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

President’s Message March 2019

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As you read we had a dozen members brave the elements and attend the Sandy River fish-a-long. It turned out to be a okay morning with almost everyone spending some time on the water. The company and the lunch were great. Our thanks to Dave and Sheryl Kilhefner for hosting the event. Next we have out sights on the Crooked River in March.

Our Founding Gold Sponsor, Mark Bachmann gave a great presentation on Spey lines and tips to a packed room. He fielded a number of questions and everyone came away with a better understanding of the lines.

In March we will welcome John DeVoe from the Waterwatch organization. John will share information and activities of there efforts to protect our waterways. It should be interesting and informative.

Again, coming up in Albany on 3/8-9/19 is the Northwest Fly Tiers & Fly Fishing Expo at the Linn County Expo Center. Check it out.

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 February 2019

We are off and running for a new year. Certainly like to start seeing more rain and not such a cool drier winter. Anyway we can still get out and go fishing.

The last fish-a-long on the Sandy river at Oxbow Park as well attended with about 12 members making the trip. A couple of fish(not saying what kind) were even caught and the lunch was great. Also a number of members assisted others with casting pointers.

We are back on the Sandy this month, but gathering a little farther upriver at Dave Kilhefner’s place. Again we will enjoy a hot lunch and maybe even find a willing Steelhead. More information to follow.

There was a good turnout for our January meeting and the speaker Brian Marz gave an interesting presentation on winter fly fishing opportunities. In addition we had a special silent raffle of a number of items recently donated to the club by the widow of one of our members. We would like to thank Mrs. Wayne Sparks for her generous donation of the fly fishing equipment of her late husband. We will miss Wayne.

The February speaker is our one and only Founding Gold Sponsor, Mark Bachmann from the Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon. Mark is an annual speaker and always has a interesting and well prepared presentation. In addition Mark has donated a float trip on the Sandy River and we will be auctioning one seat and having a raffle for the other seat at the meeting. You do not want to miss this one.

There are a couple events coming up one of which is this week and that is the annual Pacific Northwest Sportsman Show 2/6-10/19 at the Expo Center in Portland. Next is the Northwest Fly Tier and Fly Fishing Expo 3/8-9/19 at the Linn County Expo Center, Albany, Oregon.

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 January 2019

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Happy 2019. We are off and running for a new year with interesting programs and fun outings. Hope all had a great holidays and spent some time getting your equipment ready for the new year.

We had a great December meeting with and outstanding presentation by Gary Lewis a well known author of many books on fly fishing. He talked about fishing in the Mt Hood area with pointers and information about many lakes and streams. In addition every member in attendance got a little something and a number received gift certificates from out supporting fly shops.

Our speaker this month is Brain Marz and he will share his knowledge of winter fishing opportunities. It should be a very informative presentation.

We will also be kicking off the year with our first fish-a-long at Oxbow park on the Sandy River. We will be swinging flies for Steelhead while polishing our Spey casting skills. More information to come.

The Fly Fishing Challenge will continue for another year and Brad Jonasson has the following updates for us.

1.  There will be a random drawing for an additional award for those who completed the 2018 Challenge, but the member must be present to win the prize, and

2.  The criteria for the 2019 Challenge will be announced and early birds may sign up immediately.  The 2018 and 2017 Challenges will not be repeated in 2019.

Be sure to attend our January meeting to get the new challenge information and participate in the drawing.

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 December 2018

Wow the year is almost over. Happy Holidays from the board to you and your families.  It has been a different year with a tougher year for the Salmon and Steelhead returns, but other fisheries faired better.

Our November speaker, Jeff Morgan,  gave a great presentation on Winter Trout fishing.  He shared locations and techniques as well as some unique flies he had developed for winter fishing.  A lot notes were taken by many attendees.

This month we welcome back Gary Lewis a well known Northwest author on both hunting and fishing. Gary will share with us information on fishing in the Mt Hood area.  Gary will give us and entertaining and informative presentation so do not miss this one.

Don’t forget that every member who attends will receive a gift from Santa Phil.

We will not have a fish-a-long in December because of Christmas holidays.  We will begin again in January on the Sandy River  so stay tuned for more information.

Just another reminder that on Saturday 12/8/18 is the annual Metal Head Christmas party on the Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon. This is fun and educational so take some time to check it out.

Do not forget our sponsors as they are the lifeblood of our club. Stop by their shops to say hello and thank them for their support. Better yet buy something or book a trip to really underscore our gratitude for their support.

Gil Henderson