CFF February Fish A Long

This month’s Fish A Long will be held Saturday, February 22nd on the Sandy River. The location is Dave K’s place about halfway between Sandy and Welches.

What- Winter Steelhead

Where- Sandy River

When- 8am until lunchtime, Saturday, February 22nd

Equipment-

  • Spey or Switch Rod
  • Skagit Line & sink tip(s)
  • 15lb tippet material
  • flies, bright patterns and dark patterns
  • waders & wading staff
  • rain gear
  • warm, layered clothing

Directions- take Hwy 26 like you are going to Mt Hood. 10 miles past Sandy, turn left onto Sleepy Hollow Drive (there’s a big sign) and then take the 1st left. It’s a steep gravel driveway with a black metal gate.

We will have coffee, donuts and a hot lunch. This fish a long will focus on spey casting and swung fly presentations. Questions; email or call Dave Kilhefner. Hope to see you there!

January 2020 Fishing Reports

From Tim Morton: Last month I was able to go on a bucket list trip to Patagonia. The Brown Trout is from the World End Lodge, and the Sea Run Trout is from Las Buitreras Lodge. The sea run trout was 13.5 lbs.  Didn’t get the weight on the Brown,

Fish a long Report: You can see from the river level screenshot that we had some higher than normal water for our Fish a long. While this didn’t impact our spey casting, it did put a damper on our Euro Nymphing as it was hard to find any decent nymphing water. On the good side, for January we had a surprisingly warm and dry day. This made it easy to set up for morning coffee plus Chef Cheryl’s delicious lunch of homemade soup, Texas toast and salad. Thank you for everyone that came out!

From Ed Rabinowe: Duck season ended and my got a new knee. I think I have a fishing rod somewhere!

From Dave Kilhefner: Got lucky on my first steelhead trip of the year with this 12lb hen; she was a jumper! The following week I fished the Oregon Fishing Club ponds and caught a nice trout dragging a Booby Fly along the bottom. Saw another angler doing OK fishing a woolly bugger under an indicator.

Brad Jonasson and David Hopkins had a good outing to the Deschutes River by Maupin.

From Greg O’Brien: My brother visits once or twice a year to go steelhead fishing and we hire a guide to get to water we normally can’t get to on foot.  We fished 2 days on the Sandy, floating from Dodge to Dabney with Travis Johnson of All Waters Angling. Monday was tough with just one solid pull & no hookup.  Tuesday was a slow morning but landed a big wild hen around noon, followed by another nice wild fish in the afternoon.  

From Darryl Huff: A nice wild steelhead caught just before New Years.

From Greg O’Brien: Hugo and I hit the Deschutes for a trout spey session and I got this nice one.  It ate the caddis emerger dropper of a swung 2 fly rig.

From Henry Muehleck: fished the north coast with Gil Muhleman.  We were gear fishing and had a great day. I hooked 8 and landed 3. Two of these were 14 to 15 pound natives. Gil is a great guide and definitely goes the extra mile to get you fish! 

From George Krumm: Fished the lower Sandy with gear. Landed a couple, a smaller hen and this nice buck. The buck went to the broodstock program.

Nov 9th Fish A Long Cancelled

Hi Everyone, we’ve decided to cancel the Fish A Long this weekend.

Lane Hoffman drove down to the coast recently and reports the water is very low and there were very few fish. Also, the 10 day forecast shows dry weather conditions persisting thru the weekend.

For those that want to get in some good Chum action, last year there were reports of very good Chum fishing the two days prior to the Nov 15th closure. Unfortunately we can’t schedule a mid-week fish a long to take advantage of this.

Some other local options:
-Thursday Nov 7th is the Beer & Cheer event with Simon Gawesworth. It’s at the Tap & Table on Ankeny and starts at 6pm.

-Several of the Oregon Fishing Club Ponds have recently been stocked with trout including the ones we fish the most; Rainier and Highland Lakes.

-The Deschutes River is still fishing well for trout.

October 2019 Fish A Long Report

Sometimes you get really lucky and hit everything just right. This Fish a Long was one of those times! Water conditions were very good, the trout were biting & stacked up thick below schools of spawning salmon. This weekend, finding spawning salmon was the key and we did this with no trouble.

I arrived and Friday afternoon and found a note waiting for me on Darryl Huff’s windshield that said “Dave, fishing upriver. Bring egg patterns!” Darryl had been having an epic day and ended up landing over 100 trout. To rack up these impressive numbers he started at 8am then fished hard all day. By the time I set up camp there was only about an hour of daylight left but I managed to hook a trout on the very first cast then bring another dozen or so to hand using and egg fly provided by Mitch Moyer, who was featured in Jim Adam’s September Fly Tying article.

It rained pretty hard late Friday night but fortunately stopped before Saturday morning. The rest of the day we had periods of intermittent rain and wind gusts but for the most part the weather and water conditions were good. The trout bite held up but was not as red hot as the day before. Still, we all got fish and Darryl had another good day, bringing an 18.5” fish to hand. My fish story of the day happened using a two fly rig & hooking two fish at the same time. Thanks to luck and heavy tippet both fish made it into the net.

Besides good fishing with good friends, it wouldn’t be a proper CFF Fish A Long without a good lunch! Cheryl provided fresh cooked juicy burgers, homemade macaroni salad and chips. Across the river seven mountain sheep were putting on a show, chasing each other and doing their mating dance. Aided by Paul Brewers Leupold binoculars & spotting scope, it was quite a sight.

After lunch the bite slowed down but we still ground out a few. Cheryl and I stayed Saturday night and enjoyed a nice campfire under starry skies. I had hoped to fish a little more Sunday morning but the White River blew out and the river was out of shape. I’m sure it would have been possible to grind out a few more but after being spoiled the last couple days I was content to drink coffee & pack up camp.

Thanks to everyone for coming and making this a fishing trip to remember!

CFF October 19th Fish A Long

This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday October 19th 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.

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. Euro nymphing has become very popular but indicator nymphing rigs with small glo- bugs and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears work very well too. Swinging for steelhead is a possibility too but reports indicate steelhead fishing has been slow. Bring 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 and we will probably have a few overnight campers in our group.

Please email Paul at ponzdog@icloud.com if you plan to attend so we can get a head count for the food.

Coffenbury Lake Fish A Long Report

Coffenbury Lake was a brand new location for us. After doing the basic internet research, Cheryl and I decided to turn this Fish A Long into a little mini vacation and booked a nearby VRBO for the weekend. We arrived the night before and checked out the lake and the picnic area. We liked what we saw plus got to see an Elk feeding by the lake.

On Saturday  we arrived at Coffenbury Lake around 7am. First light was about 6:30 am and some local anglers were already fishing. It was raining during the night but luckily it stopped in the morning and for weather we had high clouds, little wind and mild temperatures; perfect conditions. The water was 66 degrees with about 3 feet of visibility. According to the locals the water level was way down and the usual water depth on this day was 5 or 6 feet with a weedy bottom.

We learned the lake had been stocked on Wednesday and that the early morning bite was best. Unfortunately for us fly fishers the “hot fly” was garlic powerbait; the bait anglers did pretty well catching 17-19” stocked trophy rainbows.

We hooked a few trout on flies but for the most part, small perch made up most of the fly caught fish. Sometimes a team effort helped. In the morning I was changing flies when unknown to me a fish started rising behind me; Cheryl called out and pointed emphatically to turn around so I did and then threw my fly into the last rise ring and was rewarded with a strong strike. It was a good fish and I fought it for a while before the hook pulled out. That would be my only trout of the day.

Coffenbury also has a large population of small perch. Their constant strikes kept things interesting, plus they helped a couple folks finish their 2019 Fly Fishing Challenge.

The sun came out for lunch and we enjoyed fantastic food: homemade spaghetti, ceasar salad and garlic bread.

After lunch we fished for another hour or two. A few more trout were hooked and lots of small perch. When the sun came out, the ambiance of the lake changed from quiet dawn anglers to young families & the cries of children enjoying a nice day on the lake. While the trout catching could have been a little better, all in all it was a good time. Thanks to everyone for coming.

September 21st Fish-a-long Coffenbury Lake

Coffenbury Lake, located in Fort Stevens State Park by Warrenton, will be the location for the September 21st Fish-a-long. The lake contains rainbow & cutthroat trout along with warm water fish. Coffenbury was recommended by CFF speaker Jeff Morgan plus it’s due to be stocked with 500 trophy rainbow trout right before the fish-a-long.

This is a new location for us. Given the number of new float tubes at the Round Lake fish-a-long this summer, I wanted to schedule one more lake trip this year.

Those planning to attend, please RSVP to Dave@kbi-ins.com by Sept 17th so we know how much food to bring.

What: Cutthroat & Rainbow Trout and Warmwater Fish.

Were:  North Boat Ramp at Coffenbury Lake in Fort Stevens State Park

When:  Saturday, September 21. Meet at the boat ramp area between 8am and 9am. I will probably be there a little earlier to catch the first light bite.

Equipment: There are two fishing docks but the lake is best fished from a float tube or small boat & 4-6wt rods . The lake is not deep so a floating line is all you’ll need but if you prefer an intermediate line that will work too. The weather should be OK but rain is always a possibility.

Flies: Standard lake patterns.

Food Provided: Coffee & donuts for breakfast and CFF executive chef Cheryl will make us something good for lunch.

Directions: It’s an easy 2hr drive from Portland with paved roads the whole way. Drive to Ft Stevens Park then stay on Peter Iredale Rd to the boat ramp. There is a $5 day use fee.

Round Lake Fish A Long Report

This year’s Round Lake Fish a long was very well attended and a lot of fun. A big Thank You for everyone who made the long drive to make this event a success.

Several of us decided to drive over Friday afternoon and camp and it was a lot of fun. John Warren’s wife Linda made a pot of beef stew and everyone else pitched in for a tasty pot-luck dinner. The weather was clear and Dave brought his spotting scope and we were able to check out Jupiter’s Moons in the southern sky.

On Saturday everyone rolled in between 8 and 9am and we enjoyed a light breakfast of hot coffee, donuts and lemon bars before hitting the lake.

Fishing at the lake was tougher than expected. One big surprise was a couple of otters had taken up residence. Otters are great fun to watch but if you’re a fisherman it’s both a good and bad sign; they know the fishing is good but they put a big dent in the fish population!

David Mullins was one of the first anglers on the lake and did well for a while on Simi-Seal Leeches that he tied at Jim Adam’s fly tying class in March. Green and brown were his best colors.

Another thing that made the fishing a little tough was the usually plentiful Callebaetis hatch wasn’t really happening. However, there were still enough of these bugs around to fake you out; they were like a small “decoy hatch” and lots of trout were jumping but it was hard to figure out what they were taking.

The most successful dry fly was discovered by Kevin Rodgers, who had good success along the far shaded shoreline by casting a Black Flying Ant close to sunken logs close to the bank and the overhanging fir trees. There were also lots of Blue Damsels flying and a few club members had some action fishing those, plus its fun to watch trout jumping a foot or more out of the water trying to snag one!

Round Lake is one of the few high lakes that have brown trout along with the usually more plentiful brook trout. One this day, most of the catch were brown trout about 12” long and we only caught a couple brook trout. Usually, it’s the other way around.

Cheryl Kilhefner put together a tasty deli sandwich style lunch and Paul Brewer helped her pack it up to the lake, where we all enjoyed good food and good company on this very fine day.

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.

Hagg Lake Fish-a-long Report

We had a great day at Hagg Lake last Saturday. The weather was good with mild temperatures, no rain and very little wind.

About 12 people joined the Fish-a-long including a new member Sue Deering. Sue was first on the water and did well casting & also trolling green/black woolly bugger on intermediate line, which was the best fly fishing tactic this day.

The Simi Seal Leech, featured at our March Fly Tying night, was a good pattern too.

Fishing was interesting and everyone had lots of strikes but relatively few hookups. Short strikes, lots of them, were the norm this day. The trout that were caught were about 12 inches long and fought stubbornly. We heard from some other local fly anglers that trout to 18” were possible.

The water was a pea green in color but it was clearer than it looked with 5’ to 6’ of clarity. The temperature was 55 degrees. There were no visible hatches. Those of us with fish finders noted the almost all fish were about 9 feet deep.

Hagg Lake has a good population bass and we hoped to catch some, but the water was a little too chilly for good bass activity. Common wisdom says Smallmouth’s like water temps around 65 degrees and Largemouth’s closer to 70.  

This is a good place for float tubing and kayaking. There is really not enough room to fly cast from the bank. Also, the banks are clay and a little slippery.

The parks are nice and we were able to set up a good place for lunch, which was Taco’s with ingredients provided by Cheryl. We had a ton of food and everyone enjoyed seconds. Thanks again for everyone that came to make this fish-a-long another successful event!