Sunday, January 6, 2019

A New Year – New Club Officers – A New Agenda

The Walla² Fly Fishers elected new club officers on November 14, 2018.
Diane Briggs – Co-President
Judy McDole – Co-President
Tyson Kopfer – Vice President
Harold Saxby – Treasurer 
Dale McKain – Secretary / Blogmaster

On January 6th this new slate of officers came together at the home of Diane Briggs to discuss 2019.
We discussed the activities of the November 14th meeting, the distribution of funds $100 each to the Tri-States Steelheaders and the Walla Walla Christian Aid Center.
We also discussed the acquisition of Tom’s 9’ pontoon boat and the purchase of a smaller 6’ or 7’ pontoon boat for active due-paying club members' use. We talked about presenting to the club the idea of helping the Tri-States Steelheaders with their 2019 Kids’ Fishing Day at Bennington Lake. Volunteers are asked to come forward.
Discussed was an itinerary for club meeting programs, and the price it would cost the club to have Rick Hafele join us on Wednesday, February 13th – a one-time change from our usual third Wednesday of the month meetings. The monthly program itenary discussed was:

January - Sea-run Cutthroat fishing guide
February - Rick Hafele
March - Spokane Fly Fishing Women (and/or) 
Eric Hoverson - CTUIR Salmon recovery efforts
April - Grant Richie's guided Grande Ronde River trips
May - a fishing trip with Tyson Kopfer
June - a 2019 Fly Fishing Fair

Heidi Hoffer also attended this meeting and made suggestions that we create a mentoring program for novice fly fishers and fly tyers. Our program would be hands-on instructions, at a fly tying vise and/or with a fly rod in hand, not a video program of watch and talk about. This will be discussed in more detail at our January 16th meeting.

Heidi and Tyson also volunteered to upgrade our club's video, book, magazine library and develop a better system of club members to check out valuable fly fishing information.

We also hope to develop a club meeting HOSTING /  GREETING group of individuals that will WELCOME everyone attending our monthly meetings.

Diane had bought a dozen fly boxes for the club to fill (2 boxes per meeting) with flies to continue to offer a nightly Door Prize and a box for the nightly Raffle.

This meeting 
lasting about two hours, was complemented with tea, coffee and Diane's banana bread being served.

Respectfully submitted
Dale McKain

Thursday, November 15, 2018

November 14, 2018 Meeting Minutes

This evening President Dave Stemmer brought our meeting to order at 7:09.
There were 25 members and guest in attendance.

There were several items on the agenda that were to be addressed this evening:

·     Election of club Officers for 2019
·     Disbursement of $200 from June fly fishing seminar to non-profits
·     Treasurer’s report of end-of-year bank balance
·     Discussion of buying some pontoon boats for membership use
·     Recent fishing trips reports
·     Meeting program presentation -steelhead- by Dr. Chris Peery
To start the meeting President Dave opened the floor of new officer nominations, no one came forward, so the slate of member who had previously consented to take office was presented –
Diane Briggs – Co-President
Judy McDole – Co-President
Tyson Kopfer – Vice President
Harold Saxby – Treasurer
Dale McKain – Secretary / Blogmaster
All of the above had previously agreed to form a new club administration. A vote was called for on these members to be our new officers beginning 1 January 2019, and this slate of officers was passed unanimously.

Next order of business was the disbursement of $200 received from the Walla Walla Public School District for the fly fishing presentation our club members made in June for the Washington State Dept. of Education DO Seminars at Whitman College. 
Several Non-Profit organizations were under consideration. After discussion and a vote was taken, the club decided to donate locally -- $100 to the Tri-State Steelheaders’ schools classroom Salmon Recovery Program, and $100 to the Walla Walla Christian Aid Center.

Treasurer Doug Coe gave us his end-of-the-year Baker Boyer Bank balance report-
currently in our checking account we have $1539, and this evening funds received for the fly boxes raffle was $53.
Barbara won the Raffle box      --------     Robin won the Door Prize box

Secretary Dale had previously discussed with President Dave the idea of making a club purchase of 2-3 pontoon boats (shopping for the best prices) for the paid membership to have access to. It was discussed that with club fishing outing -stream fishing- was a good thing but is strung everyone out along a stream or river with little socializing, whereas -stillwater fishing- allowed member to come and go, meeting each other on the water, comparing fishing “notes” and ideas of the day’s activities. The proposal was presented to the membership this evening – all were in agreement, a vote was made and passed unanimously.
Thereafter Vice President Tom said that he had an Outcast 9’ pontoon boat that he would sale the club for $300 (a $900+ value). Dale immediately made a motion that the club buys Tom’s pontoon boat for $300. The motion was discussed ~ carried ~ voted on and passed. The 2019 club officers will now be shopping for one or two more pontoon boats in the $300 +/- price range for due paying members to use. 
Now… Let’s Go Fishing.

Heidi brought up the idea that the club create a Mentoring Program to help novice fly fishers, find a coach to get into the sport. With discussion of an outline of such a program Blogmaster Dale said he could create a listing of mentors that area wannabe fly fishers could make reference to, to gain help with their fly fishing ~ fly tying ~ where to go fishing endeavors.

Diane brought with her this evening a pair of new neoprene waders and wading boots – ladies size 7 1/2. These had been given to her, and she wished to Give them -FREE- to someone that could use them. Aimee was the lucky lady to take this wading outfit home.

Fishing Reports – Tom had recently been to Ireland fishing for Atlantic salmon. He brought back and showed us some of his flies bought there, and tonight donated a few to our fly boxes.
Brian has recently made a guided trip to the coast to fish for Sea-run Cutthroat. He reported a successful trip and ready to go again.

Tom reported that prior to his fishing trip to Ireland, he had fished the Grand Ronde River for a few days - he said he had hooked a couple of steelhead, but catching was quite slow.

PLEASE NOTE: with the very small return of steelhead this season there are a number of rivers being CLOSED to fishing for steelhead – check the most updated fishing regulations on all local river before lining up your rod, wetting your hook. Please consider Catch & Release Only if steelhead fishing this season.
11/1/2018 only 102,226 adult steelhead returning through Bonneville Dam
Our evening program was a PP presentation made by Dr. Chris Peery who is currently employed with the US Army Corp of Engineers- Walla Walla office.
For years he has studied steelhead and has his PhD. in the studies of steelhead fisheries. He has studied and advises the entire Columbia River system, with his greatest concentration on the hatchery operations of the Snake River system and that of Dworshak Dam.

Dworshak Dam and hatchery

Also discussed this evening was the ebb and flow of steelhead passage on the Columbia River system, and some of the causes for low returns, of steelhead and salmon for the past two years.

A most interesting evening spent with Dr. Peery, discussing the Salmonids of the Pacific Northwest

Dr. Chris, Thank you for your time and sharing your extensive knowledge of, and experience with our PNW steelhead fisheries.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:40.
Respectfully submitted,
Dale McKain
Club Secretary

Happy Holidays

We take a multi-Holiday Break -- our next meeting will be held at Smith's Family Restaurant on W. 9th Street in Walla Walla --
16 January 2019
6:00 pm Dinner and Social
7:00 Call-to-Order Club Business

Contact Us

~ Follow Us on Facebook ~

Dave Stemmer – President

Tom Craig – Vice President

Doug Coe – Treasurer

Dale McKain – Secretary - Blogmaster

Dave Stemmer  PROJECT HEALING WATERS Coordinator

Friday, November 2, 2018

"Working" with the Walla Walla Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter

It was late September that Secretary Dale opened the Walla² Fly Fishers email, and found an invitation from the newly organized Walla Walla Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter to come to their next meeting.

Dale contacted their chapter President Angela Williams and asked for details, and thereafter began making plans to attend the October 4th meeting – this was the Chapter’s sixth organizational meeting.

At this meeting Dale was asked if he thought the Walla² Fly Fishers would like to share our knowledge of fly fishing with this TU group. Dale says “YES”, as many TU organizations are made up of fly fishers, and in many cases the local fly fishing club and the TU chapter are one and the same, or work very closely with each other in their pursuit of enhancing wild cold water fisheries. Dale was then asked if he could coordinate with the Walla² Fly Fishers to have a fly tying evening with the membership of the Walla Walla Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter at their next meeting on November 1st? Dale checked his schedule and made an email announcement to the Walla² Fly Fishers of this event to take place, and for all to participate that would like to, whether a TU member or not. Dale was also asked if he could come up with 15-20 fly tying station tools and materials to tye some fly for that evening. Fortunately Walla² Fly Fisher Diane (a fly tying instructor) has 20 fly tying kits on hand, and Dale was able to borrow these kits for the evening of November 1st. Thank you Diane.
So the evening of November 1st club members Dale and Heidi (a TU member as well) met with the TU Chapter at the Walla Walla Eagles club for a most enjoyable evening of fly tying.

"A Picture is worth a Thousand Words"; so these pictures will tell the story of our evening as the group ties Woolly Bugger flies-- plain and bead headed

Heidi helping all

Dale trying to show how to

Again our fascination with the art and science of fly fishing - how to tye flies and catch fish with what we have created has brought this group together to share in a most enjoyable evening.

Report by -
Dale McKain

Walla² Fly Fishers next meeting will be held at Smith's Family Restaurant on W. 9th Street in Walla Walla on Wednesday
14 November 2018
6:00 pm Dinner and Social
7:00 Call-to-Order Club Business

Tight lines and good fishing

Walla² Fly Fishers

Sunday, October 21, 2018

October - a Great time to be chasing Rainbows

It was the last week of September that club’s secretary, Dale sent out an APB-email to all members saying “Let’s Go Fishin” Anthony Lake the weekend of October 13th or 14th.  We had two YEA replies.
As Saturday the 
13th  approached the weather forecast made a turn for the worst at the 7100 feet elevation, so there were second thought about fishing the 13th.
The weekend of the 13th was cancelled due to 6" of fresh snowfall and cold, that came over the Elkhorns on Wednesday the 10th.

Weather photo reports confirmed 6" of fresh snowfall midweek 

Our attention was given to the weekend of the 20th.
Again an APB-email was sent to all club members announcing the change of plans and asking again who wants to go fishing - Anthony Lake. Again there were two replies saying YEA, with a few others saying they could not make the 20th trip.

Knowing there would be residual snow around the lake and that the daytime temperature would not rise above freezing until mid-morning, Brian, Dale and Dale's Buddy were in no hurry to head for the hills on the 20th  so as to allow everything above 1000' to thaw out for the day. Many days this time of year the highway crossing over Tollgate can be frosty, rather hazardous.
Moon phase was perfect for afternoon catching
Morning temperature at Stateline - WW / M-F
Reaching the Elkhorn Range we found the weather to be beautiful as forecasted. 
The air was clear and there was still a bit of residual snow on the ground around the lake from last week's snowfall. 

It was a full sunshine day - shirt sleeve weather - with very few people on the water, and no one was wearing a coat or jacket. 
Brian was on the lake first, working the usual Honeyhole, when Dale launched his boat and with his first cast using an intermediate sink line - Fish ON! The first hook-up of the day was immediately given an invitation to dinner, a 14" rainbow - the smallest catch of the day.

The catching was off and on during the midday, but sitting on the lake covered with sunshine, was a most comfortable, enjoyable way to pass the day, very relaxing. 
This weighted BS Spl hooked all of Dale's catches for the day
In the bright part of the afternoon Dale had several strikes and two more hookups; a 16" rainbow and a 18" rainbow - Brian was getting no action fishing with a floating line and various flies.
At some point in the mid-afternoon Dale hooked up to a much larger triploid rainbow and battled the fish for several minutes. Using his 2-wt. SPL rod, Dale compared this fight to that of a Grande Ronde River steelhead for time and endurance. A battle to the end... with a long line release of probably a 20"-22" stocked triploid. This year this size fish was not uncommon at Anthony Lake, with the lake having been stocked well with large, fat triploid rainbow trout prior to July 4th .

At this point Dale oared over to check on Brian's action, and learned he had still hooked up to no fish. 

Dale went on to catch his creel limit of 5 nice triploid rainbows for the day, while having had 3 other hookups that never made it to his net. It made for a great day of fishing ~ catching Rainbows.
With cold toes we fished the balance of the day until the sun set behind the trees and the air at 7100' elevation began to chill quickly, soon becoming as cold as the water on our feet.

Having packed the boats in the pickup, strapped them down, Dale reminded Brian that we would need to stop before getting on I-84 to tighten the tie down strap.
Coming off the mountain, it was a beautiful evening filled with golden trees all the way back to the valley with its deer ~ elk grazing alfalfa fields. Looking back at the Elkhorns after the sun had set, made a nice polishing touch to finish this day of fishing.
We covered the day's catch with cold mountain lake water to travel well, so when we returned to Milton-Freewater basecamp Dale proceeded to clean the fish caught and gave Brian two to take home for he and his wife's dinner.

The remainder were put in a brine solution to hold until they could find their way to the water-bath smoker on Sunday.

Fat triploid rainbows are almost as nice as summer steelhead, when coming off the smoker.

OH Yeah, just a reminder - when fishing high altitude lakes, be sure you make one or two stops to secure your watercraft as you descend in elevation. Failure to do so may have you finding your floatation craft being blown off of your vehicle and dragged around by the nearest FedEx semi-truck.
This boat will never float again - dammit.

Anthony Lake is a USFS fee area

Once in a Lifetime Fee for a Senior Pass
A Daily Fee for all others

Report by -
Dale McKain

Tight lines and good fishing -

Walla² Fly Fishers