To be honest, it was really difficult to decide between Kilchis River Chum Salmon or another trip to Beavertail on the Deschutes River. This time of year Beavertail is consistently productive and good reports continued to hit my inbox along with some Kilchis reports. Decisions, decisions! The deciding factor was the big rainstorm due at the coast that would likely blow out the Kilchis and make wading difficult, so it was off to the Deschutes for redsides and hopefully a steelhead.
But nothing in November is easy as the same storm that was dumping rain on the coast was dumping snow in the Cascades, making for an interesting and somewhat slow drive over the hill. Still, we made it work; some of us braved the snow and others smartly took an alternate route thru The Dalles.
We had 8 people in attendance today; Dave, Paul, Kevin, Darryl, Rhona, Laura, Sue and Phil. When we rolled into Beavertail Saturday morning we saw that Kevin was camping, so we went to his campsite to finish our coffee and get rigged up.
There’s more to enjoying a day in the outdoors than casting between wind gusts while hoping to hook a big one. Kevin told us there was a bunch of deer in his campsite in the morning. On our trek upstream to the fishing grounds we found fresh buck and doe tracks and it was fun to both observe and explain the subtle differences in the different kinds of tracks.
Darryl was already fishing when most of us arrived and reports he caught several small trout on beads. Around 10am he decided to head upstream for clearer water as the White River was very off color, probably due to the fire that burned thru much of canyon this summer. He had good success for trout and also landed a nice steelhead.
The off colored water and limited visibility definitely slowed down the trout fishing but we still managed to grind some out. The highlight of the morning was a big fish hooked by Sue that ran into her backing three times before the hook pulled out. It didn’t jump and was probably a salmon but it could have been a steelhead too.
We walked back to camp around noon to break for lunch. Paul set up his spotting scope and we were able to watch a lone Ram walking high on the rock face.
After lunch we fished down by the boat ramp for a while and caught several more fish before calling it a day. There were a lot of dead salmon in the shallows which signals eggs are the main food source, thus the hot flies this day were either small egg patterns or beads drifted along the bottom, usually under a strike indicator.
Thanks to everyone for attending this month’s Fish A Long and also thanks to those that provided fishing reports to help us decide the best place to go.
During the month of October my mantra for fishing the Deschutes is “find the salmon and you’ll find the trout!” The weather can be bad, the White River can be blown but trout and whitefish can’t resist the egg bonanza when the Chinook are spawning.
Seven of us braved the chilly weather conditions and colored up water but the payoff was sweet! Everyone got into plenty of fish and most of us broke into double digits.
As an added bonus, the Bighorn Sheep were playing on the wall and Richard Harvey got a nice video of two rams chasing a ewe.
Thanks to everyone for coming! Next month we’ll try to hit the Kilchis River for Chum Salmon but if the water conditions are poor (like they have been the last 3 years!) we will go to an Oregon Fishing Club lake.
After living in Portland/Lake Oswego for the last 8 years I finally joined the Clackamas Fly fishers about the time that Covid hit, and I don’t think I’ve had a chance to meet anyone from the club. We moved to Iowa about two months ago and I decided I would fish my way east. I fished the Madison, Gibbon, Tongue, and Henry’s Fork. I had the best luck on the Tongue in Wyoming. However the most picturesque was the Madison. Throughout the day I saw hundreds of fish come to the surface, yet, even with sound advice (and flies) from the fly shop in Island Park, Idaho I walked away empty handed. Nevertheless it was so beautiful I did not feel disappointed. The Gibbon was better, though not crazy, just some good consistent fishing or rather catching. The Tongue was the best fishing, partly because I saw several Moose (from a safe distance), and had really good Brown trout fishing, though nothing huge. I fished that river in the Bighorn National Forest.
For those of you who might wander to Iowa or Wisconsin there is some good trout fishing here. Much different from Oregon or Washington, yet the Driftless region, particularly, offers many opportunities for both wild and stocked fish. In Iowa there is a native Brook trout population, and in some rivers, a well-established and naturally reproducing Brown trout fishery. Most of the time there are few, if any, other Anglers, and strangely the season is open year-round. Rattlesnakes are rare and Cougar are virtually unknown in these parts. One last bit of information, The Brule river in Northern Wisconsin offers some wonderful Brown trout fishing, when last I fished it with a guide, we started at about 9 PM and fished until 3 AM. I caught several large Browns, including one that was worthy of mounting (they all went back into the river). Fishing at night brought some interesting challenges, not the least of which was fishing in a tight bend as the sun set completely and the bats came out to feed. Like a scene from a Batman movie, we were surrounded by bats. It was only for five minutes, but it was a LONG five minutes. That said, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Finally, my wife and I went to Northern Minnesota and fished for Walleye. We did not fly-fish as they range from a minimum depth of 6 feet, and can be found as deep as 40. We also fished for Smallmouth and the fly-fishing was excellent. Many of the lakes on the Minnesota-Canadian border have wonderful Smallmouth fishing. For Walleye and Northern Pike we took a guide for three days, we caught our limit, and had shore lunch of Northern and Walleye (that we had caught that morning) daily. I can think of few things that we have enjoyed as much. As an aside, Northern Pike are super tasty, some say better than Walleye, and Walleye are the prized fish here.
I would be glad to share any information I have, for any that have occasion to visit Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin.
The month of August always flies by and it seems like it only lasted about a week. Still, we have a lot of variety and good fishing reports this month.
Thanks to everyone for your reports! As always, pictures first with the report below.
From Richard Harvey: the sea run cutthroats are starting to show up on the Oregon coast, plus I had some fun with rainbows in the Clackamas River as well.
From Lane Hoffman: Traveled to the Togiak River in Alaska. Great trip with great weather & almost ran out of sunscreen. There was just enough wind to keep the bugs away!
From Dave Kilhefner: George Coutts and I hit the Willamette River by Salem for Smallmouth Bass. We also caught a few good sized Pikeminnows. We tried Poppers and had a few short strikes but the best tactic was a clouser minnow fished on a full sinking line.
From Rhona Dallison: Laura McGuill and I tried to get one of the first come/first serve campsites at Laurance Lake on a Thursday but they were all already full. We found a great riverside group campsite on the East Fork of the Hood River at Toll Bridge Park near Parkdale. Four other ladies joined us over the next couple days. The East Fork was a bit milky but I fished it that evening with a 3 weight and had success floating a nymph down the riffles and in the pockets, hooking into 3 feisty small rainbows. The next day we did a hike up to Tamanawas Falls, which was breathtaking. Laura and another fishing friend, Sue Liwanag, scouted some local creeks and a reservoir for fishable water while the rest of our group headed up to Laurance Lake. The Lake was fiercely windy so float tubing and kayaking were out of the question. We encountered one Tenkara fisherman at the head of the lake where the Clear Branch flows in. That evening Kelly and I explored some pull offs on the East Fork and eventually found a nice pool where she caught her first fish on a fly rod—a small rainbow with parr marks, by roll casting into a pool below some overhanging alders. She’s hooked! Kelly and I hoped to spend some time fishing at Trillium Lake on the way home but it was an absolute zoo when we got there Sunday morning. Later in the month Laura, Sue and I went to the Wilson River (Donaldson’s Landing) and the Trask River (The Peninsula area) and caught some small cutthroats and rainbows. Laura and I saw a steelhead (?) in the Wilson but couldn’t entice it to take our offerings. It was a beautiful day on the water—I saw river otters in a pool I was fishing on the Wilson, and a herd of elk crossed below where Laura!
From Dave Kilhefner: went backpacking on Mt Hood with my daughter and her boyfriend. No fishing but the views were spectacular.
From Ed Rabinowe: Bouy 10 was good!
From Jim Behrend: Went to North Santiam with my wife. We caught a bunch of trout using caddis nymphs. No other nymph got even a nibble.
From Chris Foster: A buddy and I fly fished Crane Prairie one day at Quinn River and Cultus Channel. The lake was very crowded. Fortunately we got into a Callibaetis Hatch #12 in the late afternoon and hooked and released about 30 Trout running 14-20 inches plus a couple of big Kokanee (17 inches!) using Callibaetis nymphs with an Intermediate sink line and also floating lines. We slow trolled flies behind my drift boat and also cast to rising fish.
The next day we fly fished Paulina Lake and released about 20 rainbows and 10 browns. The fish ran 12-19 inches with the largest a 19 inch brown (buck). We used Callibaetis nymphs, streamers and chironomids. The water was a beautiful blue color plus there was not much wind.
Paulina was not very crowded. I would fish Paulina again and wait until late September or October for Crane Prairie.
From the Oregon Fishing Club: this is the time of year that our lakes and ponds look and fish their worst. The hot summer days and the warm nights combine to keep water temperatures up so we are in the middle of the slowest fishing time of the year for the Club still-waters. The one exception for trout fishing is in the early morning hours at Rainier lakes. Members are even hitting trout on dry flies, but only up until about 9:00am. If you never remove the trout from the water and quickly release the fish, we are experiencing no known mortality issues.
All other locations that have warm water fish populations are still producing a few strikes. In these locations it is best to target the warm water fish and leave the trout alone.
The Club does not plant additional trout into the still-waters until water temperatures drop. Generally this happens as early as late September, but sometimes as late as early November. It all depends on what Mother Nature decides to do over the next couple of months.
July was a hot one but CFF members were able to get out, keep cool and have some good fishing. Thanks to everyone for contributing your fishing reports!
The Corona Virus has created some very crowded conditions in the great outdoors. When venturing out it’s important to be patient and maintain responsible social distancing.
Here are our July reports; pictures first with the report following. Enjoy!
From Trux Dole: (this got lost in my inbox, it’s a June report) 1st time fishing for Shad was a total hoot! Buddy took me out to Beacon Rock. It took 45 minutes to get dialed in on the right seam and then it was a fish per cast. Thankfully I was using two handed rod!
From Greg O’Brien: Clear Lake on the 25th turned on with a massive mayfly hatch at about 10 am and it was lights out fishing for about an hour. Fish rising and slashing for a 200 yard stretch.
Earlier in July my wife and I made a road trip to Montana for a couple days of fishing with a guide (a package she bid on and won at her school’s fundraising auction). We fished the Clark Fork one day and the Big Hole the second day. Fishing was good on the Clark Fork for scrappy rainbows, and excellent on the Big Hole for cutthroat, rainbows, browns and also a few whitefish.
Also got a nice Smallmouth Bass on the Willamette.
From Darryl Huff: Fishing on the lower D has been great. This year’s return has produced a lot of fish in the 8-10 pound range. So far it seems that 75 percent are natives. Also, we are starting to hook a few salmon as well.
From Carson Taylor: Just got back from a family vacation at Sunriver. Fishing wasn’t great but this nice brown trout fell to a muddler minnow fished along the west bank across from Sunriver. Also caught a cutthroat caught on a Carey Special at Hosmer Lake.
From Lane Hoffman: Went to Badger Lake, a beautiful lake east of Mt Hood. The fishing was really good, caught 25 plus trout from 6 to 18 inches. Really fat & strong fighters, nice fish. Very few visitors because the last 12 miles of road is really rough. Went to Lost Lake for the Hex hatch in the evening but the hatch never really materialized.
From Rhona Dallison: Went to Badger Lake with Lane Hoffman but the wind was very strong. We couldn’t use our float tubes and ended up catching a few small ones from shore.
From Dave Kilhefner: I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to catch a spring chinook in the upper Sandy River. Glacial runoff from the hot weather has made conditions difficult.
One of the big challenges to hosting a fish a long is finding a place that will accommodate approximately 10 anglers. With the pandemic it’s at least twice as hard to find a good place as the great outdoors has become a lot more crowded and the Mt Hood Lakes were especially crowded this weekend!
Earlier this month we brainstormed and came up with a new format for having a Fish A Long; basically we pick an area with several fishable waters close by and agree to meet somewhere for lunch. If possible we keep in touch with a group text. While it’s not perfect, it was was reasonably successful as we were able to spread out and have a fun fish a long. We had 11 members attend and while we didn’t catch a ton of fish, it was a really nice day and we all fished some beautiful waters. Here’s how we did:
Tom was supposed to start at Timothy Lake but couldn’t make it. This was probably for the best because after lunch Paul & Lane tried to show new members Rhona & Laura places to fish at Timothy and also the Oak Grove Fork but it was too simply to crowded.
Dave & George hit Clear Lake first thing in the morning. The water was very low so they opted to fish from shore by the dam after talking to two anglers that used Tenkara rods to dapple flies over the weedbeds with fair success. Dave got a fat 23” rainbow on a Green Devil down by the dam.
Anglers were putting in float tubes at the Clear Lake boat ramp so we went to see if it was anyone from the club and ran into Greg and Hugo, who were camping with their families.
When the sun hit the water the fish activity died and we went to check out Frog Lake. It was pretty crowded so we headed out to find Paul & Lane at Barlow Creek.
Paul & Lane started at Barlow creek and got some small but colorfully marked trout on dries. Then Paul, Lane, Dave and George spread out along the upper White River by the bridge but didn’t have any success. After this it was time to meet everyone for lunch.
Jim Adams tried Clear Lake in the morning and said no matter where he took his tube, the water was very shallow. Clear Lake has been drawn way down due to irrigation demands.
New members Rhona & Laura fished the Salmon River at the rock climbing wall a few miles up the Salmon River Road. It’s a beautiful spot.
New member Jim Bennett tried Clear Lake and then Frog Lake.
Red hit some small creeks and got several small trout on dry flies.
The Frog Lake Sno Park area was incredibly crowded at lunchtime so we opted to head across the road where the chain up area offered reasonable parking, plus we could put our chairs in a shaded old growth forest rather than a baking hot parking lot. It was a good move!
Next month we are talking about having a get together at the Westmoreland Casting Pond plus we are also looking at places for our August Fish A Long. Suggestions are always welcome!
The Corona virus situation is still very much with us and it looks like it will be for a long time. Since fishing access has been a little confusing the last couple months, Brad Jonasson contacted the ODFW and put together some great Covid Fishing Info. Thanks Brad!
Also, the Oregon Fishing Club sent a copy of their Covid policy.
With everything going on, June still remains a very good fishing month so club members got out and caught fish while of course maintaining responsible social distancing.
As always, pictures first with the report following below. Enjoy!
Several Club Members traveled Justesen Ranch early in the month, using Maupin as their base camp. Fishing was very good for rainbow trout. Chironomid fishing was the most consistent tactic but the trout were hungry and taking a little bit of everything from stripped streamers to dry flies.
From Greg O’Brien: Fished on the Feather River in CA with my brother at the beginning of the month. Caught tons of Shad on swung fly/trout Spey setup plus a few stripers on stripped streamers; the stripers weren’t large but they were super aggressive.
Also fished the Deschutes, mostly trout speying with streamers and soft hackles. It wasn’t lights out fishing, but got a decent number of tight line takes. Also got a big lazy bass, easily over 5 lbs and a 24”+ squawfish.
Shad fished at a John Day dam from bank and got some, also Hamilton Island at Bonneville where I got a couple Swinging with my trout Spey rod.
From Richard Harvey: The OFC properties produced some big rainbows this month. They were taking larger and larger flies as the month progressed
From Darryl Huff: Been fishing the Deschutes on a weekly basis, doing well with perdigons sub surface and caddis on top. Also fished the Sandy river with spinners and drifted beads , finding an occasional summer steelhead.
From George Coutts and Dave Kilhefner: We fished an Oregon Fishing Club lake late in the month that held bluegill, bass and trout. The surface temperature was 75 degrees, so to find the trout we concentrated on the deeper water creek bed channel where there was cooler water and found some nice trout. Red Chironomids were best, but trout were caught on a variety of flies.Around lunch time the fish stocking truck showed up. It was interesting to see how the lakes are stocked and naturally we tried fishing for some of the freshly stocked trout but didn’t have any luck with them.
From Ron Woodke: Fished at Timothy Lake for 2 days using both fly and spin fishing techniques. Caught 5 the first morning before it got to hot. Started earlier the second morning and caught three over 18 inches float tube fishing out of the Pine Point area.
From Lane Hoffman: Fished the lakes off Century Drive and also East Lake for a few days. The fishing was good but the area was WAY to crowded!
From Kevin Rogers: Decided to check out Frog Lake for the first time and did pretty good. Had on a small orange damsel nymph and tossed at the shore line and along one of the trees. Hooked into a 3-plus pound trout; the rest varied in size. Nice day out on the water.
From Mike Longacre: I want to give a shout out to Korkers customer service! Some of my wading boots studs came loose. They forwarded new new studs at no cost and advised using blue lock tite on the threads would keep this from happening in the future. Thanks again to Mark at Korkers!
The Corona virus situation made getting out and going fishing a bit confusing this month and many of us could not figure out what access points & waters were open or closed. Still, some folks managed to crack the code, get out and catch a few fish plus some 2020 Fly Fishing Challenges were met.
Here are their reports. As always, pictures first with the report below.
From Darryl Huff: May delivered fabulous fishing on the Deschutes! Most were taken on the dropper below a stonefly dry; occasionally the fish would key on the surface fly. Camped on the river when the big thunderstorm blew thru, the river got off color but the fishing was OK until the river got really ugly.
From Michael Longacre: Drove to Timothy Lake on May 29th. The Campgrounds were supposed to be open but they were not. I left around 1 PM and the gates were still closed. Trucks and Trailers were lined up to get in. I parked at a day use area and carried my boat in. The morning was wind free and warm and the lake had an algae bloom. Fish were jumping every where but I didn’t get any bites. Saw a bank angler catch a 13 inch rainbow on power bait.
From Richard Harvey: Been relegated to OFC properties due to all the closures but they haven’t disappointed. Been catching lots of big trout, bass, and bluegills. The fish are starting to take bigger flies this month.
From George Coutts and Dave Kilhefner: we fished the Oregon Fishing Club ponds several times. Fishing was hit and miss as the water got very warm on the hot days. Chironomids and streamers seemed to be the best producers.