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!

Henry Hagg Lake Fish-A-Long

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 Grove

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 provided.

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 ponzdog@icloud.com

Fly Fishing Hagg Lake Video by Micole Jensen, who did a presentation on Kayak fishing for CFF a while back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84Th1W3H6fM

Crooked River Fish-a-long Report

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.

CFF March 23rd Fish-A-Long

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.

If you have questions, please E-mail Paul Brewer

If you are planning on fishing with us please email or text Paul so that we have a head count: Paul Brewer 503-635-3156 ponzdog@icloud.com

Sandy River Fish-A-Long Report

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!

CFF February Fish-A-Long

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
  • 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, 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!

Fishing isn’t hot but fish have been caught!

Sandy River Fish-A-Long Report

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.