Elke Littleleaf, who will be presenting for CFF in the near future, generously gave his time to help introduce youth and families to fly fishing at the NW Steelheaders Family Fish Camp this month.
March speaker John Devoe got out on the water with CFF sponsor Mark Bachmann to enjoy some winter steelhead fishing on our namesake river.
John Warren traveled to Christmas Island in early March, doing well on both Bonefish and Giant Trevally.
Josh Linn of Royal Treatment got in some good Euro Nymphing action on the Metolius River. John will be giving a presentation on Euro Nymphing at our April meeting.
The day after the fish-a-long Paul Brewer and Dave Kilhefner fished the Deschutes River around Maupin. The water was high, off-color and cold. Trout fishing was tough but a few were brought to hand using Euro nymphing tactics. The hot fly was a San Juan Worm, a high water favorite.
Seven CCF members went on to the Owyhee after the Crooked River Fish-A-Long. Flows were very low and it was a bit crowded. Rain from the previous days caused a creek to blow out and muddy up parts of the river, then the wind picked up; all these things combined to create poor fishing conditions. However, the bugs were out and several members landed Brown trout up to 18″ long. Fish or no fish, everyone did have a good time; new friends were made, lies were told plus lots of education & exploration!
Another great month of Fly Fishing is in the books. Thanks to everyone for sharing their reports!
John DeVoe, executive director of WaterWatch of Oregon, will be CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, March 19th.
John will explain some of the very important water allocation issues we are facing both now and in the future. Lisa Brown from WaterWatch will accompany him to explain her ongoing work on our own Clackamas River. It will be a very informative presentation.
Here’s some links to recent news articles where WaterWatch has defended some of CFF’s favorite waters:
Hi everyone, here are some reports from our members for the month of October. It was another good fly fishing month!
John Warren landed a small Chinook and also a nice Half Pounder Steelhead on the Rogue using a small green leech with a 6 weight. Good times!
Carson Taylor journeyed to Yakutat the last week of September along with Pat Miller and Don Nelson of River City Fly Shop. They fished the Arhnkiln River. The colored fish was the biggest and strongest and the other the brightest. Everyone caught 20+ silvers over four days plus some Dolly Vardens. Guide-provided Dolly Llama flies were the most popular pattern.
Dave Kilhefner tried his hand at Euro Nymphing on the Clackamas River at Feldheimers. There is a nice riffle above the boat launch. He took several decent rainbow trout and whitefish using a zebra midge and also a small hairs ear nymph.
Frank Day of the Fly Fishing Shop got this nice Bull Trout on the Metolius River casting & stripping a streamer pattern.
Phil Hager got this brood stock brute at the Pine Hollow Fish-A-Long. He used his little grey mayfly emerger pattern, fished about 4 feet deep with an intermediate line and a very slow retrieve.
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!
The “June Fly Fishing Reports” blog was a hit so here’s another edition for July.
Zach Epstein of Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitter fished at Rocky Ridge and put together a great video of trout attacking mouse patterns. He said he hooked about a dozen trout fishing this way–something to try next time!
Brad Jonasson provided these photo’s from the CFF’s annual Owyhee River Trip from last month.
While unsuccessfully chasing shad in the Willamette Dave Kilhefner picked a nice smallmouth bass.
Erik from Bridgeport Orvis store hit the Clackamas River. He says “the Clackamas provides a unique opportunity to catch decent trout close to Portland. However, these fish shouldn’t be in the river as they are clipped, residualized hatchery steelhead & clipped trout that made it through River Mill dam. You are encouraged to keep these fish as they compete with native species to the river.
There are Spring Chinook in the upper Sandy River. Dave Kilhefner was spey casting for them when this nice angler arrived then got one on a spinner. He graciously asked permission to make a few casts and his good Karma was quickly rewarded. It was a native and quickly released.
Hugo Jim traveled to New Orleans for a family get together and took time out to chase Redfish and got this beauty!
Jim Behrend went to the North Santiam and caught 2 smolt , a sucker plus he and his wife caught a bunch of small rainbows.
Greg O’Brien traveled to Puget Sound to fish for Sea Run Cutthroat Trout and Coho with the guys from a Royal Treatment. Fishing was slow, but they managed to get a couple really nice sea runs. They saw a few silvers from the beach but did not hook up with any.
Randy Clark, our speaker from Orvis Bridgeport got into some good Tiger Musky action up in Washington. Between himself and fishin’ buddy Ryan and they totaled up nearly 30 follows, 5 hookups, one broken line, and one fish landed that went 44″. He had one that was significantly larger follow the fly right to his feet, follow three large ovals at the boat then sit there staring at the fly right on it’s nose before turning away. Fast stripping small baitfish patterns in size 6 seemed best, using an intermediate line.
Adrian Choate is on a big road trip to Alaska! He’s at the Susitna (muddy) / Montana Creek (clear) confluence. He reports the Chum and Silvers are coming in plus Kings have been in the rivers for a while. Next are large , bead eating rainbows. If that isn’t enough, Grayling are taking dries aggressively. Gotta love Alaska!
Trux Dole reports the rod builders met and successfully prepped & attached both handles and rod seats, marked spines and line guides and learned how to wrap their guides. Big thanks to Ken B and Tom F for helping teach and tutor folks and to George C for sharing his tools and tips. Linda successfully repaired her childhood bamboo rod with a new wrapping on line guides and got her first coat of epoxy applied.
Thanks in absentia to Ron B for his materials and for ordering the supplies and all his years of teaching. He was missed but we charged on. Next step will be epoxying the guide wraps and adhering the tips.
My friend Jay got into some nice smallmouth in the lower Clackamas by the water intake.
Todd Alsbury of the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife will be CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, March 20th.
Todd’s presentation will briefly cover Bull trout reintroduction, high lake trout stocking, sea lion predation, and Christmas tree placement. Then he’ll discuss the population status of fish runs in the Sandy, Clackamas, and Molalla rivers. He will also give out some secrets on how to catch more winter steelhead in local rivers.
Nick Rowell of Anadromous Anglers will be CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, January 16th.
Nick guides for Steelhead on our own Clackamas River and is the Clackamas River Steward for the Native Fish Society. He is also a master fly tier and is regularly featured at both Royal Treatment and The Fly Fishing Shop. His presentation will be on Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing. It will be a great presentation you won’t want to miss!
I’m typing this report on a windy, rainy Sunday morning and feeling thankful we had such a nice day yesterday for the Fish-A-Long at McIver Park.
We had a great turnout. Thanks to everyone for coming. A special thanks to Paul Brewer for the hot coffee and good food and Dave Kilhefner for spey casting instruction.
The water conditions were perfect for winter steelhead fly fishing. We fished every nook and cranny within sight but it has been a slow year and no fish were caught. Andrew reported seeing a fish jumping upstream but could not get it to take.
It was fun to help some of the clubs beginning spey casters with their casting and we made good progress! The theme of the day was to work on getting the anchor set. Once this is done the rest of the cast becomes much easier, but it takes a little time and practice to get used to the feel of a spey rod. Keep at it!