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

March 2020 CFF Fishing Reports

Hi Everyone, the Coronavirus lockdown has most of us staying home to remain safe and healthy. During the month of March some CFF members ventured out on the water, kept their distance and enjoyed good fishing. Here are their stories with the pictures on top and the report below:

From Darryl Huff: All of the steelhead I landed in the month of March were wild. The one I’m holding surely made my top three best fighters for a winter steelhead. I found great success in my trips to the Deschutes after being introduced to the idea of fishing golden stones this time of year. In a discussion with an employee at the Deschutes Angler, I learned that the golden stone is carnivorous. Being on the move hunting for food they are more available to the fish than the salmon fly stone at this time. 

From Frank Day: Fishing down at the coast was very good (in early March). After having good success on natives on some of the small streams, I ventured to the Wilson River and got a limit of hatchery steelhead.

From Greg O’Brien: Some friends and I went to the OP.  We fished the Clearwater, Humptulips, Queets and Hoh.  Fish were played and lost (me), and fish were caught and landed (not me). Timothy and I fished Puget Sound for Sea Run Cutts and brought some nice fish to hand.

From Richard Harvey: The Oregon Fishing Club properties have been warming up this month.  Matching the hatches has been the key.

Also, congrats to Richard on completing the 2019 Fly Fishing Challenge! (We were late getting his certificate out to him)

From Phil Bartsh: All 3 goldfish are doing just fine. Thanks for asking.

From Lane Hoffman:  The Crooked River trip had 5 members attending. The river was crowded but fishing was good. Most fish were caught using the Euro nymph method & emergers as we had a midge & BWO hatch. Rainbows & Whitefish. (No photo’s, sorry!)

Next day Ken Baker & I went to Chickahominy Res. Conditions were perfect but we didn’t do well. A couple using power bait caught fish, nice hard fighting rainbows to 20 inches.

I went on to the Owyhee. Perfect day warm overcast expecting a BWO hatch. Didn’t happen. They were raising the water level as the Res. is going to fill. Did manage to catch a few but they were nice Browns to 22 inches.

Pictures are Rainbow’s from Rocky Ford Spring Creek near Ephrata WA. I was by myself & couldn’t get good pics! The bigger fish was 5 pounds! 2nd week in March!

Chris from Semper Fli Guide Service guided his client into this McKenzie river hog in early March.

CFF March Fish-A-Long Cancelled

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.

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

Hot Rod Auction for March

The CFF auction for March is an 11’ 3wt Redington “Hydrogen” Euro Nymphing Rod. This super light weight rod (3.2 oz) retails for $299.95

Redington says, “Our Hydrogen rod family is designed especially for the trout angler and with three Euro-nymph models to complete the range, this family is at home on any trout water. These models feature a more sensitive tip for superior presentation control and strike sensitivity, allowing the angler to effectively fish any run and detect the slightest of hits. Skeletonized reel seats and single-foot guides help reduce weight, while the rod actions and models will match any trout fishing scenario. The Hydrogen Euro Nymph will allow you to increase your numbers, whether it’s a day of fishing with friends or trying to qualify for the world championships.

The 3110 HYDROGEN offers all the benefits of the 3100, but with an extra foot of length to offer more reach on bigger rivers and more control over your team of flies mid-drift.”

If you are a CFF member and want to make a bid go to Auctions.  This Auction will end at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17 just before our club meeting.

Let me know if you have questions: bartschp@gmail.com

March 17th Speaker Josh Linn

Josh Linn of Royal Treatment Fly Fishing will be CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, March 17th.

Josh’s presentation will be on the popular technique of Euro Nymphing: Learn about the flies, tackle and techniques used in Euro Nymphing to increase your trout fishing success.

Josh will also be teaching a Euro Nymphing class at our Crooked River Fish A Long on Saturday, March 21st.

It will be a great presentation you won’t want to miss!

Meeting details: https://clackamasflyfishers.org/meetings-events/

Royal Treatment Fly Fishing  http://www.royaltreatmentflyfishing.com/

Fly Tying: March, 2020

Barr’s Slumpbuster

slumpbuster

While on the Owyhee River last June I exchanged reports with another flyfisher. We agreed that the fishing had been challenging, but each had experienced some brown trout success on different streamer patterns we had each been using. I traded one of my Unbalanced Leeches (a Mitch Moyer pattern) for one of his Slumpbusters (a John Barr pattern) and both of us left happy with the exchange. My new acquaintance related that he had fished the Owyhee for many years and the Slumpbuster had always been a top producing pattern for him, so I felt good about adding this new fly to my arsenal.

John Barr:

john-barr

At first, the name of the gentleman that came up with the Slumpbuster didn’t register with me, but it should have. John Barr is the same guy that came up with the widely popular fly called the Copper John, along with other well-known flies like the Vis-A-Dun, the Meat Whistle, and the Barr Emerger. He is a long-time signature tyer for Umpqua Feather Merchants and currently has twenty three of his patterns listed in the Umpqua catalogue. In 2011 Fly Tyer Magazine named John Barr a recipient of their Life Time Achievement Award for his contributions to fly tying. Our club library has a book, cleverly titled “Barr Flies”, where you can learn more about John Barr and his fly patterns. It has great step-by-step instructions, both for tying and how-to-fish his patterns, along with terrific photos by Charlie Craven, another well-known fly tyer.

The Slumpbuster:

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A fisheries biologist once told John Barr that when brown trout get to be about 16 or 17 inches long their diet shifts from mainly insects to include baitfish (meaning any fish they can swallow). Of course they continue to feed on nymphs and adult insects but, when given the opportunity, large trout will prefer going after a big meal they can get while expending less time and energy. And at the same time fishermen are going to have a greater chance of catching large trout when fishing streamer patterns that mimic baitfish. 

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John Barr with a nice brown that took a black Slumpbuster that was dead drifted.

Barr designed the Slumpbuster to have a baitfish profile. It doesn’t have as much glitz or flash as some other streamer patterns. (However, you could always come up with your own variation by adding flash, legs, brighter colors, etc). But Barr’s theory is that streamers that have a lot of flash will often get follows or passes from fish that turn away at the last moment or eventually seem to lose interest, as if they sense that something is not quite right. 

umpqua-barrs-slump-buster-per-3-1

As far as streamers go, the Slumpbuster is relatively easy to tie and is quite durable. It has a type of uni-body construction with the tail, wing, and collar all tied from the same material, a narrow zonker strip of pine squirrel hide and fur. Barr found that when wet, a Slumpbuster tied with squirrel strips, had a perfect baitfish profile that he preferred over flies tied with the more commonly used rabbit zonker strips.

umpqua-barrs-slump-buster-per-3

Depending on the water you are fishing, the Slumpbuster could be fished on a floating line, sink-tip, intermediate sink, or full sinking lines. As always, the type of retrieve should be varied until you find what is working. Sometimes long and slow strips will work, and other times short and fast, or erratic strips may be the answer. Barr says he likes to fish two Slumpbusters at a time, with a smaller one tied off the bend of a larger one with 18 inches of tippet. (With each fly weighted at the front, that combination must be a challenge to cast!?)

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If you have ever felt like your fishing success was in a slump, perhaps you should try a Slumpbuster! Join us for our next Fly Tying Night on Wednesday, March 25th at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn. We’ll be tying up some Slumpbusters in a couple of colors. Bring your vise and tools if you have them, or we can loan you some. The fun will start at 6:00 pm and will go to about 7:30. Hope to see you there!

slumpbusters

CFF February Fishing Reports

Frank Day of The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches caught several bright steelhead down at the coast.

Darry Huff did well on the Lower Sandy River fishing beads. While the fish were in, so were the crowds!

Greg O’Brien and Timothy Collins hit some Oregon Fishing Club ponds and caught several large trout.

George Krumm gear fished the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers several times in February, with good success on some days.  The majority of the fish were wild; it seems the hatchery component has been weak this year.

Feb 22nd Fish a long Report

This event was lightly attended, so everyone ate VERY well. Cheryl made a delicious lunch of pulled pork & coleslaw sandwiches along with salad and fresh fruit sides.

Water conditions were ideal for swinging flies; water color was a nice emerald green & flowing at 1250 cubic ft per second. We had the river to ourselves.

Originally the weather forecast called for rain, but this Saturday we got lucky with a beautiful clear day.

Zach Epstein from Water Time Outfitters stopped by and generously donated his time & expert casting assistance. Thanks Zach!

Later that day I ran into a gear angler that I know and we talked fishing for a while. He got one earlier that day a few holes downstream from us.

There are some good fishing reports from the lower Sandy but the word is out and the weekend fishing pressure down there was intense.

In an attempt to embrace technology, I made a map with my GPS from the parking area off Hwy 26 to the river. CFF members please email me if you want a copy.

Next months Fish a Long is March 21st on the Crooked River. We have a special treat as Josh Linn from Royal Treatment will be giving his excellent on-the-water presentation on Euro Nymphing.

CFF February Fish A Long

This month’s Fish A Long will be held Saturday, February 22nd on the Sandy River. The location is Dave K’s place about halfway between Sandy and Welches.

What- Winter Steelhead

Where- Sandy River

When- 8am until lunchtime, Saturday, February 22nd

Equipment-

  • Spey or Switch Rod
  • Skagit Line & sink tip(s)
  • 15lb tippet material
  • flies, bright patterns and dark patterns
  • waders & wading staff
  • rain gear
  • warm, layered clothing

Directions- take Hwy 26 like you are going to Mt Hood. 10 miles past Sandy, turn left onto Sleepy Hollow Drive (there’s a big sign) and then take the 1st left. It’s a steep gravel driveway with a black metal gate.

We will have coffee, donuts and a hot lunch. This fish a long will focus on spey casting and swung fly presentations. Questions; email or call Dave Kilhefner. Hope to see you there!