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.

Round Lake Fish A Long Report

This year’s Round Lake Fish a long was very well attended and a lot of fun. A big Thank You for everyone who made the long drive to make this event a success.

Several of us decided to drive over Friday afternoon and camp and it was a lot of fun. John Warren’s wife Linda made a pot of beef stew and everyone else pitched in for a tasty pot-luck dinner. The weather was clear and Dave brought his spotting scope and we were able to check out Jupiter’s Moons in the southern sky.

On Saturday everyone rolled in between 8 and 9am and we enjoyed a light breakfast of hot coffee, donuts and lemon bars before hitting the lake.

Fishing at the lake was tougher than expected. One big surprise was a couple of otters had taken up residence. Otters are great fun to watch but if you’re a fisherman it’s both a good and bad sign; they know the fishing is good but they put a big dent in the fish population!

David Mullins was one of the first anglers on the lake and did well for a while on Simi-Seal Leeches that he tied at Jim Adam’s fly tying class in March. Green and brown were his best colors.

Another thing that made the fishing a little tough was the usually plentiful Callebaetis hatch wasn’t really happening. However, there were still enough of these bugs around to fake you out; they were like a small “decoy hatch” and lots of trout were jumping but it was hard to figure out what they were taking.

The most successful dry fly was discovered by Kevin Rodgers, who had good success along the far shaded shoreline by casting a Black Flying Ant close to sunken logs close to the bank and the overhanging fir trees. There were also lots of Blue Damsels flying and a few club members had some action fishing those, plus its fun to watch trout jumping a foot or more out of the water trying to snag one!

Round Lake is one of the few high lakes that have brown trout along with the usually more plentiful brook trout. One this day, most of the catch were brown trout about 12” long and we only caught a couple brook trout. Usually, it’s the other way around.

Cheryl Kilhefner put together a tasty deli sandwich style lunch and Paul Brewer helped her pack it up to the lake, where we all enjoyed good food and good company on this very fine day.

June 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

In early June Dave Kilhefner, Carson Taylor and Chris Dudley fished the Willamette River for Shad with Rob Crandall. In 4 hours of fishing we caught all the shad we could handle along with numerous doubles and six triple hookups.

Phil Hagar went up to Timothy for the June TU outing from the 5th to the 9th at the North Arm campground. It was a good trip despite some of the weather. Phil got into a bunch of 2-5 pound Rainbows and Brookies plus too many smaller fish to count. Loaned a reel with a sinking line plus a Brick Leech to Jim Teeny’s nephew then took him up by the islands, explained how to fish it and helped him catch his biggest ever Rainbow and also his first ever Brook Trout.

Jim Adams, Gil Henderson, Carson Taylor, Chris Dudley, Pat Miller and Ron Bouchard (who has relocated to Arizona and drove 1200 miles to join us) fished the Owyhee River from June 16th-23rd.

Fishing was “challenging” and while fish were caught not everyone landed fish on this trip.  But the camaraderie, humorous stories, and good-natured barbs of the group made it a enjoyable and memorable trip. This group has been getting together for over 10 years.

A major weather event had preceded us. The road in the canyon had been blocked by slides and there were numerous piles of debris that had been removed from the road. The river seemed to have been scoured out of plant and insect life. None of the big hatches that we were used to seeing in previous years materialized. With no fish feeding on the surface we relied on subsurface offerings…small nymphs, streamers, and San Juan worms.

The water was off color when we arrived and the farther downstream you were the dirtier the water.  The fish were either hunkered down or had also been swept downstream.  On the good side, the fish that were landed were very healthy looking and seemed well fed despite the water conditions. Brown trout up to 22 1/2 inches were landed along with a few healthy rainbows.

Rich Harvey reports the Oregon Fishing Club lakes and ponds have been fishing very well this month, with the cooler weather keeping the big trout active.

Ron Woodke fished Trillium Lake in late June and did very well with Black Woolly Buggers, bringing about 17 fish to hand. Other fly patterns were tried but the trusty Black Woolly Bugger was what they wanted. Besides the good fishing, the weather was perfect and there was no wind.

Jim Behrend and his wife Pat fished the Oregon Fishing Club three times in June. They went to Shauna Pond and did pretty well there and also Blue Den Lake for the first time.  They also tried the North Santiam site, which was a fun adventure, having some success with big dry flies. Jim tried Euro-nymphing with a Tenkara rod following Josh Linn’s suggestions at Royal Treatment Fly Shop. It worked surprisingly well considering it was a new technique. The rocks on the Santiam were super slippery, so be careful.

CFF Justesen Ranch Fish A Long Report

Another great fish a long is in the books! Last weekend we traveled to the Justesen Ranch Lakes located by Grass Valley. The weather was very nice and the fishing was good and the company even better. Everyone had a very good time.

We stayed in a nice farm house and had a hearty dinner of Sloppy Joes and Ceasar Salad provided by Cheryl Kilhefner. We also had a great apple cake for desert provided by John Warren’s wife Linda. A big thank you to everyone that chipped in with food, snacks and spirits!

The fishing was a mix of hot action at times mixed with periods of selective trout when a different kind of bug started hatching, giving us all a riddle to figure out…or not!

On Sunday the fish went selective on us and while they were jumping everywhere, we could not buy a strike! On this day Trux Dole earned top honors for staying with it and finding the hot fly: a blue damsel dry pattern that the fish absolutely hammered.

For subsurface patterns, most of the time the hot fly was a Red Snow Cone Chironomid fished about six feet under and indictor. When that stopped working casting and stripping green damsel nymphs drew strikes. Green Devils and Callebaetis nymphs also worked well.

This weekend the water temperature was in the mid 60’s producing good damselfly and mayfly activity. And as always, Chironomids were a stillwater staple. Some of the lakes have very clear water and have better dry fly/hatch matching opportunities. Other lakes have a higher nutrient load and while the water isn’t as clear, they have better subsurface fishing as the fish are not as picky. One of the best things is Justesen Ranch offers many lakes to choose from so there is no shortage of water to explore.

May 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

Lot’s of good fishing happens in May and CFF members got out and had good times on the water. Here are their reports:

Lane Hoffman with a bruiser size Rainbow from Rocky Ridge

In early May Lane Hoffman and Jim Romero had good action on large sized rainbows at Rocky Ridge Ranch.

Dave Kilhefner and Chris Obuchowski fished Big Tree Lake at the Oregon Fishing Club. The water temperature had jumped to 64 degrees and the bite was off but they still managed to grind out around a dozen trout in the 12” to 18” range. All the local wildlife was out enjoying the fine spring weather; hunting ospreys, families of geese and even a beaver.

Dave Kilhefner traveled to Kona, Hawaii and caught some strong & interesting looking fish off the rocks.

CFF members Red Smith, Gil Henderson and Carson Taylar made a couple trips to the Deschutes River by Maupin, having good action on Redsides throwing big stonefly dries along undercut banks and under the trees.

Phil Hager spent 9 days camped at Crane Prairie, fishing Crane, Lava and Hosmer. It was windy nearly full time along with rain, hail, snow and even a little sunshine. Most of the days the highs we’re in the 40’s to low 50’s and nights close to freezing. Was it worth it? Rainbows, Cutthroat, Brookies, Browns and even a couple Bass were caught, with many 16″-18″ along with 3-5 pound Rainbows and Brook Trout,

Richard Harvey traveled to Puget Sound and had good action on sea run cutthroats during outgoing tides using baitfish imitation flies.  

Greg O’Brien traveled to Massachusetts and experienced some hot Striper fishing, catching 40+ schoolies on the fly one morning in the bay.  Big fish are coming soon we hope, our biggest was 30”.

Greg O’Brien found this nice brook trout along with several others at Timothy Lake.

Adrian Choate spent two weeks camping on the Deschutes. He had lots of stone fly dry action did do too well on nymphs. He reports at the end of May there are still quite a few bugs still flying and it’s the best stonefly hatch he’s seen in the last several years!

May 25th Fish-A-Long Report

Thank you to everyone who came to this months Fish-A-Long. Also, a double thank you to CFF members Kevin and Joey who did some extra recon over the last couple weekends to help us find the right place to go today and also to Robert Campbell, co-author of Fishing Mt Hood Country, who generously shared his knowledge of this lake.

For several years I’d been hearing good things about Timothy Lake so I was excited to finally get to fish here. On the way to the lake I stopped in at The Fly Fishing Shop where Tony gave me some good advice and hot flies (#8 AP Emerger) that worked all day long.

Even thought the weather was cool and a little windy, all the other stars aligned to make this a great day. The lake had been recently stocked, the water was very clear and 55 degrees; perfect for good trout activity. Everyone caught fish, a couple trout over 20” were landed and to top it all off we saw a pair of eagles teaching their young how do dive bomb the surface of the lake and snag a trout dinner. Richard Harvey did a great job capturing a video.

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!