April 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

The Clackamas Fly Fishers board retreat at Rocky Ridge was a big success with many large trout landed. The wind was blowing hard but the trout were on the bite. There’s lots of room on the Rocky Ridge schedule so get over there!

Don Lewis with a Yakutat Steelhead on his father & son trip with Gary Lewis.

Don Lewis traveled to Yakutat to fish for steelhead with his son Gary. They had a great father/son trip and hooked many steelhead!

In mid April Chris Dudley made the journey to Omak Lake to fish with his sister Cynthia and other friends. The fishing was a little slow with 6 fish landed in two days, but all the fish were big! The best techniques were slow trolling a woolly bugger on an intermediate line or suspending balanced leeches below an indicator. Wind was a problem for the pontoon boats so most fish were taken from shore on this trip.

Chris Dudley and his son Jason and fished Justesen Ranch Lakes April 19-21, with four pairs of fathers and sons. They did very well with suspended leeches, chironomids and dark woolly buggers, but by far the best fly was the Jolly Rancher, obtained a the  Deschutes River Fly Shop in Maupin. The largest was 22 inches, with many at 16-19″. A great time had by all. The best chironomid patterns were chrome, snow cone and black in medium sizes fished just before dark.

Darryl Huff got this net busting Redside on the Deschutes River opening weekend.

Darryl Huff fished the Warm Springs section of the Deschutes when it opened on Monday April 22nd. The water was high running at 6300 CFS but the color was ok. Crowds were expected but the high water and Monday opener kept most away. No single fly was best Darryl caught trout plenty of 12-18″ trout on the san juan worm, zebra midge, blue perdigon, olive sculpin, glow bug plus multiple stone fly patterns.


Hagg Lake Fish-a-long Report

We had a great day at Hagg Lake last Saturday. The weather was good with mild temperatures, no rain and very little wind.

About 12 people joined the Fish-a-long including a new member Sue Deering. Sue was first on the water and did well casting & also trolling green/black woolly bugger on intermediate line, which was the best fly fishing tactic this day.

The Simi Seal Leech, featured at our March Fly Tying night, was a good pattern too.

Fishing was interesting and everyone had lots of strikes but relatively few hookups. Short strikes, lots of them, were the norm this day. The trout that were caught were about 12 inches long and fought stubbornly. We heard from some other local fly anglers that trout to 18” were possible.

The water was a pea green in color but it was clearer than it looked with 5’ to 6’ of clarity. The temperature was 55 degrees. There were no visible hatches. Those of us with fish finders noted the almost all fish were about 9 feet deep.

Hagg Lake has a good population bass and we hoped to catch some, but the water was a little too chilly for good bass activity. Common wisdom says Smallmouth’s like water temps around 65 degrees and Largemouth’s closer to 70.  

This is a good place for float tubing and kayaking. There is really not enough room to fly cast from the bank. Also, the banks are clay and a little slippery.

The parks are nice and we were able to set up a good place for lunch, which was Taco’s with ingredients provided by Cheryl. We had a ton of food and everyone enjoyed seconds. Thanks again for everyone that came to make this fish-a-long another successful event!

March 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

Elke Littleleaf, who will be presenting for CFF in the near future, generously gave his time to help introduce youth and families to fly fishing at the NW Steelheaders Family Fish Camp this month.

March speaker John Devoe got out on the water with CFF sponsor Mark Bachmann to enjoy some winter steelhead fishing on our namesake river.

John Warren traveled to Christmas Island in early March, doing well on both Bonefish and Giant Trevally.

Josh Linn of Royal Treatment got in some good Euro Nymphing action on the Metolius River. John will be giving a presentation on Euro Nymphing at our April meeting.

The day after the fish-a-long Paul Brewer and Dave Kilhefner fished the Deschutes River around Maupin. The water was high, off-color and cold. Trout fishing was tough but a few were brought to hand using Euro nymphing tactics. The hot fly was a San Juan Worm, a high water favorite.

Seven CCF members went on to the Owyhee after the Crooked River Fish-A-Long. Flows were very low and it was a bit crowded. Rain from the previous days caused a creek to blow out and muddy up parts of the river, then the wind picked up; all these things combined to create poor fishing conditions. However, the bugs were out and several members landed Brown trout up to 18″ long. Fish or no fish, everyone did have a good time; new friends were made, lies were told plus lots of education & exploration!

Another great month of Fly Fishing is in the books. Thanks to everyone for sharing their reports!

Crooked River Fish-a-long Report

This years Crooked River Fish-a-long was very well attended with 14 members; thanks to everyone that made the trip, it was a great outing with everyone getting fish!

Saturday’s weather was cloudy and the temperature was warmer than it appeared as the hills still had a bit of snow hanging on. Paul warmed us up with hot coffee, donuts and a campfire and then later we had Cheryl’s homemade Sloppy Joes and Coleslaw beside a refreshed fire.

The water was low and clear. The flow out of Bowman Dam was 85 cubic feet per second and the water temperature 39-40 degrees. We all went for the deeper water spots and found a fair number of willing whitefish schooled up in the shallows. The “hot fly” was anything small and dark. Euro nymphing tactics accounted for most of the action but several members did well with small wet flies.

While most of the fish were in the 8” range we did get a few bigger ones, with some whitefish pushing 15” long and trout to 14”.

After the fish-a-long several members continued on to the Owyhee River with Lane Hoffman. A report of this trip will be in March Fishing Reports due out soon.

February 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

Greg O’Brien had a decent day float tubing in early February at an Oregon Fishing Club lake. The day started slow but after figuring out the depth and retrieve the fish wanted things picked up. Several rainbows up to 16” were netted and released.

In mid February Trux Dole and Dave Kilhefner fished at Little Tree and Big Tree Lakes at the Oregon Fishing Club. Water temperature was 42 degrees and had a pea green color with 2-3 feet of visibility. The weather was overcast and cold with a light dusting of snow on the ground. We planned to fish from 9am until 1pm. Unfortunately the trout did not start biting until 12:45 so we stayed until 1:30pm and ended up landing 6 nice trout using White Devils and Red Snow Cone Chironomids.

Dave Kilhefner landed & released this “snowstorm steelhead” on the Sandy River the day after the fish-a-long.

January 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

Several of us have been chasing steelhead on the Clackamas River but no fish were brought to hand. Several of these reports are on the new Member Forum page. Check it out! 

This is the face you make after your boat motor starts on the 2nd pull after a long rest in the garage. For those of you that have nearly torn a rotator cuff pulling a starter cord for 20 minutes, you know this is good news!

While the slow steelhead reports are potentially discouraging, you can’t catch steelhead from the couch! Zack Epstein of Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitters got out on the water and guided Phil Salomon into this nice steelhead.

December CFF Fishing Reports


The holidays are a busy time of year so December fishing reports were a little slow but people got out on the water and got into fish!

In mid December Kevin Luettgerodt did some Euro Nymphing on the Deschutes River below Harpham Flats. It was a chilly 36 degrees with clear skies.

George Krumm, the editor of Fish Alaska Magazine, managed a steelhead and then traveled to Pyramid Lake in Nevada to chase Lahontan Cutthroats. He caught some nice fish in the 10 to 12 pound range.

Nice black skipjack tuna on the fly while fly fishing on long range boat, Shogun off the Baja Pacific coastline.
Yellowfin tuna taken with a Echo 12 wt BAG fly rod while on the Shogun off the Baja Pacific coast.

CFF speaker Joe Warren had a bucket list trip, going on a long range bluewater flyfishing trip out of San Diego. Some storm fronts came through, making for rough seas and scattered the fish but when they found them, they got them! Joe managed to catch over 20 tuna, a mixed bag of yellowfin, skipjack, black skipjack, and bonito.  He also caught two striped marlin, one on conventional and one on the fly. Congratulations Joe!

November 2018 CFF Fishing Reports

Dick Law traveled to the Grand Ronde River with several friends. They fished out of Troy for several days. He reported the fishing was very slow with only 1 steelhead taken for their group.

We had to cancel our Nov 10th Kilchis River fish-a-long this month due to super low water conditions and also very low numbers so fish. However, some good fishing reports rolled in just before the season closed on Nov 15; something to keep in mind for next year!

Ed Rabinowe, Jim Romero and Lane Hoffman journeyed to Louisiana for Redfish. The weather was unseasonably cold but they had good action, all landing Redfish over 25lbs. Jim’s 1st red was 28lbs and Ed claimed big fish honors with a 34lb pig! A brushy purple streamer was the best fly.

Greg O’Brien and a buddy made a couple trips to the Oregon Coast for surf perch. On his first trip the ocean was calm with a low surf swell and they had good action casting & stripping flies within 50’ of the beach in 1-3’ of water. The biggest were about 12” long and are excellent eating. They also had a surprise catch, a nice Dungeness crab! The second trip had a larger 4-6’ swell and more tidal current, making for difficult fishing conditions and only 1 perch was taken. The best fishing outfit was a single hand rod rigged with a sinking line and a stripping basket for line management as the tide rips around your legs. They also tried a double hand rod but the thicker spey line got pulled all over by the currents and didn’t work as well. Lastly, remember to be safe and wear some sort of PFD and never turn your back on the ocean!

Carson Taylor made the wisest fishing choice, opting for Grand Bahama Island. Fishing the east end of the island near Freeport, he landed both Bonefish and Mutton Snapper.

Great job everyone, another fun and interesting fly fishing month!

Oct 29 to 31 Deschutes River Report

Last week I had the chance to fish with Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop for 3 days (Mon-Tues-Weds). It was an auction trip thru Water Watch and the winner of the auction was unable to make the trip and they need a volunteer to fill the open seat. Twist my arm!

Mark met us at the Macks Canyon boat launch in his jet boat, then we motored a couple miles downstream to camp where Patty had lunch waiting for us. Besides myself there was only one other angler on this trip, Rick Dulude from Salem; a member of the Santiam Flycasters, he won this trip thru the Deschutes River Alliance auction. We had a great time fishing together.

Our camp was very comfortable and Patty took good care of us with hot meals and hot coffee available 24/7. The days were crisp, the nights were clear, the moon was mostly dark and the stars were very bright.

I hadn’t seen the lower river canyon after the Substation Fire. It was a little shocking to see the scorched hillsides but on the other hand, there was lots of new green growth beginning to show. Still, it will take a while for all the trees to grow back. What was truly shocking were all the deer bones we found along the riverbanks. We speculated the deer were overcome and died from smoke inhalation before the flames of the fire overtook them. On the good side, there were lots of live deer around.

The water was a little off color from the White River, which was gushing muddy water due to heavy rains on Mt Hood. The water temperature was 51 degrees, a good temperature to chase trout and steelhead. The salmon spawning activity was over for the year. As far as insect activity, there was a big midge hatch in the afternoons and some small mayflies mid morning. The ever present small caddis were around along with a few big October caddis. Mark broke out his insect seine and we netted some bugs: the nymphs were a combination of small dark mayflies (size 16 or 18) and decent sized tan or green caddis larva (size 12 or 14).

Rick stuck to steelhead fishing and had a good morning on our 2nd day, hooking two and landing one native steelhead on a December Day fly pattern. He also had several more pulls that didn’t stick.

For a while, I tried skating a Lemire’s Grease Liner given to me by Adrian Cortes at the Fly Fishing Symposium a couple weeks ago. At first I was determined to stick with the skater “as long as it took” but that didn’t last long as the riffle next to me was full of flashing trout and whitefish that I couldn’t resist. I put on a nymphing rig and started catching fish. I tried both indicator and Euro nymphing tactics. Euro nymphing was far more effective; it’s a technique I’ve only just started trying out but I’ll be doing it a lot more, it’s a winner! I tried lots of different flies, but the best patterns were zebra midges and hares ear nymphs, both in size 14.

 

 

 

CFF October Fishing Reports

Hi everyone, here are some reports from our members for the month of October. It was another good fly fishing month!

John Warren landed a small Chinook and also a nice Half Pounder Steelhead on the Rogue using a small green leech with a 6 weight. Good times!

Carson Taylor journeyed to Yakutat the last week of September along with Pat Miller and Don Nelson of River City Fly Shop. They fished the Arhnkiln River. The colored fish was the biggest and strongest and the other the brightest. Everyone caught 20+ silvers over four days plus some Dolly Vardens. Guide-provided Dolly Llama flies were the most popular pattern.

Dave Kilhefner tried his hand at Euro Nymphing on the Clackamas River at Feldheimers. There is a nice riffle above the boat launch. He took several decent rainbow trout and whitefish using a zebra midge and also a small hairs ear nymph.

Frank Day of the Fly Fishing Shop got this nice Bull Trout on the Metolius River casting & stripping a streamer pattern.

Phil Hager got this brood stock brute at the Pine Hollow Fish-A-Long. He used his little grey mayfly emerger pattern, fished about 4 feet deep with an intermediate line and a very slow retrieve.