Wednesday, October 18, 2017


This evening President Dave called our meeting to order at 7:00. He announce that VP Tom was in China today, and Treasurer Doug was also out of town.
We had 10 members present tonight.

To begin with we had an around the room discussion of most current individual’s fishing trips...
Heidi reported that she and Barbara had been fishing locally on Bennington Lake lately.

Heidi reported that she and Barbara, had made their last trip to Jubilee Lake for the season this past Sunday. 

Heidi mentioned they did find the NOTICE signs that the campground and lake boat access would be closing on Monday, 16 October. Heidi reported that on Hwy 204 they had encountered black ice on the road, and some snow around the lake area.
She said their catch rate was very good.

Dale reported that he and his Buddy had made a trip to Anthony Lake the 6th of October, and found the area with snow cover. 

He was the only fisher on the lake that day, and reported that the air temperature was in the 40’s, but with sunbreaks he saw 60°on his fishing vest thermometer, which felt good. A beautiful day for fishing.
His catch for the day was 1 brook trout.

Dave gave us a report of his recent fishing trip on Omak Lake. He told us it was a really good trip, with a good many Lahontan Cutthroat trout being caught by his companions. He also told us he had received his baptism into stillwater fly fishing from a kayak.  

Dale mentioned that he had been speaking with Blaire Elyce at Walla Walla Community College concerning publicity for Diane Briggs upcoming fly tying classes at the college… Tis the Season.

Also brought up this evening was the very poor numbers of the 2017 steelhead and salmon returns. 
No one reported having hooked into either this season.  SAD

It was agreed by all that we would hold the fly boxes that are (1) a door prize, and (2) a raffle item would be held over until next month… adding more flies then to those treasure boxes.

Being many of us are approaching what is called the Golden Years, and climbing around is creeks and river, bucking against river current and slick bottom rocks… our program for this evening was to be a sequel to last month’s presentation concerning tried and proven techniques for stillwater fly fishing for Trophy trout  by Denny Rickards.

DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES – our video player / projector had incompatible wiring and this program will be postponed until our November 15th meeting.

After we realized the failure of our equipment, we had another cup of coffee, some another glass of beer or wine and reminisced fishing trips with each other.  One of our new members, Joe who had done a fair amount of fishing in Ireland, reminisced a funny tale of an ole ghillie that once took the Pope fishing. We had a good chuckle out of that one.
About 8:00 Prez Dave called the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Dale McKain
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Dave Stemmer – President
Tom Craig – Vice President
Doug Coe – Treasurer
Dale McKain – Secretary - Blogmaster 
Dave Stemmer

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Early Autumn Stillwater fishing

Heading for Jubilee Lake - on Weston Mountain overlooking the Walla Walla River Valley
At Wednesday's meeting, Dale suggested we make a club outing to Jubilee Lake on Saturday. Several people said they would like to do that, some said they would try to join us. A group of women said they would be heading for the lake early, a few other were heading that way later in the morning.

Most of the past week the Walla Walla River Valley had a nice freshet of rain, the Blue Mountains had snow... so Fall is in the air in the PNW.

Arriving at the lake around noon Saturday, Dale found that Barbara, Heidi, and Debbie had been fishing most of the morning and were about to take a lunch break. Barbara reported that she had caught a few fish and so far kept one; Heidi reported she had caught her FIRST two stillwater trout on a fly that she had tied (much like a sparsely tied BS Special), and Debbie reported no hookups. Heidi was a very happy fly fisher today. The ladies reported that Robin and Harold had just got to the lake, and were fishing on the other side. Early afternoon, these three lady fishers started packing up their gear to head home, for their evening engagements.

The day was mostly cloudy, with scatter showers and cool. Much like Brian had told Dale the last time we were on Jubilee Lake "this reminds me of my days growing up in Alaska".

Dale got his Buddy settled in, next to the lake, got his boat and gear together and shoved off.

With a light rain falling Dale checked the air temperature at found it to be 47°F, and checking the water surface temperature found it to be 54°F. Perfect conditions for finding fish to be putting on the Fall feedbag. By the time Dale saw Barbara and Heidi leaving the lakeside parking lot, he had caught two trout. Dale was using a full sink line and his favorite go-to-fly... the BS Special.

As the rain came and went during the afternoon, Dale kept catching trout; most were 10"-12" in size and a few were 5". After a couple of hours of catching; Robin, Harold, and Dale got close enough on the lake to talk with each other and Dale asked, how their catching was going. They reported that it was not. At this point in time Dale had caught 25-30 trout, so he inquired what Robin and Harold were fishing with and what kind of presentation they were making with their fly? We came along side each other, Dale told them how he was presenting his fly and gave them two BS Specials, and the five trout he had creeled. As Dale pulled away, he caught another fish. Catching today was fun.

Shortly thereafter Dale noticed that Robin had a fish-on, and shortly after that Harold had a fish-on. Catching today was fun.
We continued catching fish as the clouds began to breakup and the sun appeared. The sun really felt warm after an afternoon of clouds and drizzle.

With the ease and number of trout being caught, Dale reports that he changed his presentation to see if there would be a difference in hookups.
Elk Horn Lake Special
He changed his rigging from a full fast sink line with the
BS Special; to using a stillwater intermediate sink line using a BS Special and a Elk Horn Lakes Special for a dropper.
After about 30 minutes of fishing with the intermediate sink line and rigging, he went back to the fast sink and just the BS Special.

Elk Horn Lake Special ~ BS Special

As the sun sank slowly in the west, behind the shoreline trees we tallied up our catch for the afternoon. Robin and Harold now had 10 creeled and Dale had 2.

We had a lot of fun with Catch & Releasing many more fish.

Dale said he had probably caught 45-50 trout, again most being 10"-12". He did find that fishing a full sink line with a BS Special caught larger fish, than when he switched to a stillwater intermediate sink line using a BS Special.

This made for another wonderful day of fishing / catching in the stillwaters of the Blue Mountains.

As Dale was packing up his gear, an elk hunter drove up to the boat launch to see what this lake looked like. He had been in elk-camp the past 20-days, a couple of miles from the lake and proceeded to tell Dale there had been a lot of snow this past week on his camp. Said he woke up one morning to find his camp's kitchen tarp covering the ground with 8" of snow covering it.
Winter is heading this way.

October can be, usually is, the best time of the year for catching; as fish are putting on the feedbag in prep for the onset of winter.

Hope you will be able to make it out with us on our next catching trip.

Tight lines and good fishing,
a report by Dale McKain

Walla² Fly Fishers

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The end of Summer - a fly fishing Recap


Returning from our summer break - President Dave brought our first of this season's meeting to order at 7:05 this evening .

Tonight we had 11 members and guest in attendance.

There was no new news, or upcoming event to be reported, except that Dave and Dale  on behalf of our local Project Healing Waters chapter would be attending the Walla Walla VETERANS Welcome Home Event at the VA hospital on Friday.

Treasurer Doug gave a report that we have a little over $1350.00 in our club’s checking account. There are currently no major expenses to be paid for.

We then went around the room sharing recaps for our summer fishing adventures.

Diane had spent time exploring and catching fish on the North Platte River near Casper, WY.  

Dave told us about some of his trips on the Snake River fishing the Hells Canyon area.

Dale and Steven gave accounts of multiple trips made to Oregon’s high lakes with Brian. There were a number of trip to Jubilee, Grand Ronde and Anthony lakes. 
Dale reported that he and Steven had spent the morning of 21 August fishing under the full solar eclipse, which was like a once in a lifetime experience of jumping into a lake at 7100’, with the lights -sun- going out. 

Video - After the eclipse there, were some nice fish fights - Video
FULL SCREEN VIEWING - click on box in bottom corner 

Dale also reported that he and Barbara had spent many after work evenings fishing Bennington Lake in late May and all of June, with much success catching trout, later catching crappie, and as summer approached there were catfish on the fly.

NOTE: You can find many of these 2017 fishing trip reports  posted on this blogsite.

On this evening’s Attendance Sign-In sheet, Dale flagged it with a weather forecast for this coming Saturday the 23rd, and suggested that all that could make a run for Jubilee Lake for a day of fishing.

Since most of us have become a year older since last September and not as adept at climbing over mountain terrain, slip-sliding over slick river rocks, and braving the high waters / fast currents of early summer river flows… it was suggested that tonight we look at stillwater fly fishing more in depth. Tonight’s program was a video made by Denny Rickards on what it take to catch trophy trout in lakes and pond of the Pacific Northwest. 

The video description...
Denny has included in this fast paced, fact filled video information from 25 years of fly fishing for trophy trout in over 300 lakes, ponds and reservoirs. You will see how his system for catching big trout is put to the test on southern Oregon’s Upper Klamath Lake. Learn in detail his six keys to success, information never before shown on video. Most importantly, you will come away with a better understanding of lakes, the insects and fish that live there, the fly patterns that attract big trout, the best forms of presentation along with those factors that influence the behavior of all that lives within the stillwater environment. You will learn his secrets for stalking and landing huge trout derived from fishing and guiding anglers the past 30 years. No more wondering what rod, line, fly or retrieve to use.
After viewing this video this evening's group gave rave reviews, said they really enjoyed it, learned from it and wanted more.

NOTE: This video is now available in our club's library for you to check out and learn more.

Our 18 October meeting we will present the sequel to this evening’s program… 

Our meeting was adjourned at 8:10.

Respectfully submitted,
Dale McKain
Club Secretary

Contact Us
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Dave Stemmer – President
Tom Craig – Vice President
Doug Coe – Treasurer
Dale McKain – Secretary - Blogmaster 
Dave Stemmer

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fishing under the Dark Side of the Moon

Gunsight Mountain 
Steven, Buddy and I had talked about making today's Total Eclipse, a once in a lifetime fly fishing event by sitting on Anthony Lake for the day. Dale (club secretary) had emailed all club members that this was our intention, several replied that they had jobs, or busy elsewhere, and unable join us for the very rare occasion to log into their fishing diaries. Therefore to share this rare event with all, Dale is posting to the club's blog.

5:30 am for Steven, 6:30 am for Buddy and I, this day started under clear blue skies as we headed for our favorite trout lake; nearer the sun, moon, and stars at 7100 feet elevation.

When Buddy and I got to I-84 it looked like most of Portland's morning traffic was headed east - the same direction which we were headed. Steven said he experienced the same when he got to I-84 coming out of Tri-Cities. This did not concern me much until we got pass La Grande, then I began to worry... How many of these people / vehicles had the same idea in mind as Steven, Buddy and I...  Let's Go High and Enjoy the extraordinary view of this very rare event.
Last week, last Wednesday Steven, Buddy and I had been on Anthony Lake, when the east side entrance using NFR 73 was closed by the Bear Butte Fire

During last week's travel using Hwy 395, and coming from Ukiah on NFR 52, I had passed only 2 vehicles in that 48 miles drive from Ukiah up to the lake. Oh what a difference 5 days can make.
Talking during our lunch break, Steven and I exchanged the same feelings; that on our way up the mountain each had wondered / questioned if we could get our boat to the lake's boat launch this morning, or would we be hiking up to the lake from a mile or so away? Would we be able to have our boats on the water for the eclipse event, or be standing in line with many others to watch this eclipse??

It was a beautiful morning's drive into the Elkhorns, surveying the damage done by the Bear Butte Fire that had burned the mountains, and closed the roads to the lake the previous two weeks.

As we got closer to Anthony Lake, there was less and less traffic, until we ran into NO traffic at all. When Buddy and I got to the lake, we found only our fishing pal Steven at the boat launch, in bright morning sunshine along with a squirrel munching on its breakfast. 
Steven and I got our pontoon boats geared up, lake worthy and jumped in. 
As we got into the lake there was a very slight shadowing effect taking place across the area. 

The "darkness" progressed until 10:25. At that point wearing our solar eclipse glasses we did not witness a full black out of the sun, even though we were in the path of Totality. I did get a few photos of the eclipse in progress using my Eclipse glass to shield my camera's lens.

I was amazed the we did not go into total darkness, and that I could not, did not see any stars in the sky as I had expected. 

After Totality had come and gone, we fished on. Both Steven and I caught 2 fish not long after sunshine brightness returned to our world, and then the bite was off until after lunch.
VIDEO - click box in right corner for FULL SCREEN viewing -VIDEO

After lunch we both hooked into a number of fish. I watched a lone fisher work the lake for maybe an hour, catching nothing that I could tell about. A beautiful sight - white head and tail blazing bright white - while in flight under the sun.

Steven landed a couple more, and kept two for the day for his neighbor, and I landed two more before sunset for my day's catch of four. When casting distance is not an issue, these Anthony Lake triploids are a lot of fun coming in on the ole SPL 2-wt.

While Steven and I spent most of the day working at catching dinner for neighbors and self, Dale's Buddy watched patiently at the boat launch, greeting everyone and their doggie coming by. At the end of the day Buddy was also exhausted.

A great day to be alive, another great day of catching at Anthony Lake

Tight lines and good fishing
A report by Dale McKain

Tight lines and good fishing.

Walla² Fly Fishers