Trout in Lake Billy Chinook is always fun in March. This beauty took a stonefly nymph at the Deschutes Fishalong. Back to Lake Billy Chinook to celebrate friend Neil’s 15th Birthday. Can’t get the smile off his face!

From George Krumm: Fishing was pretty good at Lake Billy Chinook; I fished it 5 times in March. Large baitfish flies fished on fast-sinking lines like the 300-grain RIO Striper on 8-weight rods worked. All fish were released, and I encourage everyone to release those fish, even though it isn’t required by law.

From Ed Rabinowe: I wanted to see and fish the San Juan. Did that with lots of other folks. Fishing was great; catching not so good!

From Dave Kilhefner: I’d been on a major steelhead dry spell, so I’ve been fishing with gear. Then after work on St Patricks day got 2. I’ve had regular success since then (with spoons).

February:

From Trux Dole: The only Fishing I got in was that guided day with Dave Johnson on the Wilson steelheading bobber & jigs. The only fish of the day was caught by my buddy caught on a blue hot shot litterally within sight of the takeout!

From Chris Brehm: Caught and released one Steelhead on the Sandy, one on the Umpqua, and two on the Clackamas including this one on a jig under a float. My friend got this one on the Umpqua. First cast with a Thomas lure.  Had a few non eventful fly fishing trips and finished the month watching others catch fish on a quick stop at Pyramid Lake Nevada.

From Darryl Huff: Found a large colorful steelhead on the upper Sandy. It’s been pretty slow on the lower River.

From Rhona Dallison: got my first steelhead nymph fishing on Eagle Creek! Sorry no pics !

From Jim Bennett: I built a fly tying vice. Now I need to remember how to use it!

Great job everyyone and thanks for submitting a report!

April 2022 Presidents Message

Paul Deunk with a nice Silver from Kodiak Island.

Earlier this month I got some bad news that my friend Paul Deunk from Cleveland passed away. I met Paul on a fishing trip in Alaska and we remained friends. He battled some serious health issues over the years, including cancer, but always bounced back and kept living life the best he could. He was an inspiration. On the fly fishing side, he was a feature tyer at midwest fly fishing shows, a member of his local steelhead fishing club and managed to go fishing to Alaska most years. We kept in touch, mostly by texting, and we regularly sent each other pictures of our various interests & endeavors. I think my latest mountain biking adventure would have made him laugh, but I didn’t get to send him that one! Our last text exchange was about a Duck decoy he was carving; Paul was always doing something cool and different.

As I’m writing this Presidents Message it’s a very a nice spring day and after imaging trout rising at my favorite local lake for the umpteenth time, I decided to just go fishing, think of my friend Paul and catch a few trout in his honor. That mission was accomplished.

Over the last couple weeks I’ve (finally!) had some good success on steelhead…but with spoons. It’s been a busy month and I haven’t had time to get the spey rod going. Maybe next week! Locally Winter Steelhead are still available thru most of April plus Summer Steelhead start to show. Spring Chinook are coming too, but that’s a whole new level of fly fishing insanity. I did hook one on the spey last year but it ran way downstream then the hook pulled out. Still, it’s a great fly fishing memory.

We’ll have a regular meeting April 19th at High Rocks. I’ll be talking & answering questions about spring fly fishing opportunities on our local Pay to Play lakes like Oregon Fishing Club, Justesen Ranch and Rocky Ridge. We’ve had some great Fish A Longs at all these places but they’ve gone thru some changes. We’ll bring you up to date.

Speaking of Fish A Longs, we’ll be going to an Oregon Fishing Club lake and I’ll get an announcement out next week. With the warmer weather they are starting to fish very well.

In April trout fishing starts to heat up. Locally, the OFC lakes are fishing well. Further away the Deschutes and Crooked rivers are good too. Remember that good fishing on these rivers will depend on consistent water flows and irrigation season is just getting ready to start, so check the water flows before you head out. 

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 “April” or “May” and you’ll get all the past reports for those months. 

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. Thanks to Jim Adams for bringing this to my attention.

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

March 2022 Fish A Long Report

The March 2022 Deschutes River fish a long was not steelhead focused, but it started off that way for me with several CFF members exchanging steelhead photos by text message. When steelhead are being caught, you naturally assume catching trout will be easy…but it wasn’t. Even with trout fishing a little on the tough side, it was great to enjoy dry weather on the east side.

The roads were clear and it was a fast easy drive over the mountain to Maupin. I hit the Deschutes Angler to replace a water thermometer that lost a battle with the tailgate of my pickup and checked out some flies. I noticed most of their patterns featured oversized tungsten beads, or at least way bigger than mine, and this was for good reason as I’d soon find out.

Friday afternoon saw me fishing up by Nena and no trout or whitefish were harmed…or even seen. Still it was a very pleasant afternoon to be on the water. At 6:30 I received a text that The Riverside was packed and I better get down there if I wanted a seat. I arrived just in time to get the last stool at the bar. Several of us enjoyed the lively atmosphere plus tasty food and beverages. It was my plan to camp at Harpham Flats that night but Paul said his room had two queen beds and he didn’t have to ask twice. I spent the night in comfort then coffee’d up the next morning and made the short drive to Harpham Flats. Darryl texted and said he was on the water at first light and got a couple redsides on beads. Several members were already at the campground before 9am and we got a fire going and enjoyed more coffee and conversation for about an hour, then it was time to hit the water.

Several of us drove up to the locked gate and walked upstream. The weather was a little cloudy, cool and windy. The wind made Euro nymphing difficult but indicator nymphing was working OK. Most of us got a couple trout but the consensus was you had to work for them!

By early afternoon Eric and I had migrated pretty far upstream, reaching the water 2 miles past the gate by “the House Hole.” The clouds mostly burned off, the wind died down a little and it was nice. I hadn’t had a single bite in several hours when I saw some nice fish rising, but they ignored what I threw at them, which was pretty much everything; I really gave my new magnetic fly threader gadget a workout this weekend. If you haven’t used one, I can say they work great but like everything else, they cause cancer in California.

With the slow bite in the morning my strategy was to find a promising stretch of water and hit it hard between 1 and 3pm. This approach has worked well in the late winter/early spring when the water is still cold and fish are not very active. While methodically beating through the brush and pounding pockets my indicator went down and I set the hook on… a snag… or so I thought. It was most likely an old steelhead; I never did see it because it didn’t jump but did peel off about half my fly line a couple of times. I thought I had a chance until it got behind a rock and sawed through the 5x tippet. While I would have preferred to land it fighting a big fish is always a thrill.

While continuing to work upstream I ran into Eric who caught his personal best whitefish, specimen at least 3 pounds.

We leapfrogged our way back down to the locked gate and ran into Chris, who echoed our experience; he got a few but had to work for every bite! Also the trout didn’t seem to care what fly you used, they disliked them all equally; there was no “hot fly” today.

By now it was 5 PM and time for folks to decide if they are going to stay another night or head home. As near as I can tell everyone left but me and Eric. We opted not to stay at Harpham Flat because it has no wind protection, so we drove upstream to Long Bend, built a fire and enjoyed some adult beverages and chili dogs for dinner.

The sky was clear when the sun went down and we decided to stay up and watch the moon rise as it was a 98% full (and 100% full on Friday). This may have had something to do with the slow bite during the day and actually, anytime fishing is poor you can dependably blame it on a full moon.

The night was clear and cold but we both slept well. We rose early, made some hot coffee, broke camp and were fishing by 9:30. The water temperature had dropped to 47° overnight and there was very little fish activity. We fished hard all day with very little to show for it, Eric hooked and lost it whitefish around noon. Other than that we didn’t get a single bite.

A little after two when our hope was waning Eric magically hooked into a nice trout that put up strong battle. If you’re only going to hook one fish all day you want it to be a fighter like this one! By now I was tired, having hiked far upstream two days in a row. I was mentally preparing myself for a skunking when I forced myself to walk off the road and down the hill to the water’s edge one more time. The wind wasn’t too bad and I was making some good casts in spite of a pretty nasty overhanging tree that looked to have eaten more than a few flies. Suddenly indicator plunged down and I was fast into a leaping trout. As he slid into the net I decided it’s really okay to work hard for one or two trout. It had been another fun fish long weekend with good friends.

March 2022 Presidents Message

Before writing this months Presidents message I looked at last years March Presidents message and can honestly say this year is starting out much better than last year!

This month marks two years as your club President. It’s been both interesting and challenging as fishing and everyday life is pretty much in a constant state of change. It’s more important than ever to be flexible.

Being flexible and adaptable to changing conditions has become “the new normal” these days. You’ll notice most of our Fish A Longs have “option 1 and option 2” these days so we can enjoy better fishing opportunities. For example, option 1 for the March 19th fish a long is to go back to the Crooked River, but if the water remains low and cold like last month we’ll shift gears and go to the Deschutes around Maupin. Both locations have good camping & restaurants nearby. I’ll get an email survey out the week before to see what everyone wants to do.

We’ll have a regular meeting on March 15th at High Rocks.

March signals the beginning of spring and many local fisheries begin to wake up and turn on. Trout in our local lakes will begin to get active as water temperatures rise from the low 40’s to the high 40’s. Central Oregon waters like the Deschutes & Crooked will have good fishing if water levels are stable & warming. Last but not least, March is the best month for trophy steelhead so don’t hang up your spey rod. Once the rivers drop back into shape it will be game on!

This months Fly Tying article will feature the V-rib Chironomid. This pattern is easy to tie in both regular & euro nymph styles plus it’s very effective in both lakes and streams.

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

Please remember our sponsors this, 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

February 2022 Fish A Long Report

The original plan for this months Fish A Long was to go Steelhead Spey Fishing somewhere, but the second wave of steelhead in our local rivers has been late, so when Lane suggested the Crooked I put out an email survey and we had overwhelming response in favor of going to there. This Fish A Long was very well attended and a lot of fun, and while fishing was a little on the tough side we got fish.

Clear roads and sunny weather made for a nice drive over to Prineville on Friday. I got to the river about 3pm, a little later than I wanted so I geared up fast and walked to the deadline below the dam. There were 3 otters working the big pool; both a good and bad sign if you’re a fisherman but you can’t deny they are impressive creatures plus a lot of fun to watch.

The water was very low with the flow out of Prineville Reservoir a trickle at 49cfs and quite turbid…as well as very cold at only 37 degrees. With these water conditions the fish were hunkered down and fishing was slow. I really thought I was going to get skunked but managed to pull a couple small rainbows out of the camp pool late in the day euro nymphing.

Friday Evening we had a nice dinner at Mazatlan Restaurant. Some stayed at a Motel in town, others at the Big Bend Campground. I don’t know why camping out in February sounded so good, but it did and not just to me either. We had a good showing at Big Bend Campground of both Tent and Trailer campers. The weather was clear & cold plus the stars are much better here than what the Portland sky can offer.

Saturday morning we got to watch the Otters in the campground pool. When it’s this cold there’s no point in starting early so most stayed in camp enjoying coffee and conversation past 9am. Overall the morning fishing was very slow but Lane got a nice one on a black Mayer’s Mini Leech Jig. It’s a great pattern.

Saturday afternoon Tim, Kevin and I tried something different and did some casting off the bank up in Prineville Reservoir. It was amazing how low the water was. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch or see any fish. The water temperature was 39 degrees.

Rich Harvey had a great afternoon at the lower end of Big Bend, landing 18 fish in a couple hours including an 18” rainbow, all on a peachy colored euro nymph he tied. With the water as cold as it was, the good bite period was only a couple hours during the warmest part of the day. Being in a good spot when the fish turned on was one, and maybe the only, key to success.

Just like the day before, I thought I was going to get skunked but managed to pull a couple rainbows out of the camp pool euro nymphing late in the day.

With snow forecast in the mountain passes most everyone packed up and left Saturday evening. Tim and I stuck it out and made a big fire, big enough to both keep us warm and cook dinner over.

Sunday morning we woke to a light snowfall and Otters back in the Campground Pool; we watched them get about 4 trout before making the call to head to the Deschutes River at Maupin. Michael Longacre stuck it out on the Crooked and had the river to himself, catching a couple rainbows on his new bamboo rod (his pictures are at the top of this report). That rod is lucky!

The Deschutes was running clear with the water temperature at 44 degrees. Plus, it was windy so we put away our Euro rods and fished indicators, which is a more “wind friendly” technique. Still, the fishing was tough. We all managed to get a few fish and I took a lesson from the day before, found some good water with slower current to hit hard from 1 to 3pm. A decent hatch of Blue Wing Olive Mayflies started coming off and a few fish were feeding. Pounding the water paid of with 5 fish hooked, all of them decent sized good fighters. I only managed to land 2 of them.

The drive home over Mt Hood was a little dicy with lots of snow coming down but I made it OK. Some members opted to drive to the Dalles & then down I-84 to Portland and when it was a white-out between Trillium Lake and Government Camp this seemed like the smarter route for sure!

At this time the plan for the March Fish A Long is to go back to the Crooked. The water will be warmer and hopefully the flows will be better too. However, we like choices so the Deschutes at Maupin is an option too; it has good camping and restaurants nearby. I’ll get an email survey out early next month to see what everyone prefers.

Thanks to everyone that attended and made this Fish A Long a fun and successful event!

December & January CFF Fishing Reports

Sorry I didn’t get the December 2021 reports out last month. We have some really good stuff and will start with January and work back to December. As always, pictures first with the reports below.

January 2022 CFF Fishing Reports

From David Doble: I have been after steelhead on the fly for three years. Had a bump or two over the past three years but either pulled the fly out of their mouths or lost them. Went fishing with a friend yesterday with Steelhead Outfitters (Sam Sickles) who we’ve fished with many times. We floated from Dodge Park to Oxbow on what was a very, very cold day. It was 23 degrees when we launched and did not improve much through the day. Ice in the guides continually hindered my spey casting which was entertaining as I already have hindered spey abilities.  

About mid morning I started short at the top of a run, increased distance and worked my way down. About half way down, I hooked into my first steelhead on a fly rod. A beautiful wild buck! We tailed it, took pics, and sent him on his way.

I went back to the top and made my way back through the run, near the bottom I hooked a second wild fish, a hen. She was a bit feisty and took me into the backing a couple of times. We tailed her and I gave her a big kiss before sending her off to make more babies. 

My feet are still cold! (Editor’s Note: Congrats David, this is huge! Great Job!!!)

From Chris Brehm: Spent a lot of time chasing winters. Had one good day on the Wilson with 2 fish on beads. Spent a day with my brother Steve on Lake Billy Chinook chasing Bull Trout. Cold in the morning but very pleasant later on. This little guy came on one of “Dave’s Devils” on a sink tip. Steve did a little better on an Olive Leech pattern. We caught about 20 fish between 10 and 22 inches. Some small Browns in the mix as well. Had a great day on the ocean out of Newport with limits of Lingcod and some Black Bass as well. No pics but a beautiful day on a nice ocean.

From Dennis Murphy: It was a rough month for fishing. I fished the Sandy at least three times per week and didn’t find any fish. I drove to California and fished the Klamath and found nothing but a good time with the folks at the Ashland Fly Shop (definitely worth it). Finally I decided I needed to remember what catching a fish was like and went to the Deschutes for my birthday. I got one nice redside on a stonefly nymph I tied (I was finding stoneflys crawling around in camp) then a windy rainstorm came in and ended the trip early.


From Tim McSweeney: I’ve been mostly fishing the Lower Deschutes for redsides. It’s been really, really good on glo bugs in the morning and if you can find yourself in the right spot at 1pm–a killer BWO hatch!

From Dave Kilhefner: Caught two small but fiesty steelhead on gear and missed a third due to tangled line on the takedown!

From George Krumm: Got a nice one bobber-dogging on the Sandy.

From Mike Shiiki: Here’s my son Nathaniel with a nice one at Macks Canyon on the Deschutes last weekend. The fuzzy egg bite was on and also had some eats on perdigons too. They were hugging the slower water close to the banks.

From Greg O’Brien: I travelled to Southern Oregon to fish some different water and managed to find a couple of hatchery steelhead.  Swung flies, hard takes and long runs made for a fun day.  The next day I got shut out of course!

December 2021 CFF Reports

From Ed Rabinowe: We found some big ones in Louisiana this year. Pushing those 10 wts to the limit!

From Lane Hoffman: Ken Baker and I went to Venice, La. Lots of big reds this year!

From Greg O’Brien: Fishing this month was limited to a trip down to the Klamath River near I-5 in CA with another club member.  We hired a guide for 2 days of fishing, ideally using Spey rods and swinging flies for late summer and Fall run steelhead.  Steelhead in the Klamath seem generally a fair bit smaller than the Columbia River tributary fish.  We hooked a couple Spey casting, but got quite a few more while fishing stonefly nymphs under an indicator while drifting between swing runs. While it was very cold, we got lucky and fished in between a couple pretty bad snow storms.

From Tim McSweeney: I had one good day on the Deschutes (right after our December Club meeting). Right before my kid brough covid home from school.

I tied on two glo bugs on at 8am and didnt change or take them off till the end of the day. Was on a fish about every 15 minutes for the majority of the day. Can’t beat that! It was probably 50/50 between redsides and short fin graylings.

I started the day euro nymphing but once the wind picked up I had to put a bobber on or it was pointless. For what it’s worth I started euro nymphing because I hated bobber fishing. But today I learned something. It’s not that I hated bobber fishing, it’s that I hated the classic Thingamabobbers. For me personally, they were a pain to get on and adjust the depth of my fly as I went from spot to spot. Hence euro nymphing. I can adjust depth more or less by how much line I have out or how high i hold my rod. Well I got some airlocks and it made bobber fishing totally enjoyable for which was great!  I’m oddly kind of excited I had fun bobbering it up. Just another fun way to fish.

From Rich Domingue: I hooked and lost my first winter steelhead on the lower Clack on Dec. 9 and I landed two yesterday (Dec 29). Pressure is high, making it hard to find room to swing, but also indicating others are catching fish as well. Given this early success, I am hopeful that this winter’s run will be considerably stronger than last years.

From Chris Brehm: I only got out once in very early December. This little brat was caught on a bead below a float near a popular North Coast Hatchery. Saw quite a few larger fish that day including several by a fly rodder fishing a bead under an indicator. He had to wade out quite a ways in fast water to cast, then chase them downstream to land them. Was fun to watch. I hope to get into some Winter Steelhead on my fly rod this year. Happy New Year !

February 2022 Presidents Message

A nice February winter run taken at the Willows on the Clackamas several years ago.

By all accounts winter steelhead fishing is pretty good, or at least much better than last year. A few club members have caught fish on gear this year and just this week we had a report of a couple fly caught steelhead; more on this in the upcoming fishing reports (which I’m late in getting out-sorry!). No matter how good the fishing might be, it is still winter steelhead fishing and that means lots of casting in the cold. Don’t risk losing a nice chromer by going light on your tippet; beef up those tippets with at least 12lb Maxima or 15 Fluorocarbon. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at the fly shop and heard sad stories of big steelhead lost to light tippets.

Speaking of Fly Shops, after 40 years in business The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches is closing it’s doors. Mark & Patti have definitely put in their time and now want to retire. Here’s wishing them all the best!

I’m open to ideas for February 19th Fish A Long so if you have a preference please let me know. If a better idea does not come up, we will have another Winter Steelhead Fish A Long on the Upper Sandy River.

Brad and Tom are looking for new ideas for the 2022 Fly Fishing Challenge. Additionally, they’ve mentioned it’s hard to gauge membership interest in the Challenge and that it may be time to take a year off. Please email Brad if you’d like to have one this year.

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 February or March in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

Please remember our sponsors this, 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

Presidents Message January 2022

Happy New Year! I hope everyone was able to enjoy some festivities even with the unusually cold weather. I didn’t quite make it to midnight this year but started the New Year off right by BBQing the first two nights.

I’m looking forward to the New Year and have a couple “fishing resolutions” to share. First is to Camp and backpack more, which blends in perfectly with our Fish  A Longs. Second is to Euro nymph most of the small streams on Mt Hood. Lastly, use my boat more. I have a pretty cool little boat that is good for chasing Steelhead on the Clackamas and Bass on the Willamette.

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.

Just like last month, everyone that comes to the January 18th meeting at High Rocks will get a free beer on me. The speaker with be the Deschutes River Alliance and most likely they will be on Zoom on the big screen TV.

We’ll have our January 22nd Fish A Long at Oxbow Park. We have the covered area “A” reserved which is where the Sandy River Spey Clave’s have been held in the past and will focus on Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing with both Spey and Indicator methods demonstrated.

Once the water drops in a week or so we should have good opportunities for winter steelhead and we’ve already had a few good reports come in. 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 January or February in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

January is a great month to get good deals after Christmas so get out to your local fly shop buy all the stuff that Santa forgot. 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

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