Thanks to everyone who came to the Deschutes River Fish-A-Long this weekend plus extra thanks to Paul Brewer for organizing and Cheryl Kilhefner for the wonderful food. We had a great time, here’s a recap:
The river was in perfect shape; clear water and 57 degrees. The weather was good too, overcast in the morning improving to partly cloudy in the afternoon with a high of 72 degrees. The only bad weather were some strong wind gusts around mid-morning but fortunately they didn’t last more than a few minutes each.
Several of us camped at Beavertail and the campground was nearly full. Most of the angling pressure was directed at steelhead and the reports were the steelhead were a little scarce this weekend. Still, there were a few hookups but none from our group. Trux did get a “San-Diego Steelhead” about 9am swinging a big purple leech on a sink tip and those things do get the heart pumping before the big letdown.
Most of us went after trout and the morning fishing was very slow. John Warren got on the board early with his new Euro Nymphing setup. About mid morning some very small mayflies and midges started hatching. I put on a #18 Brown WD-40 and managed a couple fish letting it tick the bottom under an indicator, however it wasn’t an “ah-ha” moment by any stretch of the imagination as every bite was hard to get. By lunchtime we were all ready to take a break from pounding the water.
Cheryl Kilhefner prepared a great lunch of home-made spaghetti, Caesar salad and garlic bread. There was more than enough for second helpings, so we all dug in!
For the afternoon fishing we tried a different spot downriver and it fished much better. John was doing well with his Euro nymphing rig with a black Euro nymph producing the most action. Most of the trout were 10” to 12” but a few bigger ones up to 15” were brought to hand. I did OK with WD-40’s in brown and black colors; it’s amazing the fish can find a fly that small in a big river like the Deschutes but they can. Trux broke away from fishing small flies got a nice rainbow swinging a leech pattern. It was a fun afternoon and just to maintain the civilized aspect of fly fishing, the bite died down around happy hour.
This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday September 22nd on the Deschutes River at Beavertail Campground.
The plan: meet at Beavertail Campground between 8am and 9am. We’ll provide coffee and doughnuts then we hit the river! After morning fishing a hot lunch will be served-home made spaghetti with sauce by Cheryl Kilhefner from this summers tomato garden harvest.
Beavertail campground has ample parking and lots of good fishing water. It’s located 21 miles north of Maupin on the Lower Deschutes Access Rd. From Maupin to Shears Falls is paved and the last 10 or so miles to Beavertail is gravel road.
Gear: 4 to 6wt rods with matching reel & floating lines. Indicator nymphing rigs with small glo- bugs and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears. Swinging for steelhead is a possibility too but reports indicate steelhead fishing has been slow. Waders with felt or cleated boots and layered clothing (can be cool in the morning).
This is a very nice time to fish the Deschutes River for trout – they’re usually hungry and can be concentrated below schools of spawning salmon, making for excellent fishing. This is also a great fish along to make an overnight trip.
Please email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend so we can get a head count for the food.
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 week Gil fished the Deschutes around Maupin, reporting he saw plenty of big bugs in the bushes but not many flying over the water. He managed to catch a couple on dries but it was necessary to cover a lot of water to find a player. The stonefly fishing should be at it’s best in a week or so.
Yesterday I was able to fish the Warm Springs Indian Reservation water with Elke & Alysia of Littleleaf Guide Services. Because you always have miles of untouched water to yourself I can’t say enough good things about this angling experience.
We met at 11am at Kah-Nee-Ta; no need to get up early this time of year! The weather was warm, the skies overcast and a light breeze was blowing upstream, making for perfect fishing conditions.
Arriving at the river it seemed the flows were a little faster than normal. Discharge from Pelton dam was 4100 cubic feet per second, water temperature was perfect at 55 degrees with about 4’ to 6’ of water clarity.
I had a refusal at the first stop and then landed a 16” fatty at the next stop. This time of year, when a fish commits to your fly you can see, hear and sometimes feel the strike!
Today all the fish took one of Elke’s Predator Stonefly’s. Alysia showed me a recent picture of a 26” redside she landed, so I stuck with heavy 2x and 3x tippet (8lb & 10lb). Every stop produced some sort of action, mostly refusals but often enough a player would hammer your fly. As Gil said in his report, covering water is the best way to find the fish that wanted to eat.
I managed a dozen or so, but numbers do not really represent all the fun I had watching fish slash at my flies all day. The average size of the fish was around 16 inches and my biggest brought to hand was in the 19 to 20 inch range. However, standing on a steep bank with a good view of the bottom structure I had a much larger redside come up twice only to refuse my fly at the last instant.
Rick Hafele will be CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, April 17th.
Rick’s presentation will be on the Four Seasons of Fly Fishing. Additionally, he will bring us up to speed on the recent developments on the lower Deschutes River. It will be a great presentation you won’t want to miss!
This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday October 21st on the Deschutes River in Maupin.
The plan: meet at Paul Brewer’s place in Maupin between 8am and 9am. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided. We will then hit the river! Most likely we will travel down river to the area of Beavertail. There is ample parking and a nice area to fish.
Please email email@example.com you plan to attend so we can get you a map to Paul’s place and also so we can get a head count.
Gear: 4 to 6wt rods with matching reel & floating lines. Indicator nymphing rigs with small glo- bugs and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears. Swinging for steelhead is a possibility too but reports indicate steelhead fishing has been really slow. Waders with felt or cleated boots and layered clothing (can be cool in the morning).
Lunch: The club will provide lunch. Come to the meeting on the 16th to find out more.
This is a great time to fish the Deschutes River for trout as they will be concentrated below schools of spawning salmon and fishing can be excellent! This is also a great fish along to make an overnight trip. There are many campgrounds and I may host dinner as well. If interested in staying in Maupin come to the meeting on the 17th so we can measure the interest.
First a BIG THANKS to the Oregon Fishing Club for letting us fish the Rainier Lakes this weekend!
We met at 8am in the Tualatin Cabela’s parking lot then convoyed to the lakes, which took about 90 minutes. We had some heavy rain during the drive and it was starting to look like more of the rain gear test than a fishing trip. Fortunately when we arrived at the lake the rain had tapered off and we could see fish rising as we geared up—a good sign for sure!
This year the lake had been stocked with a good number of large size Albino Rainbow Trout. They really show up in the water, making for some interesting sight fishing. But, these albino trout are very finicky. Even when you do everything right they mostly just follow your fly without taking, but it really gets your heart racing.
Everyone caught fish today and one club member caught his biggest rainbow ever! Most of the trout we caught were healthy rainbows in the 14 to 20+ inch range.
The hot flies were dark colored Chironomid patterns in size 12 & 14. Both indicator and sink & slow retrieve presentations worked. Later in the day the Chironomid bite died and the trout started hitting woolly buggers with green patterns being the most successful.
We had intervals of rain, sun, wind throughout the day; it was typical crazy spring weather!
The water temperature of the lake was 52 degrees. The water had a nice green tint with about 4 feet of visibility.
This was another fun Fish-A-Long. Thanks to everyone for coming!
John Smeraglio will be the CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, April 18th. John has owned and operated the Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop since 1985. A long time guide and speaker, John’s presentation is always entertaining and informative!
We will also have a couple short presentations; one from Jim Coulthurst telling how the club was formed about 25 years ago and another by Brad Jonasson and Tom Flannery on a new program our club is sponsoring called the Fly Fishing Challenge.
It will be a great meeting you won’t want to miss!