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

2019 September CFF Fishing Reports

From Darryl Huff: My favorite words are still “dad, can we go fishing”!!! Some pictures from Father & Son days on the Deschutes.

From Jim Behrend: Pat and I went to Crane Prairie Reservoir and caught a few large rainbows and some Kokanee salmon.  We went with a guide from Fly and Field in Bend which of course was very helpful.  Then we went to the Wilson this week and had a good day fishing for sea run cutthroat.  Caught a couple in 16-18 inch range and a bunch of smaller ones. 

From Richard Harvey: While waiting for the silvers to show up in the Clackamas River the evening caddis hatches have been producing some pretty rainbows.

From Phil Hager: Ran over to central Oregon for 12 days and just got home.

Hosmer Lake: Fish are moving down from the upper lake and results have slowed down a bit, but very active during heavy rain squalls. Lots of Brookies, some RB’s and some Cutts on my little black & grey TnMC Nymph.

Lava Lake: Real slow, only hit a half dozen RB’s there. Water very cloudy on north end clearer on south end. (Reversal on “normal” conditions.)

Crane Prairie: Cow Camp and Cultus River area the water was clear and cold. 5 nice ones was all and all on the Brick Leech pattern. TU guys that went to Rocky Point said the water looked like split pea soup and in short order hit 12 and landed 7. All in the 18″ to 22″ size range.

Fall River: Seemed dependent on weather. Cloudy and rain, very active. Sun out, pretty quiet. Caught Browns, White fish and Rainbows below the falls, lots of various sized RB’s in the camp zone.

Crooked River: Very cloudy water. Like I told a friend from Prineville that stopped by, “lots in the 15″ range and several 24″, if you line up enough of the 4″-6″ size I’m catching!”. Most of those on my grey TnDH emerger.

John Day at Lepage: Lost count on Small mouth bass that ranged from 5″ to about 12″ in size. Most of those on the Brick leech. Planned a 2nd day there but there were stout winds coming out of the west and decided to head home.

From Jacob Noteboom & Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop:

The Deschutes River has especially been afflicted by White River run-off in the lower 50-miles for nearly the whole month of September. However, we all know that luck favors the angler who has a fly in the water. The best anglers got steelhead regularly with floating lines and small flies when the visibility was 2-feet or better. The last half of the month was far better than the first part. This probably had more to do with fish movement than watercolor.

September was good month for trout fishing on the whole lower 100-miles of the Deschutes.  Hatches have been prolific. Mayfly, midge & caddis have provided an evening smorgasbord.  As usual the majority of fish were hooked were within 10 feet of the bank.

The Lakes on Mt. Hood have all been stocked for the season including some “trophy trout” (18 inches or so). Harriet Lake had improvements done to its docks and accessibility from the bank has nearly doubled. If you haven’t been up there since the docks went in, head up and check it out! Timothy Lake fishes very well this time of year as pressure decreases. The boat at the dam remains open. Callibaetis mayflies hatch well into October and fish can be very active on the surface, especially with a light drizzle of rain coming down.

We are starting to see more and more Coho and Chinook making their returns to the Columbia tributaries. With recent freshets of rain hitting our systems, the rivers will begin to rise and dirty temporarily, and these bright silver bullets will shoot upstream at a surprising rate. The fish will come in small waves at first, so expect spotty numbers and slow days with intermittent action until there are enough fish in the system for the fishing to be consistent. Pink wiggly flies on twitched swings are the ticket. We will see if the predictions of a strong Coho run will come into fruition soon enough, hopefully.

From Dave Kilhefner: After the Coffenbury Lake fish a long Cheryl and I stayed in Waldport and fished for Silvers out in the Columbia River by Hammond. We had a great time on the water but unfortunately there were no fish around so we didn’t get any. Also, we didn’t see anyone else getting any either and the ODFW fish checkers said very few fish were caught.

On the good side, the Clackamas River has good numbers of silver salmon right now and fish are being caught.

We are on our second year of posting fishing reports. Here’s a link to last years September Fishing Reports: https://clackamasflyfishers.org/2018/09/27/cff-september-fishing-reports/

Third Annual Fly Fishing Symposium & Taco Bar

Royal Treatment Fly Fishing will be hosting it’s Third Annual Fly Fishing Symposium and Taco Bar at Willamette Park in West Linn, on Sunday, September 29th from 10:00 to 6:00.

If you made it to this party last year you know how much fun we had. Well, this year we’re kicking it up a notch. Oh sure, we’ll have all of the Fly Fishing Rockstars you know and love sharing their talents and expertise, plus casting instruction for kids and beginning anglers, kayak test drives, free clinics, and a multitude of other outdoor related activities.

Make plans to join us for a full day of fly fishing fun!

  • Where: Willamette Park in West Linn, OR
  • When: Sunday, September 29th, from 10 to 6
  • What: Free Casting demos, Wading clinics, Tying demos, entomology displays, kids’ casting and fly tying, Spey clinics and more. 
  • Free Kids’ Fly Casting and Fly Tying Sessions all day (for the young and young at heart)
  • Kayak test drives and clinics with eNRG Kayak 
  • Meet factory reps and test cast the latest rods from Sage, Winston, CF Burkhiemer, Scott, G.Loomis and Echo.
  • Learn about fly lines and test the latest offerings from Airflo, Rio and Scientific Anglers.
  • Hang out at the Bug Boat and learn about bugs with Rick Hafele and the Deschutes River Alliance.
  • Contests and prizes
  • Overland Vehicles on display
  • Electric Bikes from Lakeside Bicycle 
  • Other Outdoor Related Gear and Clinics
  • Simms Taco Bag Taco Bar offering free tacos to the first 400 guests (pick up your tickets at the Simms booth)

Click here to register so they know how many taco’s they’ll need: http://www.royaltreatmentflyfishing.com/BookingRetrieve.aspx?ID=165672

Coffenbury Lake Fish A Long Report

Coffenbury Lake was a brand new location for us. After doing the basic internet research, Cheryl and I decided to turn this Fish A Long into a little mini vacation and booked a nearby VRBO for the weekend. We arrived the night before and checked out the lake and the picnic area. We liked what we saw plus got to see an Elk feeding by the lake.

On Saturday  we arrived at Coffenbury Lake around 7am. First light was about 6:30 am and some local anglers were already fishing. It was raining during the night but luckily it stopped in the morning and for weather we had high clouds, little wind and mild temperatures; perfect conditions. The water was 66 degrees with about 3 feet of visibility. According to the locals the water level was way down and the usual water depth on this day was 5 or 6 feet with a weedy bottom.

We learned the lake had been stocked on Wednesday and that the early morning bite was best. Unfortunately for us fly fishers the “hot fly” was garlic powerbait; the bait anglers did pretty well catching 17-19” stocked trophy rainbows.

We hooked a few trout on flies but for the most part, small perch made up most of the fly caught fish. Sometimes a team effort helped. In the morning I was changing flies when unknown to me a fish started rising behind me; Cheryl called out and pointed emphatically to turn around so I did and then threw my fly into the last rise ring and was rewarded with a strong strike. It was a good fish and I fought it for a while before the hook pulled out. That would be my only trout of the day.

Coffenbury also has a large population of small perch. Their constant strikes kept things interesting, plus they helped a couple folks finish their 2019 Fly Fishing Challenge.

The sun came out for lunch and we enjoyed fantastic food: homemade spaghetti, ceasar salad and garlic bread.

After lunch we fished for another hour or two. A few more trout were hooked and lots of small perch. When the sun came out, the ambiance of the lake changed from quiet dawn anglers to young families & the cries of children enjoying a nice day on the lake. While the trout catching could have been a little better, all in all it was a good time. Thanks to everyone for coming.

September Auction for CFF Members

We’re starting off the Fall season with an auction for a Redington Special Edition “Dually” 12’6′, 4 piece, 7 wt two-handed fly rod.

The 7126-4 was designed for those looking for a short rod for smaller rivers or tighter casting conditions in their pursuit of both winter and summer steelhead. This medium-fast action rod weighs only 6.9 oz. and comes with a lifetime warranty. This rod retails for $279.95.

Recommended Skagit Grains: 475-525 Scandi Grains: 425-475

To make a bid go to AUCTIONS.  If you want to join the club so you can be eligible to bid go to MEMBERSHIP  and click the Buy Now button.  Please allow a day or so to allow for processing.  If you have questions please contact Phil at bartschp@gmail.com.

The auction will end at 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 23.

Fly Tying: September, 2019

Mitch Moyer’s Unbalanced Leech

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Mitch Moyer is a local fly tyer and flyfisherman, having grown up in the Milwaukie area. In his early years he spent countless hours catching all kinds of fish on the Willamette River and he’s got to be the only person I know who caught his first steelhead on Johnson Creek. 

He started fly tying when he was nine years of age and sold his first flies at age 10.  Like most of us Mitch spent lots of years honing his craft by duplicating the designs of other well-known tyers.  Today he is focused on creating original fly patterns and says he now fishes his own patterns 100% of the time. Mitch spends lots of time testing out his patterns and tweaking the designs.  He recently got back from a two-week trip to the waters of the Cascade Lakes area of Central Oregon field testing his patterns.  And, as of this writing, he is scheduled for another two week trip to the same area for a repeat.  It’s hard work, but somebody’s got to do it!

You can find some examples of Mitch’s flies and the fish he has caught with them on his Instagram account  https://www.instagram.com/headless_flyfisherman7/?hl=en .  You really should check out this link because he catches a lot of fish… a lot of big fish.

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Mitch goes by the business name “The Headless Flyfisherman”.  The name apparently originates back to his childhood when his brother, either by design or through lack of good photography skills, often cut off Mitch’s head in photos of him holding fish. The tradition continues today because, philosophically, Mitch says the photos are not about him but about the fish and about the flies.  So you won’t find any of his photos showing his face, hence “The Headless Flyfisherman”.

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I was sitting in at a Tyer’s Table session on a Saturday morning at The Royal Treatment watching Mitch Moyer work his magic at the vise.  He showed everyone a fly that he said had been very productive for him the past season, including on the Owyhee River.  When I mentioned that I would be traveling to the Owyhee on an annual outing with other Clackamas Flyfishers, he tossed me one of his “Unbalanced Leech” flies and told me to give it a try.  So I did and it turned out to be a winner. The area had recently experienced a major weather event that really put the fish down. All of the impressive insect hatches that we had seen in previous years were nonexistent. After a day and a half of not touching a fish I remembered the Unbalanced Leech and thought what the heck I might as well give it a try.  I was pleasantly surprised when I quickly landed a 22+” brown and followed it up the next day with a 19” brown.  I went back to camp and tied up some more Unbalanced Leeches to share with other members of our group. On a trip where we all really struggled, four members of our group ended up having success with the fly.

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The Unbalanced Leech is what could be called a “minimalist” design.  Lots of streamers are large and often quite flashy.  Mitch says that sometimes “less is more” in designing fly patterns.  The Unbalanced Leech is relatively unimpressive looking and easy to tie by streamer standards.  But it has a lot of movement and Mitch says that is the key to successful streamer patterns. All I know is the fly catches fish. Besides having success on the Owyhee, I have also caught rainbows and browns on East Lake and Wickiup Reservoir on various colors of the Unbalanced Leech pattern this season, so I can honestly say the fly is effective on both rivers and still waters. 

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Join us at The Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn on Wednesday, Sept. 25th for our next Fly Tying Night. It will be a great opportunity to learn from the master as Mitch Moyer has volunteered to lead us during an evening of tying up his Unbalanced Leech. We’ll try to tie the pattern in more than one color so bring a variety of colors of thread like black, olive, and tan.  As always we will be starting at 6:00 pm.  Hope you can join us!

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Garth Wyatt Sept 17th Speaker

Garth Wyatt is a fish biologist for PGE and is going to discuss fish population response to improved fish passage infrastructure in the Clackamas basin. It will be a very informative presentation you won’t want to miss!

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

Reminder: please remember to bring in your 2019 Fly Fishing Challenge cards to the Sept meeting. Also, we will also be asking members for their thoughts about the FF Challenge for 2020.

September 21st Fish-a-long Coffenbury Lake

Coffenbury Lake, located in Fort Stevens State Park by Warrenton, will be the location for the September 21st Fish-a-long. The lake contains rainbow & cutthroat trout along with warm water fish. Coffenbury was recommended by CFF speaker Jeff Morgan plus it’s due to be stocked with 500 trophy rainbow trout right before the fish-a-long.

This is a new location for us. Given the number of new float tubes at the Round Lake fish-a-long this summer, I wanted to schedule one more lake trip this year.

Those planning to attend, please RSVP to Dave@kbi-ins.com by Sept 17th so we know how much food to bring.

What: Cutthroat & Rainbow Trout and Warmwater Fish.

Were:  North Boat Ramp at Coffenbury Lake in Fort Stevens State Park

When:  Saturday, September 21. Meet at the boat ramp area between 8am and 9am. I will probably be there a little earlier to catch the first light bite.

Equipment: There are two fishing docks but the lake is best fished from a float tube or small boat & 4-6wt rods . The lake is not deep so a floating line is all you’ll need but if you prefer an intermediate line that will work too. The weather should be OK but rain is always a possibility.

Flies: Standard lake patterns.

Food Provided: Coffee & donuts for breakfast and CFF executive chef Cheryl will make us something good for lunch.

Directions: It’s an easy 2hr drive from Portland with paved roads the whole way. Drive to Ft Stevens Park then stay on Peter Iredale Rd to the boat ramp. There is a $5 day use fee.

August 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

From Darryl Huff: I have fished a single hand fly rod for years but had never tried the spey rod. Being a part of the Clackamas FlyFishers gave me the bump I needed to give it a try. My casting needs a lot of work but after a few trips to the Deschutes I was catching fish!

From Carson Taylor: Motivated by an internet article by Chester Allen (who spoke at a club meeting several years ago), I fished for bass on the Willamette close to downtown Portland off Macadam Avenue. Chester is working in downtown Portland and fishes for bass during his noon hour.

Fishing was not red hot, but I caught five bass in three two-hour early morning trips, mostly on leech and woolly bugger flies. It’s nice to fish 10 minutes from home instead of driving for 2–3 hours.

From Dave Kilhefner: In mid August I fished with guide Drake Radditz at Bouy 10 and caught a nice 25lb Chinook.

From Phil Hager: Spent 8 days in central Oregon with mixed results.

Link and Hand lakes, up by Suttle Lake, were slow, with just a few catches of smaller fish. Both East and Lava were suffering the “August doldrums” with only 1 caught on Lava and not even a bump on East.

Hosmer, however, was a different story. Fished the upper lake and it was like I could do nothing wrong! Using my intermediate line I lost count on catches in the first hour both times. My “Brick Leech” and black and grey TMC nymph were getting fish almost immediately with Rainbows, Cutts, and Brookies ranging in size from 12″ to about 24″ and fat and healthy. Right shoulder was tired in about 3 hours and it wasn’t from casting.

If anybody wants to go along I’m heading back up the 9/15 to camp at Lava and fish Hosmer and Lava, then over to Fall River the 19th for 4 nights (TU outing), and will hit Crane the 22nd. From there I plan on going over to the Crooked the 23rd & 24th and down to the Le Page, on the John Day, the 25th & 26th, to see how they are doing.

From Adrian Choate: Spent a week fishing SW Montana. Hit Rock Creek, the “Mighty Missouri “ and the Madison. The fish weren’t easy but managed to raise some big Bows and browns. Am considering a month in Ennis next summer!