CFF February Fishing Reports

Frank Day of The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches caught several bright steelhead down at the coast.

Darry Huff did well on the Lower Sandy River fishing beads. While the fish were in, so were the crowds!

Greg O’Brien and Timothy Collins hit some Oregon Fishing Club ponds and caught several large trout.

George Krumm gear fished the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers several times in February, with good success on some days.  The majority of the fish were wild; it seems the hatchery component has been weak this year.

Feb 22nd Fish a long Report

This event was lightly attended, so everyone ate VERY well. Cheryl made a delicious lunch of pulled pork & coleslaw sandwiches along with salad and fresh fruit sides.

Water conditions were ideal for swinging flies; water color was a nice emerald green & flowing at 1250 cubic ft per second. We had the river to ourselves.

Originally the weather forecast called for rain, but this Saturday we got lucky with a beautiful clear day.

Zach Epstein from Water Time Outfitters stopped by and generously donated his time & expert casting assistance. Thanks Zach!

Later that day I ran into a gear angler that I know and we talked fishing for a while. He got one earlier that day a few holes downstream from us.

There are some good fishing reports from the lower Sandy but the word is out and the weekend fishing pressure down there was intense.

In an attempt to embrace technology, I made a map with my GPS from the parking area off Hwy 26 to the river. CFF members please email me if you want a copy.

Next months Fish a Long is March 21st on the Crooked River. We have a special treat as Josh Linn from Royal Treatment will be giving his excellent on-the-water presentation on Euro Nymphing.

January 2020 Fishing Reports

From Tim Morton: Last month I was able to go on a bucket list trip to Patagonia. The Brown Trout is from the World End Lodge, and the Sea Run Trout is from Las Buitreras Lodge. The sea run trout was 13.5 lbs.  Didn’t get the weight on the Brown,

Fish a long Report: You can see from the river level screenshot that we had some higher than normal water for our Fish a long. While this didn’t impact our spey casting, it did put a damper on our Euro Nymphing as it was hard to find any decent nymphing water. On the good side, for January we had a surprisingly warm and dry day. This made it easy to set up for morning coffee plus Chef Cheryl’s delicious lunch of homemade soup, Texas toast and salad. Thank you for everyone that came out!

From Ed Rabinowe: Duck season ended and my got a new knee. I think I have a fishing rod somewhere!

From Dave Kilhefner: Got lucky on my first steelhead trip of the year with this 12lb hen; she was a jumper! The following week I fished the Oregon Fishing Club ponds and caught a nice trout dragging a Booby Fly along the bottom. Saw another angler doing OK fishing a woolly bugger under an indicator.

Brad Jonasson and David Hopkins had a good outing to the Deschutes River by Maupin.

From Greg O’Brien: My brother visits once or twice a year to go steelhead fishing and we hire a guide to get to water we normally can’t get to on foot.  We fished 2 days on the Sandy, floating from Dodge to Dabney with Travis Johnson of All Waters Angling. Monday was tough with just one solid pull & no hookup.  Tuesday was a slow morning but landed a big wild hen around noon, followed by another nice wild fish in the afternoon.  

From Darryl Huff: A nice wild steelhead caught just before New Years.

From Greg O’Brien: Hugo and I hit the Deschutes for a trout spey session and I got this nice one.  It ate the caddis emerger dropper of a swung 2 fly rig.

From Henry Muehleck: fished the north coast with Gil Muhleman.  We were gear fishing and had a great day. I hooked 8 and landed 3. Two of these were 14 to 15 pound natives. Gil is a great guide and definitely goes the extra mile to get you fish! 

From George Krumm: Fished the lower Sandy with gear. Landed a couple, a smaller hen and this nice buck. The buck went to the broodstock program.

2019 November Fishing Reports

This November featured some chilly weather but the fishing was hot at times!

From Brad Jonasson: Fished the Deschutes and netted 5 Redsides, 2 rainbows & 1 large Whitefish, all on a French Style Nymph.

From Greg O’Brien: My brother and I did some flyfishing in the California Delta for Striped Bass with guide Bryce Tedford (who has PNW roots in Puget Sound).  The fishing was tough to do all day as we had to throw 9 weight rods with fast sink lines & big weighted flies. We each got a lot of fish, mostly in the 14-20” class with a few bigger ones mixed in (up to 14 pounds).

From Darryl Huff: Found a hand full of steelhead and a few bull trout while fishing the Deschutes near Warm Springs this month. Best patterns for me were the prince nymph, blue perdigon, and egg patterns. Steelhead on the 6 wt. are a lot of fun but not all were landed! 

From Hugo Jim: 22 months ago, I decided to chase a Steelhead with the Spey. It took many classes, trips, trials and errors but with the help of Sam from Steelhead Outfitters I hooked, landed, and released a Wild one on the Klickitat River with a fly that I tied myself. I did it! 

From George Coutts: Spent three days on the Deschutes at North Junction, mostly Euro Nymphing.  It was clear, cold and, at times too windy to cast but I brought some nice Rainbows to hand and one sizable White Fish.

From Dave Kilhefner: Fished the Deschutes on the Warm Springs Reservation side with Elke Littleleaf. Fishing partner Robert Campbell caught 2 steelhead on spinners and I caught a couple nice redsides on beads.

From Bob Beswich: My friend, Neal Rea from Newport but formally from West Linn and I went to the Deschutes for a couple of days (11th and 12th). Around Beavertail, we found a few trout feeding on salmon eggs and caught them on glow bugs. We did fished for Steelhead with one hatchery landed on a weighted small purple at the boat landing at Nena.

And something from From Mark Bachmann to make us all jealous: We fished Loreta, Mexico. Trip details are on our website: https://flyfishusa.com/blog/Loreto-Mexico-in-November

Another great fishing month, thanks everyone for sharing your reports!

2019 October CFF Fishing Reports

October is always a great month to get out on the water!

From Richard Harvey: Sea run cutthroats moved into the coastal rivers well in October plus bigger fish began to show up. Also got a surprise silver.

From Phil Bartsch: Gary Stein and I went up to the Crooked River last Thursday (10/24).  Water was really low and super clear, but we managed to catch more trout than white fish.

From Greg O’Brien: I got a little swung fly steelhead action, some excellent trout fishing, and even a some predawn saltwater action at Barview Jetty.

Hit some trout lakes too: the trout on Timothy Lake and Rocky Ridge were big and hungry for small black leech patterns.  Diamond Lake was tough fishing when snow and wind came in hard but managed a couple of rainbows, but no tiger trout before getting off the water in a hurry.  

From Dave Kilhefner: went back to Beavertail for the last Westfly Rondi. It was a repeat of the fish a long weekend the weekend before. Egg patterns were the ticket with great fishing Friday afternoon and steady fishing the rest of the weekend. The sheep were out in force on the rock wall during the day plus saw a very nice buck on the drive home.


December Speaker George Krumm travelled to the Naknek River in Alaska with a few friends for some fall swinging for big ‘bows.  Some large fish were landed up to 32.5” on big leeches using switch rods, commando heads and sink tips. George fished out of Katmai Trophy Lodge.  The weather was sometimes challenging with conditions ranging  from below freezing some mornings to wet and windy with winds up to 35 mph.


October 2019 Fish A Long Report

Sometimes you get really lucky and hit everything just right. This Fish a Long was one of those times! Water conditions were very good, the trout were biting & stacked up thick below schools of spawning salmon. This weekend, finding spawning salmon was the key and we did this with no trouble.

I arrived and Friday afternoon and found a note waiting for me on Darryl Huff’s windshield that said “Dave, fishing upriver. Bring egg patterns!” Darryl had been having an epic day and ended up landing over 100 trout. To rack up these impressive numbers he started at 8am then fished hard all day. By the time I set up camp there was only about an hour of daylight left but I managed to hook a trout on the very first cast then bring another dozen or so to hand using and egg fly provided by Mitch Moyer, who was featured in Jim Adam’s September Fly Tying article.

It rained pretty hard late Friday night but fortunately stopped before Saturday morning. The rest of the day we had periods of intermittent rain and wind gusts but for the most part the weather and water conditions were good. The trout bite held up but was not as red hot as the day before. Still, we all got fish and Darryl had another good day, bringing an 18.5” fish to hand. My fish story of the day happened using a two fly rig & hooking two fish at the same time. Thanks to luck and heavy tippet both fish made it into the net.

Besides good fishing with good friends, it wouldn’t be a proper CFF Fish A Long without a good lunch! Cheryl provided fresh cooked juicy burgers, homemade macaroni salad and chips. Across the river seven mountain sheep were putting on a show, chasing each other and doing their mating dance. Aided by Paul Brewers Leupold binoculars & spotting scope, it was quite a sight.

After lunch the bite slowed down but we still ground out a few. Cheryl and I stayed Saturday night and enjoyed a nice campfire under starry skies. I had hoped to fish a little more Sunday morning but the White River blew out and the river was out of shape. I’m sure it would have been possible to grind out a few more but after being spoiled the last couple days I was content to drink coffee & pack up camp.

Thanks to everyone for coming and making this a fishing trip to remember!

2019 September CFF Fishing Reports

From Darryl Huff: My favorite words are still “dad, can we go fishing”!!! Some pictures from Father & Son days on the Deschutes.

From Jim Behrend: Pat and I went to Crane Prairie Reservoir and caught a few large rainbows and some Kokanee salmon.  We went with a guide from Fly and Field in Bend which of course was very helpful.  Then we went to the Wilson this week and had a good day fishing for sea run cutthroat.  Caught a couple in 16-18 inch range and a bunch of smaller ones. 

From Richard Harvey: While waiting for the silvers to show up in the Clackamas River the evening caddis hatches have been producing some pretty rainbows.

From Phil Hager: Ran over to central Oregon for 12 days and just got home.

Hosmer Lake: Fish are moving down from the upper lake and results have slowed down a bit, but very active during heavy rain squalls. Lots of Brookies, some RB’s and some Cutts on my little black & grey TnMC Nymph.

Lava Lake: Real slow, only hit a half dozen RB’s there. Water very cloudy on north end clearer on south end. (Reversal on “normal” conditions.)

Crane Prairie: Cow Camp and Cultus River area the water was clear and cold. 5 nice ones was all and all on the Brick Leech pattern. TU guys that went to Rocky Point said the water looked like split pea soup and in short order hit 12 and landed 7. All in the 18″ to 22″ size range.

Fall River: Seemed dependent on weather. Cloudy and rain, very active. Sun out, pretty quiet. Caught Browns, White fish and Rainbows below the falls, lots of various sized RB’s in the camp zone.

Crooked River: Very cloudy water. Like I told a friend from Prineville that stopped by, “lots in the 15″ range and several 24″, if you line up enough of the 4″-6″ size I’m catching!”. Most of those on my grey TnDH emerger.

John Day at Lepage: Lost count on Small mouth bass that ranged from 5″ to about 12″ in size. Most of those on the Brick leech. Planned a 2nd day there but there were stout winds coming out of the west and decided to head home.

From Jacob Noteboom & Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop:

The Deschutes River has especially been afflicted by White River run-off in the lower 50-miles for nearly the whole month of September. However, we all know that luck favors the angler who has a fly in the water. The best anglers got steelhead regularly with floating lines and small flies when the visibility was 2-feet or better. The last half of the month was far better than the first part. This probably had more to do with fish movement than watercolor.

September was good month for trout fishing on the whole lower 100-miles of the Deschutes.  Hatches have been prolific. Mayfly, midge & caddis have provided an evening smorgasbord.  As usual the majority of fish were hooked were within 10 feet of the bank.

The Lakes on Mt. Hood have all been stocked for the season including some “trophy trout” (18 inches or so). Harriet Lake had improvements done to its docks and accessibility from the bank has nearly doubled. If you haven’t been up there since the docks went in, head up and check it out! Timothy Lake fishes very well this time of year as pressure decreases. The boat at the dam remains open. Callibaetis mayflies hatch well into October and fish can be very active on the surface, especially with a light drizzle of rain coming down.

We are starting to see more and more Coho and Chinook making their returns to the Columbia tributaries. With recent freshets of rain hitting our systems, the rivers will begin to rise and dirty temporarily, and these bright silver bullets will shoot upstream at a surprising rate. The fish will come in small waves at first, so expect spotty numbers and slow days with intermittent action until there are enough fish in the system for the fishing to be consistent. Pink wiggly flies on twitched swings are the ticket. We will see if the predictions of a strong Coho run will come into fruition soon enough, hopefully.

From Dave Kilhefner: After the Coffenbury Lake fish a long Cheryl and I stayed in Waldport and fished for Silvers out in the Columbia River by Hammond. We had a great time on the water but unfortunately there were no fish around so we didn’t get any. Also, we didn’t see anyone else getting any either and the ODFW fish checkers said very few fish were caught.

On the good side, the Clackamas River has good numbers of silver salmon right now and fish are being caught.

We are on our second year of posting fishing reports. Here’s a link to last years September Fishing Reports: https://clackamasflyfishers.org/2018/09/27/cff-september-fishing-reports/

Coffenbury Lake Fish A Long Report

Coffenbury Lake was a brand new location for us. After doing the basic internet research, Cheryl and I decided to turn this Fish A Long into a little mini vacation and booked a nearby VRBO for the weekend. We arrived the night before and checked out the lake and the picnic area. We liked what we saw plus got to see an Elk feeding by the lake.

On Saturday  we arrived at Coffenbury Lake around 7am. First light was about 6:30 am and some local anglers were already fishing. It was raining during the night but luckily it stopped in the morning and for weather we had high clouds, little wind and mild temperatures; perfect conditions. The water was 66 degrees with about 3 feet of visibility. According to the locals the water level was way down and the usual water depth on this day was 5 or 6 feet with a weedy bottom.

We learned the lake had been stocked on Wednesday and that the early morning bite was best. Unfortunately for us fly fishers the “hot fly” was garlic powerbait; the bait anglers did pretty well catching 17-19” stocked trophy rainbows.

We hooked a few trout on flies but for the most part, small perch made up most of the fly caught fish. Sometimes a team effort helped. In the morning I was changing flies when unknown to me a fish started rising behind me; Cheryl called out and pointed emphatically to turn around so I did and then threw my fly into the last rise ring and was rewarded with a strong strike. It was a good fish and I fought it for a while before the hook pulled out. That would be my only trout of the day.

Coffenbury also has a large population of small perch. Their constant strikes kept things interesting, plus they helped a couple folks finish their 2019 Fly Fishing Challenge.

The sun came out for lunch and we enjoyed fantastic food: homemade spaghetti, ceasar salad and garlic bread.

After lunch we fished for another hour or two. A few more trout were hooked and lots of small perch. When the sun came out, the ambiance of the lake changed from quiet dawn anglers to young families & the cries of children enjoying a nice day on the lake. While the trout catching could have been a little better, all in all it was a good time. Thanks to everyone for coming.

August 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

From Darryl Huff: I have fished a single hand fly rod for years but had never tried the spey rod. Being a part of the Clackamas FlyFishers gave me the bump I needed to give it a try. My casting needs a lot of work but after a few trips to the Deschutes I was catching fish!

From Carson Taylor: Motivated by an internet article by Chester Allen (who spoke at a club meeting several years ago), I fished for bass on the Willamette close to downtown Portland off Macadam Avenue. Chester is working in downtown Portland and fishes for bass during his noon hour.

Fishing was not red hot, but I caught five bass in three two-hour early morning trips, mostly on leech and woolly bugger flies. It’s nice to fish 10 minutes from home instead of driving for 2–3 hours.

From Dave Kilhefner: In mid August I fished with guide Drake Radditz at Bouy 10 and caught a nice 25lb Chinook.

From Phil Hager: Spent 8 days in central Oregon with mixed results.

Link and Hand lakes, up by Suttle Lake, were slow, with just a few catches of smaller fish. Both East and Lava were suffering the “August doldrums” with only 1 caught on Lava and not even a bump on East.

Hosmer, however, was a different story. Fished the upper lake and it was like I could do nothing wrong! Using my intermediate line I lost count on catches in the first hour both times. My “Brick Leech” and black and grey TMC nymph were getting fish almost immediately with Rainbows, Cutts, and Brookies ranging in size from 12″ to about 24″ and fat and healthy. Right shoulder was tired in about 3 hours and it wasn’t from casting.

If anybody wants to go along I’m heading back up the 9/15 to camp at Lava and fish Hosmer and Lava, then over to Fall River the 19th for 4 nights (TU outing), and will hit Crane the 22nd. From there I plan on going over to the Crooked the 23rd & 24th and down to the Le Page, on the John Day, the 25th & 26th, to see how they are doing.

From Adrian Choate: Spent a week fishing SW Montana. Hit Rock Creek, the “Mighty Missouri “ and the Madison. The fish weren’t easy but managed to raise some big Bows and browns. Am considering a month in Ennis next summer!

2019 CFF July Reports

Sorry for the late posting but there was lots of good fishing in July this year, so this is a long post with lots of pictures. Enjoy!

Mark & Patty Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop made their annual trip to Loreto Mexico. Here is their report: https://flyfishusa.com/blog/Loreto-BCS-MX-Fishing-Report-Summer-2019

July speaker Elke Littleleaf had a great month on the Deschutes, landing many fine redsides like the one pictured.

With the cloudy early July weather Rob Crandall has been sneaking out on the Clackamas River and swinging up a few summer steelhead.

Nick Wheeler got this awesome Bull Trout euro nymphing for rainbow trout after work.

Greg O’Brien had a great day on Trillium Lake with his daughter Abigail. Her smile says it all!

Jim Adams got away to East Lake for a few hours while at Sunriver with family.There is usually a good callibaetis hatch late morning through midday during the summer at East, although the hatch was not as impressive as last year. Caught six fish. Five Rainbows, the biggest being 18”.  Also one kokanee, that put up quite a fight for its size. Unlike last year, no browns were caught  but saw one about 24″ take a callibaetis natural off the surface about two rod lengths from me, which got the adrenaline going. Caught fish on three different patterns: leech, callibaetis nymph and callibaetis cripple.

Adrian Choat went camping for 2 weeks camping at Crane Prairie. Spent mornings fishing from a kayak with best results stripping black wolly buggers and small red buggers. There was very little top water action. There are some large aggressive fish in Crane and he was broken off several times on 3x tippet.

Mark & Patty Bachman have been fishing Timothy Lake. They started with float tubes, then wend to pontoon boats. The last couple outings they’ve used their jet boat, allowing them to see the whole lake as never before. Fishing was great all day, every day even though the water temperature in the morning was 69-degrees and at dark it was over 74-degrees. Most of the fish we caught were planted rainbows that averaged 10-14 inches, the largest were 15-16 inches.  During the morning and most of the day small wooly buggers did the trick. Most of those fish were caught with type-2 and type-3 sinking lines while fishing in about 15-feet of water. A slow twitchy retrieve with the fly near the bottom was amazingly productive. They saw a few Hexagenia mayflies one morning around 10:00 o’clock, but the fish didn’t pay any attention to them. The main hatch started with sporadic emergence about 4:00 in the afternoon, then gradually increased until dark. Fishing emergers in the dark resulted in a fish nearly every cast for about an hour and then died. 

Richard Harvey has been chasing resident Coho along the beaches on Puget Sound. They are getting very active and taking baitfish patterns.

Greg O’Brien did a good bit of fishing in July. Harriett Lake produced a few browns on emergers, Dory fishing out of Pacific City was hot for Black Rockfish plus a cool Cabezon and a few Coho all on flies. He also hit an OFC property for bass and bluegill. He also floated the Deschutes from Beavertail to the mouth; they got several grabs, caught a big bass and a few nice trout on swung steelhead flies. He also hooked & lost a nice steelhead Euro nymphing for trout, which got about 100 yards downstream and broke his 5.5x tippet.

Hugo Jim went on a family camping trip at Lost Lake in mid July. He fished both from my pontoon and from the shore, taking fish on Adams dry flies and sub surface pattern such as leeches. The Hex hatch was slow when he was there.

Carson Taylor also fishing Lost Lake with the Washington County Fly Fishers July 13th fish-along. Everyone caught a dozen+ fish, mostly around 10 inches. Carson caught a brown around 14-15 inches and a 12-13 inch rainbow; but there are some larger fish! Olive woolly buggers and callibaetis nymphs worked best. On the way home the Hood River Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum (waaamuseum.org) is worth a stop.