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.
Thank you to everyone who came to this months Fish-A-Long. Also, a double thank you to CFF members Kevin and Joey who did some extra recon over the last couple weekends to help us find the right place to go today and also to Robert Campbell, co-author of Fishing Mt Hood Country, who generously shared his knowledge of this lake.
For several years I’d been hearing good things about Timothy Lake so I was excited to finally get to fish here. On the way to the lake I stopped in at The Fly Fishing Shop where Tony gave me some good advice and hot flies (#8 AP Emerger) that worked all day long.
Even thought the weather was cool and a little windy, all the other stars aligned to make this a great day. The lake had been recently stocked, the water was very clear and 55 degrees; perfect for good trout activity. Everyone caught fish, a couple trout over 20” were landed and to top it all off we saw a pair of eagles teaching their young how do dive bomb the surface of the lake and snag a trout dinner. Richard Harvey did a great job capturing a video.
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 months Fish-A-Long will be this Saturday at Pine Hollow Reservoir. Pine Hollow was stocked with 2,500 legal + 375 trophy trout on October 6th so there are a lot of fish in the lake and fishing should be good.
What: Rainbow trout and largemouth bass
Were: Pine Hollow Reservoir in Wamic Oregon
When: Meet at the South Boat Ramp at 8:30 AM There is parking and a restroom there.
Equipment: Best fished with a float tube and standard lake patterns. The weather should be great, but will most likely be cold in the morning. (I will have coffee)
Directions: About 2 hours from Portland: you can take either Hwy 26 over Mt Hood or I-84 up the Gorge and the driving time is about the same. Both routes are on Google maps. Use Wamic Rural Fire Department as the destination; the ramp is next door.
Make a weekend out of it ther is camping and hotels close and there is Rock Creek Reservoir 5 min away and the Deschutes is only 25 min away.
If possible send me a text or email so I know who will be there. Paul 503-635-3156 or email@example.com
Paul Brewer and Dave Kilhefner fished some of the Justesen Ranch Lakes (there are a lot of them!) this past weekend (Oct 6 and 7). After fishing Saturday we stayed at the Shaniko Lake cabins. Besides being a nice place to stay, we were right next to several good trout lakes that we fished on Sunday. It’s a nice setup and we are planning a Fish-A-Long there in the spring.
Fishing was good for rainbow trout in the 14 to 20 inch range and we each landed 20+ trout both days. The two best tactics were casting & stripping/twitching Green Devils and fishing Chironomids under an indicator about 6’ deep.
We did a stomach pump and found dragon & damsel nymphs along with chironomid larva & pupa.
You need a float tube to fish these lakes as much of the shoreline is surrounded by cattails. It was chilly with a cool breeze blowing both days so layers of warm clothing were a must. The water temps at the lakes ran from 50 to 55 degrees and the water was very clear.
Besides good fishing, we had good wildlife viewing and saw lots of deer and turkeys.
September was a good month to go fly fishing! Here’s some reports from our members and supporting members:
Randy Clark of the Bridgeport Orvis store caught this nice bull trout on the Metolius River along with a few browns, a brookie, some whitefish and a pile of redsides for “the Metolius super slam.” Great job Randy!
In mid September Dave Kilhefner fished the Deschutes River mouth and saw two steelhead taken by fly anglers plus a spin angler landed a 20+ pound salmon. The next day he had his first trip Kayak Fishing for Smallmouth bass near Mitchell Island on the Columbia River. The weather and wind cooperated and it was a great morning on the water with about a dozen smallmouth brought to hand. The bass averaged about 2lbs and a couple were 3lbs.
David Mullins caught a half dozen 10″ to 12″ trout up the Clackamas near the Memaloose Bridge. They were taking dry flies; #14 Caddis with green or white bodies, and also a Red Humpy.
Phil Hager had a great trip to Central Oregon. On 9/19-9/21 he fished Fall River. A Midge nymph and a Tied Down Caddis, presented subsurface on a floating or an intermediate sinking line did the trick for Rainbows 8″ on up to 18″ and also Brookies 6″ to 9″ in size.
On 9/22 Phil fished Odell Creek (flows into Davis Lake): Same flies but only on a floating line and caught Rainbows up to 20″, but mostly 12″ or less.
Hosmer Lake was on the menu for 9/24. A Midge nymph and Pheasant Tail fished on and intermediate line accounted for some nice Rainbows (1 @ 3 lbs and 1 @ 4.5 lbs) plus others in varying sizes, Brookies from about 12″ to 16″, Cutthroat and CutBows in the same size range. The water temp is changing and fish were moving down the channel to lower section.
Lava Lake was good on 9/25. Despite reports from everyone with fish finders saying all the fish were near the bottom, Phil lost count on Rainbows and Kokanee in about 2 hours of fast fish. An intermediate line with either a Brick Leech or TMC Nymph was the ticket (Leech size 10 3xl & TMC size 16).
John Warren stayed a couple extra days after the Deschutes River Fish-A-Long, fishing around Maupin. He continued to do well Euro Nymphing, with small dark Euro Nymphs working best. He even hooked a big fish that broke him off!
Carey Allison fished the Clackamas several times this month and had good success. He took 2 steelhead on surface presentations; both in the same hole but on different days. Also, he saw lots of steelhead holding in tailouts as well. Later in the month he floated with a buddy from Barton to Riverside; they didn’t find any steelhead but we ran into a massive drake hatch, which brought some of the rare Clackamas Sea Run Cutthroat out to play. He took two over 16″ in size was swinging a size 6 moose hair caddis pattern just sub surface. Those SRC are crazy strong for their size, both fish tearing line and making his farlex scream. They also jump like crazy! Loads of fun.
One word of warning…while stepping out of the bottom of one of his favorite holes at dusk, on the lower Clack below Carver, Carey saw a cougar hanging out on the trail used to walk back to his truck! Never thought we’d be seeing cougars anywhere below Carver!!
Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop fished several clients downstream from Mack’s Canyon from September 10-20. Fishing wasn’t red hot, but they did get a few steelhead most every day.
Smallish darker flies worked best and water conditions were and are perfect for floating line fishing. Now that the nets are out of the Columbia, fishing should be even better!
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!
Thanks to everyone for coming to Harriet Lake today. It was another fun CFF Fish-a-long!
The day was beautiful and clear with a slight morning chill. This is a popular lake in the summer and the lot filled up fast. Parking was a small challenge but we all got settled then enjoyed hot coffee, cinnamon rolls and some conversation before hitting the water.
The lake had been freshly stocked with legal 7″ to 8″ rainbow trout. It was easy to get them to bite but hard to hook them. We all had lots of short strikes between landing fish.
Harriet also holds brown trout and Greg got a healthy one about 15″ long plus we saw a few others taken.
Overall, the best fly was a green/orange seal bugger but similar leech type flies worked. Because the water is incredibly clear (and cold, 45 degrees!) and hunting Osprey’s live here, finding deeper pockets then getting the fly down worked best. An intermediate line worked well for this.
The club members fished out of float tubes but we saw other fly anglers catching fish off the large fishing dock.
Around lunchtime the wind came up and this ended most everyone’s fishing on the lake. We had a great lunch of build-your-own deli sandwiches and homemade macaroni salad. Afterwards a few folks said they were going to try fishing the nearby streams and creeks before heading home.
Last weekends Fish-a-long to Rocky Ridge was another good time with good friends, good food and good fishing.
For the crew that arrived on Friday night Lane served up some Elk Enchiladas. If that wasn’t enough, Tim served up some great smoked ribs for Saturday nights dinner. Good eats, thanks guys!
Saturday dawned with overcast skies but we had no rain or wind. Fish were rising here and there. Several of us started on the middle lake (Wild Rose). Naturally I tried a Green Devil but it wasn’t working so I switched to chironomids but strikes were slow in coming. A fine fishing riddle is brewing!
The water temperature was 64 degrees and the lake had good clarity. The conditions were ripe for a damselfly migration but chucking and olive/brown marabou damsel nymph didn’t produce.
After a while I finally brought a fish to hand on a small olive chironomid pupa. A stomach pump revealed a very a small damsel nymph, a few light olive chironomids and small scuds.
At lunch we compared notes. The upper lake (Mules Ear) was fishing better but the fishing was not hot. Lane did OK on his favorite seal bugger/intermediate line combo and Nancy did OK fishing with dries. Paul went down to the lower lake and did well on bass. Lastly, Lane observed a few callibaetis mayflies coming off and suggested we try fishing callibaetis nymphs after lunch.
Tim, John and I stuck with the middle lake. John and Tim went down by the dam and some callibeatis were coming off. John did well on calibaetis dry and emerger patterns on a floating line and Tim did well with a beadhead calibaetis nymph on an Intermediate line. The calibaetis were coming off sporadically, sort of in spurts, and when that happened the fish would stop keying on chironomids and would go after the larger mayflies.
I stuck to the flats near the boat launch. Strangely, the callibeatis mayflies were not hatching here (I tried them!) so I stuck with chironomids and did OK, but mostly I got short strikes, which tells me my fly was close but still not really the right one. About a half hour before I had to leave I saw some larger chironomids emerging—the pupa were chestnut brown and about a size 12. I had some similar patterns in my fly box, put one on and got several hard takes and landed a couple nice fish in short order. Finally! It was a great way to end the day.