Happy New Year! I hope everyone was able to enjoy some festivities even with the unusually cold weather. I didn’t quite make it to midnight this year but started the New Year off right by BBQing the first two nights.
I’m looking forward to the New Year and have a couple “fishing resolutions” to share. First is to Camp and backpack more, which blends in perfectly with our Fish A Longs. Second is to Euro nymph most of the small streams on Mt Hood. Lastly, use my boat more. I have a pretty cool little boat that is good for chasing Steelhead on the Clackamas and Bass on the Willamette.
Clackamas Fly Fishers has reinstituted membership fees for 2022. However if you paid to be a member in 2021 it will be good for 2022 too. Here is the membership link plus I will be sending membership notices out to everyone. Last year I let membership tracking lapse so if you paid in 2021 you’ll need to let me know.
Just like last month, everyone that comes to the January 18th meeting at High Rocks will get a free beer on me. The speaker with be the Deschutes River Alliance and most likely they will be on Zoom on the big screen TV.
We’ll have our January 22nd Fish A Long at Oxbow Park. We have the covered area “A” reserved which is where the Sandy River Spey Clave’s have been held in the past and will focus on Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing with both Spey and Indicator methods demonstrated.
Once the water drops in a week or so we should have good opportunities for winter steelhead and we’ve already had a few good reports come in. 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, 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.
I hope everyone enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving. Fishing was challenging in November with the big rain storm that rolled thru in the middle of the month but some folks did well as you’ll see when I post the November fishing reports.
Clackamas Fly Fishers has reinstituted membership fees for 2022. However if you paid to be a member in 2021 it will be good for 2022 too. Here is the membership link plus I will be sending membership notices out to everyone. Last year I let membership tracking lapse so if you paid in 2021 you’ll need to let me know. That said, if you participate in the club I will guarantee you’ll get a solid value for the $35 you pay to be a member.
To get the membership value package started off right everyone that comes to the December and January meetings at High Rocks will get a free beer on me. This suggestion comes courtesy of Tom Flannery who helps Brad with the Fly fishing Challenge. BTW, the 2021 challenge is still going on. If you’ve completed the challenge please email me or Brad.
The “big 3” activities our club focuses on are meetings, fly tying and fish a longs. Looking forward we are going to have a few in-person speakers next year but mostly Zoom speakers on the big screen TV at High Rocks. Why? Zoom presentations cost much less because there are no travel expenses. Also, we can book speakers from all over the country & not just within driving distance. Fly tying will still be limited to monthly fly tying articles as COVID is still with us. Fish a longs will be expanded to include camping whenever possible as last year many of the people that came to the fish a longs camped too whenever this was possible. I’m still in the planning phase so if you have suggestions by all means let me know!
December is shaping up to be decent fishing month with the most dependable fishing available at the Oregon Fishing Club ponds for trout, especially after a warming trend. Here’s a good winter trout fishing primer from Vickie Loftus After that dang November storm blew thru we’ve had good water conditions and good timing is the key to taking advantage of winter fishing. You’ll need to be packed and ready to hit the prime fishing windows when they open up. Several coastal streams like the Necanicum and North Fork Nehalem get good early runs of steelhead. The Clackamas and Sandy get random shots of early winter steelhead too plus this year there are a good number of native, late running coho this year. Here’s a link to the PGE fish counts so you can see for yourself.
We don’t have a club Fish-A-Long in December but I put out the word that I’m open to helping folks with their spey casting and winter steelhead presentation basics. I’ve got 4 people signed up so far so if you are interested in this email me and I’ll put you on the list.
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 and it works! Type the word December or January in the search box and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.
Now is the perfect time for Christmas shopping plus don’t forget to get your wish list out so you get all the stocking stuffers you want. 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.
Another great fly fishing month with lots of good reports to share. As always, pictures first with the report below.
From George Coutts & Dave Kilhefner: We booked a dory trip thru Pacific City Fly Fishing and got really lucky with perfect weather and good fishing. We came home with limits of Black Rockfish, Lingcod and Crab.
From Ryan Callahan: Did a four day float on the Smith River in Montana. We had great weather but the visibility in the river was poor so the fishing was slow. I caught the Brownie in the picture on a large black streamer. Overall we did well on streamers and redhead prince nymphs.
From Wayne Hughes: Floated the Willamette river for Cutthroat and Rainbows. Not a lot of hatches that day but found lots of cutts that were interested in some swinging soft hackles.
From Tom Phipps: With restrictions lifting I was able to make the annual trip to Cape Cod to fish for stripers with friends from Eugene. The weather was more cooperative than usual but the fish were picky and not as big as they have been some years and conditions were a bit challenging. We all got fish and it was great to be out and about.
From Mike Shiiki: Took my sons and nephew on our first trip to Timothy Lake in our float tubes. We fished across the lake from North Arm Campground. Temps got up in the 80’s and fish were hitting all day. We trolled with intermediate sink lines with black, maroon, white and olive buggers and leeches. A few even hit a brown size 8 skulpzilla. Most caught were fat 16-20” hatchery rainbows, with a few big natives.
We were worried that the fish might be stressed from heat/warm water they weren’t. They all recovered well and we did our best to release them asap. The best location was “the channel” across the lake from North Arm Campground, and very few people fishing.
From Brad Jonasson: David Hopkins and I explored Oregon with a mid-June trip to Lake County (Ana and Chewaucan rivers) where the Chewaucan near Paisley was particularly beautiful and productive. Then over to Harney County where a few big rainbows (16″, 17″) were nymphed from the Malheur River at Riverside. Finally the Owyhee where a few Browns were caught early evening (PMD’s) despite the hoards of Idahoans.
From Dave Doble: June started with a trip to Trillium when it opened up. That was a good trip with lots of fish landed, including that huge trout my daughter caught on spinning gear with a small kastmaster and 6 lb test. We caught a lot of fish that day on fly gear as well, mostly on buggers. With the new fish, anything shiny worked.
Had a blast at the Shad Fish A Long, it was great to break in my new 4 wt trout spey rod and get to work on my two handed casting. And those shad are great fighters on light gear! The shad were also a new species for me. I returned to fish shad two more times and had a blast.
We made one more trip to trillium before the heat wave started. Fishing was slow for a while. I broke out a bugger I started tying a few years back. I tie it specifically for that lake. Trillium has that whiskey tint to it. I put together a standard bugger with brown marabou, gold wire rib, a root beer sparkly chenille body, and a brown hackle. The key is, tying in a pinch of orange crystal flash alongside the marabou tail. It gives a shimmering emerald flash in that water that drives the fish bonkers. That fly was the ticket!
From Darryl Huff: I’ve been hitting the Deschutes at first light and the trout are feeding on top water caddis until about 7:30. Also took the granddaughters to a local pond and had a great time!!
From Tim McSweeney: Spent Father’s Day weekend (Fri-Sun) canoeing around Timothy Lake trolling Buggers and Leeches for stockers with my Wife and Daughter. We caught 2 dozen or so through the weekend with a handful used as examples for teaching my girl how to clean and prep them for the cast iron. All and all it was a great weekend of fishing and eating.
From Dennis Murphy: With hoot owl hours in effect now fishing close by has become important for me to maximize my time on the water. I’ve been hitting McIver Park before sunrise to get a few hours on the water these days and the fishing has been a learning experience. There’s a good lane the salmon/steelhead run up right by the disc golf course that I’ve been fishing and while I haven’t caught anything, but I’ve seen them! Figure it’s a matter of time before I get one of the very, very few steelhead that are coming through. I’ve been fishing a variety of tube flies and muddlers in pinks/blacks/chartreuses/reds but continue to mix things up. If you want to catch something else, there’s plenty of pike minnows, whitefish and a few 10-12″ trout.
I was invited on a trip to the Keys with three experienced anglers from my company. We put in three solid days in the hot, humid, and unfortunately overcast weather only to come up mostly empty handed. The only one of us that had any luck was taken into back waters to hunt for baby tarpon. On the first night I had couple shots at some tarpon that came through but they weren’t eating what I was throwing (Palolo worms). The next day we stopped for lunch and just as I got my rod put away and my sandwich unwrapped, a school showed up. I tossed my sandwich in the cooler and got everything out as fast as possible, but it was too late. I decided lunch wasn’t worth it and from then on out focused on fishing, subsisting off water and snacks. While we didn’t have good luck it was a great time and we are already planning a return trip next year.
From Greg O’Brien: My main June event was fishing the South Shore of Massachusetts during outer trip to visit my in-laws. We had a good day catching lots of schoolie sized stripers. Nothing over 28” but fun fly rod fish! My cousin fished swim baits and we each ended up releasing about 20 fish.
From Dave Kilhefner: Cheryl & I traveled to Minneapolis to help my son move back from college. On the way home we spent a few days in Emigrant, MT which is just north of Yellowstone Park. It was a fun road trip and we saw lots of sights and did a little fishing too.
Joe Warren, who has spoken at Clackamas Fly Fisher’s a few times, is hosting a fly fishing trip to the Parana River in Argentina for big golden dorado this fall. He is looking for 1 to 2 anglers to embark on this adventure. The Parana is the second largest river of South America and home to some of the worlds largest Golden Dorado. This trip is priced at a great savings compared to others with 8 days of angling (not 5 or 6). Quality is the name of the game with fish up to and over 30 lbs! The trip is arranged through Nervous Waters and hosted by Parana River Outfitters. Contact Joe for more information.
When: October 5-16th, 2021
Cost: $3, 650.00, includes transport from final domestic flight to hotel, lodging, meals, and guiding. Not included, international airfare, 2nd domestic flight and gratuities.
50% deposit due at sign up, final deposit due 60 days (Aug) before the trip.
September was a difficult month with all the fires. In spite of everything, we have some good fishing reports to share. Thanks to everyone for sending them in! Pictures are first with the reports below.
Greg O’Brien was chasing Striped Bass in San Francisco Bay with his brother and got this Leopard Shark.
Greg O’Brien hit Willamette River for Smallmouth bass, landing some nice bass using an intermediate line and clouser minnow. Later in the month he landed a nice hatchery steelhead behind some spawning chinook then caught a Jack Chinook on the Deschutes while chasing steelhead.
Sadie Hibbard caught this huge bluegill in an eastern Oregon pond.
Ed Rabinowe claims he caught this beautiful Chinook trolling an October Caddis on his 3wt fly rod 😉
Darryl Huff fished the Deschutes at Warm Springs for some really good trout fishing and also hit the mouth for Steelhead.
Dave Kilhefner and George Coutts tried to fish the Deschutes at Warm Springs in late September but the smoke was thick, so they headed to Maupin and managed to land a few small trout.
George Krumm had a productive month on the Columbia, landing limits of Salmon and Crab.
Rhona Dallison got this great video of Chinook Salmon spawning in the Sandy River on Mt Hood.
Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop sent in these “Steelhead Armageddon” photos from a very smoky Deschutes River. Kudo’s for sticking it out and making it happen!
Nick Amato provided these photos of the fire jumping the Clackamas River less than 1/2 mile from his home. It was a little too close for comfort!
My Friend Eduardo Barrueto Guarda from Chile put together a new video about his fly fishing lodge. It reminds me that someday life will get back to normal and that there are many beautiful places in the world to go and see.
Top of the line Bucks Bags Bronco extreme with longer (11’) pontoons for better river capability. Stainless steel frame, light use, $650 complete with oats, anchor system, etc. No shipping; pick up in NE Portland preferred.
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.
Due to everything going on with the Coronavirus this weekends Fish-A-Long has been cancelled.
However, several Clackamas Fly Fishers will be fishing over on the Crooked River this weekend. Look for them around the Big Bend Camp Ground, which is located at the base of Bowman Dam. You’ll need to bring your own food and beverages. It’s also a good idea to pack some TP, a folding chair and some firewood.
We are very sorry for any inconvenience and this Fish-A-Long will be rescheduled when things calm down.