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.
This months Fish-A-Long will be this Saturday at Pine Hollow Reservoir. Pine Hollow was stocked with 2,500 legal + 375 trophy trout on October 6th so there are a lot of fish in the lake and fishing should be good.
What: Rainbow trout and largemouth bass
Were: Pine Hollow Reservoir in Wamic Oregon
When: Meet at the South Boat Ramp at 8:30 AM There is parking and a restroom there.
Equipment: Best fished with a float tube and standard lake patterns. The weather should be great, but will most likely be cold in the morning. (I will have coffee)
Directions: About 2 hours from Portland: you can take either Hwy 26 over Mt Hood or I-84 up the Gorge and the driving time is about the same. Both routes are on Google maps. Use Wamic Rural Fire Department as the destination; the ramp is next door.
Make a weekend out of it ther is camping and hotels close and there is Rock Creek Reservoir 5 min away and the Deschutes is only 25 min away.
If possible send me a text or email so I know who will be there. Paul 503-635-3156 or email@example.com
September was a good month to go fly fishing! Here’s some reports from our members and supporting members:
Randy Clark of the Bridgeport Orvis store caught this nice bull trout on the Metolius River along with a few browns, a brookie, some whitefish and a pile of redsides for “the Metolius super slam.” Great job Randy!
In mid September Dave Kilhefner fished the Deschutes River mouth and saw two steelhead taken by fly anglers plus a spin angler landed a 20+ pound salmon. The next day he had his first trip Kayak Fishing for Smallmouth bass near Mitchell Island on the Columbia River. The weather and wind cooperated and it was a great morning on the water with about a dozen smallmouth brought to hand. The bass averaged about 2lbs and a couple were 3lbs.
David Mullins caught a half dozen 10″ to 12″ trout up the Clackamas near the Memaloose Bridge. They were taking dry flies; #14 Caddis with green or white bodies, and also a Red Humpy.
Phil Hager had a great trip to Central Oregon. On 9/19-9/21 he fished Fall River. A Midge nymph and a Tied Down Caddis, presented subsurface on a floating or an intermediate sinking line did the trick for Rainbows 8″ on up to 18″ and also Brookies 6″ to 9″ in size.
On 9/22 Phil fished Odell Creek (flows into Davis Lake): Same flies but only on a floating line and caught Rainbows up to 20″, but mostly 12″ or less.
Hosmer Lake was on the menu for 9/24. A Midge nymph and Pheasant Tail fished on and intermediate line accounted for some nice Rainbows (1 @ 3 lbs and 1 @ 4.5 lbs) plus others in varying sizes, Brookies from about 12″ to 16″, Cutthroat and CutBows in the same size range. The water temp is changing and fish were moving down the channel to lower section.
Lava Lake was good on 9/25. Despite reports from everyone with fish finders saying all the fish were near the bottom, Phil lost count on Rainbows and Kokanee in about 2 hours of fast fish. An intermediate line with either a Brick Leech or TMC Nymph was the ticket (Leech size 10 3xl & TMC size 16).
John Warren stayed a couple extra days after the Deschutes River Fish-A-Long, fishing around Maupin. He continued to do well Euro Nymphing, with small dark Euro Nymphs working best. He even hooked a big fish that broke him off!
Carey Allison fished the Clackamas several times this month and had good success. He took 2 steelhead on surface presentations; both in the same hole but on different days. Also, he saw lots of steelhead holding in tailouts as well. Later in the month he floated with a buddy from Barton to Riverside; they didn’t find any steelhead but we ran into a massive drake hatch, which brought some of the rare Clackamas Sea Run Cutthroat out to play. He took two over 16″ in size was swinging a size 6 moose hair caddis pattern just sub surface. Those SRC are crazy strong for their size, both fish tearing line and making his farlex scream. They also jump like crazy! Loads of fun.
One word of warning…while stepping out of the bottom of one of his favorite holes at dusk, on the lower Clack below Carver, Carey saw a cougar hanging out on the trail used to walk back to his truck! Never thought we’d be seeing cougars anywhere below Carver!!
Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop fished several clients downstream from Mack’s Canyon from September 10-20. Fishing wasn’t red hot, but they did get a few steelhead most every day.
Smallish darker flies worked best and water conditions were and are perfect for floating line fishing. Now that the nets are out of the Columbia, fishing should be even better!
In early August, Frank Day of The Fly Fishing Shop got into a few steelhead on the lower Deschutes.
The folks at Northwest Fly Fishing outfitters have been doing well at Henry Hagg Lake for bass and crappie. Mark Middleton (pictured) wrote an informative article for their newsletter.
John Warren hit East Lake from 8/5-8/10. Overall the fishing was a little slow but the fish he got were all nice ones. The best fishing was just south of the resort using a red snow cone chironomid under an indicator with a 12 foot 6x Fluoro leader. Most fish were browns in the 14-17 inch range but a few larger trout were hooked that ran into the weeds and got away.
Dave Pelgorsch chased trout after work on the upper Clackamas and had “a million small trout and a few big hits.” It was a great way to beat the heat.
In late July Greg O’Brien floated the Deschutes from Beavertail to the Mouth with a buddy. They started the Monday after it opened after the Substation fire. Fishing was decent, with a few grabs and a real nice native. They also got a couple of bass at Bedsprings. Unfortunately the fire damage was significant, but found they some shade to camp both nights.
In August Greg O’Brien had a bucket list trip with his brother to Kimsquit Bay Lodge on the Dean River. Water was low and the sun was bright but everyone managed a few hookups and at least 1 steelhead to hand. Dean River steelhead have a reputation as the strongest steelhead on the planet! This one pictured took got into the backing within 3 seconds of being hooked; absolutely insane. Another one straighten a size 1 Owner hook. Besides steelhead, everyone caught lots of Pink salmon as well. It was an awesome trip at a stunningly beautiful place.
Our last report is from Phil Hager. He went to Miller Lake by Chemult for 4 days. He caught a few small 6-10″ rainbows & browns. Everybody with fish finders said the bigger ones were down 50′ to 70′. Most of the fish were caught at about 60′. From there he went up to Crane; water temp was 74 degrees (near the surface, at the ramp). From there he went to upper Hosmer which was much cooler and lost count on Rainbows, Brookies, Cutthroat and Cutbows, many on a little midge emerger pattern in black that some hit when it hit the surface!
Last weekends Fish-a-long to Rocky Ridge was another good time with good friends, good food and good fishing.
For the crew that arrived on Friday night Lane served up some Elk Enchiladas. If that wasn’t enough, Tim served up some great smoked ribs for Saturday nights dinner. Good eats, thanks guys!
Saturday dawned with overcast skies but we had no rain or wind. Fish were rising here and there. Several of us started on the middle lake (Wild Rose). Naturally I tried a Green Devil but it wasn’t working so I switched to chironomids but strikes were slow in coming. A fine fishing riddle is brewing!
The water temperature was 64 degrees and the lake had good clarity. The conditions were ripe for a damselfly migration but chucking and olive/brown marabou damsel nymph didn’t produce.
After a while I finally brought a fish to hand on a small olive chironomid pupa. A stomach pump revealed a very a small damsel nymph, a few light olive chironomids and small scuds.
At lunch we compared notes. The upper lake (Mules Ear) was fishing better but the fishing was not hot. Lane did OK on his favorite seal bugger/intermediate line combo and Nancy did OK fishing with dries. Paul went down to the lower lake and did well on bass. Lastly, Lane observed a few callibaetis mayflies coming off and suggested we try fishing callibaetis nymphs after lunch.
Tim, John and I stuck with the middle lake. John and Tim went down by the dam and some callibeatis were coming off. John did well on calibaetis dry and emerger patterns on a floating line and Tim did well with a beadhead calibaetis nymph on an Intermediate line. The calibaetis were coming off sporadically, sort of in spurts, and when that happened the fish would stop keying on chironomids and would go after the larger mayflies.
I stuck to the flats near the boat launch. Strangely, the callibeatis mayflies were not hatching here (I tried them!) so I stuck with chironomids and did OK, but mostly I got short strikes, which tells me my fly was close but still not really the right one. About a half hour before I had to leave I saw some larger chironomids emerging—the pupa were chestnut brown and about a size 12. I had some similar patterns in my fly box, put one on and got several hard takes and landed a couple nice fish in short order. Finally! It was a great way to end the day.
Last Saturday the Clackamas Fly Fishers board members went on their annual board retreat to Rocky Ridge Ranch. The weather was nice but breezy, the company was good and everyone had a great time!
We all caught fish plus we were able to catch them by our favorite methods! For me, that is casting and erratically stripping a little devil streamer on a floating line. Lane Hoffman did well throwing small seal buggers on an intermediate line. Jim Adams found a willing pod of fish and caught a ton of them on dark-colored snow cone chironomids fished a scant 2 feet under an indicator. At the end of the day the wind died down and Henry was catching fish on top with ant patterns.
The upper lake (Mules Ear) had the highest concentration of fish and that’s where most of us spent our time after lunch. We all started at the middle lake (Wild Rose) after breakfast and while we caught fish it was a little challenging. The lower lake (Mullein) had a lot of small bass but the few trout that were hooked were big!
Some data: the water temperature was in the upper 50’s with good visibility. By the time we have the May 19th fish-a-long it will be in the low 60’s and that should bring out the damselfly nymphs that trout love. The best patterns this trip were #6 green devils, #6 or #8 olive seal buggers and #12 or #14 dark colored chironomids with a white bead head (snow cones). 3x and 4x tippets (6lb to 8lb) were needed to hold the larger trout and we got a few that exceeded the 20” mark.
This month’s Fish-A-Long will be at the Oregon Fishing Club’s Hartland Lake. Hartland Lake is a 15 acre pond located about 10 miles from Lyle, Washington. The drive from Portland takes about 90 minutes.
At its deepest point, the lake is 16 feet deep and holds trophy sized Rainbow Trout plus some Bass & Panfish. This lake is best fished with float tubes or pontoon boats, but there is limited bank access available.
When: 8am Saturday April 21. Meet at Fishermans Marine parking lot in Oregon City and carpool to the lakes.
Where: Hartland Lake, Oregon Fishing Club.
Equipment: 4 to 6wt rods with matching reel – floating & intermediate sinking fly lines – float tube or pontoon boat – waders – rain gear, layered clothing, its spring time in Oregon.
Flies: Midge patterns in Red for Larva and dark colors for Pupa. Streamers: Woolly Buggers or Green Devils. Dry flies: Griffiths Gnats if there is a Midge Hatch or Ants.
The plan: we’ll meet Saturday morning at the car pool location. Maps will be provided for those who would like one. The menu is Coffee & donuts for breakfast plus a hot lunch.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or catch me at the April 17th meeting.
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!
The Rocky Ridge Lakes have some very big trout and the best time to get one of these pigs is when they are active for a short time before dawn. I arrived at the main lake at 6:30 to find Jim Adams fighting his second of two big trout; both were hooked on Chironomids.
That got the blood pumping so I quickly got into my float tube, kicked out of the shallows and started fishing with Chironomids as well. I got a couple average size trout, then the sun came up and the bite slowed.
Today the weather was clear with some high clouds. This place is famous for wind and there is really cool breeze blowing, but fortunately it’s not blowing too hard. The sun is up early this time of year and after our long winter this catches me by surprise. The water temperature was 56° with about 4 feet of clarity.
I tried several different Chironomid patterns and they just don’t seem to be working the way they should. After an hour or so of experimenting with different Chrironomid patterns and presentation styles with little to show for it I go in a completely different direction and tie on a Green Devil, which is basically a 1/32nd oz micro jig; green in color with an orange head. A fish grabbed it on the first cast! The fish are on this fly and by lunch it is mangled beyond repair.
It’s now closing in on lunchtime and needing more Green Devils, I kick in, set up my vice and tie 5 more. Then Lane cooks up some good burgers and we dine overlooking the lake. Full and tired, it was time for a siesta. Got back out on the lake at 2:30 and caught 4 trout on my first 5 casts! This fast action held up through the rest of the afternoon. Back on shore at the end of the day we were all smiles and agreed the fishing today had been epic. The hot flies were green toned leeches and woolly buggers. Carson got a steelhead sized fish on a Chironomid down by the earth dam.
Paul and Henry went down to the lower lake and had excellent action as well. The Rocky Ridge lakes have all been recently stocked and fishing is very good.
It is time again for our annual fish a long at Rocky Ridge Ranch. This is one of the few events that the club has where there is a limit on the number of people. This year we are only going to have the lakes on Saturday with a limit of 10 people.
If you have not fished these lakes in the past it is something you should not miss. The ranch is located in Central Oregon and is about 40 miles south of The Dalles so the weather should be great. The lakes are well stocked with large trout for catch and release fishing. This is your opportunity to get into a real monster.
The cabin is available for both Friday and Saturday evening for $30 per person. There is a limit of 6 people so let me know if you are interested in spending the evening.
The fishing is limited to 10 anglers and we currently have 7 people signed up.
The cost for fishing these private lakes is usually $135 but with your club membership the cost is $100.
Please get your payment to Paul Brewer prior to the 20th
The club will provide a light breakfast as well as lunch on Saturday.
If you have any questions contact Paul Brewer email@example.com