2019 October CFF Fishing Reports

October is always a great month to get out on the water!

From Richard Harvey: Sea run cutthroats moved into the coastal rivers well in October plus bigger fish began to show up. Also got a surprise silver.

From Phil Bartsch: Gary Stein and I went up to the Crooked River last Thursday (10/24).  Water was really low and super clear, but we managed to catch more trout than white fish.

From Greg O’Brien: I got a little swung fly steelhead action, some excellent trout fishing, and even a some predawn saltwater action at Barview Jetty.

Hit some trout lakes too: the trout on Timothy Lake and Rocky Ridge were big and hungry for small black leech patterns.  Diamond Lake was tough fishing when snow and wind came in hard but managed a couple of rainbows, but no tiger trout before getting off the water in a hurry.  

From Dave Kilhefner: went back to Beavertail for the last Westfly Rondi. It was a repeat of the fish a long weekend the weekend before. Egg patterns were the ticket with great fishing Friday afternoon and steady fishing the rest of the weekend. The sheep were out in force on the rock wall during the day plus saw a very nice buck on the drive home.


December Speaker George Krumm travelled to the Naknek River in Alaska with a few friends for some fall swinging for big ‘bows.  Some large fish were landed up to 32.5” on big leeches using switch rods, commando heads and sink tips. George fished out of Katmai Trophy Lodge.  The weather was sometimes challenging with conditions ranging  from below freezing some mornings to wet and windy with winds up to 35 mph.


Coffenbury Lake Fish A Long Report

Coffenbury Lake was a brand new location for us. After doing the basic internet research, Cheryl and I decided to turn this Fish A Long into a little mini vacation and booked a nearby VRBO for the weekend. We arrived the night before and checked out the lake and the picnic area. We liked what we saw plus got to see an Elk feeding by the lake.

On Saturday  we arrived at Coffenbury Lake around 7am. First light was about 6:30 am and some local anglers were already fishing. It was raining during the night but luckily it stopped in the morning and for weather we had high clouds, little wind and mild temperatures; perfect conditions. The water was 66 degrees with about 3 feet of visibility. According to the locals the water level was way down and the usual water depth on this day was 5 or 6 feet with a weedy bottom.

We learned the lake had been stocked on Wednesday and that the early morning bite was best. Unfortunately for us fly fishers the “hot fly” was garlic powerbait; the bait anglers did pretty well catching 17-19” stocked trophy rainbows.

We hooked a few trout on flies but for the most part, small perch made up most of the fly caught fish. Sometimes a team effort helped. In the morning I was changing flies when unknown to me a fish started rising behind me; Cheryl called out and pointed emphatically to turn around so I did and then threw my fly into the last rise ring and was rewarded with a strong strike. It was a good fish and I fought it for a while before the hook pulled out. That would be my only trout of the day.

Coffenbury also has a large population of small perch. Their constant strikes kept things interesting, plus they helped a couple folks finish their 2019 Fly Fishing Challenge.

The sun came out for lunch and we enjoyed fantastic food: homemade spaghetti, ceasar salad and garlic bread.

After lunch we fished for another hour or two. A few more trout were hooked and lots of small perch. When the sun came out, the ambiance of the lake changed from quiet dawn anglers to young families & the cries of children enjoying a nice day on the lake. While the trout catching could have been a little better, all in all it was a good time. Thanks to everyone for coming.

September 21st Fish-a-long Coffenbury Lake

Coffenbury Lake, located in Fort Stevens State Park by Warrenton, will be the location for the September 21st Fish-a-long. The lake contains rainbow & cutthroat trout along with warm water fish. Coffenbury was recommended by CFF speaker Jeff Morgan plus it’s due to be stocked with 500 trophy rainbow trout right before the fish-a-long.

This is a new location for us. Given the number of new float tubes at the Round Lake fish-a-long this summer, I wanted to schedule one more lake trip this year.

Those planning to attend, please RSVP to Dave@kbi-ins.com by Sept 17th so we know how much food to bring.

What: Cutthroat & Rainbow Trout and Warmwater Fish.

Were:  North Boat Ramp at Coffenbury Lake in Fort Stevens State Park

When:  Saturday, September 21. Meet at the boat ramp area between 8am and 9am. I will probably be there a little earlier to catch the first light bite.

Equipment: There are two fishing docks but the lake is best fished from a float tube or small boat & 4-6wt rods . The lake is not deep so a floating line is all you’ll need but if you prefer an intermediate line that will work too. The weather should be OK but rain is always a possibility.

Flies: Standard lake patterns.

Food Provided: Coffee & donuts for breakfast and CFF executive chef Cheryl will make us something good for lunch.

Directions: It’s an easy 2hr drive from Portland with paved roads the whole way. Drive to Ft Stevens Park then stay on Peter Iredale Rd to the boat ramp. There is a $5 day use fee.

August 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

From Darryl Huff: I have fished a single hand fly rod for years but had never tried the spey rod. Being a part of the Clackamas FlyFishers gave me the bump I needed to give it a try. My casting needs a lot of work but after a few trips to the Deschutes I was catching fish!

From Carson Taylor: Motivated by an internet article by Chester Allen (who spoke at a club meeting several years ago), I fished for bass on the Willamette close to downtown Portland off Macadam Avenue. Chester is working in downtown Portland and fishes for bass during his noon hour.

Fishing was not red hot, but I caught five bass in three two-hour early morning trips, mostly on leech and woolly bugger flies. It’s nice to fish 10 minutes from home instead of driving for 2–3 hours.

From Dave Kilhefner: In mid August I fished with guide Drake Radditz at Bouy 10 and caught a nice 25lb Chinook.

From Phil Hager: Spent 8 days in central Oregon with mixed results.

Link and Hand lakes, up by Suttle Lake, were slow, with just a few catches of smaller fish. Both East and Lava were suffering the “August doldrums” with only 1 caught on Lava and not even a bump on East.

Hosmer, however, was a different story. Fished the upper lake and it was like I could do nothing wrong! Using my intermediate line I lost count on catches in the first hour both times. My “Brick Leech” and black and grey TMC nymph were getting fish almost immediately with Rainbows, Cutts, and Brookies ranging in size from 12″ to about 24″ and fat and healthy. Right shoulder was tired in about 3 hours and it wasn’t from casting.

If anybody wants to go along I’m heading back up the 9/15 to camp at Lava and fish Hosmer and Lava, then over to Fall River the 19th for 4 nights (TU outing), and will hit Crane the 22nd. From there I plan on going over to the Crooked the 23rd & 24th and down to the Le Page, on the John Day, the 25th & 26th, to see how they are doing.

From Adrian Choate: Spent a week fishing SW Montana. Hit Rock Creek, the “Mighty Missouri “ and the Madison. The fish weren’t easy but managed to raise some big Bows and browns. Am considering a month in Ennis next summer!

Round Lake Fish A Long Report

This year’s Round Lake Fish a long was very well attended and a lot of fun. A big Thank You for everyone who made the long drive to make this event a success.

Several of us decided to drive over Friday afternoon and camp and it was a lot of fun. John Warren’s wife Linda made a pot of beef stew and everyone else pitched in for a tasty pot-luck dinner. The weather was clear and Dave brought his spotting scope and we were able to check out Jupiter’s Moons in the southern sky.

On Saturday everyone rolled in between 8 and 9am and we enjoyed a light breakfast of hot coffee, donuts and lemon bars before hitting the lake.

Fishing at the lake was tougher than expected. One big surprise was a couple of otters had taken up residence. Otters are great fun to watch but if you’re a fisherman it’s both a good and bad sign; they know the fishing is good but they put a big dent in the fish population!

David Mullins was one of the first anglers on the lake and did well for a while on Simi-Seal Leeches that he tied at Jim Adam’s fly tying class in March. Green and brown were his best colors.

Another thing that made the fishing a little tough was the usually plentiful Callebaetis hatch wasn’t really happening. However, there were still enough of these bugs around to fake you out; they were like a small “decoy hatch” and lots of trout were jumping but it was hard to figure out what they were taking.

The most successful dry fly was discovered by Kevin Rodgers, who had good success along the far shaded shoreline by casting a Black Flying Ant close to sunken logs close to the bank and the overhanging fir trees. There were also lots of Blue Damsels flying and a few club members had some action fishing those, plus its fun to watch trout jumping a foot or more out of the water trying to snag one!

Round Lake is one of the few high lakes that have brown trout along with the usually more plentiful brook trout. One this day, most of the catch were brown trout about 12” long and we only caught a couple brook trout. Usually, it’s the other way around.

Cheryl Kilhefner put together a tasty deli sandwich style lunch and Paul Brewer helped her pack it up to the lake, where we all enjoyed good food and good company on this very fine day.

June 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

In early June Dave Kilhefner, Carson Taylor and Chris Dudley fished the Willamette River for Shad with Rob Crandall. In 4 hours of fishing we caught all the shad we could handle along with numerous doubles and six triple hookups.

Phil Hagar went up to Timothy for the June TU outing from the 5th to the 9th at the North Arm campground. It was a good trip despite some of the weather. Phil got into a bunch of 2-5 pound Rainbows and Brookies plus too many smaller fish to count. Loaned a reel with a sinking line plus a Brick Leech to Jim Teeny’s nephew then took him up by the islands, explained how to fish it and helped him catch his biggest ever Rainbow and also his first ever Brook Trout.

Jim Adams, Gil Henderson, Carson Taylor, Chris Dudley, Pat Miller and Ron Bouchard (who has relocated to Arizona and drove 1200 miles to join us) fished the Owyhee River from June 16th-23rd.

Fishing was “challenging” and while fish were caught not everyone landed fish on this trip.  But the camaraderie, humorous stories, and good-natured barbs of the group made it a enjoyable and memorable trip. This group has been getting together for over 10 years.

A major weather event had preceded us. The road in the canyon had been blocked by slides and there were numerous piles of debris that had been removed from the road. The river seemed to have been scoured out of plant and insect life. None of the big hatches that we were used to seeing in previous years materialized. With no fish feeding on the surface we relied on subsurface offerings…small nymphs, streamers, and San Juan worms.

The water was off color when we arrived and the farther downstream you were the dirtier the water.  The fish were either hunkered down or had also been swept downstream.  On the good side, the fish that were landed were very healthy looking and seemed well fed despite the water conditions. Brown trout up to 22 1/2 inches were landed along with a few healthy rainbows.

Rich Harvey reports the Oregon Fishing Club lakes and ponds have been fishing very well this month, with the cooler weather keeping the big trout active.

Ron Woodke fished Trillium Lake in late June and did very well with Black Woolly Buggers, bringing about 17 fish to hand. Other fly patterns were tried but the trusty Black Woolly Bugger was what they wanted. Besides the good fishing, the weather was perfect and there was no wind.

Jim Behrend and his wife Pat fished the Oregon Fishing Club three times in June. They went to Shauna Pond and did pretty well there and also Blue Den Lake for the first time.  They also tried the North Santiam site, which was a fun adventure, having some success with big dry flies. Jim tried Euro-nymphing with a Tenkara rod following Josh Linn’s suggestions at Royal Treatment Fly Shop. It worked surprisingly well considering it was a new technique. The rocks on the Santiam were super slippery, so be careful.

CFF Justesen Ranch Fish A Long Report

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.

May 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

Lot’s of good fishing happens in May and CFF members got out and had good times on the water. Here are their reports:

Lane Hoffman with a bruiser size Rainbow from Rocky Ridge

In early May Lane Hoffman and Jim Romero had good action on large sized rainbows at Rocky Ridge Ranch.

Dave Kilhefner and Chris Obuchowski fished Big Tree Lake at the Oregon Fishing Club. The water temperature had jumped to 64 degrees and the bite was off but they still managed to grind out around a dozen trout in the 12” to 18” range. All the local wildlife was out enjoying the fine spring weather; hunting ospreys, families of geese and even a beaver.

Dave Kilhefner traveled to Kona, Hawaii and caught some strong & interesting looking fish off the rocks.

CFF members Red Smith, Gil Henderson and Carson Taylar made a couple trips to the Deschutes River by Maupin, having good action on Redsides throwing big stonefly dries along undercut banks and under the trees.

Phil Hager spent 9 days camped at Crane Prairie, fishing Crane, Lava and Hosmer. It was windy nearly full time along with rain, hail, snow and even a little sunshine. Most of the days the highs we’re in the 40’s to low 50’s and nights close to freezing. Was it worth it? Rainbows, Cutthroat, Brookies, Browns and even a couple Bass were caught, with many 16″-18″ along with 3-5 pound Rainbows and Brook Trout,

Richard Harvey traveled to Puget Sound and had good action on sea run cutthroats during outgoing tides using baitfish imitation flies.  

Greg O’Brien traveled to Massachusetts and experienced some hot Striper fishing, catching 40+ schoolies on the fly one morning in the bay.  Big fish are coming soon we hope, our biggest was 30”.

Greg O’Brien found this nice brook trout along with several others at Timothy Lake.

Adrian Choate spent two weeks camping on the Deschutes. He had lots of stone fly dry action did do too well on nymphs. He reports at the end of May there are still quite a few bugs still flying and it’s the best stonefly hatch he’s seen in the last several years!

May 25th Fish-A-Long Report

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.

April 2019 CFF Fishing Reports

The Clackamas Fly Fishers board retreat at Rocky Ridge was a big success with many large trout landed. The wind was blowing hard but the trout were on the bite. There’s lots of room on the Rocky Ridge schedule so get over there!

Don Lewis with a Yakutat Steelhead on his father & son trip with Gary Lewis.

Don Lewis traveled to Yakutat to fish for steelhead with his son Gary. They had a great father/son trip and hooked many steelhead!

In mid April Chris Dudley made the journey to Omak Lake to fish with his sister Cynthia and other friends. The fishing was a little slow with 6 fish landed in two days, but all the fish were big! The best techniques were slow trolling a woolly bugger on an intermediate line or suspending balanced leeches below an indicator. Wind was a problem for the pontoon boats so most fish were taken from shore on this trip.

Chris Dudley and his son Jason and fished Justesen Ranch Lakes April 19-21, with four pairs of fathers and sons. They did very well with suspended leeches, chironomids and dark woolly buggers, but by far the best fly was the Jolly Rancher, obtained a the  Deschutes River Fly Shop in Maupin. The largest was 22 inches, with many at 16-19″. A great time had by all. The best chironomid patterns were chrome, snow cone and black in medium sizes fished just before dark.

Darryl Huff got this net busting Redside on the Deschutes River opening weekend.

Darryl Huff fished the Warm Springs section of the Deschutes when it opened on Monday April 22nd. The water was high running at 6300 CFS but the color was ok. Crowds were expected but the high water and Monday opener kept most away. No single fly was best Darryl caught trout plenty of 12-18″ trout on the san juan worm, zebra midge, blue perdigon, olive sculpin, glow bug plus multiple stone fly patterns.