Hartland Lake Fish A Long Report

We had a record turnout for last weekend’s fish-a-long: 15 people! Thank to everyone who made the trip. While it was a bit of a long drive, it is a very scenic drive up the Columbia River Gorge and then up the Klickitat River Canyon. The weather was clear with a cool breeze blowing with Mt. Adams dominating the horizon. I’m not sure of the actual fish count but I believe everyone either caught a fish or had one on. And, all the fish were quality fish in the 15” to 18” size range and packing some heavy girth!

I arrived a bit early as I had Coffee for everyone and it wouldn’t due to be late! I found Phil Senatra already fishing and he was playing a fish when I drove up to the lake and by the time I got into my waders and float tube he had two more. The fishing was not hot but we had consistent action. Unfortunately the bite slowed down quite a bit by the time the rest of our group arrived. Yes, that is what really happened!

The water was 54 degrees with about 3 feet of visibility. It was hoped there would be a strong Chironomid hatch but it was just a little too early. It was one of those fishing days were you had to grind out strikes. I did a stomach pump of one of the fish and found its stomach full of Daphnia—water fleas. At around 1 mm long there is no way to imitate the Daphnia “hatch” if that is the right word but at least the fish were eating something so it was possible to get them to hit our flies if we just kept casting.

As mentioned earlier, all the trout were quality specimens in the 15” to 17” range. I believe Phil took big fish honors with a 25” beast and several fish over 20” were taken. Woolly buggers (and Devils) were the best flies and a few fish were taken on Chironomids.

 

 

CFF April 17th Speaker: Rick Hafele

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!

Meeting details: https://clackamasflyfishers.org/meetings-events/

Rick Hafele DRA Info: https://deschutesriveralliance.wordpress.com/tag/rick-hafele/

Crooked River Fish-A-Long Report

Thanks to everyone who braved the snowy driving conditions to make it over to the Crooked River last Saturday. Several of us drove over on Friday and it was cold, snowy and had us questioning our sanity. Fortunately the weather cleared! We all had a great Fish-A-Long with everyone getting fish.

Saturday dawned clear with blue skies. The hills had a light dusting of snow and the morning temps hovered around 27 degrees. Paul warmed us up with hot coffee, donuts and a campfire. With the cold weather there didn’t seem to be a big rush to wader up and hit the river but we got there eventually.

The water was very low and clear. The flow out of Bowman Dam was only 53 cubic feet per second and the water temperature 42 degrees. We tried the usual pocket water spots first but seeing no fish activity, we quickly went in search of bigger pools with deeper water, finding some rising, active fish. We targeted these using a dry fly/dropper setups. The dry fly didn’t seem to matter much but the best dropper pattern was a Zebra Midge, a money pattern for Crooked River, especially in the winter.

While most of the trout were in the 6” to 8” range we did get a few bigger ones up to 12” to 14” long. The big fish of the day was a real surprise; Dave K’s 22” rainbow that took a Zebra Midge fished deep under an indicator in a big pool. Besides rainbow trout, we caught Whitefish from 4” to 14” long as well.

   

Pyramid Lake Fishing Trip

Pyramid Lake is located 30 miles North of Reno Nevada. It’s a large picturesque High Desert lake, 29 miles long and 8 miles wide with 188 square surface miles.

What makes Pyramid Lake a destination adventure is the fish, Lahontan Cutthroat trout. Fish exceeding 30 pounds are being landed. Best time to catch these special fish is when the water is cold, mid October till the end of April. That’s when these big fish patrol the shore line looking for food. When the water warms they head for deep water & out of the reach of fly fisherman.

Equipment

– 6 to 9wt rods with matching reel & lots of backing

– Floating, intermediate & fast sinking fly lines

– 10 to 15 pound leaders

– Flies- buggers, balanced leaches, popcorn beetles, boobies, chironomid pupa & streamers

– waders, layered clothing, be ready for everything, it’s high desert, can be cold & windy

– Step ladder, nice but not necessary, helps keep you out of the cold water

– Float tube, pontoon boat

Pyramid lake is on the Paiute Indian reservation. I’ve found the people and businesses to be friendly & happy you are there. Tribal fishing permits are $11 a day or $28 for 3 days. Camping is available. Reno is 30 minutes away.

Information? Just Google up Pyramid lake, there’s a ton of information about this fishery. This a destination fishery without the high cost, should be on your “Bucket” list.

The plan

I’m leaving early Saturday morning March 24th to attend the CFF Fish-A-Long on the Crooked River. Afterwards I’ll proceed to Pyramid lake to fish the lake for 3 days before going to the Owyhee river in Eastern Oregon. Late March is prime time to fish the Owyhee River; it will still be in Winter water flows of 35 to 45 CFS. There are usually good hatches at this time that provides some prime dry fly fishing. CFF members are invited to join me on all or any part of this outing. I can help with equipment, flies and knowledge. If interested, questions, contact me, I’ll be at the March CFF meeting to finalize plans.

Lane Hoffman

February 20th Speaker: Mark Bachmann

Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop will be CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, February 20th.

Mark’s presentation will be on growing trend of Trout Spey Fishing: Learn about the flies, tackle and techniques used in Spey Rod fishing for Western Trout. It will be a great presentation you won’t want to miss!

Meeting details: https://clackamasflyfishers.org/meetings-events/

The Fly Fishing Shop  http://flyfishusa.com/

Sandy River Fish A Long Report

Last weekends Sandy River Fish-A-Long was well attended. Thank you to everyone that attended plus an EXTRA BIG thank you to Cheryl Kilhefner for her excellent cooking & hospitality and to Ron Lauzon for his superior casting instruction. It was obvious that on the whole our clubs spey casting was much better this year than last year. Great job!

Given the possibility of very wet winter weather the covered area was the perfect spot. Luckily the weather was much better than forcast and while it was cloudy, cool and felt damp, it didn’t rain. The water conditions were also very good, the river running a nice green color with about about 4 feet of visibility. On the “Sandy River at Bull Run” guage the water height was 12 feet, flowing at 6,600 cfs. I forgot the water thermometer but would guess it was in the low 40’s which is conducive to swinging up a steelhead.

We met at 8am, had hot coffee and watched a few deer graze before getting down to business, fishing until around 11:30 then breaking for lunch. In the morning hours the river was pretty busy with both bank and boat fishing pressure. After lunch this totally changed and the river was deserted; everyone had pushed downstream. We didn’t see any steelhead caught but there were a couple unverified reports of fish hooked. Dave caught a San Diego Steelhead (a sucker) swinging his old favorite Blue/Black Metal Detector fly behind a 9 foot tip of T-14.

In addition to extra rods, Ron Lauzon brought along some extra lines to cast. A particular favorite was the Airflow FIST Skagit Head, which casts & fishes as advertised (link below). I want one!

http://flyfishusa.com/airflo-fist

December 19 Speaker – Michole Jensen

Michole Jensen of www.Kayakflyangler.com will be CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, December 19th.

His fly fishing pursuits have taken him to Alaska, New Zealand, British Columbia, Hawaii and beyond. He has caught a variety of fish on the fly from sharks to bullhead catfish.

Kayak fishing is one of the fastest growing sports and fly fishing from a kayak continues to follow along with that popularity. Kayaks represent a new element of fly fishing that has as many opportunities as there is water to fish.

Michole has caught steelhead, sturgeon, trout, bass and panfish from the kayak. His presentation on Kayak Fly fishing will both entertain and inform!

Meeting details: https://clackamasflyfishers.org/meetings-events/

Portable Fish Finder Review

Several months ago the fine folks at Deeper Sonar contacted me about doing a product review on their portable fish finder. I’ve tested the unit for several months and since Christmas is coming, this seems the ideal time share the results.

It’s full name is the Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder. It’s a little smaller than a baseball and weighs only a few ounces. It works by broadcasting a WiFi signal to your smartphone and the PRO and PRO+ models have a range of 330 feet and will scan to a depth of 260 feet. Given this, it can be cast from shore or trolled behind a float tube or boat. It’s small size and remote positioning makes it very stealthy, which I’ve found is a big advantage.

Given its stealth capability the Deeper unit can find fish in shallow water. Most of us have had fish finders before and since they have to be attached to your boat, float tube, etc. the presence of your floating device scares the fish way.

This summer and fall, I tested it from my float tube in shallow water impoundments. It instantly proved itself valuable. I put it in the water next to the float tube and established the WiFi link with my phone and it showed the water depth to be 12’ and surface temperature of 50 degrees but no fish directly underneath me—no big surprise here. However, when I let it trail about 30’ to 40’ behind the float tube (attached to a length of line) it started picking up fish, and what I saw was very interesting! No matter how deep the water was, all the trout were stratified at a depth of 6 to 7 feet. Armed with this knowledge I was able to fine tune my angling strategy, catch more fish plus lose fewer flies on submerged logs by trying to fish too deep.

As I’ve gotten older I really appreciate things that are small, light and actually work. The Deeper Unit does all these things. When I’m not using it, which in my case is most of the time, it’s not in the way. When I need some insight into the waters I’m fishing, it quickly provides information I’m after.

If you go to the online product reviews you’ll notice some people had difficulty establishing the WiFi connection with their smartphone. I followed the directions and my own experience was trouble free. However, it should be noted you need to download the app to your phone before you go out into the middle of nowhere with no cell service. Once you have the app, you don’t need cell service to make the device work as it communicates directly with your phone.

My next field test with the Deeper Unit will be on my local salmon & steelhead waters. I can’t wait to get above some likely looking water and let the Deeper unit stealthily float back behind the boat and broadcast it’s finding to my smartphone. Stay tuned.

https://deepersonar.com/

P.S. If any Clackamas Fly Fishers would like to take mine for a test drive let me know