Father’s Day Gift Guide 2024

Father’s day is right around the corner and we are happy to help you find a great gift for your dad this Father’s day. We know shopping for Fathers Day can be difficult, especially if your father is a flyfisherman and you are not. We made it easy with this complete list of all our favorite gear. All of the things we put below are gifts we mentioned in the videos, and more importantly gifts we’d love to receive ourselves. Below are several gift idea videos and we will link the products below. Swing by the shop for a hand picking the perfect gift. If you’re out of state, give the shop a call and we are happy to assist you.

Gift Certificates (Online and In Person)

Caddis Fly Shop In-Store Gift Certificate

Caddis Fly Shop Online Gift Certificate

Fishpond Field Collection

Fishpond Bighorn Kit Bag

Fishpond Blizzard Cooler

Fishpond Jagged Basin Duffel

Fishpond River Bank Backpack

Fishpond Cabin Creek Toiletry Kit

Fishpond Bighorn Kit Bag

Fishpond Half Moon Weekender Bag

Our Favorite Books

All The Time In The World

Fly Fishing Evolution

Fishing in Oregon Twelfth Edition

Fifty Places To Fly Fish Before You Die

Bugwater – Arlen Thomason

All Fishermen Are Liars

Outerwear That We Love

Korkers Shoes & Flip-Flops

Howler Bro’s Clothing

Korkers All Axis Wading Shoe

Patagonia Clothing

Sage Hats

Caddis Fly Shop Gear

Caddis Fly Shop Hats

Caddis Fly Shop Bigfoot T-Shirt

Caddis Fly Shop T-Shirts

Caddis Fly Shop Fly Boxes

Rods

Winston Fly Rods

Sage Fly Rods

Echo Fly Rods

Scott Fly Rods

Gloomis Fly Rods

Reels

Shilton Reels

Tibor Reels

Galvin Reels

Nautilus Reels

Lamson Reels

Ross Reels

Abel Reels

Bauer Reels

Gear

Fulling Mill Fly Boxes

Fishpond Tacky Fly Boxes

Fishpond Vests, Sling Packs, and Hip Packs

Patagoina Vests, Sling Packs, and Hip Packs

Fishpond Nets

Patagonia Waders

Korkers Boots

Accessories

Sage Drinkware

Arianna Nicolai Fish Bracelets

MFC 10oz Chalice

Duke Cannon Big Ass Bricks of Soap

Turtlebox Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Fly Tying

Dyna King Vises

Renzetti Vises

Smaen Guard

Smhaen Thread Splitter

Hareline Tying Kit

Fishpond Tailwater Tying Kit

Stonfo Steeltech Bobbin

Hareline Zirconia Dubbing Rake

Smhaen Tension Bobbin

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

6/10 Fishing Report

Our rivers are at a great level for floating and wading currently! We are seeing a lot of bugs so summer dry fly fishing is on. Searching with a dry dropper setup is a great method to locate fish. Hatches of PMDs, Caddis, Gold Stones, Yellow Sallies, and Green Drakes will be going on in the afternoon. Our smaller creeks are dropping into shape and can provide some amazing small stream fishing with plenty of willing fish. Trout can be teased to the surface on dries most times of day.

Using a dry dropper to search is a very effective way to fish this time of year. We are seeing lots of gold stones as of late and they make a great searching pattern or a buoyant dry for your dry dropper rig. Small tungsten jigs size #12-16 make great droppers 3-6 feet below a buoyant foam dry fly.

PMDs will be coming off every afternoon and you may see some small caddis. You will start seeing PMD’s early afternoon and the hatch will persist into the evening. Green Drakes are happening on the Metolius and the upper McKenzie as well. The Metolius hatch is a well known prolific hatch that happens locally. It will happen mid day, especially on cloudy days. The Mckenzie hatch will especially do well on overcast cloudy days. Yellow Sallies are prevalent and make a great searching pattern mid day into the evening.

You’ll see Yellow Sallies Fluttering around mid day into the evening.

Callibaetis on the high lakes are just getting started, we have a great selection of dries, emergers, nymphs, and spent spinners. Fishing a callibaetis nymph under an indicator or stripped on an intermediate line works great. When you start seeing them eating on top cast dries to cruising fish.

We are seeing tons of Callibaetis coming off in the cascade lakes

This is a great year for summer steelhead locally, we are seeing some of the best returns we’ve seen in years. This is a great year to get out and swing for summer steelhead locally, it makes a great local fishing oppertunity if you don’t have time to drive far. Swing by and grab some swing bugs or traditionals for the summer.

Have fun out there!

-Simon

Posted in Central Oregon Fishing Report, Fishing Reports, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Belly Bumper Golden Stone: Nymph Tying Tutorial

In this video, Simon ties a killer inverted golden stone nymph. This features a new hook from Tiemco that just came out: the 201R. The hook is reminiscent of a 200R, but has a slightly shorter shank, and a wider gape. His inspiration for this fly came from the large amount of gold stone nymphs he has been seining up in our local rivers lately. For this fly he uses an insta jig bead to invert the fly like a jigged nymph. Tossing a handful of these in your palm, or onto any surface you will see they always land hook point up. This aids in reducing the amount of times you snag the bottom. This fly has a fair amount of weight, making it a great fly for high water, or point fly for euro nymphing. This can be tied in a variety of colors and sizes to effectively mimic the food in your local system.

Belly Bumper Golden Stone

Hook- Tiemco TMC201R: Size 10

Thread- Semperfli Nanosilk 50D: Yellow

Bead- Hareline Insta Jig Tungsten Bead 5/32

Tail & Antennae- Hareline Turkey Biot Quill: Brown

Eyes- Hareline Mono X-Small Nymph Eyes: Black

Abdomen- Hareline Superfline Dry Fly Dub: Tan, Hareline Cinnamon Tip Turkey, Hareline .15 Lead Wire, Uni Medium Softwire: Black, Solarez Bone Dry

Thorax- Hareline Superfline Dry Fly Dub: Tan, Hareline Cinnamon Tip Turkey, Hareline Micro Flashabou Pearl, Solarez Bone Dry

Legs- Montana Fly Company Small Barred Sexi Floss: Tan

UV Resin- Solarez Bone Dry

Bobbin- Rite Bobbin

Vise- Renzettti Traveler 2304

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips | Leave a comment

Wenaha Warnings

(Photos by author. Lou Wentz’s latest book is Tributaries: Fly-fishing Sojourns to the Less Traveled Streams)

A month or two before we decided to move to Oregon, I came across a destination article in one of the national fly-fishing magazines featuring the Wenaha River in the northeast quadrant of the state near the Washington-Oregon border. At the time all my fishing expeditions had been confined to middle and northeast parts of Pennsylvania and the Catskills, so it was intriguing to come across a new watershed in the far western reaches of the country. The write-up checked a lot of boxes for me, but 18-inch rainbows and wilderness trek stood out as attractive features that stayed in the memory storage with a side note attached. If I’m anywhere near here I must check this place out. It would, no doubt, be the most demanding wilderness I was to enter if I ever got my chance.

The Wenaha is only twenty-two miles in length in some of the most harsh and haunting beautiful terrain in this part of the West. The Nez Perce (Nimiipuu) roamed these lands for centuries before European colonization, living off a great bounty of elk, deer, salmon, and native trout along with camas, bitterroot, wild carrot, huckleberries, raspberries, choke cherries, wild cherries, nuts, and seeds. The river is named for a band that inhabited the area, the Wenak, the name being modified over time by immigrants to the Oregon Territory. The elevations in this region range from 5700 feet at the source of the North Fork, 2800 feet where the South Fork joins to make up the main branch, and finally at 1600 feet where it enters the Grande Ronde at Troy. Over geologic time the river carved shear-walled basalt canyons from a high-elevation plateau. The National Forest Service Management Plan (2015) describes the landscape as “Ponderosa pine dominates the lower drainages, then transitions into a forest of lodgepole pine above about 4,500 feet, with some larch, fir, and spruce. Subalpine fir reigns supreme at the highest elevations, with native grasses and forbs covering the ground. Rocky Mountain elk thrive in this area, which seasonally attracts more hunters than hikers. Rattlesnakes are sometimes seen and mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars, bobcats, and snowshoe hares are present. Also present, though rarely seen, are bighorn sheep that inhabit the area.” 

Of course, the magazine piece came with some warnings not usually noted on eastern rivers- beware of cougars, wolves, rattlesnakes, and bears. Since we are talking black bears here, I wasn’t too concerned unless it was a mother with cubs, but rattlesnakes, wolves, and cougars were out of my wheelhouse, and I contemplated an expanding concern. But what is life without a few risky adventures, so not too long ago an early September journey led me to crease a map to get to some delectable Idaho fishing in the Selway Wilderness before dropping down to the town of Troy, where the Wenaha action culminates. I rented a tiny rustic cabin whose charm was surpassed by the number of cobwebs a solitary spider could weave in a space containing only a bed, kitchen, and rudimentary bath. It served as a base camp for three days while I explored an outdoor paradise in the off-season after Labor Day and before the Steelheaders invaded. Seems that summer steelhead runs begin in late September and various hunting seasons in October are the main draw for outdoor types in that region. Spring brings runoff and high water for whitewater enthusiasts. Summer can be quite warm, reducing fishing opportunities on the Grande Ronde to smallmouth bass, while the trout in the river head up the cooling Wenaha.

According to those who have studied such things, the fishing opportunities on the Wenaha include bull trout (C&R), redband rainbows, and whitefish as the primary coldwater gamefish. As I mentioned, some of the rainbows can get quite large, but as it turns out, they are quite migratory and are hit-and-miss action most seasons. I don’t know anybody who treks to the wilderness for whitefish, but if that’s your game, well then, by all means, have at it.

I decided that the easiest entry into the Wenaha watershed was the trailhead just outside of Troy. Early September is still quite warm in the region, but the Wenaha Valley is shaded and combined with the stream flow, is cooler than the surrounding rangeland along the high ridges. I decided to throw my waders over my shoulder and walk in with hiking boots, as I was not sure how far up the trail I needed to traverse before I could access the stream. Blue elderberry was mingled among the conifers on the trail as I headed upstream, looking for a place to drop down to the river. The hike was a combination of keeping my eyes close to the ground on the lookout for rattlesnakes while turning around every so often to make sure I wasn’t being stalked by a cougar. I’m told that they pounce on the backs of prey and try to snap their neck all in one motion. Instant death if you will. It’s something I was not particularly relishing as part of a fishing trip bargain. I have a sturdy branch made from a Douglas Fir that I carved into a useful wading staff and clutched it firmly during the hike in. The instrument was to serve two purposes on the trail, to nudge any rattlers that got too close, and to beat off any attacking cougar, should I be so unfortunate.

I can’t exactly say that this was my first wandering into potentially dangerous habitat. In my early twenties, I hiked my share of terrain in the badlands of North Philadelphia and the drug-infested Hunting Park neighborhood in the City of Brotherly Love. Your approach mirrors the same level of caution, looking ahead for safe passage and always glancing behind to make sure you’re not being followed by less-than-desirable natives on the lookout for an easy mark. These were the days before my forays to trout streams and rolling hills, where self-preservation took on heightened importance in places where I wouldn’t recommend a casual stroll today, with or without a sturdy hiking staff. So yeah, the cougars, bears, and rattlesnakes offered a nostalgic glimpse of a life once lived, blending in a bit better in more appealing surroundings, with a survival rate for this angler about the same. High, but still chancy.

The path started along the ridgeline in a westward direction and made a gradual descent toward the stream. The strong western sun soon became filtered by the conifers about one hundred yards down the trail. About a mile in, I could hear the river, and even smell it, in the dry, still air before I could catch a glimpse. As I proceeded, an opening appeared that allowed my descent on the crusty dry soil that held a composite of grasses, dead tree limbs, and the occasional shrub. There it was before me. The Wenaha. The descriptor ‘mighty’ would be both insulting to the river and any honest writer. Back in Pennsylvania, a stream this size might better be described as a ‘crick.’ It was about twenty to twenty-five feet wide with a modest flow around stove-sized boulders and small sweepers, often punctuated with grassy islands and long gravel bars. At low flow season, before any anadromous species were to enter the system, the cool waters likely held trout and whitefish. Instead of dropping down right away, I pressed forward on the path, hoping to get deeper into the forest where it would be less likely that a stray angler might drop a line. Another two hundred yards along the path, I made a panoramic gaze, checking one last time for any danger that might wreck my highly anticipated descent to the stream. The path eventually led to an opening within fifteen feet of the stream, where I could shuffle side-step to the water’s edge. 

Sitting on the trunk of a fallen tree, I put on my waders, slapped the reel onto my rod, and crept into the ankle-deep flow. This was it. Wilderness nirvana. From the magazine pages to a cross-country journey that led eventually to an infrequently visited backcountry stream, I began lusting for those eighteen inchers that are often promised, but only sometimes delivered. Bumping along the cobble until I was mid-stream, I poked around in my fly box for my go-to’s in hatchless situations, I selected a brace of weighted wets that would imitate caddis emergers tumbling amongst the stream bottom before lifting in the current. As I pulled them out to tie on, a wasp landed on my wrist. I quickly brushed it off when another one landed on my arm. Shaking it loose, I continued tying when a third wasp landed on my face. Becoming a little annoyed, I glanced at the water in front of me, only to see a half dozen more wasps dipping into the surface of the riffle, drinking, and then flying off. I immediately recalled a chapter in Charles Fox’s book This Wonderful World of Trout where he describes discovering a ‘wasp hatch’ in a summer outing on a Cumberland Valley stream, only to have to invent a wasp fly to match the hatch before his return to land a big brown feeding on them. Though I did not have a wasp fly in my fly box (how many anglers do?), my situation was different. No trout were taking these wasps. In this arid landscape, the Wenaha presented the only opportunity for this insect to quench its thirst, and I had been nothing more than a convenient launching station before they dove to the water’s surface for a long drink. While they were annoying, and I was a bit apprehensive by their presence, a quick flick of the hand or shake of the wrist sent them on their way. I only became a bit concerned when they landed on my face, though they were mission-focused and maybe never saw another human in their brief wilderness lives. On the danger scale, their presence never rose to the level of angry black bear, hungry mountain lion, or a marauding gang at 18th and Diamond but if a swarm suddenly started attacking it could certainly approach the seriousness of a rattlesnake bite, especially if you are one of those people who suffer life-threatening anaphylaxis from insect bites. And just a note, you’re quite a few miles from the nearest urgent care center.

Setting up a two-fly system, I began to explore the deeper pockets in front of me. First cast resulted in a quick take and release. More casts offered the same pattern of grabs and runs, Thinking I was pulling the fly too quickly, I let the fish swim with the fly a bit before yanking back the rod tip. The technique worked. A six-inch rainbow fluttered across the stream’s surface as I pulled it towards me. Waving off wasps as I moved downstream towards deeper holes and hidden undercuts, I tagged fish after fish, sometimes two on one cast. The trouble was, the Wenaha was fishing like a sardine factory. Four to six-inch rainbows wildly attacked my flies at every likely piece of water. I kept moving downstream, hoping that lower in the watershed would yield better results, but the wasps and the small trout were my only gifts that afternoon. Eventually, the wasp hatch petered out but my scouting never produced a hefty fish.

            My biggest trout was probably nine inches, and the best news I can offer you is that you won’t need a professional beekeeper’s suit to keep yourself free of unwanted piercings. There may be eighteen-inch rainbows somewhere in that river, but they eluded me. I will disclose to you that the Grande Ronde, a much bigger river than the Wenaha, does hold some sizeable rainbows downstream of the mouth of the smaller river, so if big fish are your game, it’s still worth the trip to that remote part of Oregon. If you are ever thinking of wandering up the Wenaha at that time of year, add water-thirsty wasps to the list of dangers you could encounter in that rugged wilderness journey.

Helpful links:

https://www.rivers.gov/river/wenaha

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/umatilla/recarea/?recid=56893

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy,_Oregon

Posted in Eastern Oregon, Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Travel, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips | Leave a comment

Diamond Lake Fly Fishing Report May 2024

 I took a break from the local reservoirs and fished Diamond lake 5/23 and 5/24 with my dad, and the fishing was good! The lake is shaping up well will water temp in the mid 50’s, and we had a strong chironomid hatch along with callibaetis making an appearance. We started the morning anchored in 6-8ft of water.  Fishing indicator rigs with leeches, chironomids, and bloodworms caught fish. With the wind calm in the morning, using a two-chironomid set up under the indicator was effective. When the wind comes up a bit towards noon, using a balanced leech on the point and a chironomid dropper will help anchor the rig in the waves a little better. The most effective sinking lines used were an intermediate, and a type 3. Minnow patterns, wooly buggers and leeches were the ticket for us on these lines. About that wind…. Generally, the conditions are the nicest the first half of the day, but the wind usually arrives around noon. It can make indicator tactics unpractical.  The balanced leech will mitigate the generated current to an extent, but I’ve learned to go with it. Loche style fishing is a great option in the wind. Pulling anchor, drifting with the wind and casting ahead of the boat and retrieving your flies back to the boat is extremely effective and a somewhat underutilized stillwater tactic in the U.S. It is often used with a drogue(think of it as an underwater parachute to slow the boat). While you can fish without a drogue I recommend getting one. It helps slow and steady the boat allowing you to fish a more controlled drift. Throwing ahead of the boat as opposed to trolling is the key to this technique. While trolling has caught many many fish, this technique allows you to cover the water, and for the fish to see the fly BEFORE the boat. A huge advantage, especially when fishing shallow water. While we fished Loche style the same intermediate and type 3 lines were sufficient. Flies used: chironomids and bloodworms in assorted colors, sizes 18-12. Balanced leeches size 10-8. Wooly buggers, minnow patterns, leeches and attractor patterns in sizes 10-6. Stop by the shop and gear up for your next Stillwater adventure! 

Adison Rook

Check out Adison’s Stillwater trip offerings here: Stillwater

Posted in Fishing Reports, Oregon High Lakes | Leave a comment

Long Tom Watershed Council Carp Festival

The Long Tom Watershed Council will be hosting their first annual Carp Festival at West Kirk Park near Fern Ridge Dam on Saturday, June 1, from 8:30am-3:30pm.

It is free fishing weekend so no angling licenses are needed, and ODFW will be there with loaner rods and gear for targeting common carp as well as the other species. There are a variety of options for fishing in close proximity to the park: Kirk Pond, the Long Tom River, and Fern Ridge Lake. Other species available include the native cutthroat trout, largemouth bass, crappie, and bullhead catfish.

We just found a local father and son duo that targets carp on the fly in these water bodies and they will be on-hand throughout the day to discuss the flies and gear they use to catch carp. There will be food and drinks available for purchase (proceeds support LTWC!) and Bruce Koike, of Little Pond Nature Prints, will be there throughout the day to help people make Gyotaku fish prints. There will also be talks about the ecology of the Long Tom Watershed and other conservation issues. Come help us celebrate the unheralded waters and fish of the Long Tom Watershed!

For more info contact: Jed Kaul  Fish Biologist & Aquatic Program Manager | Long Tom Watershed Council 11 East 27th Avenue | Eugene, OR 97405-3613 Office: 541-654-8965, ext. 102

Posted in Oregon fly fishing links, Oregon Weekend Fishing Forecast | Leave a comment

Late May 2024 Local Fishing Report

Our local waters are shaping up for great summer dry fly fishing. The water is a little bit high, but is dropping into its summer flows which will persist until fall. There are loads of bugs out including PMDs, Green Drakes, Green Caddis, Gold Stones, and Yellow Sallys. Fishing a Dry Dropper is a great way to cover both bases and search on the surface and subsurface simultaneously

Rainy days are especially great for a Green Drake hatch

Green Drakes are hatching in abundance, especially on overcast days: here are some shop Favorites: Film Critic Green Drake #10, Stalcup’s Green Drake #10-12, or a DJL Green Drake #10-12. For Gold Stones we like: Advanced Stimmy Yellow #8-12, Bareback Gold Stone #6, Yellow Stimulator #10, or the flies listed below for dry droppers. PMD’s we like a variety of: Tactical Cahill #16, Sparkle Flag PMD #16, Almost Dun PMD #16, or a Rusty Spinner #16-18. Lastly Green Mckenzie Caddis are out in full force, try these: Green Caddis #12 or a CDC Green Caddis #12.

Searching with a Dry Dropper is a fantastic way to locate fish, and is a rig that you can use all day. Good dries for your rig include: Chubby Chernobyl: Gold #8-12, Gold Stone Water Walker #8, or a Gold Stone Fluttering Stone #8. Choice Droppers include: Weiss’s Possum Anchor #12-14, Dally’s Tailwater Jig #14, TJ Hooker #10-12, Frenchie #12.

Gold Stone shucks can be found all over the banks.

Nymphing is still productive if dries aren’t producing. Fish a larger stone in tandem with something smaller. For larger options try these: Tungsten Trout Retriever #8, Jigged Girdle Bug #10-12, or a Pat’s Rubber Legs #8-10. For smaller options try these Olsen’s Blowtorch #16, Sens’ Improved 20 Incher #12, or a Double Down Pheasant Tail #14.

This Green Drake was taking a rest in my garden

Swinging wets this time of year is extremely productive for the Green Caddis hatch and PMDs. For Green Caddis try: Sens’ McKenzie Wet #12, Mckenzie Wet #12, or Biot Swimmer Green Caddis #14. For PMDs try these: Light Cahill Wet #14, Soft Emerger PMD #14, or a Soft Hackle Thorax Bead Orange #16.

Swing by the shop if you need anything, we are happy to help. Have fun out there!

Check out our Instagram for other updates as well!

-Simon

Posted in Fishing Reports, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Willamette Valley Guided Stillwater Fly Fishing

We now offer guided stillwater fly fishing trips. Guide Adison Rook has been exploring fly fishing opportunities in local reservoirs and lakes for several years now, and he is ready to share. Adison utilizes modern fly tactics to successfully target multiple species. These trips offer a diverse fishing experience for the angler, with the opportunity for both bass and trout in a single session. Some of these bodies of water offer “by catch”, from Bull trout to Crappie. Half, and full day trips are possible, depending on client availability and best fishing times. Full day trips include snacks, lunch, and drinks. Lunch on a full day can be a sandwich you munch in between casts or a shoreside BBQ. All flies and fishing gear are provided on these trips. Anglers only need to bring a fishing license, the clothes you are comfortable fishing in for the given conditions, and a pair of polarized sunglasses. These trips offer a variety of fishing techniques from dries to indicators, loch style fishing to anchored up with sinking lines, depending on the season and location. At the moment these trips are for one angler only.  

Book your trip today, and discover underutilized waters that have potential to put you on fish that you didn’t even know were on our radar! These trips are available from February-July depending on the year. Call the shop at 541-505-8061 to reserve your date.

Pricing: $450 Full Day $300 Half Day $50 Military Discount is available.

Areas we go for Stillwater trips include the following.

Lookout Point Reservoir – This body of water has poor trout fishing, but it can offer excellent smallmouth bass fishing with little fishing pressure. Smallmouth gravitate to indicator rigs, and sinking lines are utilized in this Reservoir. 20-50 fish days are possible with the right conditions. We catch the occasional long nose sucker, crappie, largemouth,  and walleye swim in these waters so it’s a real possibility that you can stick one on a fly!

Hills Creek Reservoir – Quite possibility our troutiest option of all. With a higher elevation than most of our local reservoirs, and a stocking program, this place holds up better than most other local stillwater trout fisheries. This Reservoir is a steep canyon reservoir,  sinking lines reign supreme.  Very limited shoal area means a limited opportunity to fish indicator rigs.  There are some areas of the lake to fish indicators, but plan on this trip being mostly sinking line oriented. “By catch” here includes landlocked Chinook salmon,  crappie, largemouth bass,  and we’ve even had Bull Trout eat our flies while pursuing these stocked trout.

Dorena Reservoir: A balanced option for trout and bass, both largemouth and smallmouth. This reservoir has the potential to fish a variety of techniques in a day as well pending on conditions. It can offer quality class fish. There is a variety of habitat to prospect, as this reservoir offers everything from bluff walls for smallmouth to some shoal area with trout and largemouth.

Cottage Grove Reservoir: We have an absolute sleeper in our backyard here in the Willamette valley.  A truly unique opportunity. Cottage Grove Reservoir was known for quality largemouth bass for years. And it still produces quality largemouth today. But these fish  have been displaced by the Spotted Bass. This is one of two reservoirs in the state you can pursue these fish. These fish are much more susceptible to eat small flies than largemouth, but their growth rate far surpasses that of a smallmouth.  These fish grow big! Fish to 5 pounds are pretty common,  with many fish 2-3 pounds the norm.  We catch the majority of these fish on indicator rigs, with some opportunities for poppers and sinking lines. This reservoir has trout, with largemouth along with some huge crappie as by catch. This fishery is a rare opportunity to catch a fish you’ve probably never even heard of before. 

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel, Oregon fly fishing links, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips, Oregon Warmwater Fly Fishing | 2 Comments

Summer Steelhead in the Willamette Basin

It’s been a few years since we have seen a hatchery summer steelhead run with any consequential numbers. 2024 looks to buck the trend with 7,000 and counting fin clipped, ready for the BBQ, summer fish.

If the counts on the chart above continue as they did 2000-2017, we could see a really good number of summer steelhead in both the McKenzie, and Willamette Rivers. Fish are currently spread out a bit, moving through the system with spring flows. We have found them in the “town run” on the Willamette near Eugene, the lower McKenzie, the upper ( above Leaburg) McKenzie, and in the Middle Fork of the Willamette from Dexter Dam down to Island Park in Springfield. These fish will take a swung fly nicely, and we have you covered with proven patterns like Sen’s Sylvenator, M.O.A.L Leeches, Marabou Tubes and more. A short sink tip will easily ply the buckets of the Willamette, as the water drops a floating line is just fine. 5-7wt two handers and 6-7wt single handed rods handle these fish. Fluoro tippet in 1x gets the job done, or you can use good old Maxima 12lbs and reef on them all you want.

The water is in perfect shape to fish the Willamette in town, and the rest of the basin’s rivers are steadily dropping and warming. May and beyond are a great time to get out there and catch a summer steelhead.

Happy Memorial Day

Posted in Fishing Reports, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing, Summer Steelhead | Leave a comment

Winter Perdigon Fly Pattern

In this video, Greg ties a winter perdigon fly pattern that is small and heavy to get down to the fish that typically hold in the deeper pools during the cold winter months.

Inspired by Amy Hazel’s Super Woman fly pattern, this color combination is great for fall, winter, and spring trout in the Sierra and west coast rivers.

Use it with a strike indicator setup or Euro nymphing setup and let us know how they work for you.

Hook: Fulling Mills Jig Force Size 20
Bead: Tungstern 2.8mm Silver
Thread: Danville Fly Master Plus 6/0 Orange
Tail: CDL Brown
Body: Veevus Holographic Tinsel Med. Blue
Hot Spot: Solarez Black
Adhesive: Loon UV Flow

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Skwopper” Skwala/Hopper: Dry Fly Tutorial

In this video, Simon ties a versatile dry fly which makes a great searching pattern in the Spring and Fall. Skwalas are spring stoneflies that, if you time it right, trout can go nuts for. The further East you go from out home in the Willammette Valley, the more relevant these insects become. The Yakima up North gets a significant hatch, along with the Owyhee and the Bitterroot out East. We do see some skwalas here in the valley each Spring, so having some can make for a great searching pattern with a dropper on a nice Spring day. The issue with some flies is that they are single use for one hatch. This fly aims to solve that issue and can double as a hopper in the fall. There is nothing worse than loading you box up with one type of insect which hatches for a short window, and then those flies take up space in your box until next year. During the fall any leftover Skwoppers make a great searching pattern during hopper season. The fly is suggestive of a hopper or skwala and is buoyant enough to run a hopper below. The hackle can also be trimmed when you want it to ride lower. Colors and sizes can be adjusted based on your fishery’s needs.

Skwopper

Hook- Ahrex 570 Dry Long: Size 8

Thread- Semperfli Olive Nanosilk: 50D

Eggsack- Hareline Senyo’s Fusion Dub: Midnight & Hareline Ice Dub: Peacock

Dubbing- Hareline Microfine Dry Dubbing: Sulphur Yellow & BWO Grey Olive

Foam- Hareline 2mm Hi-Float Foam: Hopper Tan

Legs- Montana Fly Company Small Barred Sexi-Floss: Olive

Hackle- Whiting Saddle: Grizzly Dyed Olive

Wing- Dyed Deer Body Hair: Olive

Resin- Solarez Bone Dry

Bobbin- Stonfo Steeltech Bobbin

Additional Tools/Materials- Dr Slick Hair Stacker & Hareline Overton’s Wonder Wax

Vise- Renzettti Traveler 2304

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Molalla and Umpqua Bass Bashes June 2024

Join us on Saturday, June 22nd

on the Molalla or the Umpqua

for a bashing good time!

Join us for an exciting weekend of conservation and fishing fun! On Saturday, June 22nd, the Native Fish Society invites you to participate in either our third annual Umpqua Bass Bash, or our inaugural Molalla Bass Bash! Whether you’re in Southern or Northern Oregon, there’s bass to be caught by all. Umpqua Bass Bash Details:

After two fantastic years, we’re expanding the Umpqua Bass Bash to accommodate more participants for a weekend filled with fun. Hosted at Tyee Campground on the Umpqua River, this event will help remove smallmouth bass from the river while raising awareness about the impact of invasive species on native fish and the ecosystem.

  • What: Third Annual Umpqua Bass Bash
  • When: Saturday, June 22nd
  • Where: Tyee Campground, Umpqua River, OR

We’ve reserved 12 campsites at Tyee Campground for Friday, June 21st, and Saturday, June 22nd. Feel free to stay overnight and make the most of the weekend!

On June 22nd, participants will enjoy a day of fishing for smallmouth bass, informative presentations about native fish conservation, raffle prizes, and delicious food. Even if you can only join us for the day, we’d love to see you there. Please register to let us know you’re coming, so we can plan accordingly.

Molalla Bass Bash Details:

For the first time, we’re also bringing our bass bash event closer to Portland, specifically to the Molalla River. Starting from Canby Community Park, we’ll fish to remove smallmouth bass and raise awareness about their negative impact on native fish and the Molalla River.

Similar to the Umpqua event, the Molalla Bass Bash promises a day of fishing, informative presentations, raffle prizes, and tasty food. Register now to secure your spot and help us make a positive impact on the river.

Save the Date: Mark your calendars for June 22nd and get ready for a fun day of fishing and conservation. Stay tuned for more details coming soon!

If you have any questions or need more information about these events, don’t hesitate to reach out to NFS Northern Oregon Coordinator Liz Perkin at liz@nativefishsociety.org for Molalla details, or NFS Southern Oregon Coordinator Kirk Blaine at kirk@nativefishsociety.org for Umpqua details.

We hope you’ll join us!

Kirk Blaine

Southern Oregon Coordinator 

kirk@nativefishsociety.org 

Dr. Liz Perkin

Northern Oregon Coordinator

liz@nativefishsociety.org

Posted in Oregon Conservation News, Oregon Fly Fishing Clubs and Events, Oregon fly fishing links, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips, Oregon Warmwater Fly Fishing, Southern Oregon | Leave a comment

Hendricks Bridge Boat Ramp Closure

Hendricks Bridge Boat Ramp closure starting 05-13-24

From Lane County Parks

I’m reaching out to inform you about an urgent matter regarding debris cleanup at Hendricks Bridge. As you may know, it served as the staging area for debris collection after the recent ice storm. It’s imperative that we prioritize the removal of this debris before the onset of fire season.

I received notification this morning that Lane Forest Products will need to be in the park with a tub grinder starting Monday to assist with the cleanup efforts. Unfortunately, this means that the boat ramp will need to be closed during the week to accommodate their work. They have assured us that the ramp will be open during the weekends, but it will need to be closed again the following week.

I understand that this closure comes at an inconvenient time, especially during the fishing season, and I apologize for any inconvenience it may cause. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Posted in Fishing Reports, McKenzie River, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Local Waters on the Drop – Fishing Improving

Quite a few McKenzie Green Caddis out this afternoon. PMD’s, Brown Caddis and a few late March Browns were on the water after 2pm. The high cold water is beginning to dissipate, look for hungry fish to start looking up more. Dry fly fishing has been tough, but later in the day more fish are active on the surface. This trend is only going to improve! Have fun out there.

Posted in Fishing Reports, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing | Leave a comment

Early May Fishing Report 2024

High water and cold water temps have been the norm of late. Fishing has still held up on the McKenzie River near Eugene. Blips of sunshine have shown what’s to come. Pale Morning Duns, Green McKenzie Caddis, stonefly adults, Little Yellow Stones and assorted caddis have been emerging. With the nice weather to come, we should see a lot more in terms of hatches in the near term.

Water temps have remained really cold. During the day water temps move up and fishing has been best between 1-6pm. Once the current “melt off” related to all the recent rains pushes through, we will see temps move up, and remain more stable. Temps in the 46-51 range give us more productive fishing the entire day.

Levels seem to have crested so look for lower water in the days ahead.

Nymphing remains the most productive method. Make sure you have black and brown stonefly nymphs, and get them near the bottom. It’s time to start thinking hopper dropper over pure strike indicator set-ups as fish will smash a big salmon or golden stonefly. Have fun out there!

Posted in Fishing Reports, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing | Leave a comment