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!
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.
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
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.
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 months the fish-a-long will be at Harriet Lake. This is a small impoundment on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River.
We will meet on Saturday morning about 8am in the main parking area. Coffee & donuts plus a sandwich lunch will be provided. There is a $5 fee per car for using the park so you may wish to look at carpooling with other members.
The lake is 22 acres and contains rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout. There is a very long dock along the north bank but it is best fished from a floating devise such as a float tube. If you do not have a float tube the club now has a small fleet that you can use, so don’t use that as an excuse to not get out and fish!
The best fishing is at the top of the lake close to the inlet. It is probably best to use an intermediate lake line. As for flies a leach pattern works best….callibaetis nymph, seal bugger, woolly bugger, and chironomids fished sub surface with an indicator. As the lake has just been stocked a glo-bug colored dark with a felt pen looks a lot like a pellet. Below overhanging trees, ants will fall into the water and temp cruising trout.
The lake is due to be stocked with 3,000 legal size trout this week so fishing should be good. Also, along the way is the upper Clackamas River, which has trout and whitefish and the Oak Grove Fork is nearby too and has good numbers of cutthroat trout; these opportunities perfectly dovetail with the CFF Fly Fishing Challenge!
Last weekend I checked out several possible areas for our Fish-A-Long. Trillium is very beautiful but also extremely crowded on the weekends this time of year. The water was very low at Clear Lake and the restrooms needed some attention—yuck! Timothy Lake had potential but it was pretty crowded too so we will probably go there later in the year.
If you plan on coming please contact Dave Kilhefner or Paul Brewer so we know how much food to bring. Also, if you need a float tube we need to hear from you. All questions are welcome too!
Last week Gil fished the Deschutes around Maupin, reporting he saw plenty of big bugs in the bushes but not many flying over the water. He managed to catch a couple on dries but it was necessary to cover a lot of water to find a player. The stonefly fishing should be at it’s best in a week or so.
Yesterday I was able to fish the Warm Springs Indian Reservation water with Elke & Alysia of Littleleaf Guide Services. Because you always have miles of untouched water to yourself I can’t say enough good things about this angling experience.
We met at 11am at Kah-Nee-Ta; no need to get up early this time of year! The weather was warm, the skies overcast and a light breeze was blowing upstream, making for perfect fishing conditions.
Arriving at the river it seemed the flows were a little faster than normal. Discharge from Pelton dam was 4100 cubic feet per second, water temperature was perfect at 55 degrees with about 4’ to 6’ of water clarity.
I had a refusal at the first stop and then landed a 16” fatty at the next stop. This time of year, when a fish commits to your fly you can see, hear and sometimes feel the strike!
Today all the fish took one of Elke’s Predator Stonefly’s. Alysia showed me a recent picture of a 26” redside she landed, so I stuck with heavy 2x and 3x tippet (8lb & 10lb). Every stop produced some sort of action, mostly refusals but often enough a player would hammer your fly. As Gil said in his report, covering water is the best way to find the fish that wanted to eat.
I managed a dozen or so, but numbers do not really represent all the fun I had watching fish slash at my flies all day. The average size of the fish was around 16 inches and my biggest brought to hand was in the 19 to 20 inch range. However, standing on a steep bank with a good view of the bottom structure I had a much larger redside come up twice only to refuse my fly at the last instant.
This month’s Fish-A-Long will be at the Oregon Fishing Club’s Hartland Lake. Hartland Lake is a 15 acre pond located about 10 miles from Lyle, Washington. The drive from Portland takes about 90 minutes.
At its deepest point, the lake is 16 feet deep and holds trophy sized Rainbow Trout plus some Bass & Panfish. This lake is best fished with float tubes or pontoon boats, but there is limited bank access available.
When: 8am Saturday April 21. Meet at Fishermans Marine parking lot in Oregon City and carpool to the lakes.
Where: Hartland Lake, Oregon Fishing Club.
Equipment: 4 to 6wt rods with matching reel – floating & intermediate sinking fly lines – float tube or pontoon boat – waders – rain gear, layered clothing, its spring time in Oregon.
Flies: Midge patterns in Red for Larva and dark colors for Pupa. Streamers: Woolly Buggers or Green Devils. Dry flies: Griffiths Gnats if there is a Midge Hatch or Ants.
The plan: we’ll meet Saturday morning at the car pool location. Maps will be provided for those who would like one. The menu is Coffee & donuts for breakfast plus a hot lunch.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or catch me at the April 17th meeting.