Presidents Message October 2021

October is one of my favorite months of the year and one big reason is the October Fish A Long at Beavertail Campground on the Deschutes River. With the great fishing and canyon scenery it’s hard to beat! It will be on Saturday, October 23rd and in the past many of us have camped there. I’ll get the details of this popular Fish A Long out the week before.

For our October 19th meeting, I’ve been thinking Maybe we could have both a Zoom and In-Person meeting? I think it’s possible. Basically, the presentation would be on Zoom and at that point it’s pretty easy to hook a laptop to big screen TV for the in-person folks. Stay tuned as those details will be emailed to you a week before the meeting.

Speaking of email, we will go back to having email reminders every time a new blog is posted (this is called an RSS feed). For our club, this is the easiest & most popular to keep the information flowing.

Brad Jonasson want’s everyone to know the Fly Fishing Challenge is still open and to sign up if you haven’t already.

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  October or November in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

With all the fly fishing opportunities this month try using the Meet Up function on our Webpage Forum to schedule fishing trips with other members.

Late next week I’ll post the September 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 you appreciate their support. Better yet buy something or book a trip.

Good fishing!

Dave Kilhefner

September 2021 Presidents Message

What a difference a year makes! The picture above is of Marty Sheppard scouting for sheep in the smoke during last years wildfires. While our wildfire season is difficult, it’s not as bad as last year, at least in our region.

Here’s some potentially great news! The High Rocks meeting room is open so we will be having a regular “in person” meeting Tuesday, September 21st. Josh Linn will be our speaker and his subject is Euro Nymphing, something he is very knowledgeable about. Josh will be donating a box of flies plus a leader for our raffle.

Our last meeting at High Rocks was February of 2020, about 18 months ago. It’s been a long road!

More on the meeting: given the changing COVID situation I’ll get an email survey out to the membership soon to see how everyone feels about attending an in person meeting.

This month’s Fish A Long will be Saturday, September 25th. The location is still to be determined but with the weather cooling down there are good options are available. The Fish A Longs schedule has its own page on our website. Also, I’m sorry we didn’t have a fish a long in August. To be honest with all the hot weather changing the fisheries, I couldn’t find a place to go that would accommodate a fish a long.

Brad Jonasson want’s everyone to know the Fly Fishing Challenge is still open and to sign up if you haven’t already.

Hoot Owl regulations remain in effect this month.

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a fun way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Type “September” in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month. 

If there is anything you want to see on our blog, let me know. Thanks again to Jim Adams for resuming his fly tying column!

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

Good fishing! 

Dave Kilhefner

August 2021 Presidents Message

Great news everyone! The High Rocks meeting room is open so we will be having a regular “in person” meeting September 21st (for our newer members, we don’t have meetings in August as too many of us are out of town). Our last meeting at High Rocks was February of 2020, about 18 months ago. It’s been a long road!

This months Fish A Long will be Saturday, August 21st. The location is still to be determined but given the hot weather it will most likely be on the Columbia or Willamette chasing Smallmouth Bass. The Fish A Longs schedule has its own page on our website.

I’ll get our July fishing reports out soon. As summer progresses hopefully you have been able to beat the heat and enjoy some quality time outdoors. The picture above is my daughter Kelsey kayaking the upper Sandy.

Brad Jonasson want’s everyone to know the Fly Fishing Challenge is still open and to sign up if you haven’t already.

Hoot Owl regulations remain in effect this month.

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a fun way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Type “August” in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month. 

If there is anything you want to see on our blog, let me know. Thanks again to Jim Adams for resuming his fly tying column!

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

Good fishing! 

Dave Kilhefner

July 2021 Presidents Message

As our fishing reports proved, last month was exceptionally good with many different fly fishing opportunities to  choose from. As we roll into summer hopefully you have been able to beat the heat and enjoy some quality time outdoors. 

We don’t have a speaker lined up for July but will have another informal Zoom meeting at 7pm on July 20th to share flies, lies and the talk fishing. We did this last month and it was fun and informative. I’ll get an email reminder out a day or two before the meeting.

And speaking of meetings, here’s some big news. It looks like we will be able to have a meeting at High Rocks in September!  

This month I had hoped to have an outdoor meeting centered around fly casting at a park like Westmoreland but couldn’t get it put together. However, I’m always game to throw some line so if anyone needs some casting pointers or practice send me an email and we’ll do it.

The July 24th Fish A Long will be on Mt Hood waters. Just like last year, we’ll spread out on various waters and meet for lunch at the Frog Lake Sno Park at 1pm. The Fly Fishing Shop has been putting out some excellent information on the local fishing opportunities, along with a summary of the Hoot Owl regulations in effect this month.

The Wilder Lake Fish A Long has been rescheduled for November. Same deal; everyone who paid to go in March can fish for free.

PGE advises Timothy Lake and Lake Harriet are open. Access is from Hwy 26 only. Lane Hoffman advises the road over Lolo Pass to Lost Lake is pretty bad and you’ll probably need to take the long way around thru Hood River.

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a fun way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Type “July” or “August” and you’ll get all the past reports for that month. 

If there is anything you want to see on our blog, let me know. Thanks to Jim Adams for resuming his fly tying column!

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

Good fishing! 

Dave Kilhefner

June 2021 Presidents Message

June is always a good fishing month with plenty of angling opportunities to choose from. Pictured is a shad from Willamette Falls taken while fishing with Rob Crandall a couple years ago. I’m looking forward to doing this again soon. For the sake of comparison, I went back and re-read last year’s June 2020 Presidents message and things are definitely much better this year!

Hopefully you have been able to get out and enjoy some time on the water as we had plenty of good weather and water conditions last month. The CFF May fishing reports will be posted soon and we’ve got some good stuff to share.

We don’t have a speaker lined up for June, mostly because several of us, me included, are going to be out of town when the June meeting is scheduled. Given this, we will have an informal Zoom meeting at 7pm on June 8th to share flies, lies and the talk fishing. We did this last month and it was fun and informative. I’ll get an email reminder out a day or two before the meeting.

At the Zoom meeting last month it was suggested we have a contest to guess the background location of our favorite fishing spots. If you have a photo you’d like to submit for this contest please email it to me. Once we have 10 or 12 photos we’ll get the contest set up.

The June Fish A Long will be for Shad below Bonneville Dam at the Hamilton Island Parking Area. This is on the Washington side so we’ll go on June 12th, which is a free fishing weekend in Washington. Trux Dole fished there last year and had a great day; here’s his shad fishing report from last year and I’ll email the details for the upcoming fish a long soon.

The Wilder Lake has been rescheduled for November. Same deal; everyone who paid to go in March can fish for free.

I’m sending out email updates once or twice a month and most of you are already on our email list. If you’d like updates in real time put your email in the SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL option and you’ll get an email notice every time a new blog is published, which averages 3 to 5 times per month. If you’re on a PC this option is just to the right of this post, but if you’re on a smartphone you’ll need to scroll way down a ways to find it.

If there is anything you want to see on our blog, let me know. Thanks to Jim Adams for resuming his fly tying column!

For local fishing, Summer Steelhead and Spring Chinook are in the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers. While the numbers are down, they are being caught and are the very best fish of the year. They will be in ultra prime condition from now until the water drops and warms. PGE reports they are getting a very good return of native Spring Chinook on the Clackamas and last month I hooked one but lost it. Dang! This time of year Clackamas River fishing is best early in the morning before the rafters take over the river. The Oregon Fishing Club lakes are fishing very well, especially the ones down by Salem. This will continue until the water gets too warm. The Mount Hood Lakes have all be stocked and should be good options for float tubing. Last but not least, the Deschutes is fishing well but the Stonefly hatch is winding down. 

PGE advises Timothy Lake and Lake Harriet are open again. Access is from Hwy 26 only.

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a fun way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Type “June” or “July” and you’ll get all the past reports for that month. 

Please remember our sponsors, 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. 

Good fishing! 

Dave Kilhefner 

May 2021 Presidents Message

Photo caption: Dave and Elke with a stonefly caught redside on the Deschutes from several years ago.

April started off right with a fishing trip to the Crooked River in Central Oregon put together by Lane Hoffman., who spurred several of us into action with his announcement that he was going fishing on the Crooked and then on to the Malheur during the first weekend in April and anyone that wanted to was welcome to join him. I sent out an email to the club members for Lane and we ended up having an improptu fish a long. It was a great time and everyone caught fish, even some pretty big ones!

I hosted my first Zoom meeting and it went pretty well. Zoom is easy to use but there is still a learning curve. To all that attended, thanks!

We don’t have a speaker lined up for May 18th. If anyone has an idea please email me. If we don’t end up with a speaker we’ll have a get together on Zoom where we can share flies, lies and fishing plans for the upcoming months.

We have a new page on the website for the Fly Fishing Challenge. Check it out and then get signed up. It’s a fun contest plus it motivates you to get out and chase new kinds of fish with a fly.

We are going back to Wilder Lake this Month for the May 22nd Fish A Long, and here’s some great news: everyone who paid to go in March can fish on May 22nd for free. If you are not on that list, the cost is $80 for the day. I’ll get an email out with the details soon.

I’m sending out email updates once or twice a month and most of you are already on our email list. If you’d like updates in real time put your email in the SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL option and you’ll get an email notice every time a new blog is published, which averages 3 to 5 times per month. If you’re on a PC this option is just to the right of this post, but if you’re on a smartphone you’ll need to scroll way down a ways to find it.

If there is anything you want to see on our blog, let me know. Personally, I’d like to see more fly tying stuff but haven’t been able to get that going by myself. Volunteers?

Last month I won a couple of awards for my fishing articles in the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association Excellence in Craft Contest. When I was in school I struggled in English class so it’s really gratifying to win an award for writing.

For local fishing, Summer Steelhead are starting to show in the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers. While the numbers are down, they are being caught and are the very best fish of the year. They will be in ultra prime condition from now until around mid June. Spring Chinook are coming too, but that’s a whole new level of fly fishing insanity but they can be caught in the same water as summer steelhead, especially in the evening. The Oregon Fishing Club lakes will be fishing well and of course, the Deschutes Stonefly hatch is just starting as I’m writing this and will continue to get better. 

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a fun way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Type “May” or “June” and you’ll get all the past reports for that month. 

Please remember our sponsors, 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. Last month I took this advice to heart and after having a good trip Euro Nymphing on the Crooked I swung by Royal Treatment to buy some fly tying supplies and talk to local expert Josh Linn about this technique. The Cliff Notes version of this conversation is Josh has a handout prepared with a list of his favorite nymphs and leader formula. After this, the next important tip was to finish the forward cast with a high rod tip, which is called a tuck cast, to get the nymphs to sink more efficiently and then keep your tippet as vertical as possible to reduce drag. All this probably falls under the heading of easy to say but hard to do, but I used the technique at the April Fish A Long and it worked great. Thanks Josh!

Good fishing! 

Dave Kilhefner 

April 2021 Presidents Message

After everything that happened in February one thought that keeps bubbling to the surface is “wasn’t March nice?” I think it was! 

The fish a long at Wilder Lake was a big success so we’re going to go there again for the May 22nd Fish A Long. I’ll email the details this month. 

Over spring break I was finally able to bring a winter steelhead to hand. Getting a steelhead on the fly has been a long haul this winter, so it was pretty dang satisfying when it finally came together. The steelhead took a Black & Blue Metal Detector and if you’ve ever steelhead fished with me you know I fish with that fly about 90% of the time. It’s good to have a favorite fly.

Our first Zoom meeting went very well. If you missed it, Garrett Lesko gave us the basics & beyond of Euro Nymphing with plenty good info thrown on tying flies & good sources of tungsten beads, which as you you know are not cheap. It got me excited to give this method another try and so I took some of my own advice and bought a new Euro Nymphing rod from our sponsor The Fly Fishing Shop then gave it a pretty good workout over on the Crooked River.

We’ll have another Zoom presentation April 20th on Fly Fishing in the Blue Mountains by Dennis Dauble. 

Last month Kevin Brooks, CFF’s previous webmaster, contacted me about CFF’s old newsletters. He had them stored on an old hard drive and was cleaning house, so we have our old newsletters back: 126 of them dated from April 2001 until August 2013. They are fun and interesting to read. Anyone who wants to see them let me know and I’ll email you a link. 

In April trout fishing starts to heat up. Locally, the OFC ponds are fishing well. Further away the Deschutes and Crooked rivers are good too. Remember that good fishing on these rivers will depend on consistent water flows and irrigation season is just getting ready to start, so check the water flows before you head out. 

John Bartlett is posting Columbia River Carp Fishing Pictures, so that’s starting to happen. It’s something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. 

Winter Steelhead are still available thru April and Summer Steelhead start to show. Spring Chinook are coming too, but that’s a whole new level of fly fishing insanity.  

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a fun way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Type “April” or “May” and you’ll get all the past reports for that month. 

Please remember our sponsors, 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.  

Good fishing! 

Dave Kilhefner 

March 2021 Presidents Message

Just when we felt it was safe to breathe a sigh of relief that 2020 was really over, 2021 says “hold my beer” and throws a mega ice storm at us. For the second month in a row we had to cancel our fish-a-long, but on a positive note we are for sure going to have our March 20th fish-a-long at Wilder Lake.

I’ve updated the 2021 Fish-a-long calendar. Check it out and mark the dates on your calendar.

Besides having a fish a long, here’s more good news: High Rocks Pub is open! I drive by it on my way home from work and for the first time all winter noticed cars in the parking lot and the open sign was on. Cheryl and I stopped in for dinner and enjoyed a nice meal. Unfortunately the meeting room is not open yet but having High Rocks open again is a big step in the right direction!

This March marks my one year anniversary as club President and it’s been a challenging year. The last actual meeting we were able to have was over a year ago in February 2020, when Mark Bachmann gave a presentation on the Sandy River. Since we haven’t been able to have meetings, I’ve focused on Fish-a-longs and keeping the website updated, mostly by posting monthly fishing reports. Since it looks like we won’t be able to have meetings for at least several more months I’d like to try a few Zoom meetings. People with good info to share have expressed interest in giving our club some presentations with a local flair. I’ll get a survey email sent out soon, please be on the lookout for it.

While the crazy weather put a damper on fishing last month there were lots of opportunities to help friends and neighbors with storm cleanup, which builds good karma. Last weekend Cheryl and I went out to fellow CFF member Rhona Dallison’s place to help cut up both large and small tree limbs knocked down by the heavy ice. We also cleared her river access trail and hopefully we’ll have some good steelhead reports from there in the near future. It was the fun day. The weather was great and Rhona & Kelly put on a top notch work party with plenty of food & refreshments that wrapped up around a big bonfire. Good times!

March signals the beginning of spring and many local fisheries begin to wake up and turn on. Trout in our local lakes will begin to get active as water temperatures rise from the low 40’s to the high 40’s. The Deschutes will have good fishing if water levels are stable. Last but not least, March is the best month for trophy steelhead so don’t hang up your spey rod just yet, even though I readily admit it’s temping with the slow year we’ve had so far.

For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a fun way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Type “March” or “April” and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.

Please remember our sponsors this, 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. Good fishing!

Dave Kilhefner

February 2021 Presidents Message

It’s no secret that steelhead numbers are down this year, but there have been some OK reports from the coast. One of the consolations during these slow years is most of the fish you do see caught are bigger than average, so when you do get out there beef up those tippets with at least 12lb Maxima or 15 Fluorocarbon. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at the fly shop and heard sad stories of big steelhead lost to light tippets.

This may sound strange, but when the numbers of steelhead are below average I would rather fly fish for them. The reason for this is when I’m fly fishing, I expect to work for every fish and this holds true no matter how good the fishing might be. This mindset helps me settle in for the long haul and enjoy more time on the water, which is what it’s all about. On the other hand, when I’m gear fishing I expect to hook a fish or two every time out and when I don’t, I tend to get discouraged, find something else to do and don’t get my river time.

I wanted to have a fish a long last month but it didn’t work out so we’ll try again this month on Saturday, February 20th. There are a couple options and I’ll be sending a survey email out soon to see what sounds best to those that want to participate.

This is a good place to mention to sign up for the Fly Fishing Challenge; going forward members must be signed up beforehand to participate in the Challenge program

Our March 20th outing to Wilder Lake out by Dundee is still on. I’ll be sending an email out to get a head count for this fish a long soon.

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

Speaking of the search function, one thing you may notice is the last meeting we were able to have was last year in February, when Mark Bachmann gave a presentation on the Sandy River.

Please remember our sponsors this, 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. Good fishing!

Dave Kilhefner

Presidents Message January 2021

Happy New Year! I hope everyone was able to enjoy some festivities. If you’re like me you breathed a sigh of relief as 2020 slid into the rearview mirror.

I’m looking forward to the New Year and have a couple “fishing resolutions” to share. First, I want to put in a better effort for winter steelhead this year than I did last year. Since my casting is pretty good, the waders are patched and my flies are tied all that’s left is to get out on the water and make it happen.  The  goal is to get at least 10 days on the water between now and April 15th. The second resolution is for spring and summer fishing: Beginning in June get out chase the Northwest’s warm water trifecta of carp, bass and shad. Naturally the Columbia River is the best place to do this but the Willamette is much closer so it may get the nod this year. My trusty 6 weight rod is up to this task but the fly inventory is woefully inadequate. It will be fun to tie new patterns and fill up a new fly box. It will be fun project that I’m looking forward to.

I have been asked a few times if the club is still viable. Here’s my answer: YES! Our club has a dedicated group of core members along with solid financials. With these two things we can go on for years. It’s understood with COVID not everyone is able to participate the way they used to. No worries, whenever the world gets back to normal we will be here when you are ready.

As we all know we are not able to have meetings and who knows how long this will last, it will be at least a few months but probably longer. Because of this club is planning to focus on fish a longs for the first half of 2021. We have some good stuff lined up. For January and February we will be going to the lower Sandy River as it has excellent bank fishing opportunities for steelhead fly fishing. In March we have a special opportunity to fish a new private Lake out by Dundee called Wilder Lake. I was able to test fish this lake can assure that you will like it! Then in March and maybe April too we will head over to the Crooked River. You’ve probably noticed we’re doubling up on some locations. We are trying this because learning the water is the best way to be more successful, and it’s very difficult to learn one place when are always jumping around to new spots.

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

January is a great month to get good deals after Christmas so get out to your local fly shop buy all the stuff that Santa forgot. Please remember our sponsors this, 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