Lower McKenzie Boat Ramps to Re-Open Today

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All ramps on the lower McKenzie with the exception of Hayden Bridge are now open! March Brown hatches have been really good mid day. Water levels are excellent. Get out there and enjoy!

More on the re-opening here: http://klcc.org/post/boat-ramps-mckenzie-river-re-open-friday

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

Product Review: Keough Pastel Flat Wing Saddles

I am very impressed with these Keough Pastel Flat Wing saddle patches both with respect to the pastel colors offered and the length and suppleness of the individual feathers.

I spoke of these for both Deceiver and flat wing style flies in this video, realizing that generally the flat wing fly would be best tied with feathers that have a fine supple stem, while deceivers might be better tied with feathers that have firm stems.

These feathers definitely have slender flexible stems, but I have confidence that the shorter feathers will work on my smaller deceivers also.

We have a good supply of all colors now and hope that we will continue to have these.

The pastel colors are especially attractive!

JN

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Cedar Lodge Summer 2018 Season Comes to a Close

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Cyclone Fehi was followed by Gita and Hola, all leaving the South Island with more than enough water this “summer”. New Zealand rivers are known for being clear, but flush them out with massive amounts of sediment laden water and you get a river bottom with a “polished” finish. We wear rubber soled wading boots for hiking/walking and to limit transmission of microbials. Rubber soled wading boots are not as sticky as felt, but post water events this year they were as sticky as aluminum. The damage to the rivers all over the South Island was immense. Massive piles of debris were in parking areas hundreds of feet from the rivers normal bed. Ancient trees stripped of bark and dislodged were twenty feet above you as you walked the rivers. Trees ripped from their homes and placed in between gigantic boulders above the high water mark. The fact that any fish were able to hang on was incredible. Add in a very sub-par cicada season and you have the makings for a late summer struggle in terms of catching fish.

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We did have a few nice days, and we did catch fish despite tough conditions. Day after day you expected to see more fish. We knew fish would come back with some stability. The problem with late summer of 2018 at Cedar Lodge is that we really never had any water stability. It was one flush or high water event after another. You got the sense that there were about 20% of the normal numbers of the fish around.

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We had some really understanding guests and some that even took time out to to other things like shoot dinner!

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Eternal optimism has me excited for next season. A fresh slate for bugs and fish to proliferate in their new environments usually means good things!

I got a chance to use and loan out some new gear this season. Notes below.

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The new Winston Air was a fantastic all round trout fishing rod especially in the six weight. The Air has power with presentation. If you need to bang out a mid to long range cast you can, while maintaining a very “Winston” rod tip. A rod tip that helps present light tippets and feel every quiver of the fish you are landing. I found the Air six weight to be very much a “true trout six”.

The Scientific Anglers Amplitude MPX line was fantastic. The Amplitude MPX loads fast action rods beautifully. We fish a lot of large dry flies and dries with short droppers, most casts are in the 35-50ft range upstream. Often there is wind in your face when trying to turn over a longish leader with two flies. The Amplitude MPX really helps in this situation. I also found it to give less experience anglers a better feel for loading a variety of rods at most “trout” distances.

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The coolest piece of gear for this year was undoubtably the new Patagonia Middle Fork Packable Waders. The Middle Fork is the perfect New Zealand wader but has so many other great applications. It’s so light you can wear it in the morning and take it off and put it in it’ pouch (about the size of a small loaf of bread) and put it in your sling or vest or day pack. It’s super tough seamless rubber booties and extra light breathable fabric make the wader the easiest wader to get on and off on the planet. Wearing the wader is like not wearing waders, they are that light. It you are traveling and want a compact pair of waders the Middle Fork Packable is the way to go. For summer wading and boating when you just need to hop out and fish a run these are perfect. I did not bush wack (“Oregon Coast style”) in these a bunch but we did slide down banks, hike and crash through some brush. Zero issues with seams or pin holes so far. Patagonia has it’s breathable fabric down and the seamless bootie technology is really comfortable. Do take a close look at these waders.

CD

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Mckenzie Report: Ramp Clousure/ Spring Break Update

Oil on McKenzie

From an article posted yesterday in The Register Guard, this is the very latest on boat ramp closures:

Jack Moran
The Register-Guard
March 24, 2018

International Paper will clean a 2-mile-long pipe from which hydraulic oil spilled into the McKenzie River last week, state Department of Environmental Quality officials said Friday.
DEQ officials said it became clear that the entire pipe needed to be cleaned with high-­pressure water jets, after a series of test operations showed that flow rates from the pipe could not be increased to normal levels without creating a sheen on the river near Hayden Bridge.

The oil-tarnished pipe — which typically discharges treated wastewater into the river — should be cleaned by sometime early next week, DEQ officials said. They said the cleaning process will produce water that vacuum trucks recover and take to the mill for treatment.
No water from the pipe will empty into the river during cleaning, according to the DEQ, which will oversee testing of the pipe after cleaning is completed.
DEQ officials consider the incident an unauthorized spill that isn’t covered by the mill’s discharge permit. An investigation is continuing.

Meanwhile, Lane County on Friday reopened the Bellinger and Hendricks Bridge boat ramps upstream from the oil spill site.
County officials opened the ramps after floating barriers — which have been used to absorb and contain the oil — were removed at the spill site, which is just 800 feet downstream from the Eugene Water & Electric Board’s water intake facility. EWEB uses the river for Eugene’s water but said last week’s spill resulted in no threat to drinking water that serves the area.
While the river is now open to boat traffic, the Hayden Bridge boat ramp remains closed until further notice, county officials said. They cautioned boaters to steer clear of other equipment that still is in the river near the spill site.

March 24, 2018

It is also rumored that the March Brown hatch has relocated itself above and below Hayden boat ramp area! Anglers should be aware the March Brown hatch is well underway and fishing above has been good! With warmer weather and sunny skies predicted early next week, its a sure bet the hatch will be very good.

Also, the middle fork and main stem of the Willamette will be a good bet for anglers. Keep a keen eye on all river levels as recent rain and snow will cause an increase in flows but once they drop….the fishing should be quite good.

For those seeking chrome, reports have been fair for late arriving winter steelhead on coastal streams. A great time to swing!

LV

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

New Aqua Flies Fly Tying Materials Video Review

We have some new products coming out from Aqua Flies that we are excited to have here in the store. In this video, Jay goes over some of the new Intruder Eyes, Shanks, and Hooks from Aqua Flies.

Swing Hooks

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Round Eye Shanks

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Return Eye Shanks

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Intruder Eyes

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orange-intruder-eyes

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Celebrate World Water Day in Eugene with Ninkasi on Thursday

Have you thought about water today?

It may be among the first things you reach for in the morning: to drink, to shower, to cook. But when’s the last time you took a moment to really appreciate clean and abundant water? Or maybe water is something you think about every day, and wish other people understood better. This Thursday, March 22, is a day for you!

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March 22 is World Water Day. Here in Oregon, people are gathering to show we love the water that we depend on — and that countless species of fish and wildlife share, too.

Over 200,000 people rely on the clean, abundant water of the McKenzie River as their sole source of drinking water.

Celebrate World Water Day in Eugene!

Join us on Thursday, March 22 from 5-8pm at The Bier Stein for Pints for a Cause with Ninkasi Brewing and The Bier Stein.

On March 22, for every Ninkasi bottle, can, or draught beer sold at The Bier Stein, Ninkasi will donate $1 to McKenzie River Trust – all day long. The Bier Stein will match Ninkasi’s donation up to $500! On draught: Believer, Yours Truly, Dry Irish Stout, and Prismatic. And from 5 to 8pm when you make a donation to McKenzie River Trust ($5 minimum), Ninkasi will make you a custom hat!

See you at The Bier Stein on March 22 from 5-8pm for a special World Water Day edition of Ninkasi Pints for a Cause! More details and RSVP.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Taking my Saltwater Virginity

I get it now.

Throughout my life, I have been told an undisputed truth from more-experienced fly fisherman than myself: That nothing compares to pursuing fish in the salt. It took me 24 years to step onto my first ocean flat, and now I’m left wondering what took me so long.

This past fall, Sterling and I were researching where our winter trip should take us this year. We wanted to do a DIY saltwater trip; preferably a place where we could settle in for a few weeks and spend our time exploring with 8 weights, hammocks, and boxes full of shrimp and crab flies. After weeks of research and communicating with our more-experienced friends and colleagues, we decided on a place known as Long Island in the Bahamas.

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The Bahamas consists of over 700 islands

The Bahamas consists of over 700 islands

Long Island is, well, long. 80 miles to be exact; however, it is only a few miles wide. With the Caribbean to the west and the Atlantic to the east, you are truly flanked by two significant yet totally unique global bodies of water. Only about 5,000 humans inhabit this piece of land, with a majority of the population in the northern half of the island compared to the wild and largely undeveloped south. Electricity was introduced to Long Island only 20 years ago, and there is one paved road here: The Queens Highway, which runs north to south from top to bottom. Along the way, rough dirt roads carved out of dense forests of Love Vine, Silver Palm Tree, and Madera stretch east and west, beckoning the curious angler or adventurous soul to come have a look at where they may lead.

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Locked & Loaded

Locked & Loaded

Long Island offers the flats angler a variety of fish to catch, and the likelihood of certain species changes with the seasons. We were there in February, and bonefish, barracuda, snapper, jacks, ladyfish, and sharks were viable targets. As you approach late spring, permit and tarpon have been known to swim around as well. Overall, the island lends itself best to the fisherman targeting bones.

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Ocean flats and creek systems that can be accessed on foot scatter the coastline from top to bottom on both sides of the island. The characteristics of the fishing areas vary widely, from sandy flats as far as the eye can see to small, intimate lagoons where a pair of bonefish may be feasting voraciously before the tide goes out and their outlet to the sea becomes a land barrier. This contrast of water is so enticing—no flat is the same and each must be approached with a plan in mind and your eyes and flies always at the ready.

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What blew me away about this place is the beauty and serenity that surrounds you at all times. The beaches are mesmerizing, the marine life is plentiful, and as a friend we met on the island so perfectly put it, “turn down any road on Long Island and I guarantee something cool will be going on.”

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The traveller expands their horizons externally while unknowingly growing internally as well. So far in my life I have made an effort to look at the world through the eye of a fly rod, and interestingly enough, it isn’t the fish that have stuck with me. It’s the realization that in the midst of a world that so often feels consumed with hate and violence, places like Long Island exist. Places where everyone you pass waves and you can step out onto a beach or flat and feel alone in the best way possible. So, just as I said two years ago after my first international fly fishing foray to New Zealand: I’m so screwed. I keep making it harder and harder to return to my beloved Oregon and settle back into reality. To be honest though, I’ve realized that my goal in life is to keep screwing myself over.

Stay tuned for part II: Belize,
Andy Archer

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel | Leave a comment

Spring Flies that catch fish on the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers 2018

With trout fishing starting to kick back into gear we wanted to put together a quick video showing some of the flies that are working well on the Mckenzie and Willamette right now.

Nymphs
Mega Prince #6 #8 and #10
Silvey’s Soft Serve #12 and #14
Beaded Pheasant Tail #12 and #14
Pheasant Tail #12 and #14

Dry Flies
Parachute Adams #8 #10 and #12
Morish March Brown #13
Western March Browns #12 and #14

Posted in Fishing Reports, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing, Oregon Weekend Fishing Forecast | Leave a comment

Oil spill prompts closure of three McKenzie River boat ramps

From the Register Guard:

SPRINGFIELD — Authorities on Wednesday shut down three boat ramps along the McKenzie River and warned the public to avoid the water while crews assess and clean up a 200-gallon hydraulic oil spill about 800 feet downstream from the Eugene ­Water & Electric Board’s drinking ­water intake at Hayden Bridge.

State Department of Environmental Quality officials said people should stay away from a seven-mile stretch of the river between Hayden Bridge in northeast Springfield and Armitage Park west of Interstate 5, just outside the Eugene city limits.

Authorities — who said the oil flowed into the river from the nearby International Paper mill — were working Wednesday to assess the shoreline for any wildlife impacts.

Meanwhile, Lane County officials announced the temporary but indefinite closure of the Hayden Bridge, Bellinger and Hendricks Bridge boat ramps. “The presence of booms in the river and other obstructions related to the cleanup effort pose a safety hazard for boats,” Lane County sheriff’s search and rescue coordinator Jason Bowman said.

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EWEB relies on the McKenzie River as Eugene’s water source. An agency spokesman said officials have determined there is no threat to the area’s drinking water.

DEQ officials said an initial ­report indicated that oil had leaked into the river after a break occurred in an International Paper hydraulic line on Monday night.

International Paper officials said in a statement released Wednesday that they “have a vested interest in ­operating our mill safely and in an environmentally responsible manner” and are working closely with state ­investigators “to ensure this (type of) incident does not happen again.”

International Paper produces ­linerboard — a material used to line cardboard boxes — at its mill off 42nd Street in Springfield, south of the spill area.

A sheen on the river near Hayden Bridge was reported Tuesday. ­Officials who responded to the scene at first thought the source might have been a submerged vehicle but later learned about the hydraulic line break, DEQ spokeswoman Katherine Benenati said. Hydraulic oil from the mill is supposed to flow through a wastewater line to a treatment plant on the mill property, but the oil that ended up in the river went into a clean water line that discharges into the river, Benenati said.

International Paper shut off the line on Tuesday after being informed of the spill. The company estimated that 200 gallons of oil had entered the river, Benenati said.

“It’s hard to gauge,” she said. “Even a small amount of oil can create a really big sheen.”

Initial reports indicated that a number of dead fish were seen in the spill area, but Benenati said Wednesday that none of the ­officials involved in investigating and ­cleaning up had seen any.

She added that the DEQ is ­focused on investigating and ­cleaning the spill, and that any ­potential enforcement action would be considered at a later time.

Cleanup crews on Wednesday ­deployed EWEB equipment designed to contain and absorb the oil. EWEB spokesman Joe Harwood said his agency maintains a series of equipment trailers throughout the McKenzie watershed to be ready for spills or other emergencies that could threaten Eugene’s drinking water supply.

Posted in Fishing Reports, McKenzie River | 1 Comment

Jay’s Olive Bunny Tube Trout Streamer Fly Tying Video

In this video Jay shows us how to tie a Olive Bunny Tube Streamer tied using a Black Barred Olive Rabbit Strip on a Pro Sportfisher Classic Tube. This is an awesome fly that can be stripped and swung for Trout, Bull Trout and Bass.

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Jay’s Olive Bunny Tube Trout Streamer

Pro Sport Classic Tube (Med)
Thread: Veevus 6/0 White
Hook: Gamakatsu Glo Bug #6
Body: Speckled Chenille Gold/Black
Double Pupil Lead Eyes Sm Black/Chart
Rabbit Strip: Black Barred Olive
Flash: Pheasant Tail Ice Wing
EP Sommerlatte’s UV Blend Foxy Brush 3” Root Beer/Orange
Cone: Pro Cone X-small

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IF4 2018 in Eugene

Get your tickets for the 2018 Eugene International Film Festival! This is the 4th year running that there has been a joint effort in hosting the IF4. The IF4 Film Fest is a collection of professionally made fly fishing videos from around the globe highlighting the beauty and culture of fly fishing. This year’s line up of films is as strong as ever, and includes everything from fly fishing for Artic char in Alaska, to pursuing the rare Blue Mahseer in the jungles of Thailand, and even a film on throwing flies for Mako Sharks!

This is an exciting night of watching fly fishing films, and raffling off over $4000 in great fishing gear, art, and guided trips all as a fundraiser to aid Fly Fishing Collabrative in fighting human trafficking around the world. FFC is a non-profit based out of Portland that works within the fly fishing community to aid orphanages and safe homes that are rescuing kids from sex slavery. Last year we were able raise close to $12,000 for FFC, and we hope to blow that away this year.

This year’s raffle prizes will include several rods and reels, custom painted rod tubes, a Casey Underwood print, fly lines, Mike Marlatt tied flies, saddleback leather gear and a lot more! There will also be a silent auction from several guided trips for the local rivers as well as the N Umpqua and even Pyramid Lake. The grand prize is a custom built fly rod from True West Custom Fly Rods.

The show has sold out the last couple years so make sure to get your tickets ahead of time. Come in a get your ticket at at the shop for $15.

When: March 15th
Time: Doors open at 615, film starts at 7
Where: Wildish Theater in Springfield
Admission: $15 Buy your tickets at The Caddis Fly Angling Shop.

Website: www.flyfilmfest.com/

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

Stansberry updates: North Carolina

Hey folks, Matt Stansberry here with an update. I’ve been working behind the scenes these past few months, posting some conservation stories on the blog and keeping up with the folks fishing in my favorite Oregon watersheds. But I haven’t been posting what’s been happening on my end, and there’s a lot.

First, the family and I are living in North Carolina. We tried really hard to get back to Eugene (my wife was down to the last 2 candidates for a gig at UO… so damn close). But we’ve moved out of Cleveland, and living in the south. We’re within a roadtrip of great brook trout fishing in the Appalachians, and coastal fly fishing in the nearshore waters for seatrout and redfish.

But for right now, I’m exploring the rivers of the Piedmont with a fly rod. It’s really incredible to see clear rocky streams full of native warmwater species like the red-breasted sunfish and others. FYI, I’m convinced the Posse Bugger is the all around best fly on the planet. It’s lights out on our local river species.

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Captain Nate is still guiding and fishing Lake Erie, and we’ll plan to send updates from Ohio this summer.

In related news, I wrote a book about the wildlife of Ohio and it will be published this fall. Just wrapping up final edits, and it should be available in September.

RustBeltArcana

Hope everyone is doing great in Oregon. Miss you guys and hope to see you this summer.

-MS

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Pyramid Lake Balanced Leech Fly Tying Video

This is of course a fly that could and should be fished in many lakes and ponds, not only in Pyramid Lake and for sure this fly would fish well in rivers under an indicator too.

It will take a little time looking over the straight pins in the sewing or jewelry section of your local craft store. I got lucky on my first attempt but now I’m going to try some of the pins that have a rounded head and some with a smaller head for smaller flies and beads.

The combination of glass and brass seems nice touch adding color and sparkle and helps fill in the back side of cones if you tie with those instead of beads.

I did not specify bead size because it is terribly subjective and is relative to both hook size and angler preference and how far forward of the hook you want to run the pin.

I’ll be trying more flies on these jig hooks soon and hope to share several of the alternate options but overall this looks like a really fun way to go.

JN

Pyramid Lake Balanced Leech

Hook: Daiichi 4660 Jig #6
Thread: Danville’s 140D flat wax
Tail: Spirit River UV2Marabou olive
Flash: Ripple ice fiber minnow blend
Pin: Short pin from craft store with flat head (trim to size)
Bead: to suite hook size
2nd Bead: red glass large
Body: Dave Whitlock SLF blend mix of light and dark olive

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies | Leave a comment

March Brown Time on the McKenzie River

It’s that time of year again and we are starting to see March Brown hatches coming off the upper and lower McKenzie. Despite the cold weather Caddis Fly employees Garrett and Justin got out to get in on the action. Once the weather turns a bit more we should see a lot of healthy fish feeding on the Mckenzie and Willamette.

Posted in Fishing Reports, McKenzie River | 4 Comments

Where are all the 100lb kings? Orcas?

Interesting article on OPB yesterday about the decline of mega-Chinook. Our official position at OFFB is that the sole mammal species responsible for salmonid declines is sitting behind our keyboards. But there is some interesting stuff about orca biology here.

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A study from federal researchers in November found that orcas’ consumption of chinook salmon in the Northeast Pacific Ocean has doubled since 1975, surpassing humans’ catches, which have fallen by a third over that time.

“There is a large number of resident killer whales out there that really target chinook, and they target the large chinook,” Ohlberger said.

“As far as we can see, the killer whales are taking the older and bigger fish,” said Craig Matkin, a whale researcher with the North Gulf Oceanic Society in Homer, Alaska. Matkin, who was not involved in Ohlberger’s paper, studies Alaskan orcas’ diets.

“They’re going to go for the biggest, oiliest fish there are,” Matkin continued. “That’s chinooks.”

Salmon born in Oregon and Washington spend most of their lives out at sea, often in Alaskan waters, where orcas aplenty await.

“Our [orca] populations have increased faster than anywhere else, and they’re eating chinook from all over the place,” Matkin said.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | 1 Comment