Special Oregon to Iowa Fishing Report

By Scott Satterlee

After living in Portland/Lake Oswego for the last 8 years I finally joined the Clackamas Fly fishers about the time that Covid hit, and I don’t think I’ve had a chance to meet anyone from the club. We moved to Iowa about two months ago and I decided I would fish my way east. I fished the Madison, Gibbon, Tongue, and Henry’s Fork. I had the best luck on the Tongue in Wyoming. However the most picturesque was the Madison. Throughout the day I saw hundreds of fish come to the surface, yet, even with sound advice (and flies) from the fly shop in Island Park, Idaho I walked away empty handed. Nevertheless it was so beautiful I did not feel disappointed. The Gibbon was better, though not crazy, just some good consistent fishing or rather catching. The Tongue was the best fishing, partly because I saw several Moose (from a safe distance), and had really good Brown trout fishing, though nothing huge. I fished that river in the Bighorn National Forest.

For those of you who might wander to Iowa or Wisconsin there is some good trout fishing here. Much different from Oregon or Washington, yet the Driftless region, particularly, offers many opportunities for both wild and stocked fish. In Iowa there is a native Brook trout population, and in some rivers, a well-established and naturally reproducing Brown trout fishery. Most of the time there are few, if any, other Anglers, and strangely the season is open year-round. Rattlesnakes are rare and Cougar are virtually unknown in these parts. One last bit of information, The Brule river in Northern Wisconsin offers some wonderful Brown trout fishing, when last I fished it with a guide, we started at about 9 PM and fished until 3 AM. I caught several large Browns, including one that was worthy of mounting (they all went back into the river). Fishing at night brought some interesting challenges, not the least of which was fishing in a tight bend as the sun set completely and the bats came out to feed. Like a scene from a Batman movie, we were surrounded by bats. It was only for five minutes, but it was a LONG five minutes. That said, I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

Finally, my wife and I went to Northern Minnesota and fished for Walleye. We did not fly-fish as they range from a minimum depth of 6 feet, and can be found as deep as 40. We also fished for Smallmouth and the fly-fishing was excellent. Many of the lakes on the Minnesota-Canadian border have wonderful Smallmouth fishing. For Walleye and Northern Pike we took a guide for three days, we caught our limit, and had shore lunch of Northern and Walleye (that we had caught that morning) daily. I can think of few things that we have enjoyed as much. As an aside, Northern Pike are super tasty, some say better than Walleye, and Walleye are the prized fish here. 

I would be glad to share any information I have, for any that have occasion to visit Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin.

June 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

In early June Dave Kilhefner, Carson Taylor and Chris Dudley fished the Willamette River for Shad with Rob Crandall. In 4 hours of fishing we caught all the shad we could handle along with numerous doubles and six triple hookups.

Phil Hagar went up to Timothy for the June TU outing from the 5th to the 9th at the North Arm campground. It was a good trip despite some of the weather. Phil got into a bunch of 2-5 pound Rainbows and Brookies plus too many smaller fish to count. Loaned a reel with a sinking line plus a Brick Leech to Jim Teeny’s nephew then took him up by the islands, explained how to fish it and helped him catch his biggest ever Rainbow and also his first ever Brook Trout.

Jim Adams, Gil Henderson, Carson Taylor, Chris Dudley, Pat Miller and Ron Bouchard (who has relocated to Arizona and drove 1200 miles to join us) fished the Owyhee River from June 16th-23rd.

Fishing was “challenging” and while fish were caught not everyone landed fish on this trip.  But the camaraderie, humorous stories, and good-natured barbs of the group made it a enjoyable and memorable trip. This group has been getting together for over 10 years.

A major weather event had preceded us. The road in the canyon had been blocked by slides and there were numerous piles of debris that had been removed from the road. The river seemed to have been scoured out of plant and insect life. None of the big hatches that we were used to seeing in previous years materialized. With no fish feeding on the surface we relied on subsurface offerings…small nymphs, streamers, and San Juan worms.

The water was off color when we arrived and the farther downstream you were the dirtier the water.  The fish were either hunkered down or had also been swept downstream.  On the good side, the fish that were landed were very healthy looking and seemed well fed despite the water conditions. Brown trout up to 22 1/2 inches were landed along with a few healthy rainbows.

Rich Harvey reports the Oregon Fishing Club lakes and ponds have been fishing very well this month, with the cooler weather keeping the big trout active.

Ron Woodke fished Trillium Lake in late June and did very well with Black Woolly Buggers, bringing about 17 fish to hand. Other fly patterns were tried but the trusty Black Woolly Bugger was what they wanted. Besides the good fishing, the weather was perfect and there was no wind.

Jim Behrend and his wife Pat fished the Oregon Fishing Club three times in June. They went to Shauna Pond and did pretty well there and also Blue Den Lake for the first time.  They also tried the North Santiam site, which was a fun adventure, having some success with big dry flies. Jim tried Euro-nymphing with a Tenkara rod following Josh Linn’s suggestions at Royal Treatment Fly Shop. It worked surprisingly well considering it was a new technique. The rocks on the Santiam were super slippery, so be careful.

May 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

Lot’s of good fishing happens in May and CFF members got out and had good times on the water. Here are their reports:

Lane Hoffman with a bruiser size Rainbow from Rocky Ridge

In early May Lane Hoffman and Jim Romero had good action on large sized rainbows at Rocky Ridge Ranch.

Dave Kilhefner and Chris Obuchowski fished Big Tree Lake at the Oregon Fishing Club. The water temperature had jumped to 64 degrees and the bite was off but they still managed to grind out around a dozen trout in the 12” to 18” range. All the local wildlife was out enjoying the fine spring weather; hunting ospreys, families of geese and even a beaver.

Dave Kilhefner traveled to Kona, Hawaii and caught some strong & interesting looking fish off the rocks.

CFF members Red Smith, Gil Henderson and Carson Taylar made a couple trips to the Deschutes River by Maupin, having good action on Redsides throwing big stonefly dries along undercut banks and under the trees.

Phil Hager spent 9 days camped at Crane Prairie, fishing Crane, Lava and Hosmer. It was windy nearly full time along with rain, hail, snow and even a little sunshine. Most of the days the highs we’re in the 40’s to low 50’s and nights close to freezing. Was it worth it? Rainbows, Cutthroat, Brookies, Browns and even a couple Bass were caught, with many 16″-18″ along with 3-5 pound Rainbows and Brook Trout,

Richard Harvey traveled to Puget Sound and had good action on sea run cutthroats during outgoing tides using baitfish imitation flies.  

Greg O’Brien traveled to Massachusetts and experienced some hot Striper fishing, catching 40+ schoolies on the fly one morning in the bay.  Big fish are coming soon we hope, our biggest was 30”.

Greg O’Brien found this nice brook trout along with several others at Timothy Lake.

Adrian Choate spent two weeks camping on the Deschutes. He had lots of stone fly dry action did do too well on nymphs. He reports at the end of May there are still quite a few bugs still flying and it’s the best stonefly hatch he’s seen in the last several years!