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