During the month of October my mantra for fishing the Deschutes is “find the salmon and you’ll find the trout!” The weather can be bad, the White River can be blown but trout and whitefish can’t resist the egg bonanza when the Chinook are spawning.
Seven of us braved the chilly weather conditions and colored up water but the payoff was sweet! Everyone got into plenty of fish and most of us broke into double digits.
As an added bonus, the Bighorn Sheep were playing on the wall and Richard Harvey got a nice video of two rams chasing a ewe.
Thanks to everyone for coming! Next month we’ll try to hit the Kilchis River for Chum Salmon but if the water conditions are poor (like they have been the last 3 years!) we will go to an Oregon Fishing Club lake.
July was a hot one but CFF members were able to get out, keep cool and have some good fishing. Thanks to everyone for contributing your fishing reports!
The Corona Virus has created some very crowded conditions in the great outdoors. When venturing out it’s important to be patient and maintain responsible social distancing.
Here are our July reports; pictures first with the report following. Enjoy!
From Trux Dole: (this got lost in my inbox, it’s a June report) 1st time fishing for Shad was a total hoot! Buddy took me out to Beacon Rock. It took 45 minutes to get dialed in on the right seam and then it was a fish per cast. Thankfully I was using two handed rod!
From Greg O’Brien: Clear Lake on the 25th turned on with a massive mayfly hatch at about 10 am and it was lights out fishing for about an hour. Fish rising and slashing for a 200 yard stretch.
Earlier in July my wife and I made a road trip to Montana for a couple days of fishing with a guide (a package she bid on and won at her school’s fundraising auction). We fished the Clark Fork one day and the Big Hole the second day. Fishing was good on the Clark Fork for scrappy rainbows, and excellent on the Big Hole for cutthroat, rainbows, browns and also a few whitefish.
Also got a nice Smallmouth Bass on the Willamette.
From Darryl Huff: Fishing on the lower D has been great. This year’s return has produced a lot of fish in the 8-10 pound range. So far it seems that 75 percent are natives. Also, we are starting to hook a few salmon as well.
From Carson Taylor: Just got back from a family vacation at Sunriver. Fishing wasn’t great but this nice brown trout fell to a muddler minnow fished along the west bank across from Sunriver. Also caught a cutthroat caught on a Carey Special at Hosmer Lake.
From Lane Hoffman: Went to Badger Lake, a beautiful lake east of Mt Hood. The fishing was really good, caught 25 plus trout from 6 to 18 inches. Really fat & strong fighters, nice fish. Very few visitors because the last 12 miles of road is really rough. Went to Lost Lake for the Hex hatch in the evening but the hatch never really materialized.
From Rhona Dallison: Went to Badger Lake with Lane Hoffman but the wind was very strong. We couldn’t use our float tubes and ended up catching a few small ones from shore.
From Dave Kilhefner: I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to catch a spring chinook in the upper Sandy River. Glacial runoff from the hot weather has made conditions difficult.
Hi Everyone, the Coronavirus lockdown has most of us staying home to remain safe and healthy. During the month of March some CFF members ventured out on the water, kept their distance and enjoyed good fishing. Here are their stories with the pictures on top and the report below:
From Darryl Huff: All of the steelhead I landed in the month of March were wild. The one I’m holding surely made my top three best fighters for a winter steelhead. I found great success in my trips to the Deschutes after being introduced to the idea of fishing golden stones this time of year. In a discussion with an employee at the Deschutes Angler, I learned that the golden stone is carnivorous. Being on the move hunting for food they are more available to the fish than the salmon fly stone at this time.
From Frank Day: Fishing down at the coast was very good (in early March). After having good success on natives on some of the small streams, I ventured to the Wilson River and got a limit of hatchery steelhead.
From Greg O’Brien: Some friends and I went to the OP. We fished the Clearwater, Humptulips, Queets and Hoh. Fish were played and lost (me), and fish were caught and landed (not me). Timothy and I fished Puget Sound for Sea Run Cutts and brought some nice fish to hand.
From Richard Harvey: The Oregon Fishing Club properties have been warming up this month. Matching the hatches has been the key.
Also, congrats to Richard on completing the 2019 Fly Fishing Challenge! (We were late getting his certificate out to him)
From Phil Bartsh: All 3 goldfish are doing just fine. Thanks for asking.
From Lane Hoffman: The Crooked River trip had 5 members attending. The river was crowded but fishing was good. Most fish were caught using the Euro nymph method & emergers as we had a midge & BWO hatch. Rainbows & Whitefish. (No photo’s, sorry!)
day Ken Baker & I went to Chickahominy Res. Conditions were perfect but we
didn’t do well. A couple using power bait caught fish, nice hard fighting
rainbows to 20 inches.
went on to the Owyhee. Perfect day warm overcast expecting a BWO hatch. Didn’t
happen. They were raising the water level as the Res. is going to fill. Did
manage to catch a few but they were nice Browns to 22 inches.
Pictures are Rainbow’s from Rocky Ford Spring Creek near Ephrata WA. I was by myself & couldn’t get good pics! The bigger fish was 5 pounds! 2nd week in March!
Chris from Semper Fli Guide Service guided his client into this McKenzie river hog in early March.
This month’s Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday, January 25th on the Clackamas River. We’ll meet at the
lower boat ramp at McIver park at 8am.
Please RSVP to Dave Kilhefner (Dave@kbi-ins.com) so we can get a head count for food.
What- Winter Steelhead
Spey Casting plus Winter Whitefish Euro Nymphing
Where- Clackamas River
When- 8am until lunchtime, Saturday, January 25th
Steelhead Spey Equipment-
Spey or Switch Rod
Skagit Line & sink tips
15lb tippet material
flies: bright patterns and dark patterns
waders & wading staff
warm, layered clothing
Euro Nymphing Equipment-
Euro Nymphing Rod or standard
9’ 3 to 5 weight outfit
I will have plenty of
leader material to share
Directions- go to McIver Park. Take the 1st left and drive down the hill. There will be a
few turn outs—just keep to the left until you reach the lower boat ramp area.
We will have coffee, donuts and lunch. This fish a long will focus on (1) spey casting and swung fly presentations and (2) Euro Nymphing. Questions; email Dave Kilhefner (Dave@kbi-ins.com). Hope to see you there!
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.
Josh Linn of Royal Treatment Fly Fishing will be CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, April 16th.
Josh’s presentation will be on the increasingly popular technique of Euro Nymphing: Learn about the flies, tackle and techniques used in Euro Nymphing to increase your trout fishing success. It will be a great presentation you won’t want to miss!
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.
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.