Elke Littleleaf, who will be presenting for CFF in the near future, generously gave his time to help introduce youth and families to fly fishing at the NW Steelheaders Family Fish Camp this month.
March speaker John Devoe got out on the water with CFF sponsor Mark Bachmann to enjoy some winter steelhead fishing on our namesake river.
John Warren traveled to Christmas Island in early March, doing well on both Bonefish and Giant Trevally.
Josh Linn of Royal Treatment got in some good Euro Nymphing action on the Metolius River. John will be giving a presentation on Euro Nymphing at our April meeting.
The day after the fish-a-long Paul Brewer and Dave Kilhefner fished the Deschutes River around Maupin. The water was high, off-color and cold. Trout fishing was tough but a few were brought to hand using Euro nymphing tactics. The hot fly was a San Juan Worm, a high water favorite.
Seven CCF members went on to the Owyhee after the Crooked River Fish-A-Long. Flows were very low and it was a bit crowded. Rain from the previous days caused a creek to blow out and muddy up parts of the river, then the wind picked up; all these things combined to create poor fishing conditions. However, the bugs were out and several members landed Brown trout up to 18″ long. Fish or no fish, everyone did have a good time; new friends were made, lies were told plus lots of education & exploration!
Another great month of Fly Fishing is in the books. Thanks to everyone for sharing their reports!
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.
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.
Hi everyone, here are some reports from our members for the month of October. It was another good fly fishing month!
John Warren landed a small Chinook and also a nice Half Pounder Steelhead on the Rogue using a small green leech with a 6 weight. Good times!
Carson Taylor journeyed to Yakutat the last week of September along with Pat Miller and Don Nelson of River City Fly Shop. They fished the Arhnkiln River. The colored fish was the biggest and strongest and the other the brightest. Everyone caught 20+ silvers over four days plus some Dolly Vardens. Guide-provided Dolly Llama flies were the most popular pattern.
Dave Kilhefner tried his hand at Euro Nymphing on the Clackamas River at Feldheimers. There is a nice riffle above the boat launch. He took several decent rainbow trout and whitefish using a zebra midge and also a small hairs ear nymph.
Frank Day of the Fly Fishing Shop got this nice Bull Trout on the Metolius River casting & stripping a streamer pattern.
Phil Hager got this brood stock brute at the Pine Hollow Fish-A-Long. He used his little grey mayfly emerger pattern, fished about 4 feet deep with an intermediate line and a very slow retrieve.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
Thanks to everyone who came to the Deschutes River Fish-A-Long this weekend plus extra thanks to Paul Brewer for organizing and Cheryl Kilhefner for the wonderful food. We had a great time, here’s a recap:
The river was in perfect shape; clear water and 57 degrees. The weather was good too, overcast in the morning improving to partly cloudy in the afternoon with a high of 72 degrees. The only bad weather were some strong wind gusts around mid-morning but fortunately they didn’t last more than a few minutes each.
Several of us camped at Beavertail and the campground was nearly full. Most of the angling pressure was directed at steelhead and the reports were the steelhead were a little scarce this weekend. Still, there were a few hookups but none from our group. Trux did get a “San-Diego Steelhead” about 9am swinging a big purple leech on a sink tip and those things do get the heart pumping before the big letdown.
Most of us went after trout and the morning fishing was very slow. John Warren got on the board early with his new Euro Nymphing setup. About mid morning some very small mayflies and midges started hatching. I put on a #18 Brown WD-40 and managed a couple fish letting it tick the bottom under an indicator, however it wasn’t an “ah-ha” moment by any stretch of the imagination as every bite was hard to get. By lunchtime we were all ready to take a break from pounding the water.
Cheryl Kilhefner prepared a great lunch of home-made spaghetti, Caesar salad and garlic bread. There was more than enough for second helpings, so we all dug in!
For the afternoon fishing we tried a different spot downriver and it fished much better. John was doing well with his Euro nymphing rig with a black Euro nymph producing the most action. Most of the trout were 10” to 12” but a few bigger ones up to 15” were brought to hand. I did OK with WD-40’s in brown and black colors; it’s amazing the fish can find a fly that small in a big river like the Deschutes but they can. Trux broke away from fishing small flies got a nice rainbow swinging a leech pattern. It was a fun afternoon and just to maintain the civilized aspect of fly fishing, the bite died down around happy hour.
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!