April 2021 Fishing Reports

We had a lot of good fishing happen in April so this will be a picture heavy report. As always, pictures are first with the reports below.

From John Silkey: I finally get my first legitimate fishing report! Made the drive out to the Owyhee in early April and camped below the dam on a Friday. Beautiful weather; crystal clear blue skies and pleasant temperatures. Got into plenty of 8-12 inch browns Friday evening and all day Saturday. On Sunday was rewarded with a gorgeous brown in the 22 inch range. After an undefeated steelhead season (as in the steelhead are undefeated vs me) it was great to remember I do know how to catch fish… Already have plans to go back this summer. Word has it that even at 400cfs that stretch fishes really well.

From Wayne Hughes: Floated the Molalla river looking for some early Springers or some late Steelhead. Ended up running into some nice smallmouth bass. No steelhead came to my fly but lots of bass on spinners. 

From Lane Hoffman: Several us of hit the Crooked River in early April. The water was quite low, flowing at 55 cfs and running a chilly 42 degrees below Bowman Dam. The hatches were midges in the morning and mayflies in the afternoon, plus some fish were caught on woolly buggers, which could look like the plentiful cranefly larva. The weather was good and everyone caught fish plus several larger trout were landed.

From Lane Hoffman: after the April 3rd trip on the Crooked Gary Stein & I headed down to the Malheur River. We had the river to ourselves and fishing was very good!

From Richard Harvey: The large rainbows at the Oregon Fishing Club properties are in full swing now. 

From George Krumm: 1 springer trip, 1 springer. Maybe I will quit now and go out a hero (not likely).

From Chris Brehm: Sorry to miss the fish-along on the Crooked. I was at Crane Prairie for the opener. No Pix, nothing large, but decent action in the wind. Started the month with a return to Pyramid Lake with my brother. Overall slow fishing until the weather changed on the last day. Good action on Chironomids but still came up just short of my goal of a 10 lbr. Mid month hit Davis Lake for Bass. Very low water level meant dragging boats through the mud but fishing was fabulous on large streamers. Picture of my brother with just a few of the 25 or so Bass we got between us. Also pic of some fillets prepped for dinner. Hit Diamond Lake  this last week with great weather and good fishing on Chironomids at the south end of the lake. Pic of one of the nicer trout we caught. Can’t wait for the road to East Lake to open !

From George Coutts: 3 small whitefish on the Crooked and 2 nice rainbows at Warm Springs on the Deschutes.

From Brad Jonasson: Tom Flannery and I arrived late for the April Fish A Long on the Crooked River and headed below the CG. I caught 4 rainbows, including one 16′ Rainbow euro nymphing.

April 2021 Fish A Long Report

Our Crooked River fish a long went pretty well. We had 6 members meet up at Big Bend Campground below Bowman Dam; Dave K, Paul B, George C, Darryl H, Red S and Jim B. Jim came over the night before and had lots of new, cool camping gear plus a new dog, Bob. It looks like he is ready for a fun summer!

The weather was a little cloudy & cool in the morning, a brief rainstorm rolled thru around lunch then it got pretty nice in the afternoon. The water wasn’t crowded and we were able to get the prime spot above the camp. We all fished hard from 9am to noon then broke for lunch, which was welcome as the water was a chilly 42 degrees. The water flow was good at around 370 cfs with good clarity, and this water level looks about normal. If you made the early April trip to the Crooked the flows were very low at 55 cfs.

There were a few active redds and we made sure not to wade close to them. If you found one and waited a little while you’d see some pretty nice sized trout hiding nearby.

In the morning the only hatches visible were midges and the most effective fly was a small size 16 red midge larva pattern nymphed just off the bottom. Later in the day some small mayflies started hatching and small brownish mayfly nymphs produced well.

Everyone got into fish and there were more trout than whitefish taken this day. The average size was around 8” with some larger 12” trout thrown in. Our biggest trout was a respectable 15” rainbow. We heard a few reports of larger trout in the 18” to 21” range but didn’t see any of those in person. One of these days!

April 2021 Meeting & Fish A Long

We’ll have a Zoom meeting April 20th at 7pm. Our presenter will be local book author Dennis Dauble who will be talking about Fly fishing in the Blue Mountains. Dennis is a retired fishery scientist, outdoor writer, presenter and educator who lives in Richland, Washington. He has written or edited five books and writes about fish and fishing for regional newspapers and magazines.

Our next Fish A Long is Saturday, April 24th on the Crooked River. This will be a “bring your own food & beverages” fish a long. The plan is to meet at Big Bend Campground between 8:30 and 9am Saturday morning. This time of year a consistent river level is the key to good fishing, so we’ll be monitoring the level closely as we are entering into irrigation season. If the river level jumps we will move the fish a long to the Deschutes River at Mecca Flats, as April 24th is opening weekend. Either way, we’ll have good fishing and fun times.

Here is the link to the Crooked River Guage

The 2021 Fly Fishing Challenge is underway but only 3 people have signed up. We have a new new Fly Fishing Challenge website page so please check it out and then get signed up!

CFF March 2021 Fishing Reports

Thanks to everyone for sharing your reports! Pictures are first with the reports below.

From Mike Miller: This beauty climbed on board while swinging an black & blue intruder jumped 6 times and fought like a champ this March on the Clack. Member In gratitude Mike Miller. (if CFF had a contest for the happiest fish picture, this would be the winner!)

From Dave Kilhefner: I was able to go steelhead fishing a few times in March and did OK, landing 4 steelhead. The best one was about 13lbs and took 2/3 of my line on the first run. After landing 3 on gear I switched over to the spey rod and after a few attempts got one swinging my tried & true Black & Blue Metal Detector.

From George Krumm: Fly fished for Bull Trout on Lake Billy Chinook. Went 3 times and caught fish every time, wish is wasn’t so far away! George was accompanied by CFF speaker Joe Warren, who did a great write up on his blog Fly Fish Pursuit and below the Lake Billy Chinook report is a good write up on Pyramid Lake you’ll enjoy reading. Check it out.

From Greg O’Brien: Steelhead fishing has sure been tough this winter!  I managed to get this nice hen on a guided day in Washington. Swung fly, solid eat, lots of jumping and multiple runs. It was awesome!

From Ryan Callahan: enjoyed my first fish a long at Wilder Lake and caught my two biggest rainbow trout!

From Jim Behrend: Rotator cuff surgery has me out of commission till mid-summer. (We’re sorry to hear that Jim and hope you have a speedy recovery!)

From Richard Harvey: the larger trout have begun to get active at the Oregon Fishing Club lakes.

From Vickie Loftus: Here’s my current fishing report on my Stillwater Adventure Blog.

Thanks again to everyone that contributed reports this month. Good fishing!

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 

Fly Fish for Golden Dorado in Argentina!

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.

Contact Info:

509-281-1835

jojo@wavecable.com

About the location and fishing:

https://www.paranariveroutfitters.com/fishing-the-middle-parana.html

Wilder Lake Fish A Long Report

Here’s the report from last weekends Fish A Long at Wilder Lake. First off, we got very lucky with the weather. It was raining hard in the early morning just before we arrived and then only rained once during the day, but this was during lunch and we were protected under the covered area.

We started the morning with hot coffee and donuts. Vickie Loftus of Stillwater Adventures provided a selection of fishing flies for everyone that attended and they were put to good use. Later we enjoyed a hot lunch provide by Cheryl Kilhefner.

The water temperature in the lake was 50 degrees, with a nice green color and 3-4 feet of visibility. I broke out my depth/fish finder and on the screen most of the trout were hovering at a depth of 6 to 8 feet down, even in the deeper water.

The fishing was slower than normal as the lake hadn’t really warmed up yet plus several weather fronts were moving thru, as a result the fish were not very active. We had quite a few short strikes. Even so, everyone got into fish and most of them were pretty good sized and fought well. Everyone had a very good time. Since the fishing was slower than normal the lake owner, Andy Wilder, very generously invited us to come back for a free day of fishing. I’ll get a survey email out soon so we can get this scheduled.

Thanks to everyone that could attend and for making our first fish a long of 2021 a great one!

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

December & January Fishing Reports

Thanks to everyone for sharing your reports! Pictures are first with the reports below.

From Chris Brehm:  Pyramid Lake NV has been on my bucket list for a while. A break in the weather mid January was my opportunity. Although most people fish from shore and ladders, I took my boat down for 3 days of fishing.

Our catch included about 25 fish up to 7 lbs, but the huge Lahontans this lake is famous for eluded us. They call fish under 10lbs “Rats”. The biggest was taken on a Chartreuse and White Clouser. Hope to go back in March or April.

From Phil Renner: I got over to the Deschutes a couple of times in January for some good winter trout action. The weather was good and it fished really well. 

 From Darryl Huff: I’ve made a few trips to the Deschutes with my new trout spey rod and found a hand full of fish willing to chase a swung fly.

From George Krumm: Gear fished the Sandy and got a few nice steelhead using jigs and also bobberdoggin’.

From Rhona Dallison: On an unexpectedly windy day Laura McGuill, Gretchen Sminkey, Kelly Dezura and Rhona Dallison met up at the Deschutes Angler before heading to the river at Harpham Flat. Despite the crazy line-tangling winds, Kelly got into a couple Redbands with a weighted stonefly near the top of a riffle, plus Gretchen got a rainbow further downstream. While fishing we ran into Paul Brewer.

Thanks again to everyone that contributed reports this month. Good fishing!

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