August 2020 Fishing Reports

The month of August always flies by and it seems like it only lasted about a week. Still, we have a lot of variety and good fishing reports this month.

Thanks to everyone for your reports! As always, pictures first with the report below.

From Richard Harvey: the sea run cutthroats are starting to show up on the Oregon coast, plus I had some fun with rainbows in the Clackamas River as well.

From Lane Hoffman: Traveled to the Togiak River in Alaska. Great trip with great weather & almost ran out of sunscreen. There was just enough wind to keep the bugs away!

From Dave Kilhefner: George Coutts and I hit the Willamette River by Salem for Smallmouth Bass. We also caught a few good sized Pikeminnows. We tried Poppers and had a few short strikes but the best tactic was a clouser minnow fished on a full sinking line.

From Rhona Dallison: Laura McGuill and I tried to get one of the first come/first serve campsites at Laurance Lake on a Thursday but they were all already full. We found a great riverside group campsite on the East Fork of the Hood River at Toll Bridge Park near Parkdale. Four other ladies joined us over the next couple days. The East Fork was a bit milky but I fished it that evening with a 3 weight and had success floating a nymph down the riffles and in the pockets, hooking into 3 feisty small rainbows. The next day we did a hike up to Tamanawas Falls, which was breathtaking. Laura and another fishing friend, Sue Liwanag, scouted some local creeks and a reservoir for fishable water while the rest of our group headed up to Laurance Lake. The Lake was fiercely windy so float tubing and kayaking were out of the question. We encountered one Tenkara fisherman at the head of the lake where the Clear Branch flows in. That evening Kelly and I explored some pull offs on the East Fork and eventually found a nice pool where she caught her first fish on a fly rod—a small rainbow with parr marks, by roll casting into a pool below some overhanging alders. She’s hooked! Kelly and I hoped to spend some time fishing at Trillium Lake on the way home but it was an absolute zoo when we got there Sunday morning. Later in the month Laura, Sue and I went to the Wilson River (Donaldson’s Landing) and the Trask River (The Peninsula area) and caught some small cutthroats and rainbows. Laura and I saw a steelhead (?) in the Wilson but couldn’t entice it to take our offerings. It was a beautiful day on the water—I saw river otters in a pool I was fishing on the Wilson, and a herd of elk crossed below where Laura!

From Dave Kilhefner: went backpacking on Mt Hood with my daughter and her boyfriend. No fishing but the views were spectacular.

From Ed Rabinowe: Bouy 10 was good!

From Jim Behrend: Went to North Santiam with my wife. We caught a bunch of trout using caddis nymphs.  No other nymph got even a nibble.

From Chris Foster: A buddy and I fly fished Crane Prairie one day at Quinn River and Cultus Channel. The lake was very crowded. Fortunately we got into a Callibaetis Hatch #12 in the late afternoon and hooked and released about 30 Trout running 14-20 inches plus a couple of big Kokanee (17 inches!) using Callibaetis nymphs with an Intermediate sink line and also floating lines. We slow trolled flies behind my drift boat and also cast to rising fish.

The next day we fly fished Paulina Lake and released about 20 rainbows and 10 browns. The fish ran 12-19 inches with the largest a 19 inch brown (buck). We used Callibaetis nymphs, streamers and chironomids. The water was a beautiful blue color plus there was not much wind.

Paulina was not very crowded. I would fish Paulina again and wait until late September or October for Crane Prairie. 

From the Oregon Fishing Club: this is the time of year that our lakes and ponds look and fish their worst.  The hot summer days and the warm nights combine to keep water temperatures up so we are in the middle of the slowest fishing time of the year for the Club still-waters.  The one exception for trout fishing is in the early morning hours at Rainier lakes.  Members are even hitting trout on dry flies, but only up until about 9:00am.  If you never remove the trout from the water and quickly release the fish, we are experiencing no known mortality issues.

All other locations that have warm water fish populations are still producing a few strikes. In these locations it is best to target the warm water fish and leave the trout alone.

The Club does not plant additional trout into the still-waters until water temperatures drop. Generally this happens as early as late September, but sometimes as late as early November.  It all depends on what Mother Nature decides to do over the next couple of months.

CFF Justesen Ranch Fish A Long Report

Another great fish a long is in the books! Last weekend we traveled to the Justesen Ranch Lakes located by Grass Valley. The weather was very nice and the fishing was good and the company even better. Everyone had a very good time.

We stayed in a nice farm house and had a hearty dinner of Sloppy Joes and Ceasar Salad provided by Cheryl Kilhefner. We also had a great apple cake for desert provided by John Warren’s wife Linda. A big thank you to everyone that chipped in with food, snacks and spirits!

The fishing was a mix of hot action at times mixed with periods of selective trout when a different kind of bug started hatching, giving us all a riddle to figure out…or not!

On Sunday the fish went selective on us and while they were jumping everywhere, we could not buy a strike! On this day Trux Dole earned top honors for staying with it and finding the hot fly: a blue damsel dry pattern that the fish absolutely hammered.

For subsurface patterns, most of the time the hot fly was a Red Snow Cone Chironomid fished about six feet under and indictor. When that stopped working casting and stripping green damsel nymphs drew strikes. Green Devils and Callebaetis nymphs also worked well.

This weekend the water temperature was in the mid 60’s producing good damselfly and mayfly activity. And as always, Chironomids were a stillwater staple. Some of the lakes have very clear water and have better dry fly/hatch matching opportunities. Other lakes have a higher nutrient load and while the water isn’t as clear, they have better subsurface fishing as the fish are not as picky. One of the best things is Justesen Ranch offers many lakes to choose from so there is no shortage of water to explore.