Thanks to everyone who came to the Deschutes River Fish-A-Long this weekend plus extra thanks to Paul Brewer for organizing and Cheryl Kilhefner for the wonderful food. We had a great time, here’s a recap:
The river was in perfect shape; clear water and 57 degrees. The weather was good too, overcast in the morning improving to partly cloudy in the afternoon with a high of 72 degrees. The only bad weather were some strong wind gusts around mid-morning but fortunately they didn’t last more than a few minutes each.
Several of us camped at Beavertail and the campground was nearly full. Most of the angling pressure was directed at steelhead and the reports were the steelhead were a little scarce this weekend. Still, there were a few hookups but none from our group. Trux did get a “San-Diego Steelhead” about 9am swinging a big purple leech on a sink tip and those things do get the heart pumping before the big letdown.
Most of us went after trout and the morning fishing was very slow. John Warren got on the board early with his new Euro Nymphing setup. About mid morning some very small mayflies and midges started hatching. I put on a #18 Brown WD-40 and managed a couple fish letting it tick the bottom under an indicator, however it wasn’t an “ah-ha” moment by any stretch of the imagination as every bite was hard to get. By lunchtime we were all ready to take a break from pounding the water.
Cheryl Kilhefner prepared a great lunch of home-made spaghetti, Caesar salad and garlic bread. There was more than enough for second helpings, so we all dug in!
For the afternoon fishing we tried a different spot downriver and it fished much better. John was doing well with his Euro nymphing rig with a black Euro nymph producing the most action. Most of the trout were 10” to 12” but a few bigger ones up to 15” were brought to hand. I did OK with WD-40’s in brown and black colors; it’s amazing the fish can find a fly that small in a big river like the Deschutes but they can. Trux broke away from fishing small flies got a nice rainbow swinging a leech pattern. It was a fun afternoon and just to maintain the civilized aspect of fly fishing, the bite died down around happy hour.
This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday September 22nd 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-home made spaghetti with sauce by Cheryl Kilhefner from this summers tomato garden harvest.
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 road.
Gear: 4 to 6wt rods with matching reel & floating lines. Indicator nymphing rigs with small glo- bugs and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears. Swinging for steelhead is a possibility too but reports indicate steelhead fishing has been slow. 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.
Please email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend so we can get a head count for the food.
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!
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.
We had a record turnout for last weekend’s fish-a-long: 15 people! Thank to everyone who made the trip. While it was a bit of a long drive, it is a very scenic drive up the Columbia River Gorge and then up the Klickitat River Canyon. The weather was clear with a cool breeze blowing with Mt. Adams dominating the horizon. I’m not sure of the actual fish count but I believe everyone either caught a fish or had one on. And, all the fish were quality fish in the 15” to 18” size range and packing some heavy girth!
I arrived a bit early as I had Coffee for everyone and it wouldn’t due to be late! I found Phil Senatra already fishing and he was playing a fish when I drove up to the lake and by the time I got into my waders and float tube he had two more. The fishing was not hot but we had consistent action. Unfortunately the bite slowed down quite a bit by the time the rest of our group arrived. Yes, that is what really happened!
The water was 54 degrees with about 3 feet of visibility. It was hoped there would be a strong Chironomid hatch but it was just a little too early. It was one of those fishing days were you had to grind out strikes. I did a stomach pump of one of the fish and found its stomach full of Daphnia—water fleas. At around 1 mm long there is no way to imitate the Daphnia “hatch” if that is the right word but at least the fish were eating something so it was possible to get them to hit our flies if we just kept casting.
As mentioned earlier, all the trout were quality specimens in the 15” to 17” range. I believe Phil took big fish honors with a 25” beast and several fish over 20” were taken. Woolly buggers (and Devils) were the best flies and a few fish were taken on Chironomids.
This month’s Fish-A-Long will be at the Oregon Fishing Club’s Hartland Lake. Hartland Lake is a 15 acre pond located about 10 miles from Lyle, Washington. The drive from Portland takes about 90 minutes.
At its deepest point, the lake is 16 feet deep and holds trophy sized Rainbow Trout plus some Bass & Panfish. This lake is best fished with float tubes or pontoon boats, but there is limited bank access available.
When: 8am Saturday April 21. Meet at Fishermans Marine parking lot in Oregon City and carpool to the lakes.
Where: Hartland Lake, Oregon Fishing Club.
Equipment: 4 to 6wt rods with matching reel – floating & intermediate sinking fly lines – float tube or pontoon boat – waders – rain gear, layered clothing, its spring time in Oregon.
Flies: Midge patterns in Red for Larva and dark colors for Pupa. Streamers: Woolly Buggers or Green Devils. Dry flies: Griffiths Gnats if there is a Midge Hatch or Ants.
The plan: we’ll meet Saturday morning at the car pool location. Maps will be provided for those who would like one. The menu is Coffee & donuts for breakfast plus a hot lunch.
Email email@example.com with questions or catch me at the April 17th meeting.
Thanks to everyone who braved the snowy driving conditions to make it over to the Crooked River last Saturday. Several of us drove over on Friday and it was cold, snowy and had us questioning our sanity. Fortunately the weather cleared! We all had a great Fish-A-Long with everyone getting fish.
Saturday dawned clear with blue skies. The hills had a light dusting of snow and the morning temps hovered around 27 degrees. Paul warmed us up with hot coffee, donuts and a campfire. With the cold weather there didn’t seem to be a big rush to wader up and hit the river but we got there eventually.
The water was very low and clear. The flow out of Bowman Dam was only 53 cubic feet per second and the water temperature 42 degrees. We tried the usual pocket water spots first but seeing no fish activity, we quickly went in search of bigger pools with deeper water, finding some rising, active fish. We targeted these using a dry fly/dropper setups. The dry fly didn’t seem to matter much but the best dropper pattern was a Zebra Midge, a money pattern for Crooked River, especially in the winter.
While most of the trout were in the 6” to 8” range we did get a few bigger ones up to 12” to 14” long. The big fish of the day was a real surprise; Dave K’s 22” rainbow that took a Zebra Midge fished deep under an indicator in a big pool. Besides rainbow trout, we caught Whitefish from 4” to 14” long as well.
This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday March 24th on the Crooked River by Prineville.
The plan: meet at Big Bend Campground about 1 mile below Bowman Dam between 8am and 9am. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided.
Gear: 3 to 6wt rods with matching reel & floating lines. Dry fly fishing can be good with Midges and Baetis dominating the hatches this time of year. Another standby technique is Indicator Nymphing with small glo- bugs (they look like scuds) and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears. This is also a good place to swing soft hackles or small woolly buggers.
Waders with felt or cleated boots for slippery, moss covered rocks and layered clothing as it will likely be cold in the morning.
Lunch: Lunch will be provided.
This is a great time to fish the Crooked River for trout and whitefish. Fishing can be excellent!
This month’s Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday, February 24th on the Sandy River. The location is Dave K’s place about halfway between Sandy and Welches.
What- Winter Steelhead
Where- Sandy River
When- 8am until lunchtime, Saturday, February 24th
Spey or Switch Rod
Skagit Line & sink tip(s)
15lb tippet material
flies, bright patterns and dark patterns
waders & wading staff
warm, layered clothing
Directions- take Hwy 26 like you are going to Mt Hood. 10 miles past Sandy, turn left onto Sleepy Hollow Drive (there’s a big sign) and then take the 1st left. It’s a steep gravel driveway with a black metal gate.
We will have coffee, cinnamon rolls and a hot lunch. This fish a long will focus on spey casting and swung fly presentations. Questions; email or call Paul Brewer or Dave Kilhefner. Hope to see you there!