June 2022 Fish A Long Report & Presidents Message

This month the Presidents Message will be combined with June Fish A Long report. The two mesh together pretty well as it’s been nearly impossible to pick decent fish a long locations in 2022 with all the colder weather & high water making for unpredictable fishing. For instance, this month we were supposed to go for Shad at Bonneville but very high water put the kibosh on that. So when Mike Shiiki texted a couple weeks ago to say he’d made it down to Lake Harriet and not only was the “catching” on fire but there were lots of big fish too, it was a huge relief to finally have a “can’t miss” spot for the fish a long.

Unfortunately, I probably jinxed the weather by buying that extra box of donuts for all the people that were going to show up to catch a bunch of big trout last Saturday. The forecast was for heavy rain and on Friday we did have what could be described as a raingear test, but on Saturday the weather was pretty nice with a mix of low then high clouds and a few sprinkles from 8am to 2:30 pm.

With the high gas prices I’ve been trying to camp out and get in an extra day of fishing whenever possible & made a plan with Rich Harvey to fish Lake Harriet Friday afternoon. The forecast was for wet weather but the road from Rhododendron the Timothy Lake was dry: it turned out to be a good sign that didn’t last. By mid afternoon the rain arrived. Fortunately we caught a fair number of trout from 11” to 18”  plus Rich got the Lake Harriet trifecta, landing a cutthroat, numerous rainbows and a brown.

On weekends like this my outdoor clothing motto of “don’t buy if it’s not quick dry” really paid off and I was able to quickly dry out and get comfortable after enduring a good downpour out in my float tube.

While the campground at Harriet wasn’t full it was “fully reserved” so we drove a couple miles up the road and truck camped at Shellrock Creek camp & we were the only ones there. The rain let up at dusk and we built a nice fire and enjoyed a cold one and a cigar, but it was drippy under the trees. Then it started raining harder and harder so a little before 10 we went to bed. It was for the most part a restfull night but around 2 am driving rain woke me as it sounded like I was in a car wash ( I slept in the cab of my truck). Fortunately it didn’t last.

Saturday dawned rain free but the creek was high and flowing hard. I made the short drive to Harriet and met Dave Doble in the parking lot. Dave got geared up & started fishing while Rich and I BSed until 9:45 but no one else showed, so we got geared up and out on the lake then started catching fish right away. Better still, we had the lake to ourselves, I guess the weather forecast kept folks away. Then the clouds lifted and it got pretty nice out!

Rich stayed by the boat ramp area and I could see he was doing very well. Dave was stationed by the catwalk and he was doing well too. I kicked down around the corner and there wasn’t another soul in sight and the fish were cooperative. It doesn’t get any better!

We compared notes at the end of the day and there was really no “hot fly” as Rich was using a sparkly minnow looking fly, Dave did well on a #12 black woolly bugger and I tried various leech patterns and they all worked; the key on this day was to just get something in the water. Lots of strikes were soft and came on the drop. I missed many of them but connected with several dozen too!

Most fish were the 11-13” planters but we all landed a handful the larger rainbows up to 18” plus a brown or two. The lake was 48 degrees & the water was very clear on Friday but got colored up a bit on Saturday.

Weather was pretty nice in the morning but it got windy and rainy around 2pm so we decided to pack up and head home, otherwise we might have stayed another day and kept wearing out flies!

This month we’ll have a regular meeting at High Rocks on Tuesday, June 21st. Social hour starts at 6pm and the presentation starts at 7pm. The “first beer free” rule will still apply. Hope to see you there!

CFF May 2022 Fishing Reports

The water levels and weather this May were a little crazy, but as you’ll see from this report CFF members were flexible and found plenty of good places to fly fish. As always, pictures first with the reports below.

From John Silkey: Spent last week at Guide School on the S. Fork of the Snake in Idaho with Worldcast. Amazing experience! Got to dive deep into all things fly fishing for a week and spent most days on the water learning how to properly and safely pilot a drift boat while guiding clients. (Even got to do a little fishing and got this nice Yellowstone Cutt.)

I don’t own a boat yet but am looking to practice more, so if anyone needs an oarsman I’m keen to spend time paddling and getting to know area.

From Mike Shiiki: Lost Lake in the coast range: First time there and it was recently stocked with a bunch of hatchery rainbows and some steelhead.  The rainbows hit all day, all were hatcheries from 8-12″.  We trolled #14 black/red Half-Wit leeches on an intermediate line from our float tubes; this technique is still killing it! My friend Christian was using float line, no indicator and stripping a long leader with leaches/buggers.  Steelhead could be seen near the surface and occasionally rise. I ended up landing two that hit leaches; the first was 26″ and the second was bigger.  It’s an easy lake to get into, has a parking lot, bathroom and a hiking trail around it.  Worth checking out.  

My son Nathaniel and I made our first trip to Harriett Lake May 28th; the road from Timothy to Harriet is under construction AGAIN, but the detour is clearly marked & adds 15 min to the drive. It was worth the trip! We were the only ones out on the lake and we found some big fish by the inlet. Nathan caught a couple nice browns and an 18″ and 20″ rainbow, plus we found ALOT of 16-17″ hatchery rainbows down stream from the big orange barrier and into where the lake widens up.  It started pouring rain from about 12:30pm – 3:00 but the bite didn’t slow down at all.  Trolling black hal-wits on an intermediate line was the ticket.

Went back Monday 5/31 and it was a good day again, but not like the previous trip.  My friend Paul landed a 19″ rainbow and I landed a couple 18″ers. There just aren’t many people making that drive up there, so now’s a good time to go.

From Chris Brehm: I was able to spend a day on the Big D with my brother Steve fishing the Salmon Fly hatch. Fishing near Warm Springs and Dry Creek, we caught multiple fish up to 17″ on nymphs in the morning, then on big bugs from late afternoon til dark.( Steve’s shirt is off after falling in)

I had two trips on the ocean for Halibut. The first was 40 miles out of Westport WA, but was cut short by engine problems after quick limits of Lingcod. One might think that a 15 hour trip which featured an 8-1/2 hour return (limping back to port  at 5 knots) would cure me of long ocean runs, but 3 days later out of Newport I landed a 46″ Halibut near the “Rockpile”. Three of us limited on Halibut plus a few rockfish.

From Wayne Hughes: Fished Rocky Ridge lakes with Jim Teeny. We caught and released a lot of really nice fish in the 18-22” range. Of course all our fish were all hooked on Teeny Nymphs; Jim’s new size 14 leech in blue/black with silver bead and natural size 12 leeches were best. We used Jim’s 5’ ghost sink tip line and in the deeper part of the lake, the T-130 sinking line.

CFF Board Retreat: We had our annual board retreat at Rocky Ridge in early May. 15 to 25 mph winds made for a tough fishing day and Jim got his pontoon boat pinned against the rocks at Mules Ear when the wind was blowing especially hard. In spite of this we all got fish in the 18” to 22” range, landing about 10 fish each. Leech flies on an intermediate line worked the best by far.

From Dave Kilhener: I’ve been spey fishing the Clackamas for summer steelhead without any success. It’s a super slow year plus the crazy water levels haven’t helped but its fun to get out when the weather is nice plus you can’t catch them if you don’t try! On the first trip out I got my spey rod stuck togther and it didn’t seem like it would ever come apart again. I read up on various ways to get it apart and tried them all. After a couple weeks I tried packing the ferrel in ice & salt, let it sit for an hour and that did the trick.  

To put a bend in my fly rod I made a couple trips to the Oregon Fishing Club. The fish were finicky and my standard long tailed woolly buggers & half wits produced mostly short strikes, so I put on one of Phil Hager’s size #8 brick leeches and converted those short strikes into hookups!

Thanks to everyone for providing these reports!

May 2022 Crooked River Fish A Long Report

You’ll notice this Fish A Long report features pictures of some really nice fish and scenery. If this was a fishing show it would be easy to bend the truth and say the fishing was hot, but the reality is the fishing was tough, very tough! Rich and I fished for 3 solid days and the first two days I was pretty sure I’d get skunked and nearly did. On the last day I caught 1 trout, but it was a big enough to make all the effort worthwhile.

Rich and I arrived Thursday night. It was a cold evening, an even colder night and we burned most of our wood. As the campfire burned the stars came out and were very bright! The guys in the site next to us said it snowed a little when they were setting up camp. Fortunately the cold snap was short lived. By the time we finished our coffee the following morning it was pretty nice out and stayed that way the rest of the weekend.

The river was off color with about 2 feet of visibility and flowing at 242 cfs. The week before it was at 125 cfs and since there wasn’t a full moon to blame the slow bite on, we blamed it on the increased water flow. The water temperature was 48-49 degrees which is pretty much perfect. Everything seemed OK but as I said before, fishing was tough!

Rich got into a few and I struggled. I was well on my way to earning my skunk stripe when a whitefish rolled on my two fly nymph rig. While I missed the strike, the dropper fly hooked it in the tail and I was able to bring it to hand. While the skunk was officially off, it felt like taking a hand off at the trout farm. Fortunately we had our traditional Mexican feast at the Mazatlan Restaurant in Prineville to look forward to, and it didn’t disappoint!

Saturday dawned with a repeat of Fridays good weather and slow fishing. We had our traditional fish a long breakfast of coffee and donuts, swapped recent fishing stories and got ready for the day.

Fishing was slow again today but Rich found a good pocket close to the deadline up by the dam with some willing trout and managed to hook 9 and land 3 in a couple hours, all on his little bright red midge pupa pattern. The biggest was 20” long and fat as a pig. It was a real brute!

We broke for lunch and I tied some of Rich’s bright red midge pupa’s for myself and also the guys in the camp next to us.

Armed with the the latest hot fly renewed our confidence. We worked downstream into the pocket water by the campground. Rich was able to grind out some trout by concentrating his approach around the rocks. I stuck with my “cover lots of water” steelhead approach and had no luck. Lesson learned: work harder on picking the water apart and working the structure! In the afternoon a huge cadds hatch came off. When the sun got low the fish started rising. I put on an Elk Hair Caddis, swung it just below the surface and did well. It’s also a really fun way to fish, especially after you’ve been hyper focused on nymph fishing all day!

Saturday night we hung out with the guys in the camp next to us. Like us, they traveled over from the Portland area to do some fly fishing and enjoy the dry east side weather. We built a big fire, talked fishing and had a fun night.

Sunday was another nice day. The plan was to hit the Crooked in the morning then maybe try the Deschutes on the way home. We hiked back up to towards the dam and while crossing the river saw an Osprey dive into the water and sink it’s talons into a fish so big it could not lift it out of the water. It was a tense two minutes while we watched & wondered if the Osprey might not make it. It was a relief when the osprey was finally able to unlock its talons and fly away to seek smaller prey next timel.

We went back up by the dam and fishing was tough. After pounding the water with my indicator rod, I switched to Euro nymphing and hooked a big trout on the first cast by slowly walking one of Lane Hoffman’s red squirmy worms down the current seam. We fished the water thoroughly for another hour or so without success. At lunch we broke camp and made a quick stop at the Deschutes by Warm Springs. The big stoneflies were active but it was the middle of the day and the trout were taking a siesta so we didn’t linger very long before calling it quits and heading home.

Even with the slow fishing it was a great fishing weekend with good weather and fun fishing companions. While nobody wishes for slow fishing, it’s a good teacher and I learned a few new tricks.

Next month’s fish a long is June 11th (free fishing weekend in Washington). We will be chasing Shad up at Bonneville Dam. Hope to see you there!

CFF April 2022 Fishing Reports

After a pretty slow winter fishing really picked up in April and our members had some great fishing. As always, pictures first with the reports below.

From Joshua Marsh: Had a great trip to Xcalak, fishing out of Casa Paraiso.  We had two slams in our group (tarpon, permit, and bonefish in a single day) and lots of action throughout. It was amazing fishing in a fantastic place with bones and permit caught right off the dock.  I’m sorry to say no permit for me, but next time!

From Keaton Andreas: I don’t have a fishing report, but I’ve been working on tying a pattern that I plan to target cutthroat trout with. My plan is to test them on resident fish at the opener on 5/22 at the Wilson River weather permitting. 

From Tim McSweeney: All I’ve been thinking about all winter is figuring out fisheries that are closer to home. Between work, and family life I don’t get out nearly as much as I’d like and when I do, it’s always been LONG day trips or weekend trips.

So what did I do? Went after smallmouth; never caught one and didn’t know anything about them. Drove 3 hours to a river that was way too cold, dirty and high to be fishing for them. I had a couple friends that casually fish and wanted to get out this weekend before our Spring’s got to busy. I threw out a couple ideas and they clung to this river and spot even though I knew it wasn’t the right time of year. In two solid days of fishing all we got was 1 eat & one lethargic smallie around 10″. Regardless, it was absolutely gorgeous, and was able to catch up and relax around the fire.

On our way home we stopped for 1.5 hrs at a popular state park on a much lower stretch of this river where the water was warmer but much dirtier. In the end we landed two good, thick fish and 3 dinks. Including my fish smallie that really doubled over my 6wt. I can’t wait to start fishing for these more, especially, you know, actually closer to home.

From Chris Brehm: Started the month fishing the Lower Sacramento near Redding. Got some beauties fishing Bubble Back Caddis and Peaches and Cream nymphs under indicators.  Went to Crane Prairie for the opener and got our son into some nice Cranebows inspite of rather slow fishing. Action on  Balanced Leeches and Rootbeer colored Chironomids.

From Dave Kilhefner: I’ve really taken my lumps this winter steelhead season. Finally some showed up in the upper Sandy for a few weeks. It was fun while it lasted!

From Greg O’Brien: Another club member and I hit the lower Deschutes to swing flies with trout spey gear.  It wasn’t lights out, but we got a few decent fish on sculpin patterns.

From Darryl Huff: I was able to squeeze in three trips to Warm Springs in the first week after the opener. Fishing was definitely good with perdigons leading the way as the most productive fly. Perdigons tied with Glo Brite Floss in Fl Highlander Green #13 consistently outperform all other colors for me. Water temps reaching 50 degrees seems the magic number to stimulate fish movement into faster water and increased feeding activity. My size 14 nymphs were for the most part completely ignored. The magic combination in most water was a size 16 with a 3.5 bead on the point, and a size 16 or 18 as the upper fly with a 3.0 bead. Fish were also caught on Walt’s Worm, Golden Stone, Jimmy Leg Stone, Rainbow Warrior, and Frenchies. 

From Ed Rabinowe: This beauty took a wooley bugger at tide change 😉

From Bob Beswich: Just a quick D report, no Stone flies in the Maupin area yet. I managed to land a few nice trout in the riffles with a nymph dropper; while it rained Saturday.

From Richard Harvey: The OFC properties have been good all month with warm water fish starting to get active. 

From George Krumm: Spring Chinook gear fishing has been great in the places that are open above Bonneville.

Great job everyone and thanks for sending in your reports!

April 23rd Fish A Long Report

We had wonderful weather for our April 23rd Fish A Long at Schmadeke Pond and it was very well attended. However, the fishing was a little slow and this was forshadowed by a report from Vickie Loftus, who guided CFF member Peter Lymm to his first stillwater trout the day before. Vickie reported the recent rains and cold fronts have chilled the water to 51 degrees and put the fish down for a while. Bites were slow in coming and when they did happen, short takes were common. This was our experience too.

On the good side, most of the trout were pretty big, everyone had some action plus not everyone struggled to catch fish. So the silver lining on this slow bite day was we learned some valuable new stuff as Mike Shiiki & son Nathaniel tube-trolled a small black leech on intermediate line and consistently hooked fish all day long. Mike says this is a really good technique on Timothy Lake as well.

Their hot fly was Egan’s Half-Wit Leech. Click the link for tying instructions.

I tried to imitate Mike & Nathaniel’s tube-trolling approach after lunch but couldn’t quite pull it off as I got a cramp in my leg. But I did find something that worked OK, slow trolling a white leech 10 feet under an indicator (much of Schmadeke Pond is 12 feet deep). I have seen this technique in the past and decided to give it a try today & started getting bites with some consistency. FYI, it’s also supposed to be a good tactic for bass when they are not very active; it’s called the “float n fly” technique.

It was a little strange that leeches were the only fly that was working well as I stomach pumped a couple trout and the only thing in their stomaches were Chironomids. Mysteries are part of fly fishing!

Around 3:30 fish started rising pretty good in the shaded area along the far side of the lake and I was able to get a nice one on top with a Shipman Buzzer. While different looking, it’s easy to tie and very effective, imitating a hatching chironomid. Plus it floats very well, making it an excellent dry fly for suspending a pupa pattern on a dropper.

Thanks to everyone for coming and making this Fish A Long a success. Next months Fish A Long will be at Clear Lake on Mt Hood. Hope to see you there!

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!

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.

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 !

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.