The holidays are a busy time of year so December fishing reports were a little slow but people got out on the water and got into fish!
In mid December Kevin Luettgerodt did some Euro Nymphing on the Deschutes River below Harpham Flats. It was a chilly 36 degrees with clear skies.
George Krumm, the editor of Fish Alaska Magazine, managed a steelhead and then traveled to Pyramid Lake in Nevada to chase Lahontan Cutthroats. He caught some nice fish in the 10 to 12 pound range.
CFF speaker Joe Warren had a bucket list trip, going on a long range bluewater flyfishing trip out of San Diego. Some storm fronts came through, making for rough seas and scattered the fish but when they found them, they got them! Joe managed to catch over 20 tuna, a mixed bag of yellowfin, skipjack, black skipjack, and bonito. He also caught two striped marlin, one on conventional and one on the fly. Congratulations Joe!
Dick Law traveled to the Grand Ronde River with several friends. They fished out of Troy for several days. He reported the fishing was very slow with only 1 steelhead taken for their group.
We had to cancel our Nov 10th Kilchis River fish-a-long this month due to super low water conditions and also very low numbers so fish. However, some good fishing reports rolled in just before the season closed on Nov 15; something to keep in mind for next year!
Ed Rabinowe, Jim Romero and Lane Hoffman journeyed to Louisiana for Redfish. The weather was unseasonably cold but they had good action, all landing Redfish over 25lbs. Jim’s 1st red was 28lbs and Ed claimed big fish honors with a 34lb pig! A brushy purple streamer was the best fly.
Greg O’Brien and a buddy made a couple trips to the Oregon Coast for surf perch. On his first trip the ocean was calm with a low surf swell and they had good action casting & stripping flies within 50’ of the beach in 1-3’ of water. The biggest were about 12” long and are excellent eating. They also had a surprise catch, a nice Dungeness crab! The second trip had a larger 4-6’ swell and more tidal current, making for difficult fishing conditions and only 1 perch was taken. The best fishing outfit was a single hand rod rigged with a sinking line and a stripping basket for line management as the tide rips around your legs. They also tried a double hand rod but the thicker spey line got pulled all over by the currents and didn’t work as well. Lastly, remember to be safe and wear some sort of PFD and never turn your back on the ocean!
Carson Taylor made the wisest fishing choice, opting for Grand Bahama Island. Fishing the east end of the island near Freeport, he landed both Bonefish and Mutton Snapper.
Great job everyone, another fun and interesting fly fishing month!
Last week I had the chance to fish with Mark Bachmann of The Fly Fishing Shop for 3 days (Mon-Tues-Weds). It was an auction trip thru Water Watch and the winner of the auction was unable to make the trip and they need a volunteer to fill the open seat. Twist my arm!
Mark met us at the Macks Canyon boat launch in his jet boat, then we motored a couple miles downstream to camp where Patty had lunch waiting for us. Besides myself there was only one other angler on this trip, Rick Dulude from Salem; a member of the Santiam Flycasters, he won this trip thru the Deschutes River Alliance auction. We had a great time fishing together.
Our camp was very comfortable and Patty took good care of us with hot meals and hot coffee available 24/7. The days were crisp, the nights were clear, the moon was mostly dark and the stars were very bright.
I hadn’t seen the lower river canyon after the Substation Fire. It was a little shocking to see the scorched hillsides but on the other hand, there was lots of new green growth beginning to show. Still, it will take a while for all the trees to grow back. What was truly shocking were all the deer bones we found along the riverbanks. We speculated the deer were overcome and died from smoke inhalation before the flames of the fire overtook them. On the good side, there were lots of live deer around.
The water was a little off color from the White River, which was gushing muddy water due to heavy rains on Mt Hood. The water temperature was 51 degrees, a good temperature to chase trout and steelhead. The salmon spawning activity was over for the year. As far as insect activity, there was a big midge hatch in the afternoons and some small mayflies mid morning. The ever present small caddis were around along with a few big October caddis. Mark broke out his insect seine and we netted some bugs: the nymphs were a combination of small dark mayflies (size 16 or 18) and decent sized tan or green caddis larva (size 12 or 14).
Rick stuck to steelhead fishing and had a good morning on our 2nd day, hooking two and landing one native steelhead on a December Day fly pattern. He also had several more pulls that didn’t stick.
For a while, I tried skating a Lemire’s Grease Liner given to me by Adrian Cortes at the Fly Fishing Symposium a couple weeks ago. At first I was determined to stick with the skater “as long as it took” but that didn’t last long as the riffle next to me was full of flashing trout and whitefish that I couldn’t resist. I put on a nymphing rig and started catching fish. I tried both indicator and Euro nymphing tactics. Euro nymphing was far more effective; it’s a technique I’ve only just started trying out but I’ll be doing it a lot more, it’s a winner! I tried lots of different flies, but the best patterns were zebra midges and hares ear nymphs, both in size 14.
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.
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!
This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday September 22nd on the Deschutes River at Beavertail Campground.
The plan: meet at Beavertail Campground between 8am and 9am. We’ll provide coffee and doughnuts then we hit the river! After morning fishing a hot lunch will be served-home made spaghetti with sauce by Cheryl Kilhefner from this summers tomato garden harvest.
Beavertail campground has ample parking and lots of good fishing water. It’s located 21 miles north of Maupin on the Lower Deschutes Access Rd. From Maupin to Shears Falls is paved and the last 10 or so miles to Beavertail is gravel road.
Gear: 4 to 6wt rods with matching reel & floating lines. Indicator nymphing rigs with small glo- bugs and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears. Swinging for steelhead is a possibility too but reports indicate steelhead fishing has been slow. Waders with felt or cleated boots and layered clothing (can be cool in the morning).
This is a very nice time to fish the Deschutes River for trout – they’re usually hungry and can be concentrated below schools of spawning salmon, making for excellent fishing. This is also a great fish along to make an overnight trip.
Please email Paul at email@example.com if you plan to attend so we can get a head count for the food.
This year’s new Fly Fishing Challenge is to Catch and Release three (3) different fish-types on a flyrod (using a wet or dry fly) of any local variety of a salmonid species
Complete the Y’17 Fly Fishing Challenge; Catch and release a salmonid from a river, a lake, and a creek.
Terms and conditions: No hold-over fish count from Y’17 and if you completed this last year you need to select the new 2018 FFC.
Certificate Award for the Fly Fishing Challenge, a Fly Fishing Challenge Patch for the first-time completion or a new recognition pin or patch for 2nd time completion.
End of year drawing for a $25 gift certificate for those who complete a Fly Fishing Challenge in 2018.
Rise to the Challenge! Come to the Jan. 16th CFF meeting to sign-up!