Fly Tying: June, 2017

The WD-40

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At our May meeting Dave Kilhefner passed along some of his fly fishing tips to us. I always pay attention to information coming from Dave and I know I have become a better fisherman because of it. As a fly tyer I was particularly interested in his information on the topic of “Guide Flies”, those flies that guides like to tie up in quantities for their clients because they are effective, fast and easy to tie, and usually have three or fewer different materials in them. Those are criteria that make it possible to tie up some effective flies while you are just taking a break or having lunch and waiting to go back out on the water. Which is exactly what I saw Dave do at Rocky Ridge Ranch this year. After lunch it was fun watching him catch fish, after fish, after fish… The fly he used that day is not this month’s fly. We’ll save that one for later, but this month’s fly, The WD-40, is on Dave’s list of “Guide Flies”.

 

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WD-40

A long-time Colorado guide and fly tyer, Mark Engler, is credited with creating the WD-40 back in 1982. Mark is apparently one of those quiet, unassuming sorts whose entire life revolves around fly fishing. His friends say the fact that he has three ex-wives could be a testament to his dedication to fishing. Stories of the origin of the WD-40 name come in many versions. Many say that WD stands for “wood duck”, a versatile feather that many tyers use for this pattern. But if you search the internet you can find a video of Engler himself tying his own WD-40, and guess what… he doesn’t use wood duck. He uses mallard. So you can subscribe to other versions of the origin of the name given to Engler’s fly. I didn’t feel entirely comfortable passing on the most likely story in this article, but if you ask me in private I would be glad to share it with you.

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Bead Head WD-40

The WD-40 was originally designed by Engler as a midge emerger pattern for Colorado’s Frying Pan River and it was an instant success. Anglers soon found that it was also a terrific BWO emerger pattern. Because midges are out all year it is a good fly to often tie on as a dropper behind a dry fly or a nymph. The WD-40 is most often tied on a curved scud-type hook, in small sizes, like 18’s and smaller (like down to 24’s !) But if you are going to be tying small flies, it is good to have them be something that are easy to tie. Favorite colors seem to be olive and black, but they are also tied in brown, gray, and tan. As with the evolution of many fly patterns, there seems to be an endless number of variations of the WD-40. One of the more effective ones even has its own name variation… the WD-50. It is like the WD-40 except it takes the emerging process one step further, as it is tied with short emerging wing buds.

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WD-50

Our next Fly Tying Night will be Wednesday, June 28th. We will be meeting at The Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn to tie up some WD-40 flies. Although small, this pattern would be suitable for tyers of all levels of experience. Our Royal Treatment friends will have tools to loan to you for the evening. We’ll be starting at 6pm. Hope to see you there!

June 24th Fish-A-Long at Laurance Lake

Put this on your calendar!!!

This month the fish along will be a Laurance Lake. This is a beautiful lake that sits on the north side of Mount Hood and provides you with a view of the mountain that you don’t always see.  This lake is known for fly fishing and is a new place for our club to visit.

We will meet on Saturday morning in the main parking area. There is a $5 fee per car for using the park so you may wish to look at carpooling with other members.

The lake is large (127 acres) and contains rainbow, cutthroat, and bull trout. There is bank access but it is best fished from a floating devise such as a float tube. If you do not have a floating devise the club now has a small fleet of float tubes that you can use, so don’t use that as an excuse to not get out and fish!

The best fishing is at the top of the lake close to the inlets. It is probably best to use an intermediate lake line.  As for flies a leach pattern works best….callibaetis nymph, seal bugger, woolly bugger, and chironomids fished sub surface with an indicator.  There is the possibility of a callibaetis hatch as well.

We will talk about this at the next meeting so come for the details. If you just can’t wait please call Paul Brewer at 503-635-3156 for more information.

The Fly Fishing Shop–Founding Gold Sponsor

Recently the board met and discussed the unique status of one of our sponsors. The Fly Fishing Shop and Mark Bachman have been a sponsor and contributor to Clackamas Fly Fishers since our founding 25 years ago. In all that time Mark Bachman and his shop has been a consistent major sponsor of our club with significant donations and also sharing a wealth of knowledge on various fishing subjects from Steelhead to fishing south of the border. He has continued to offer his personal support and advise to help the club be vibrant and has been patient with some hiccups along the way.

In recognition of The Fly Fishing Shop’s unique contribution and support the board created the  special sponsor designation of a  FOUNDING GOLD SPONSOR for them. The Fly Fishing shop is the only sponsor to have this unique status.  On behalf of the club we thank Mark and  his team at The Fly Fishing Shop for the long history of support and look forward to continuing this unique relationship.

President’s Message June 2017

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Things are looking up out there with more sunshine and less rain, The rivers are slowly getting into fishable shape, but we may a f ew more weeks of strong run off in many streams.  Still there are more and more opportunities to wet a line so do get out there.  I think the big bugs are starting to get active on the Deschutes so that might be a good option right now.

We had a surprise speaker in May with our own Dave Kilhefner giving us a program of practical fishing tips.  He later sent a copy of his presentation to everyone so take a little time to review it.

The next speaker is Jason Osborn who hangs his hat at Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitters. Jason is also a guide and will spend some time relating his knowledge of fishing even covering some of his haunts in southern Washington.  Expect a informative program.

The last fish-a-long at Rocky Ridge Ranch  was well attended with ten members showing up to test there skills. It was a gorgeous day and everyone tied into some fish. Of course our fish-a-long director, Paul Brewer, served up a great lunch.

In light of the river flow we are going to a lake in June. The date is 6/24/17 and it will be at Lawrence Lake which is on the northeast side of Mt Hood. The lake is in a beautiful location and should provide us with some good fishing.  Make a note of this one your calendar and more information will be forthcoming.

Made the journey out to the Sandy River Spey Clave and ran into a few of our members.  Listened to a few speakers and checked out some of the gear. This is must go to event if you have any interest in spey fishing.  It will be back in 2018 so keep a look out on the Fly Fishing Shop website for more information.

Remember our sponsors by visiting their shops when you are in their area. Stop in and purchase something, book a trip, or just say hello and thank them for their support.

Gil Henderson

 

May Fish-A-Long Report Rocky Ridge Ranch Lakes

This months Fish-A-Long was a huge success with warm weather, good food and fun company. We had a strong turnout and everyone got into fish.

Special thanks to Lane Hoffman for cooking dinner Friday night, Phil for Saturday breakfast and Paul for grilling burgers for Saturday lunch.

Some of us arrived Friday evening. The wind was calm and there was a good chironomid hatch going on. Fish were rising all over, some only feet from the shore in less 2 feet of water. It was hard to sit and watch but technically our fishing did not start until Saturday. We enjoyed a few libations on the deck, told lies and enjoyed a tasty chicken & dumpling dinner prepared by Lane.

The sun is up early this time of year so to get on the water at first light the early risers were up at 4:30 and on the water by 5am to target some of the big cruisers on the main lake. Lane had good action early on Seal Buggers and the rest of us caught a few.

The upper lake had been freshly stocked with trout; some real big ones! They were hanging around the boat ramp. It didn’t take long to figure this out and since space at the ramp is limited we took turns catching fish.

The lower lake was uncrowded. Dave and Phil ventured down there and had steady action for most of the day. Dave caught a 25” rainbow on a Green Devil streamer.

The water temperature was around 60 degrees with about 4 feet of visibility. At this water temperature you expect to see the damsel migration going. While there where good numbers of adult damsels out, only a few fish were caught on damsel nymphs; not what you’d expect if the fish were looking for them. Later in the afternoon Lane and Nancy tried some blue damsel dry patterns; this didn’t produce fast action but the strikes were vicious and worth waiting for.

The Rocky Ridge lakes have lots of quality fish in them and fishing is good right now!

http://rockyridgeranchoregon.com/

 

 

CFF Rod/Reed Auction

CFF is offering a wonderful rod and reel combination just in time for trout season!

This is a G.Loomis Rod (Pro 4x 9’ 5wt) with a Sage 2250 reel (~$500 total).

From the G.Loomis website: “As with our PRO4x trout rods, we’ve mirrored our NRX taper designs with the PRO4x salmon and steelhead rods to gain a noticeable reduction in weight, especially in the tip-section. This not only makes the rod fish lighter – a much improved swing-weight – but increases the rate of blank recovery for better casting distance and accuracy. Proprietary processes in both blank and rod manufacturing allow us to provide optimum performance in key areas to improve line control and mending. They will handle sink-tips, shooting heads and of course, full floating lines with ease. Available in 9 & 10-foot lengths, these are not only high performance, but economical as well. As beautiful to look at as they are to fish, these are rods any fly fisher would be proud to own. It’s what you’ve come to expect from G.Loomis”

From the Sage website: “• SCS drag design • Large arbor for fast line pick up; Concave arbor for greater strength and capacity • Large machined one revolution drag knob with numbered and detented settings • Ergonomic machined aluminum handle • Easy conversion from left- to right-hand retrieve • Neoprene and embroidered ballistic nylon reel case”

Bidding is open only to CFF members.
To make a bid send an email to bartschp@gmail.com.  Bidding begins at $200.  Buy it now with a bid of $500.
Be sure to include
Your full name.
Your bid.
Your phone number.

The email will be time stamped so I  will have them in correct order. In case of a tie, the earliest time stamped bid wins.

Auction ends at 5:00 pm on MONDAY, MAY 22.

Phil Bartsch
971-235-0724

May 16 Speaker – Dave Kilhefner

Dave Kilhefner will be the CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, May 16th. Dave will present “Fly Fishing Hacks—Small Shortcuts to Big Success.”

We are also having a small Fly Tying Materials Swap so don’t forget to bring your surplus materials and equipment. We will have some tables set up to display everybody’s goods starting at 6:00 pm.  Please clearly mark your materials with your name and what your intention is for your materials (swap, sell, give away, etc.).  We will try to have all of the swapping, selling, and donating completed in time for the meeting’s starting time of 7:00 pm.

We will also have another chance to sign up for our Fly Fishing Challenge. 25 members have already done so – some have already recorded their first catch from April’s fish-along at Rainier Lakes. Most streams open May 22nd.  It’s free, easy and rewarding (patch and certificate). Start the season off by embracing the Challenge.

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

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

CFF Library Additions

Below is a list of books donated by Jim Coulthurst, the CFF founder who spoke at the April meeting. We now have close to 200 books. I only bring two boxes of mostly newer books plus most DVDs to the meetings. Let me know if you want to check out any of the books below. Contact me if you would like the updated list of our library materials.

Joan Wulff Joan Wulff’s Fly Fishing: Expert Advice from a Woman’s Perspective
Joan Wulff Joan Wulff’s Fly Casting Techniques
Lee Wulff Lee Wulff on Flies
Skip Morris Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple
Skip Morris Tying Foam Flies
Jack Dennis Western Trout Fly Tying Manual
Jack Dennis Western Trout Fly Tying Manual, Volume II
Al Caucci, Bob Nastasi Fly-tyer’s Color Guide
Al Caucci, Bob Nastasi Hatches: a complete guide to fishing the hatches of north american trout streams
Rick Hafele, Dave Hughes The Complete Book of Western Hatches
Paul Jorgensen Modern Trout Flies and how to tie them
Darrel Martin Fly-Tying Methods
Trey Combs The Steelhead Trout: Life History and Angling Techniques
Sylvester Nemes The Soft-Hackled Fly Addict

And the Dream Lives On, Part 3

This is the May edition of the auction we started in March.  It’s the same situation:   You will be bidding on one (1) seat of four on a 2 day, 2 night jet boat trip on the Lower Deschutes River in late October 2017 with host/guide Mark Bachmann!  This trip is sponsored by The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches. Each seat is valued at $1000.

2 of the seats are already taken and we will auction off the last seat next month. Each seat has gone for over $650 so far.  The interest is high!

Bidding is open only to CFF members.  MIMINUM BID $400.  BUY IT NOW FOR $1000.

To make a bid send an email to bartschp@gmail.com

Be sure to include 

Your full name. 

Your bid. 

Your phone number. 

The email will be time stamped so I  will have them in correct order. In case of a tie, the earliest time stamped bid wins.

Auction ends at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, May 16.

Let me know if you have questions.  Phil B. 971-235-0724

Fly Tying: May, 2017

The Parachute Adams

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Parachute Adams

One of our older and more productive dry fly patterns is The Adams. I may be biased, but I feel that it has a great name. And more than once I have told fishing friends that it was invented by a relative of mine. You know your storytelling material is getting low when you run out of “fishing lies” and have to start telling “fly tying lies”. But, in reality, a fellow by the name of Len Halladay is credited with the creation of The Adams back in 1922. So perhaps you are wondering why it is not called “The Halladay”? Well, one story goes that Halladay came up with the idea of the fly as a general purpose mayfly imitation. He tied the fly and then gave it to his friend Charles Adams who first fished it on the Boardman River in Michigan and spoke highly of the success he had with it. So instead of naming his creation after himself, Halladay chose to name it after his friend Adams. Another story says that Adams came up with the idea for the fly and had Halladay tie it to his specifications. Either way, as they say, the rest is history. Since 1922 The Adams has been one of the most effective and popular dry flies in the world.

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Classic Up-wing Adams

The classic Adams fly is tied with a gray body, upright wings, and usually with both grizzly and brown hackles. It is said to be an impressionistic pattern that can represent many grayish and brownish mayflies as well as other insects. It is often a good searching fly to use. According to Scott Richmond in his book Fishing In Oregon’s Best Fly Waters, the Adams is seldom the exact “right” fly, but it is rarely the “wrong” fly to use.

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Adams Wulff

The original Adams fly has been modified into a number of variations over the years, including the Adams Irresistible, the Adams Wulff, the Adams Loop Wing, the Adams Hairwing Dun, and the Adams Humpy. But the most popular variation is The Parachute Adams , the pattern that we will be tying at this month’s Fly Tying Night. The skills we practice in tying the Parachute Adams can translate to other parachute patterns. In his book Tying Dry Flies, Randall Kauffmann describes fifteen other parachute dry fly patterns, that includes the Parachute Ant, the Parachute Black Gnat, the Parachute Baetis, the Parachute PMD, the Parachute Green Drake, and others. So once you master the skill of tying the parachute wing of the Parachute Adams you will be ready to experiment with other parachute patterns.

Thanks to our club librarian, Carson Taylor, for forwarding some interesting information regarding parachute patterns and why they are so effective. Apparently, in author Gary Borger’s opinion, the Parachute Adams should be best considered as the ultimate emerger pattern, and not an adult dun or spinner pattern. The profile of the Parachute Adams, and other parachute patterns, sitting low in the water are viewed by the fish as  insects struggling to emerge through the surface film. For more details regarding emerging insects see Carson for Gary Borger’s book Fishing The Film (2010).

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Adams Irresistible

The first parachute stye fly may have been tied by a Scottish lady named Helen Todd back in the early 1930’s. She is said to have used a boar’s bristle as a “mast” around which she wound the hackle. Her idea was taken further by others and special hooks with a built-in “mast” at a right angle to the hook shank were produced.

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A Hardy hook from the 1930’s with a built-in “mast”.  These fell out of favor because of the increased weight.

A patent was taken out in 1933 and the first parachute style flies were sold as “gyroflies”. Improvements were made over the years and today the unique horizontal hackle of the parachute is wound around an upright wing or “post”. The horizontal hackle allows the fly to land upright in the water and float in the surface film. The horizontal hackle fibers on the water apparently make a good imitation of the legs of an insect and also provide more buoyancy than hackle that is wound vertically. White calf tail was once the most common post material but today synthetic materials like poly yarn are often used. The post material really increases the visibility of the fly. As any angler knows, it is really easy to lose track of the location of a small fly on the water, especially in low light conditions. And that is especially true with an Adams fly that is mostly gray/brown in color. So the post of a parachute fly becomes a big asset in tracking the fly in the water. Despite the visibility to us, post materials don’t seem to deter fish from taking the flies. In fact some anglers prefer Parachute Adams flies tied with  a post using hi-visability colors like pink, orange, or chartreuse.

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Hi-Vis Parachute Adams

Our next Fly Tying Night will be Wednesday, May 24th. We will be meeting at The Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn to tie up some Parachute Adams flies. This pattern would be suitable for tyers with at least a moderate amount of experience. It would not be a good fly for your first ever fly tying experience. Our Royal Treatment friends will have tools to loan out for the evening. We’ll be starting at 6pm. Hope to see you there!