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.