Tuesday, July 4, 2017

What'd I Miss - June Edition

The Chapter welcomed well over 30 people to the Lucky Lab Public House-Multnomah this past month in anticipation of hearing Jeff Morgan regale all with information on Fishing the Hidden Cascades of Oregon. Erle started off the meeting with new member and visitor introductions – a nice showing of folks self-introducing including Jackie [a recent Vermont transplant], Andrew and Preston [first time attendees], John [recent transfer from NY] and Phil Hafele a long-time participant and visitor. Thanks to all and we hope you had a good time! 

Fish Reports: Andy was not at this meeting but a few folks who made the Timothy Lake outing shared their reports – Tom Wolf noted that many fish were caught; John corroborates the story noting several 17” through 20” fish were brought
to his hand! It was also noted that, although odd for the time of year and cooler water temperatures, there seemed to be an algae bloom already in place. Erle noted that ODFW apparently has been stocking larger fish in the lake to supplement a missing population sector; it was also noted for any others who might venture to Timothy this year – look for ODW tagged fish!
Don’t forget the next TVTU outing is August 18-20 when Andy will be welcoming campers at the Broken Arrow Campground. If you have any questions or wish to let Andy know you will be coming – CONTACT ANDY ANDREWS.

For Tom - lest he forget.....
Salem Updates: Tom Wolf reminded us all again that he will be retiring in July; there is a gathering to commemorate the occasion and celebrate Tom’s 25 years of volunteer service on July 7th at Ritter’s Restaurant in Salem. If you find yourself in the area stop by and thank Tom! Things get going about 6:00 p.m. and Ritter’s is located at 100 Liberty NE.
Two big items came up for TU in Salem this year:
  • Elliott Forest sale: the purchase did not go through. One bid was received but a late effort by the governor suspended the sale ad kept the forest in public ownership. The school fund will be bought out and there is a team looking into alternative approaches for this piece of public forest.
  • Suction Dredge bill [SB3]: after many years of effort, SB3 was formally constructed and signed into law this year. The law bans suction dredge mining on any sensitive species spawning waters in the state. Tom was especially pleased to have been a participant on this effort and have it pass in his final year representing TU.
Outreach: Paige Wallace passed out information on the Migration Celebration – hopefully many of you attended this fundraiser earlier this month; if not, look for more by signing up o the OCTU facebook page. Look for more events similar to this to help generate ideas, educate members and the public, and raise some operating funds for the Oregon Council.

TRK Kids Camps: Peter Gray needs some volunteers to round out our Youth Outreach effort with the Tualatin Riverkeepers Summer camps again this year – Peter has organized four days of casting and fishing instruction for youth campers in July and August. These are Fridays from about 9am until noon in Tigard. CONTACT PETER to reserve your spot for this great effort – no teaching experience necessary and equipment is provided.
Any more plates??
Upcoming Meetings: don’t forget, July 12th is the annual TVTU Potluck Picnic; hopefully our friends with the Stonefly Maidens and Clackamas River Chapter will join us again this year along with new faces from TVTU. As always, bring a side dish or dessert along with your favorite beverage and show up at 6:00 p.m. at Shelter #3 in Cook Park [Tigard]. We usually have some flycasting games and a silent auction fundraiser. Remember, the proceeds from our meeting raffles and auctions pay for the meeting venues throughout the year – Ron Reinebach does a superb job organizing and overseeing these to ensure funding; additional proceeds further support chapter activities.

Also – there is NO MEETING in August! Go fishing and enjoy the month!

Jeff Morgan picked up the mic at this point and reminded us all about how lucky we are to live in Oregon with our blue ribbon waters – these most popular waters are getting a nationwide reputation and the crowds reflect that these days! But remember, not all waters are like those lakes along Century Drive or the Deschutes, Metolious, and MacKenzie Rivers.

So what are the options?
Hidden waters are not always trophy waters and reputation often is for success or beauty – and sometimes size. How can you find some hidden gems of your own? Look for:
  • Out of the Way Waters: something that takes a bit of effort to reach – hiking, driving, bushwacking may be the key. Small water just up the road from that really popular lake – give it a try!
  • Historic Stocking: check the old records for stocking, look for waters once stocked with brook and cutthroat trout. These programs have been curtailed but many of the hold wild populations of fish which are reproducing naturally.
  • Lake Topography: pull out your topo map and research that lake – is it a shallow lake that has a deep-water section or especially a deep-water channel? This will be a producer most likely and not be a lake susceptible to winter kill. The shallows warm up readily and get the bugs moving longer and the deep water provides cool refuge.
Lake Techniques:
How about timing and techniques?? For your typical medium sized lake Jeff suggests:
  • Row troll early: use ‘S’-trolling methods where you change course constantly in a ‘S’-pattern – this not only covers more water area but also how your flies are presented to fish by automatically varying speed and depth. Use your featherwing streamers here – spruce streamer, matukas, and Alexandra’s.
  • Mid-morning: change over and go hunt the stumps! Trout will cruise the stumps of a littered flat to find all the good morsels required for a trout brunch – use damselflies, dragonflies and callabaetis nymphs here. Try to add short finger rolls or twitches to your retrieve to emulate those swimming nymphs.
  • Mid day: it’s time to break out emerger patterns – this can be a smorgasbord of bugs or specific types; look for them on top and match what the fish are keying in on just under the surface. You’ll be seeing more backs and tails of fish as they slurp bugs that are just under the surface. Most effective on days with clouds and light wind chop. Try a peccary shuttlecock or anything callabaetis superfly.
  • Afternoons: terrestrial time! Break out your ants and beetles because that clear-cut hillside produces some fantastic food that gets blown into the lakes. Has the wind come up? Try ‘loch style’ fishing – drift along the lake with the wind, use the wind to cast out and then strip that offering back in quickly – with the wind chop, the fish feel safe and will often be patrolling within the upper most water columns looking for those bugs that have blown into the lake.
  • Late Afternoon Doldrums: things slowing down? Try fishing a bit deeper – follow the light penetration depth and find the line of daphnia zooplankton; these minute critters form chow lines for fish at 15’-30’ depths often allowing fish to cruise mouth open. Put a red or orange fly in that zone that is a smaller offering [14/16 hooks] and give it some action – the fish will respond!
  • Evening: the time we all like when the wind dies down and sunlight leaves the water – this is the magical hour. Here you need one thing in Oregon – caddis. Again, that is a caddis. Find the windward side with gravel/rock bottom and you’re home free. Traveling sedge is your friend here.
How about those streams??

  • Stream Techniques: again, pull out your topo maps here and look for tailwater rivers or small lake outlets. Add to that spring fed sections of rivers and streams that hold a few degrees cooler – surprisingly, our Oregon rivers warm quickly on both the west and east sides. Without snow on the west side, fish congregate to cooler spring fed areas of creeks and on the east side, when the sun is beating down from above these small pockets of fresh water can make a difference. Also, higher gradient river sections – these build oxygen and have deeper pockets of cool water to explore. Don’t’ overlook the seemingly devoid pocket water.
  • Finally, for good trout waters – look for waterways that are devoid of migratory fish and fish spawning: the smolts of these fish simply eat too much to allow a productive resident fishery in most cases.
And the ever important: Flies??
  • Craneflies and mayflies will be your friends here. Turn over a rock or two and looks for general color and sizes to try. Timing is similar to lake noted above but two fly rigs can often cover all the bases. Late in the summer – hoppers and terrestrials can again be the keys.
Thanks to Jeff for sharing so much information! We hope to see you at Cook Park on July 12th for the July Member Meeting!