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!

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.