During the month of October my mantra for fishing the Deschutes is “find the salmon and you’ll find the trout!” The weather can be bad, the White River can be blown but trout and whitefish can’t resist the egg bonanza when the Chinook are spawning.
Seven of us braved the chilly weather conditions and colored up water but the payoff was sweet! Everyone got into plenty of fish and most of us broke into double digits.
As an added bonus, the Bighorn Sheep were playing on the wall and Richard Harvey got a nice video of two rams chasing a ewe.
Thanks to everyone for coming! Next month we’ll try to hit the Kilchis River for Chum Salmon but if the water conditions are poor (like they have been the last 3 years!) we will go to an Oregon Fishing Club lake.
September was a difficult month with all the fires. In spite of everything, we have some good fishing reports to share. Thanks to everyone for sending them in! Pictures are first with the reports below.
Greg O’Brien was chasing Striped Bass in San Francisco Bay with his brother and got this Leopard Shark.
Greg O’Brien hit Willamette River for Smallmouth bass, landing some nice bass using an intermediate line and clouser minnow. Later in the month he landed a nice hatchery steelhead behind some spawning chinook then caught a Jack Chinook on the Deschutes while chasing steelhead.
Sadie Hibbard caught this huge bluegill in an eastern Oregon pond.
Ed Rabinowe claims he caught this beautiful Chinook trolling an October Caddis on his 3wt fly rod 😉
Darryl Huff fished the Deschutes at Warm Springs for some really good trout fishing and also hit the mouth for Steelhead.
Dave Kilhefner and George Coutts tried to fish the Deschutes at Warm Springs in late September but the smoke was thick, so they headed to Maupin and managed to land a few small trout.
George Krumm had a productive month on the Columbia, landing limits of Salmon and Crab.
Rhona Dallison got this great video of Chinook Salmon spawning in the Sandy River on Mt Hood.
Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop sent in these “Steelhead Armageddon” photos from a very smoky Deschutes River. Kudo’s for sticking it out and making it happen!
Nick Amato provided these photos of the fire jumping the Clackamas River less than 1/2 mile from his home. It was a little too close for comfort!
My Friend Eduardo Barrueto Guarda from Chile put together a new video about his fly fishing lodge. It reminds me that someday life will get back to normal and that there are many beautiful places in the world to go and see.
The Corona virus situation is still very much with us and it looks like it will be for a long time. Since fishing access has been a little confusing the last couple months, Brad Jonasson contacted the ODFW and put together some great Covid Fishing Info. Thanks Brad!
Also, the Oregon Fishing Club sent a copy of their Covid policy.
With everything going on, June still remains a very good fishing month so club members got out and caught fish while of course maintaining responsible social distancing.
As always, pictures first with the report following below. Enjoy!
Several Club Members traveled Justesen Ranch early in the month, using Maupin as their base camp. Fishing was very good for rainbow trout. Chironomid fishing was the most consistent tactic but the trout were hungry and taking a little bit of everything from stripped streamers to dry flies.
From Greg O’Brien: Fished on the Feather River in CA with my brother at the beginning of the month. Caught tons of Shad on swung fly/trout Spey setup plus a few stripers on stripped streamers; the stripers weren’t large but they were super aggressive.
Also fished the Deschutes, mostly trout speying with streamers and soft hackles. It wasn’t lights out fishing, but got a decent number of tight line takes. Also got a big lazy bass, easily over 5 lbs and a 24”+ squawfish.
Shad fished at a John Day dam from bank and got some, also Hamilton Island at Bonneville where I got a couple Swinging with my trout Spey rod.
From Richard Harvey: The OFC properties produced some big rainbows this month. They were taking larger and larger flies as the month progressed
From Darryl Huff: Been fishing the Deschutes on a weekly basis, doing well with perdigons sub surface and caddis on top. Also fished the Sandy river with spinners and drifted beads , finding an occasional summer steelhead.
From George Coutts and Dave Kilhefner: We fished an Oregon Fishing Club lake late in the month that held bluegill, bass and trout. The surface temperature was 75 degrees, so to find the trout we concentrated on the deeper water creek bed channel where there was cooler water and found some nice trout. Red Chironomids were best, but trout were caught on a variety of flies.Around lunch time the fish stocking truck showed up. It was interesting to see how the lakes are stocked and naturally we tried fishing for some of the freshly stocked trout but didn’t have any luck with them.
From Ron Woodke: Fished at Timothy Lake for 2 days using both fly and spin fishing techniques. Caught 5 the first morning before it got to hot. Started earlier the second morning and caught three over 18 inches float tube fishing out of the Pine Point area.
From Lane Hoffman: Fished the lakes off Century Drive and also East Lake for a few days. The fishing was good but the area was WAY to crowded!
From Kevin Rogers: Decided to check out Frog Lake for the first time and did pretty good. Had on a small orange damsel nymph and tossed at the shore line and along one of the trees. Hooked into a 3-plus pound trout; the rest varied in size. Nice day out on the water.
From Mike Longacre: I want to give a shout out to Korkers customer service! Some of my wading boots studs came loose. They forwarded new new studs at no cost and advised using blue lock tite on the threads would keep this from happening in the future. Thanks again to Mark at Korkers!
The Corona virus situation made getting out and going fishing a bit confusing this month and many of us could not figure out what access points & waters were open or closed. Still, some folks managed to crack the code, get out and catch a few fish plus some 2020 Fly Fishing Challenges were met.
Here are their reports. As always, pictures first with the report below.
From Darryl Huff: May delivered fabulous fishing on the Deschutes! Most were taken on the dropper below a stonefly dry; occasionally the fish would key on the surface fly. Camped on the river when the big thunderstorm blew thru, the river got off color but the fishing was OK until the river got really ugly.
From Michael Longacre: Drove to Timothy Lake on May 29th. The Campgrounds were supposed to be open but they were not. I left around 1 PM and the gates were still closed. Trucks and Trailers were lined up to get in. I parked at a day use area and carried my boat in. The morning was wind free and warm and the lake had an algae bloom. Fish were jumping every where but I didn’t get any bites. Saw a bank angler catch a 13 inch rainbow on power bait.
From Richard Harvey: Been relegated to OFC properties due to all the closures but they haven’t disappointed. Been catching lots of big trout, bass, and bluegills. The fish are starting to take bigger flies this month.
From George Coutts and Dave Kilhefner: we fished the Oregon Fishing Club ponds several times. Fishing was hit and miss as the water got very warm on the hot days. Chironomids and streamers seemed to be the best producers.
Greetings fellow Fly Fishers. Might as well get the bad news over with first: the June 16th meeting is cancelled. While this is unfortunate it does make some sense; Oregon has started to reopen and while this is great news my better half has informed me this has increased the number of Coronavirus cases in our state. Also, and this is the deciding factor, while High Rocks is open they are not permitted to open their banquet room yet. I learned this last week as I went in for a burger and a cold one and the owner relayed this news.
On a more positive note, fishing has been pretty good and I’ll get the May fishing report out soon. While the summer steelhead run has been slow other fisheries have been picking up the slack, namely trout on the Deschutes, the OFC ponds plus Smallmouth and Carp on the Columbia & Willamette. Also, if you’ve seen all the boats out on the Willamette you know the Shad are in!
In spite of all the good fly fishing opportunites, COVID-19 has me hibernating a little and it’s slowed me down. If you’re feeling the same way send me an email and we’ll try to make some fishing happen. If you need some reading material for inspiration I have free Fly Fishing & Tying Journal magazines for anyone that wants one while supplies last; just send me an email and we’ll figure out how to get a copy into your hands. Also, you can take advantage of our well stocked Library.
Our local fly shops were able to open last month to walk in traffic. If you plan on going its good to call ahead to make sure they are open as business has been on the slow side so they sometimes close a little early, which is understandable. Also, please take a moment to read the rules posted on the front door and of course be courteous, maintain social distance even if you don’t believe in it and wear a mask.
We really tried to have the May 23rd Fish a Long at Timothy Lake happen but unfortunately the US Forest Service delayed the PGE parks opening. Given this, we’re going to try again this month and fishing reports are good. Be advised to be safe we will maintain social distancing so everyone will need to bring their own lunch & beverages. Stay tuned for details.
Hi Everyone, the Coronavirus lockdown is still with us! During the month of April some CFF members ventured out on the water, kept their distance and enjoyed good fishing. Here are their stories with the pictures on top and the report below:
From John Warren: (from March, I missed this one in my email inbox) My grandsons have been taking advantage of their extend spring break and doing well on Fall River and Crooked. This one is from Fall and will send additional pics from each after this ( you should be able to tell which river.) I met them Sunday in Maupin and showed them around. No pics from there, but I got around 10 trout and one of boys got around 8 with a few whitefish mixed in. Truck thermometer read 71 in the afternoon!.
From Richard Harvey: Like last month the OFC properties fished well. The key was to go small with your flies.
From Lane Hoffman: Fished Rocky Ridge Ranch it’s fishing the best I have ever seen! Really big fish, I’m talking about 5 to double digit Rainbows! Fished both the upper & middle lakes, both were excellent. Size 10 olive “Seal” bugger & a size 12 olive jig fly. Both were fished on an intermediate sinking fly line and a 1X fluorocarbon leader, don’t go light on the leader & use a loop knot! A fished Krumbo Reservoir on the south end of the Malheur Refuge in SE Oregon which fished very well. Two size of fish, 12 to 13 inches & 20 plus all footballs; great float tube lake. By myself so no pic’s.
From Dave Kilhefner: George Couts and I hit a couple Oregon Fishing Club lakes. We met at Oregon City Home Depot, put on our masks and carpooled to the Highland Lakes area. Fishing was a little slow but we both managed to land a few plus it was great to get outside. Chironomids and small leeches were the best flies. The next day I fished the Sandy River. Shared the water with a guy fishing jigs and beads, so tried something different and threw a spoon and caught this beauty.
From Darryl Huff: I frequently hook sturgeon on the Sandy while steelhead fishing. This one was a little larger than most. This one took a bead and was landed on a 10 pound leader.
From Greg O’Brien: Not much fishing for me this month, but did manage a few trout on a recent outing to Rainier Ponds.
From Kevin Rogers: My one time out I fished Sauvies on opening day before it got crowed. Worked on fishing dry flies for a change, they were hitting non stop for about an hour.
Hope everyone is tolerating the social distancing requirements, masking up when out in public and maintaining a positive outlook. This lockdown won’t last forever!
This November featured some chilly weather but the fishing was hot at times!
From Brad Jonasson: Fished the Deschutes and netted 5 Redsides, 2 rainbows & 1 large Whitefish, all on a French Style Nymph.
From Greg O’Brien: My brother and I did some flyfishing in the California Delta for Striped Bass with guide Bryce Tedford (who has PNW roots in Puget Sound). The fishing was tough to do all day as we had to throw 9 weight rods with fast sink lines & big weighted flies. We each got a lot of fish, mostly in the 14-20” class with a few bigger ones mixed in (up to 14 pounds).
From Darryl Huff: Found a hand full of steelhead and a few bull trout while fishing the Deschutes near Warm Springs this month. Best patterns for me were the prince nymph, blue perdigon, and egg patterns. Steelhead on the 6 wt. are a lot of fun but not all were landed!
From Hugo Jim: 22 months ago, I decided to chase a Steelhead with the Spey. It took many classes, trips, trials and errors but with the help of Sam from Steelhead Outfitters I hooked, landed, and released a Wild one on the Klickitat River with a fly that I tied myself. I did it!
From George Coutts: Spent three days on the Deschutes at North Junction, mostly Euro Nymphing. It was clear, cold and, at times too windy to cast but I brought some nice Rainbows to hand and one sizable White Fish.
From Dave Kilhefner: Fished the Deschutes on the Warm Springs Reservation side with Elke Littleleaf. Fishing partner Robert Campbell caught 2 steelhead on spinners and I caught a couple nice redsides on beads.
From Bob Beswich: My friend, Neal Rea from Newport but formally from West Linn and I went to the Deschutes for a couple of days (11th and 12th). Around Beavertail, we found a few trout feeding on salmon eggs and caught them on glow bugs. We did fished for Steelhead with one hatchery landed on a weighted small purple at the boat landing at Nena.
October is always a great month to get out on the water!
From Richard Harvey: Sea run cutthroats moved into the coastal rivers well in October plus bigger fish began to show up. Also got a surprise silver.
From Phil Bartsch: Gary Stein and I went up to the Crooked River last Thursday (10/24). Water was really low and super clear, but we managed to catch more trout than white fish.
From Greg O’Brien: I got a little swung fly steelhead action, some excellent trout fishing, and even a some predawn saltwater action at Barview Jetty.
Hit some trout lakes too: the trout on Timothy Lake and Rocky Ridge were big and hungry for small black leech patterns. Diamond Lake was tough fishing when snow and wind came in hard but managed a couple of rainbows, but no tiger trout before getting off the water in a hurry.
From Dave Kilhefner: went back to Beavertail for the last Westfly Rondi. It was a repeat of the fish a long weekend the weekend before. Egg patterns were the ticket with great fishing Friday afternoon and steady fishing the rest of the weekend. The sheep were out in force on the rock wall during the day plus saw a very nice buck on the drive home.
December Speaker George Krumm travelled to the Naknek River in Alaska with a few friends for some fall swinging for big ‘bows. Some large fish were landed up to 32.5” on big leeches using switch rods, commando heads and sink tips. George fished out of Katmai Trophy Lodge. The weather was sometimes challenging with conditions ranging from below freezing some mornings to wet and windy with winds up to 35 mph.
From Darryl Huff: I have fished a single hand fly rod for years but had never tried the spey rod. Being a part of the Clackamas FlyFishers gave me the bump I needed to give it a try. My casting needs a lot of work but after a few trips to the Deschutes I was catching fish!
From Carson Taylor: Motivated by an internet article by Chester Allen (who spoke at a club meeting several years ago), I fished for bass on the Willamette close to downtown Portland off Macadam Avenue. Chester is working in downtown Portland and fishes for bass during his noon hour.
Fishing was not red hot, but I caught five bass in three two-hour early morning trips, mostly on leech and woolly bugger flies. It’s nice to fish 10 minutes from home instead of driving for 2–3 hours.
From Dave Kilhefner: In mid August I fished with guide Drake Radditz at Bouy 10 and caught a nice 25lb Chinook.
From Phil Hager: Spent 8 days in central Oregon with mixed results.
Link and Hand lakes, up by Suttle Lake, were slow, with just a few catches of smaller fish. Both East and Lava were suffering the “August doldrums” with only 1 caught on Lava and not even a bump on East.
Hosmer, however, was a different story. Fished the upper lake and it was like I could do nothing wrong! Using my intermediate line I lost count on catches in the first hour both times. My “Brick Leech” and black and grey TMC nymph were getting fish almost immediately with Rainbows, Cutts, and Brookies ranging in size from 12″ to about 24″ and fat and healthy. Right shoulder was tired in about 3 hours and it wasn’t from casting.
If anybody wants to go along I’m heading back up the 9/15 to camp at Lava and fish Hosmer and Lava, then over to Fall River the 19th for 4 nights (TU outing), and will hit Crane the 22nd. From there I plan on going over to the Crooked the 23rd & 24th and down to the Le Page, on the John Day, the 25th & 26th, to see how they are doing.
From Adrian Choate: Spent a week fishing SW Montana. Hit Rock Creek, the “Mighty Missouri “ and the Madison. The fish weren’t easy but managed to raise some big Bows and browns. Am considering a month in Ennis next summer!
July speaker Elke Littleleaf had a great month on the Deschutes, landing many fine redsides like the one pictured.
With the cloudy early July weather Rob Crandall has been sneaking out on the Clackamas River and swinging up a few summer steelhead.
Nick Wheeler got this awesome Bull Trout euro nymphing for rainbow trout after work.
Greg O’Brien had a great day on Trillium Lake with his daughter Abigail. Her smile says it all!
Jim Adams got away to East
Lake for a few hours while at Sunriver with family.There is usually a good
callibaetis hatch late morning through midday during the summer at East,
although the hatch was not as impressive as last year. Caught six fish. Five
Rainbows, the biggest being 18”. Also one kokanee, that put up quite a
fight for its size. Unlike last year, no browns were caught but saw one about 24″ take a callibaetis
natural off the surface about two rod lengths from me, which got the adrenaline
going. Caught fish on three different patterns: leech, callibaetis nymph and callibaetis
Adrian Choat went camping for 2 weeks camping at Crane Prairie. Spent mornings fishing from a kayak with best results stripping black wolly buggers and small red buggers. There was very little top water action. There are some large aggressive fish in Crane and he was broken off several times on 3x tippet.
Mark & Patty Bachman have been fishing Timothy Lake. They started with float tubes, then wend to pontoon boats. The last couple outings they’ve used their jet boat, allowing them to see the whole lake as never before. Fishing was great all day, every day even though the water temperature in the morning was 69-degrees and at dark it was over 74-degrees. Most of the fish we caught were planted rainbows that averaged 10-14 inches, the largest were 15-16 inches. During the morning and most of the day small wooly buggers did the trick. Most of those fish were caught with type-2 and type-3 sinking lines while fishing in about 15-feet of water. A slow twitchy retrieve with the fly near the bottom was amazingly productive. They saw a few Hexagenia mayflies one morning around 10:00 o’clock, but the fish didn’t pay any attention to them. The main hatch started with sporadic emergence about 4:00 in the afternoon, then gradually increased until dark. Fishing emergers in the dark resulted in a fish nearly every cast for about an hour and then died.
Richard Harvey has been chasing resident Coho along the beaches on Puget Sound. They are getting very active and taking baitfish patterns.
Greg O’Brien did a good bit of fishing in July. Harriett Lake produced a few browns on emergers, Dory fishing out of Pacific City was hot for Black Rockfish plus a cool Cabezon and a few Coho all on flies. He also hit an OFC property for bass and bluegill. He also floated the Deschutes from Beavertail to the mouth; they got several grabs, caught a big bass and a few nice trout on swung steelhead flies. He also hooked & lost a nice steelhead Euro nymphing for trout, which got about 100 yards downstream and broke his 5.5x tippet.
Hugo Jim went on a
family camping trip at Lost Lake in mid July. He fished both from my pontoon
and from the shore, taking fish on Adams dry flies and sub surface pattern such
as leeches. The Hex hatch was slow when he was there.
Carson Taylor also fishing Lost Lake with the Washington County Fly Fishers July
13th fish-along. Everyone caught a dozen+ fish, mostly around 10
inches. Carson caught a brown around 14-15 inches and a 12-13 inch rainbow; but
there are some larger fish! Olive woolly buggers and callibaetis nymphs worked
best. On the way home the Hood River Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile
Museum (waaamuseum.org) is worth a stop.