Saturday, July 18, 2009

Crooked River Outing Report: "You should have been here yesterday. Well, ten years ago, actually."

Sometimes the cruel winds which suddenly arise that keep me from fishing actually do me a favor. Events conspired to keep me from the Crooked River Outing. Here's a report from last weekend of what I missed filed by our Outings Chair, Andy Andrews.


On Monday, July 13th, this reporter for HHS News interviewed expert fly fisherman Andy Andrews (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha) as to fishing
conditions on the Crooked River in Central Oregon. Mr. Andrews reported that he and two others in his group failed to land one fish during their stay. Reports from other fisherman seemed to confirm that catching a fish on the Crooked was a very unusual event during the weekend. Opinions varied as to why fishing was...slow! Mr. Andrews was told a variety of reasons for the lack of other fishermen's success with the primary reasons being:

1) the water was too cold.
2) the water was too warm.
3) the water was too clear.
4) the water was too cloudy
5) there was a full moon.
6) barometric pressure was falling
7) barometric pressure was raising.
8) the 'shocking' of the fish for sampling two weeks earlier had disturbed them.
9) the number of fish was incorrect (presumed to be somewhere between 1000 to 8000 per mile, depending who you interviewed)
10) Mr. Andrews own observation: they (the fish) knew he was comin' and that scared them so the fish were in hiding.

This reporter did interview one other camper who arrived at the Poison Butte Campground late in the weekend and stated that he could catch as many fish as he wanted, any time he wanted in the Crooked, but he was satisfied to just set and watch the river roll by. After a while, he stated he became bored with the catching of fish on the Crooked because it was too easy.

The weather on Friday and Saturday was very warm in the afternoon, with thunderstorms on Sunday afternoon. One hailstorm dropped nuggets of ice between 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. Some rain fell overnight and continued on Monday morning. Each evening, Mr. Andrews and his party enjoyed good food and drink, had great campfires and enjoyed each others company.

Each afternoon there were hatches on the river of BWOs and caddis, but there were no rises by the 1000 to 8000 fish (per mile) to indicate the presence of fish.

The lack of fish remains a mystery on the Cooked River in Oregon.

Editor's note: Tom Wolf, seen here studying the futility in his fly box and the refuge available in alcohol, offered the following addendum to Andy's report:

As one who was there, I think it was a combination of many of the reasons Andy has mentioned. The water was 48 degrees, the clearest I have ever seen the Crooked, with an incredibly bright full moon, and there was the electro-shocking a few weeks before. It was the worst "catching" I have ever had on the Crooked.

Still, the weather was nice, the company was good and the food great. So I still enjoyed myself immensely, reinforcing that old barb: "The worst day of fishing is better than the best day of working."

A wonderful way to spend the weekend.

See A Tale of Two Rivers (Free!) on August 10th

Here's a fascinating program sponsored by our good friends at Educational Recreation Adventures about the Willamette and Deschutes rivers.

This event is free and open to the public. Although donations to the ERA Youth Scholarship Fund are encouraged. Please feel free to contact Jeffry Gottfried with any questions.

Jeffry Gottfried, Ph.D.
Executive Director/Lead Educator
Educational Recreational Adventures
7040 SW 84th Ave, Portland,OR 97223 503-750-2416

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Timothy Lake Outing Report: Very happy campers; many unhappy fish

Always one of our favorite outings, Timothy Lake did not disappoint this year. The weather, fishing and camp hospitality were all one could ask for, and judging from the rods on the water I witnessed during my Saturday morning drive-by fishing, the turnout was similarly excellent.

Regrettably, I was unable to stick around for the barbecue that night, but I did get in on the second best bite of the day around 10am when I landed rainbows on four successive casts. I had nine fish in the first hour, but only 14 on the day--all 'bows, including a couple wild ones. The water was high and clear, and the NE corner of the lake was covered with wind-blown remains of billions of size 28 midges (lime green bodies and cream wings--in case you'd like to match the hatch), which seemed to interest no one. The cloudless sky and clear, calm water offered some unusual opportunities to spot fish, and we saw many. Several times I spied schools of 30-40 brookies, including some that were at least 16 inches, distractedly cruising around, doing nothing much. All I could managed to do was spook them with my line. Others reported similar success. But it's still cool and exciting to sight cast to fish.

The bite was sporadic throughout the day, but there were a few slim moments of urgent feeding and mysterious aggressive rises to a hatch unseen. Mayfly emerger patterns got lukewarm response; same with peacock soft hackles. It was time to go home before I saw the huge dark caddis fluttering about. It was nearly as big as an October caddis, with brown wings and charcoal body. I quickly tied on a black bodied Carey special to troll the remaining short distance to shore and hooked up with a thick 14-incher to end the day with a fish on my last cast, and maybe a clue for what to go to in the future at Timothy.

As for how others did, I think everyone was sporadically hooking fish on all days. I was somewhat surprised to hear of no big fish hooked, but I have no doubt they're around and will keep me coming back again and again.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TVTU Picnic this Wednesday, July 8th!

Summer is here and so is our annual TVTU picnic barbecue and silent auction fundraiser. Once again we have reserved picnic shelter #3 at Cook Park (next to the Tualatin River) in Tigard. Below are maps of and to the park so you can navigate directly to picnic central.

This event is free and open to the public. The chapter will provide the grill and the burgers, hot dogs and soft drinks. You are invited to bring a dessert, salad or side dish. Also, you may bring adult beverages.

The party kicks off at 6pm and we'll start grilling right away. The silent auction will have about 35 excellent items and bidding will continue through dinner. Spouses, family and friends are welcome.

As always, the picnic takes the place of our regular July chapter meeting. Also, there is no chapter meeting in August. Of course, there are outings, including one to the Crooked River just days from now. We hope to see you at the picnic and on the river.