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.
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!
This month’s Fish-A-Long will
be this Saturday at Henry Hagg Lake, located near Forest Grove. Hagg Lake was
stocked April 1st with 7,000 legal rainbows and 400 trophies. Beside trout,
good size Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass are available. This is a new location
for us and we are looking forward to exploring new water!
What: Rainbow trout and bass
Were: Henry Hagg Lake near Forest
When: Meet at the Sain Creek picnic
area at 8:30 AM. There is $7 day use fee.
Equipment: Best fished with a float tube
and standard lake patterns. The weather should be OK but rain is always a
possibility this time of year.
Lunch: Coffee, donuts and Lunch will be
Directions: About an hour’s drive west of
Portland: you can take either Hwy 26 to North Plains then head south on Hwy 47
past Forest Grove to Scoggins Valley Rd then on to the lake. There are several
alternate scenic routes on Mapquest. Once at the lake, pay at the fee booth for
your day pass then go left drive across the dam then follow West Shore Drive to
Sain Creek Picnic Area.
If possible send me a text or
email so I know who will be there. Paul 503-635-3156 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This years Crooked River Fish-a-long was very well attended with 14 members; thanks to everyone that made the trip, it was a great outing with everyone getting fish!
Saturday’s weather was cloudy and the temperature was warmer than it appeared as the hills still had a bit of snow hanging on. Paul warmed us up with hot coffee, donuts and a campfire and then later we had Cheryl’s homemade Sloppy Joes and Coleslaw beside a refreshed fire.
The water was low and clear. The flow out of Bowman Dam was 85 cubic feet per second and the water temperature 39-40 degrees. We all went for the deeper water spots and found a fair number of willing whitefish schooled up in the shallows. The “hot fly” was anything small and dark. Euro nymphing tactics accounted for most of the action but several members did well with small wet flies.
While most of the fish were in the 8” range we did get a few bigger ones, with some whitefish pushing 15” long and trout to 14”.
After the fish-a-long several members continued on to the Owyhee River with Lane Hoffman. A report of this trip will be in March Fishing Reports due out soon.
This month’s Fish-A -Long will be held Saturday March 23rd on the Crooked river near Prineville.
The Crooked River is one of the state’s best rivers for rainbow trout. The river boasts a population of 3000 trout per mile along with big numbers of whitefish. It’s a great place for beginners.
The Plan: We will meet at Big Bend Campground about 1 mile below Bowman Dam between 8am and 9 am. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided.
Water conditions will be much the same as last year: low water flows with water temps in the low 40’s. Most of the fish will be found in the larger deeper pools.
Gear: 3 to 6wt rods with matching reel and floating line. Dry fly fishing can be good with Midges and Baetis dominating the hatch this time of year. The most effective technique is indicator nymphing with small glo-bugs (they look like scuds) and/or smaller sized standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Zebra Midges. This is also a good place to swing soft hackles or small wooly buggers.
The rocks can be slippery so bring felt or cleated boots and it will likely be cold in the morning so prepare and dress warm.
Lunch: Cheryl will not be there but is providing the food again so it will be good.
In spite of winter storm warnings, last weekends Sandy River fish-a-long was well attended. Thank you to everyone that came and once again an extra big thank you to Cheryl Kilhefner for more excellent cooking and hospitality.
The cold weather the last few weeks had the river running very low and clear. The average flow this time of year on the Marmot gauge is 1500 CFS but last weekend the flows were half of that at 700 CFS. Water temperature was chilly 38°
Everyone arrived about 8 AM and we had hot coffee and pastries, enjoying the warmth of the great indoors while we eyeballed the cold winter landscape with a light dusting of snow outside. But we could not stay inside all day so soon we all pulled on our waders, grabbed our fly rods and hit the river.
We did a great job covering the water but unfortunately no steelhead were hooked. We fished until around noon and then enjoyed a delicious lunch of pulled pork chili and cornbread muffins.
Next months fish-a-long is at the Crooked River, a popular and productive fishery. We look forward to seeing you there!
This month’s Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday, February 23rd 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 (or later), Saturday, February 23rd
Spey or Switch Rod
Skagit Line & sink tip(s)
15lb tippet material
flies, bright patterns and dark patterns
waders & wading staff
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, breakfast snacks and a hot lunch. This fish a long will focus on spey casting and swung fly presentations. Questions; email or call Paul Brewer or Dave Kilhefner. Hope to see you there!
Last weekends Sandy River Fish-A-Long at Oxbow Park was well attended. Thank you to everyone that came plus an EXTRA BIG thank you to Cheryl Kilhefner for her excellent cooking & hospitality. Her pulled pork sandwiches & coleslaw were a highlight of the day.
We met at 8am, had hot coffee and got to work on our spey casting, fishing until around 11:30 then breaking for lunch (no one was late either!). In the morning hours we saw a few boaters go thru but didn’t get any reports of fish hooked. While we didn’t see any steelhead Tim caught a San Diego Steelhead (a sucker) swinging at the top of the run. Tim wouldn’t tell us what the hot fly pattern was, however. Some things are best kept secret!
The weather was better than forcast and while it was cloudy and cool it didn’t rain on us after Friday nights downpour. The the sudden rise in water level made for tough fishing conditions plus as the day progressed there were more leaves and drifting debris in the water. The water color was brownish with low visibility. On the “Sandy River at Bull Run” guage the water height was 12.24 feet, flowing at around 7,000 cfs.
In addition helping with Spey Casting, Dave gave a presentation on indicator nymph fishing for steelhead.
Royal Treatment Fly Fishing is hosting their 4th annual Black Friday Fish-a-long this Friday. Click the link to sign up so they know you’re coming.
Meet at Surf City, downstream from Maupin at 11:00 for a “Stone Soup Potluck.” Royal Treatment will supply the hotdogs and chili, you bring whatever else you want to eat.
The firepit will be there to warm frosty fingers.
Josh will have his livingroom couches pumped up to give you a place to chill. We may even have a Corn Hole tournament if there is enough interest, but the Fly Czar will be giving a Czech Nymphing Clinic once he has finished his lunch. You don’t want to miss that.
This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday November 10th. It’s our annual trip to the Kilchis River fishing for Chum Salmon. This is a popular, well attended CFF trip fishing for big, strong, hard fighting Chum salmon. Early reports have confirmed this should be a banner year for Chum returns to the Tillamook areas streams.
What– Chum Salmon
Where– meet at Kilchis River Park
When– 8am Saturday the 10th of November
Equipment-7 to 10wt rods with matching reel & floating & sink tip lines with at least 100 yards of backing / 6 to 10 ft leaders tapered to 15 to 20 pound test / Bright colored flies, bright both weighted and unweighted in size 2 to 6-I’ll have extras / Long nose pliers, Chums have big sharp teeth / Waders & wading staff. The Kilchis in not a hard river to wade / Rain gear, it’s the Oregon coast / Warm, layered clothing
Directions– take highway OR- 6 to Tillamook, then head North on Hwy 101 to the Kilchis river road. Take the Kilchis river road & when you pass the gravel pit take a right over the wooden bridge well meet at the parking lot of the boat launch on the left. Instruction and extra equipment will be provided. I will be down checking on the fishing conditions Friday the 9th. Check the blog for updates before heading over.
Chum salmon are very strong and put up a stubborn battle. If you have never caught on of these 10 to 20 pound bruisers, this trip is for you! It’s usually a real fun action packed outing that shouldn’t be missed, hope to see you there! Questions, email Paul Brewer or call Lane Hoffman 503-706-7543.