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!
This month’s Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday, January 20th on the Sandy River at Oxbow Park. The location is shelter where the Sandy River Spey Clave is held. The wading here is easy and fish have been caught.
What- Winter Steelhead
Where- Sandy River
When- 8am until lunchtime, Saturday, January 20th
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- go to Oxbow Park—the address is 3010 Southeast Oxbow Parkway, Gresham, OR 97080; there is a $5 fee to enter the park. Drive approximately 2 miles past the park entrance and look for “Group Picnic Area A” which has a large covered area and an open field on your left.
In the morning we will have coffee and donuts. A hot lunch will also be provided. This fish a long will focus on spey casting and swung fly presentations. We will have a couple of “loaner” spey rods to try out. Ron Lauzon and Dave Kilhefner will be available for Spey Casting Instruction. Questions; email or call Paul Brewer or Dave Kilhefner. Hope to see you there!
There seems to be a pattern with our winter fish-a-longs this year; just like last month I’m typing this report on a windy, rainy Sunday and feeling thankful we had much nicer day yesterday for the Sandy River fish-a-long.
With the higher water conditions we had a light turnout. Thanks to everyone for coming. A special thanks to Cheryl Kilhefner for her delicious lunch.
We started out the morning by enjoying hot coffee and telling fishing stories for about 45 minutes before wadering up and hitting the water. The stories were good and there didn’t seem to be any good reason to rush to get out there.
The water was running a little high; right at 12’ on the Sandy River gauge. The color was better than we guessed it would be, a nice winter steelhead green with about 2 feet of visibility. The current in the center of the river was too fast to make a good presentation so we concentrated on the slower water lane on our side of the river.
The fish gods were smiling and we landed a nice native winter steelhead about 11 pounds; a health hen steelhead that was perfect except for a sea lion bite down by her tale.
Our next fish-a-long will be at the Oregon Fishing Club for Stillwater trout fishing.
Our February auction is for a seat on a full day Sandy River Steelhead float trip with Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches. Nobody knows the Sandy like Mark and he will put you on prime waters!
The auction winner will be joined by the winner of the raffle to be held at the Feb. 21 club meeting. The 2 of you will then get to negotiate dates with Mark.