Friday, March 18, 2016

What'd I miss....March Edition

Almost 30 people ventured out with the pending storms to come hear Marc Williamson expound upon that popular spring creek in central Oregon - Fall River. There were several new faces - some were relations of Marc's but a couple spoke up as visitors including Charlie - a self-described neophyte to the flyfishing world. Charlie explained that he was there as a real estate developer who was meeting client friends but then stayed for the meeting as his interests in flyfishing had peaked after a trip to Yellowstone last summer. It's nice to have someone sit in and a good reminder that the public is always welcome - hopefully you like what you see and join in the fun!

Before he started on that tour, our esteemed Chapter President Erle Norman kicked off with some business type items....
Erle reminded us about the Wild Steelhead initiative - one year into the program launched by TU support in 2015. Information is available <<ONLINE>>. 
Mark Rogers (L) and Mike Gentry last year at Derry Dell
Mark Rogers - our newly appointed/volunteer Youth Education Coordinator took the mic and spoke about a few volunteer opportunities:
  • TRK Day Camps: started last year, TVTU volunteers help the TRK staff with stream ecology and fishing education for local youth. Contact TVTURESTORATION@GMAIL.COM if you are interested; there is no iron clad agreement in place but as the dates and needs are established interested folks will be contacted [inlcude TRK Youth Camp VOlunteer in your subject line].
  • Derry Dell Creek: we're back in Tigard on Derry Dell on April 6 & 7. Over the past few years TVTU has helped the City of Tigard expand and connect this urban creek with the Walnut/Fanno system. This is a combined restoration effort with the high school ecology department.
  • Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge: TVTU has agin gotten a table for the annual Bird Festival on May 21. This is a fun outreach effort for the Chapter with the opportunity to see the refuge while it is fully open for visitors.
If you are interested in any of these opportunities contact us at TVTURESTORATION@GMAIL.COM.
Reports Anyone? Member Dave Mullins shared a recent effort for his newly found focus - steelhead. Dave gave it a go this past weekend on the Wilson, Trask and Necanicum Rivers swinging home-tied tube flies. Though he noted no success [and blamed it on the high water] he said nobody else was really doing anything exciting either. Dave's biggest thrill for the days - besides getting out and actually giving it a go - falling down no fewer than 3 times...he said it was very 'refreshing'!
Andy Andrews, adventure man of TVTU, noted the 2016 Outing Schedule has been released - <<OUTINGS>>; reminded everyone that the first go will be the annual day trip to Lost Lake [CLATSOP COUNTY] on April 10. 
PHW: Jerry Lorang the TVTU Veterans Programs Coordinator noted the Project Healing Waters efforts are ongoing: all veterans are invited to participate - second Thursday of every month at Cabela's [6:30 p.m.] - techniques, fly tying and general story telling occur. Outings will be starting soon for the veterans - April 19th is their trip to the Big Tree-Little Tree private lakes. Jerry will also be attending the first National Conference in Orlando, Florida to share experiences and develop programs for the effort. This is a great opportunity with over 200 programs from across the nation in attendance.
Marc Williamson took point; Marc is currently a flyfishing/flycasting instructor and guide for <<Water Time Outfitters>>. He also mentioned he over 60-years experience fishing the Fall - he started there early as a boy fishing with his dad. You could tell simply by his ability to name the water and speak about the specific features in a stretch of water that he has spent many years on this water [including apparently his honeymoon! as attested to by his wife who was there to keep him honest!].
For anyone who may not know - Fall River is an 'official' spring creek by very definition. This river is located between Bend and LaPine - admittedly it sees a lot of use but remains unique for water in this area - classic flat cold flow water with undercut banks and mid-water vegetation and trenches. The fish are there - and some good sized ones - but they do not necessarily come easy in this gin clear water. A few of Marc's tips [I can't give them all out - somebody needs to come to the meetings to get the good stuff!]:
Timing: Currently, as of the new 2016 regulations, the Fall River is open year around; this extended season could allow some good opportunities [especially if crowds are not your thing and snow is].
Locations: Identify and find what the trout needs [Food. Protection. Comfort. oh and reproduction but that doesn't always play into our equation [and be careful of any spawning seasons - especially where you tromp in the water]. Incidentally, Marc notes that since the large fire retardant drop in the river years ago the bug populations have not returned to numbers he experienced prior to that; they have improved to be certain. If you can find all these needs in one spot - you have the motherload - or the Prime Lie as Marc put it. The Fall has many places that can provide protection, food and comfort all in one spot if you observe carefully and recognize those individual traits. Remember Think Like a Fish. There are also numerous springs that feed into the Fall throughout it's course; locate these intrusions - they are often a source of a bit warmer water that attracts fish and they bring in more concentrated food buffets!
Techniques: Due to clear water - Marc likes to use the classic hopper/dropper combination - primary reason being that on clear spring creeks indicators and bobbers cast odd shadows to wary fish; use a natural fly as an indicator and besides the potential of catching an aggressive fish on that upper fly [be it a PMD or caddis or hopper], they look more natural floating across fish as you guide that tasty nymph into their zone.
Flies you ask? Marc notes midges are his favorite go to - and in sizes 16-24. Why? Because that is the most constant and numerous food in the Fall. Next on his list: caddis, caddis, caddis - cased caddis and green rock worms are abundant. These would be followed closely by mayflies - the trusty PMD/BWO; he especially likes yellow bodies for these.
Approach: we've heard it before but really how often do remember? Do not jump into the river! Approach slowly, remember the cone of vision for fish - quiet and low, stay back from the edge and fish the near edge first: undercut banks, deep grasses, and slower flows keep fish tight. The other thing about the Fall - the edges are soft and often full of holes that will swallow your leg; go slow for safety sake as well.
Hope you can make the next meeting - April 13: Bob Wolfe - "Why Fish Chironomids"...see you then!
Queen Jane