Presidents Message October 2020

From last years October Fish A Long

It seems like about 20 minutes after I hit the send key for the September Presidents Message Clackamas County erupted in flames. I’ve lived here since the late 70’s and have never seen anything like the wildfires last month. Several of my friends homes were seriously threatened. Cheryl was very fearful our cabin on Mt Hood would be lost but then PGE wisely shut down the power grid for more than a week and this probably saved much of the Sandy River corridor. My daughter evacuated her home on Oregon City for a few days because the smoke was terrible.

In spite of all this, several of us still wanted to have a September Fish A Long but chose not to. With everything going on, the last thing the great outdoors needed was more non-firefighting humans poking around.

But this month on Saturday the 17th we are going to have our traditional October Fish A Long at Beavertail Campground on the Deschutes River. I’ll get the details out the week before we go. For November, we’ll likely go to an Oregon Fishing Club lake.

Because this has been such an unusual year, the board has decided to extend paid memberships thru 2021; if you paid to be a member this year, it will be good for next year too.

The 2020 Fly Fishing Challenge is still going on. If you’ve completed the challenge or need the details please email me.

If anyone wants a free subscription to Fly Fisherman magazine, I received one of those free gift subscription offers. The first club member to email me gets it.

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a good way to get ideas for local flyfishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. I’ve tested it out; type the word September or October in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

Speaking of reports, next week I’ll post the September 2020 club reports and I’m happy to report we have some good stuff.

Please remember our sponsors this fall, they are the lifeblood of the club. Stop by their shops and let them know your appreciate their support. Better yet buy something or book a trip.

Dave Kilhefner Dave@kbi-ins.com

Presidents Message September 2020

In spite of all the craziness in the world right now, summer is doing what it has always done: go by too fast!

Unfortunately the COVID situation is definitely not going by fast and so we are going to have to adapt. Many folks seem to be adapting pretty well but there are a fair number of people that are sequestered. If you know someone like this I would encourage you to reach out and make contact, either by phone or email and let them know they’re not forgotten.

This summer I had a goal of fishing at three places; some new lakes on Mount Hood for trout, the upper Sandy River for salmon and the Columbia River for carp. I managed to fish two of the three. The Mt. Hood lakes fished well, as usual the upper Sandy River salmon skunked me and once again didn’t manage to get out on the Columbia for carp. I still have my Carp fishing cheat sheet notes from the John Bartlett presentation (a.k.a. John Montana) and will hopefully put them to use next summer.

Also, every summer I try to do an overnight backpacking trip. Last month I backpacked up on Mount Hood with my daughter Kelsey and her boyfriend Tim. Unfortunately Kelsey got a bad case of blisters and not wanting to turn the hike into a death march, we cut it short and did not stay overnight. We commiserated in fine style at the Brightwood Tavern with good food and libations, so it ended up being a great day plus we saw some extremely beautiful scenery.

Another personal goal this summer was to see the NEOWISE Comet with my own eyes. This seemed like it should be pretty easy to do but it took five tries; FIVE! I even made a special evening trip to Altamont Park in Happy Valley but the view of the Northwest sky was obscured by smoke from a building fire from the protests. If that wasn’t bad enough, Cheryl got tons of mosquito bites while we sat in the park waiting for it to get dark.

In July we had three new members join. Welcome to Lauren, Rhona and Jim!

Clackamas Fly Fishers has always taken the month of August off as far as meetings and fish longs go. With all the cancellations we’ve had this year I wanted to try and do an August activity such as a fish along or get together but time got away from me. My apologies!

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a good way to get ideas for current local flyfishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Simply type the word August or September in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

It’s been really crowded on our local waters the summer, as in extra crowded times two! This makes fishing a little more challenging but as you can see from our fishing reports are members are still getting out and making it happen. My hat is off to everyone for doing this.

As we go forward it’s not certain when we may begin having regular meetings again. People have suggested Zoom presentations. While I think this could be a good idea our local fly shops are doing a great job Zooming and Blogging. Personally, I don’t want to compete with them in this area as we need to support them, not compete with them. Going forward, at least for the next couple months, Clackamas fly fishers will focus on flyfishing activities we can either do together or at least help each other with our flyfishing goals. As always, I’m open to any ideas you may have.

On the conservation front, on August 24 it was announced the Pebble Mine has been blocked, at least for the time being. This is great news but at the same time I do not believe the fight is over yet.

Next weekend on September 12 and 13th is the annual Clackamas River down the river cleanup hosted by the Clackamas River basin Council. It is a fun and worthwhile event. Here is the link: Http://clackamasriver.org/events/down-the-river-cleanup/

Presidents Message July 2020

You’re probably thinking “funny cartoon Dave, but that could never happen!” On the other hand, with everything that is going on these days stranger things ARE happening…all the time.

The other day, I ran into my old neighbor. While catching up, he said he had been watching a lot of news and all the media hype got to him, which is no easy task. He didn’t realize how bad his personality had suffered until his adult son told him to stop biting everyone’s head off every time they tried to talk to him. To his credit he cut WAY back on watching the news and his outlook got much better. I don’t watch hardly any news myself and can say it’s a great anxiety reliever.

Of course, it’s hard to lower your of anxiety if you feel isolated and out of touch. After doing some brief research about the 1918 Pandemic I realized this thing was going to take a while; far longer than I would be able to stay isolated indoors. For my own health and peace of mind I tried to find a reasonable, logical approach and decided to use the strategy Sweden is employing. A brief paraphrase from the article; “recognize that the world is only in the first stage of dealing with a long, uncertain battle with Covid-19 so Sweden is keeping much it’s of society open while training people to observe distancing guidelines — is the only realistic way to cope in the long run.”

So far, I’m staying healthy plus spending a reasonable amount of time out of the house and on the water. To do this, I have my supplies. Some are visible and obvious like face masks and hand sanitizer. However, my most important “supply” is extra patience and lots of it! If a store is too crowded, I come back another time. If a car is driving crazy, I get out of its way. If someone is in a hurry and putting off the “human tuning fork vibe” I give them distance and let them go first.

We had some pretty good fishing in June along with lots of pictures to share. Thanks to everyone for sending these in. With the cool weather continuing, fishing conditions are looking pretty good for July. Personally, I’m hoping to hit some Mt Hood Lakes in my float tube, chase carp for the first time on the Columbia and maybe try for Spring Chinook on the upper Sandy River. This barely scratches the surface of what’s available but it’s good to have a plan plus a back up plan; if your first choice doesn’t work out you can still enjoy some time outdoors. Mainly, I’m going to stay positive and keep my fly in the water as much as possible. Fish will be caught!

Unfortunately the High Rocks Banquet Room will not be open for our meeting so we won’t have one in July. To make up for this we will get more fishing info and opportunities posted on the website, so stay tuned. Also, our Forum is a good place to share ideas and information.

Last year our July Fish A Long at Round Lake was our best attended fish a long ever (or at least for the last several years). It was a great time but as you can imagine, Fish A Longs or club initiated fishing trips will have to change for a while. It makes to most sense to travel alone or in small groups of 2 or 3 but we can still get out there!

Also, if you have any suggestions for the club or need any info, please get in touch.

Dave Kilhefner (Dave@kbi-ins.com)

Presidents Message June 2020

Greetings fellow Fly Fishers. Might as well get the bad news over with first: the June 16th meeting is cancelled. While this is unfortunate it does make some sense; Oregon has started to reopen and while this is great news my better half has informed me this has increased the number of Coronavirus cases in our state. Also, and this is the deciding factor, while High Rocks is open they are not permitted to open their banquet room yet. I learned this last week as I went in for a burger and a cold one and the owner relayed this news. 

On a more positive note, fishing has been pretty good and I’ll get the May fishing report out soon. While the summer steelhead run has been slow other fisheries have been picking up the slack, namely trout on the Deschutes, the OFC ponds plus Smallmouth and Carp on the Columbia & Willamette. Also, if you’ve seen all the boats out on the Willamette you know the Shad are in!

In spite of all the good fly fishing opportunites, COVID-19 has me hibernating a little and it’s slowed me down. If you’re feeling the same way send me an email and we’ll try to make some fishing happen. If you need some reading material for inspiration I have free Fly Fishing & Tying Journal magazines for anyone that wants one while supplies last; just send me an email and we’ll figure out how to get a copy into your hands. Also, you can take advantage of our well stocked Library.

Our local fly shops were able to open last month to walk in traffic. If you plan on going its good to call ahead to make sure they are open as business has been on the slow side so they sometimes close a little early, which is understandable. Also, please take a moment to read the rules posted on the front door and of course be courteous, maintain social distance even if you don’t believe in it and wear a mask.

We really tried to have the May 23rd Fish a Long at Timothy Lake happen but unfortunately the US Forest Service delayed the PGE parks opening. Given this, we’re going to try again this month and fishing reports are good. Be advised to be safe we will maintain social distancing so everyone will need to bring their own lunch & beverages. Stay tuned for details.

Dave Kilhefner

Presidents Message May 2020

Greetings fellow Fly Fishers. As the COVID-19 situation persists sometimes all you can do is maintain your sense of humor. It’s good to see the Fly Fishing & Tying Journal is doing just that with their “what kind of trout is this” cover. We are all dealing with this in our own way and on my home front the yard looks great, my liver probably doesn’t and I’m gaining weight like a prize bull.

Spring fishing has taken a back seat but I’m still getting out a little and catching a few. George Coutts and I have hit the OFC ponds a couple times by meeting at the OC Home Depot and carpooling from there, wearing our masks in the car. It seems to be a workable system. Others are getting out too. Recently Darry Huff texted a picture of his first summer steelhead of the year; May is the best month of the year to pursue Clackamas Summer Steelhead. Several of you have journeyed over to Rocky Ridge and caught some trout as big as steelhead. It’s a big fish year over there.

If you haven’t been able to get out I have free FFTJ’s for anyone that wants them while supplies last; just send me an email and we’ll figure out how to get a copy into your hands. Also, you can take advantage of our well stocked Library.

Our local fly shops recently opened their doors to walk in traffic, just be sure to be courteous, maintain social distance even if you don’t believe in it and of course wear a mask.

The May 19th meeting is uncertain. Our May speaker is not traveling so if High Rocks opens we’ll have to think of something else, and we will if allowed! I’ll keep everyone posted by email as the situation unfolds.

Some members really want the May 23rd Fish a Long at Timothy Lake to happen, so it probably will. Our launch site at Oak Fork Campground is due to open May 22nd. To maintain social distancing everyone will need to bring their own lunch & beverages. Also, it’s $5 to park. I’ll get the details posted as the date approaches.

The return to a more normal life is starting to unfold but at a decidedly slow and cautious pace. It’s like trying to watch a spring flower bloom; you can’t see it happening but then one day it does. I’m ready!

Dave Kilhefner

Presidents Message April 2020

This month’s Presidents message will focus on some ways we can help and maintain our club and our fly fishing community thru the Coronavirus situation. Hopefully you’ve been staying safe and healthy as we practice social distancing to flatten the curve. These efforts seem to be working with one exception, which is described at the end of this message where it fits better.

First off, please remember to support our sponsors as these are very difficult times for anyone and everyone in the outdoor industry. While most shops are closed to walk in traffic they are still open for online ordering and several are conducting online seminars that are worth tuning into.

Speaking of online fishing info, CFF has an online forum In the past it’s focused on fishing reports and fly tying but it’s also a good way to keep in touch. Check it out, reply to a post, keep in touch and stay sane.

As you have probably already guessed we won’t have our April 21st meeting. While the restaurant ban in Oregon is scheduled to expire on April 14th it’s quite possible this will be extended. Even if the ban is lifted, gatherings are probably not advisable for a while.

On a more positive note, our April speaker Dennis Dauble recently won first place in the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association Excellence in Craft Contest for his book Bury Me With My Fly Rod. CFF has a copy in its library or you can order one online at https://dennisdaublebooks.com/   

Another positive note, the April 25th Fish A Long at Rainier Lakes is still going on as The Oregon Fishing Club is open, but the club reminds everyone to stay safe and practice social distancing so we will take extra care and stay at least a fly rod length away from each other.

Locally, steelhead fishing is remains open and bright fish are being caught but it’s still a slow year. Personally, I’ve been out fishing a few times without success, but have seen fish caught plus it’s great to get out of the house. Paul Brewer reports trout fishing on the Deschutes is OK, that it’s a little surreal as he is about the only angler on the river and as expected, Euro nymphing is working best. Police are patrolling along the road looking for people camping or using the boat ramps. The Oregon Fishing Club reports all the ponds have been stocked and fishing has been good.

This brings me to driving; for unknown reasons there are A LOT of crazy drivers on the roads right now. If you venture out on the roads, be doubly vigilant.

Dave Kilhefner

Presidents Message March 2020

As the new President of Clackamas Fly Fishers the first order of business is to thank Gil Henderson for being our club president for the past 10 years. He did a great job for a long time, leaving some big waders to fill. Thanks Gil!

While steelhead numbers have been down, there have been some very good reports from the coast plus the rest of March thru mid April is the very best time to get out and try to catch one. If you’ve been thinking of hanging up the spey rod for a while, DON’T. Roughly from the beginning of daylight savings time until tax day (boo!!!) the weather and the fishing gets better. Also, this is when the biggest fish of the year make their presence felt so beef up your tippets!

For those of us suffering the winter steelhead blues, this month we have the always popular Crooked River Fish A Long where some fish catching always happens! Josh Linn of Royal Treatment Fly Fishing will be on hand to give instruction on Euro Nymphing. I’m very much looking forward to this event! Not only can I pick Josh’s brain about Euro Nymphing but will have and excellent chance to catch some new fish species while using a few new knots to help qualify for this year’s Fly Fishing Challenge.

Phil Bartsch has put together the perfect auction item this month, a Redington Euro Nymphing rod. Check it out.

Our website has a new page for Fish A Longs so you can see what we are up to and make a plan to attend. Also, we are always open to suggestions.

We continue to need members to participate on the board of directors. If you like to catch fish, there’s lots of benefits to doing this as the board members are all skilled anglers. Some will even take you fishing (wink).    

Please remember to support our sponsors, they are the lifeblood of the club. Stop by and visit with them plus use their expert advise to get the best value on your fishing tackle. The best way to save money on fishing tackle is buy what you need the first time, not become a tackle tester for Amazon! So buy local, you’ll be glad you did. Thanks in advance for showing your appreciation, it’s always welcome. See you on the water!

Dave Kilhefner

President’s Message February 2020

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Here we are starting a new year and hopefully it will be a year of good fishing for all of us. The club will be off and running with new speakers, fish-a-longs and raffles. Be sure and check out the blog for the current information.

On another subject, I have served as the President of the club for ten years and have enjoyed that role. It is rewarding to have seen and been involved in it’s successes and a few struggles over those years. I notified the board last year that 2019 was my last year as the CFF President. Dave Kilhefner will now take over as CFF’s President. Thanks Dave!

Speaking of stepping up we continue to need members to participate in the board of directors. It does not take a lot of time and it a great way to meet and work with members plus have a role in the health and activities of the club. I encourage any one to let a board member know of your interest and of course your always welcome to attend a board meeting.

Again, remember to support our sponsors as they are the lifeblood of the club. Stop by and visit with them and better yet buy something or book a trip with them. Showing our appreciation is always welcome.

Gil Henderson

President’s Message October 2019

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It seems this year we can only dream of catching a nice bright Steelhead, but a few are out there even if the run in the Deschutes is not up to past years. Anyway the Trout are still about and we can enjoy the fall days stalking them.

The club has been moving right along with interesting speakers and fun outings to some new venues. Things will keep on being fun as we begin the fall of 2019.

The speaker in September was Garth Wyatt, PGE biologist, who recapped the efforts to restore the Chinook, Coho, and Steelhead runs to the Clackamas River basin. Good progress has been made which will bode well for the fishery in the future.

Next we have John Wall from Portland Fly Fishing Shop to discuss local fishing opportunities. Join us to listen to this guides thoughts.

The fish-a-long this month will be on the Deschutes where we can pursue Steelhead and Trout. Of course good food and company included. Stay tuned for more information. Also, the fish-a-long for November will be on the Kilchis River for Chum Salmon. This is an annual event and is usually a lot of fun, but is also weather dependent. Again more information to follow.

As you saw on the site we have a joint meeting with the Fly Fishing Club of Oregon. The speaker location is downtown so leave early to avoid traffic. It will be well worth the trip.

Remember our sponsors are they are the lifeblood of the club. Stop by their shops and let them know your appreciate their support. Better yet buy something or book a outing with them.

Gil Henderson

President’s Message July 2019

Summer is upon us and a reminder that we will not have a meeting in August, so our next general meeting will be in September.

First, regretfully, Tim Mahoney, our current secretary has tendered is resignation because of personal reasons. Tim all of us Thank You for you serving in that role so admirably and the extra contributions you made to the club.

Now we have need of a new secretary and the board would appreciate any member stepping up to take over that role. It mainly involves attendance at board meetings, preparing minutes of the meeting, filing federal and state forms once a year, and coordinating other documents and correspondence. Of course other board members are always available to help for vacations, etc. so one does not have to feel they must be at every meeting. If interested let any board member know.

The last fishing outing to the Justensen Lakes was well attended with about 8 -9 members attending. The weather was great and the fishing was enjoyable . Everyone tied into a few feisty Rainbow trout and all had an enjoyable day.

Next, we are off to Round Lake for our July outing so put that on your calendar. More information to follow.

Our speaker for July is Elke Littleleaf, a guide on Deschutes and other tribal waters. He is going to share with us the fishing opportunities on tribal lands. This a first and should be very interesting.

Remember our sponsors are they are the lifeblood of the club. Stop by their shops and let them know your appreciate their support. Better yet buy something or book a outing with them.

Gil Henderson