Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Club Officers Nominated

This evening the Walla² Fly Fishers held our November meeting to discuss some hardcore club business and directions. Prior to the business of the evening there were 8 members that came together for dinner and social hour at Jacobi's Cafe.

We had 16 members and guest in attendance for this meeting. Because the clock on the wall kept reading 6:55 we did not start the meeting until about 7:20 p.m. Club Treasurer Barry, headed the business directions discussion for the evening in the absence of President Scott, who had a prior banquet commitment to attend.

Prior to the meeting President Scott and Treasurer Barry had submitted their resignations for their officers' positions. So this evening we had before us the task of nominating individuals to fill those post. Secretary Dale said he would be glad to continue to serve the club in his position.

This evening those nominated to fill the officers' positions becoming vacant were:

Bob Long - President
Tyson Kopfer - Vice President
Dr. Doug Coe - Treasurer
Dale McKain - Secretary

The floor still remains open for the nominations of any others that might wish to be considered for helping in a club leadership role. We do have a slight hangup in the above nominees. Bob Long may be moving from the area in the near future, but he is more than willing to provide his expertise in FFF directions between now and the time that he may make a move. A valuable asset for our club.

Bob brought forth the idea, that it is the club's President's job to lead the organization and not to create projects and ventures, and try to accomplish the task on his own. Therefore we will be looking for across-the-board membership help to set up some committees to help get the fun work done.

Projects discussed:
  • Boy Scout Fly Fishing merit badge helpers
  • Walla² YMCA fly fishing seminar
  • 2011 Fly Fishing Fair at Waterbrook
  • Winter 2011 fly fishing workshops
  • Membership fly fishing outings
  • A 2011 Club Banquet
  • Stream side/pond side fishing habitat improvements working with WDFW
  • etc.
With that said, it was discussed the current annual projects the club has been working on and the need of Project Chairpersons to help direct the responsibility of making things happen. At this point Kris said he would like to be involved with the Boy Scouts project of helping scouts earn their fly fishing merit badge, it was suggested that we ask Scott to continue to help co-ordinate the Fly Fishing Fair at Waterbrook Winery, and we will look into creating a committee to co-ordinate a fly fishing class with the Walla Walla YMCA, and re-establishing some winter 2011 fly tying classes with Pat and Lee Ainley at their College Place facility.

It was also asked to pass around the FFF Charter Clubs / Walla² Fly Fishers' By-Laws so that everyone would have a better understanding of the job description of club officers.

FFF Charter Club By-Laws in MS Word - for all to see review.

Bob Long also pointed out the idea that most folks tend to want to join a fly fishing club to become associated with fly fishers, to learn to fly fish, to learn more about fishing opportunities.
All of these things our club should consider in mapping our club activities for the future, in order to draw new club members from our community. With this point of reference, it was brought up that the club members would like to see more weekend fishing trips planned that they might attend. Our last two planned trips to the John Day River were mid-week holidays.

With that proposal... the idea of trying to form a steelhead fishing trip to the Grande Ronde River the Friday 11/26 or the Saturday 11/27 following Thanksgiving was suggested. This should be a very prime time for fishing the GR for steelies before the river's ice flow begins.
Who wants to go steelhead fishing on the Grande Ronde River???

A motion was made---> NOT to have a December club meeting (due to all other activities taking place between Thanksgivings and the New Year), that motion was seconded and carried. We will NOT have a meeting in December and will resume regular monthly meetings on 12 January 2011 to hold our club officers' election and start the New Year talking about fly fishing.
All those in favor... indicate by saying "AYE".
Those opposed, please email all by posting "NAY".

HEADS UP, look for possibly a fly tying meeting announcement coming forthwith for fly tying the evening of Wednesday 29 December.

The meeting was adjourned shortly thereafter, with individuals socializing one-on-one.

Tight lines and good fishing.

Walla² Fly Fishers

Scott Peters - President
Skip Pritchard - Co-President
Barry Gould - Treasurer
Dale McKain - Secretary /
Blog Master

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fishing the John Day River

It was about 5:40 a.m. yesterday when we rolled out of the parking lot at Grove Elem. School in Milton-Freewater heading for the John Day River. Before leaving home Dale checked the real-time water flow at McDonald Ferry, the river was flowing at 464 cfs which is a very good fly swinging flow. When we got to the turnaround above the Boy Scouts’ Camp at Rock Creek and parked, with only one other vehicle with a pontoon boat trailer attached. Tom and Mike with great haste suited up and headed for the river. Having crossed the river above the first riffle they moved up and took their position in the lower end of the first pool. Tyson and Dale were in hot pursuit and went just above Mike and Tom and started their casting practice for the day.
After about a ½ hour of working the head of the first pool Dale move up to the second steelie hole.

This stretch of water had in the past offered many steelhead, and once Dale had two buddies land two steelies at once while fishing here. It wasn't too many cast into this pool when Dale got the slightest peck, peck, peck at his fly. On the next cast he got a hookup, which very quickly did not resemble the jerk or run of a steelhead.

He had caught a red-eyed small mouth bass, of which the John Day River is also famous for as a warm weather/water fishery. It wasn't too much later after this catch that Mike came walking across the hill and Dale motioned for him to come join him in fishing this #2 pool. Shortly thereafter Dale moved up to the #3 pool. Having fished this pool for awhile with no success and no one from below showing up, Dale moved upriver into the Power Line Hole.

While fishing the Power Line Hole, a fly fishing stranger walked up on Dale. His name was Grant and in their conversation, it was said that Grant is from Milton-Freewater, and has been hoping to get involved with the Walla² Fly Fishers.

Dale invited him to join the club at our next meeting of Wednesday 10 November. Also learned that Grant's favorite past-time is fishing and hiking and bloging his experiences in our Walla² Fly Fishers back country. You can find Grant's back country adventures posted at which this writer found very interesting to read through.

None of the other Walla² Fly Fishers made it up to the Power Line Hole to fish it this day. Going back down river Dale caught up with Tyson in the second pool coming from the parking lot and for an instance it appeared that Tyson had a fish-on.

Maybe the hookup/jerk that Tyson had was another smallmouth bass, as he did catch one earlier in the day.
This day with the river flow at 464 cfs wading the river was very easy. In most places the water was rarely more that navel deep and gin clear so that standing in deep water you could see your feet much like standing in a bathtub full of water.

Real Time river flow at McDonald Ferry-->,00060
Best fly fishing/ wading flow is
>450 and <1000 .="" id="hotword" span="" style="color: black;">

While on the river this day we had a pontoon boat of fishers go by us that had put in at Cottonwood Bridge, and they told us that with their full day of fishing and floating that they had only spotted 5-6 steelhead on the river and hooked none.

Where are the steelies???

To finish off this great day of fishing, as Dale and Grant were coming across the riffle before getting back to the parking area they found a nice about 24" steelhead resting above the run above the Boy Scout camp, first steelhead sighting of the day for this Walla² Fly Fishers' outing. Grant did say that he hooked a couple of steelies quite a ways upriver from where the rest of us got to.

So all-in-all it was another great day of fishing and exploring the John Day River. It was not a great day of catching steelies on JD River.

Tight lines and good fishing.
Walla² Fly Fishers

Scott Peters - President
Skip Pritchard - Co-President
Barry Gould - Treasurer
Dale McKain - Secretary /
Blog Master

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Looking at new directions

This evening we held our meet at our new location – Jacobi's Cafe. We had 11 members in attendance. At this meeting we were planning to hold an election for a new club President, and Treasurer but with the light turnout of the evening it was decided to postpone such election until our next meeting of November 10th, hopefully while everyone is still in tune with voting in the national/our respective state elections.

For those of us that were in attendance of this meeting we found this new location to be very adequate in size and privacy. Maybe a bit fancy with linen table cloths for folk just getting out of their waders (please leave studded boots at the door) but the food, wine, beer and company is good. What more can we ask for?

This evening Treasurer Barry Gould made a monies report for our Banquet of September 18th.
The club’s treasury went into September with about $1100. Brian’s O’Keefe’s speaker’s fee / travel and board was $750, the cost of dinner came to $990. With the intake of funds from dinner reservations, raffle, and silent auction, the club now has a remaining balance in the bank of over $700. WE are in the black and still looking forward to having fun talking and practicing fly-fishing, among ourselves and other interested parties.

Other business discussed during the meeting was looking at the future and things to do.

1. Conducting a program with the Walla Walla Boy Scouts to help those kids earn their fly fishing merit badge. Scott has discussed this opportunity with the local Boy Scouts leaders.
2. Work with the Walla Walla YMCA to conduct fly fishing/ tying classes through their organization. Dale has discussed this opportunity with the Director at the YMCA.
3. Finding the opportunity to work with WDFW, on some of the projects brought up in September’s meeting with Glen Mendel and Dave Karl.
4. Do we want to restart a late fall / winter fly tying class on the forth Wednesday of the month as we had going last late winter?
5. More “in-house” fly fishing education for our club members who would like to learn more from the older “salty dogs” sitting around the table… e.i. rod works and terminology, rod / line systems, line and tippet knots, flies to use where and when, etc. There are a lot of things that some folks take for granted as to “how to, why do” that folks just getting their feet wet would like to have shared to diminish their learning curve of fly fishing.

Fishing reports from Diane and Tom revealed:

Diane had been fishing on the Grande Ronde on Sept. 18 and she is still looking for the first steelhead to land in her hands. She also did a fishing trip below McNary Dam, landed 11 of 13 sturgeon hookups and had picture to proof it. Nice.
Tom reported that he and Doug had spent a day on the Columbia Reach outside of the Hanford area, and they limited out their creel with fall Chinook. He also reported on a fishing trip he and his son had made lately to the Yakima River with great success. Tom also had picture of both outing to backup his tale of tails.

Thanks folks for sharing.

After these fishing reports there was some discussion of organizing more club trips to fish the John Day, Grande Ronde, Walla Walla and Wallowa rivers for steelhead as the 2010-11 season progresses. Hopefully before ice flows happen and then after the late winter thaw.

Future meeting program suggestions were to have Jim Galliger -fishing guide from Ellensburg- to come and make presentation on fishing the Yakima and Klickitat rivers, and asking our local professional bamboo rod builder –Chuck Irvine– to come and discuss the mechanics of fly rods, their construction, and the beauty of his bamboo rods.

There were no fly box raffles held this evening.

Tight lines and good fishing.

Walla² Fly Fishers

Scott Peters - President
Skip Pritchard - Co-President
Barry Gould - Treasurer
Dale McKain - Secretary /
Blog Master

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Deschutes River Fishing

This day we pulled out of Milton-Freewater about 5:40 a.m., on our way to the Deschutes River for a day of steelhead fishing. Tom and Bob were doing the driving, while Ginny, Mike, Doug and Dale were along for the ride - that felt good. Thanks guys for pulling chauffeur duty. Having made one short stop in Biggs to fuel up and offload some coffee, we arrived at the river's west side parking lot about 8:30. Weather along the way offered a small shower here and there, but no rain to be concerned about. After gearing up for the day we hiked down to the cable crossing, Dale pointed out some of the particulars of the the river (the need for studded wading boots and a wading staff) beginning at Moody Rapids' cable crossing.
Real Time river flow at Moody Rapids-->,00060
Best fly fishing flow is between 4500-5800 cfs, if wading out chest deep. The flow this day was about 5550 cfs, very comfortable wading.
From the Moody Rapids area everyone headed upriver to test the waters, their footing, fish for steelhead, and whatever. Having fished up through the Rock Garden, Tom did hook into a sucker and land it out on the basalt flats. Catching was slow this day.This writer wasn't there to witness, but heard that Doug did practice some dancing on the rocks and found out what the next step can hold for anyone fishing the Deschutes... understand he took on some water.
Deschutes River = The Chutes River= scoured basalt river bottom.
While at the basalt flats below Rattlesnake Rapids, we had a fishing pro watching our activities from the grassy river bank. This guy gave us no directions of help or guidance... he was fishing on his own, and catching.

Most of us took a lunch / snack break after fishing the flats except for Mike and he just kept fishing and fishing...
Ginny and Bob found a soft pillow of grass along the river bank to ease back onto and have lunch.

It was about 12:30 when everyone was ready to head back downriver to fish out towards the parking lot. This morning we had had several showers pass our way, and most of the day was filled with sunbreaks, and warm temperatures. The Deschutes was slightly off colored as being knee deep in the river one could barely see the bottom of the river. Working downriver everyone stopped along the way at different river access points, and Dale pointed out some spots where he previously had taken a steelhead out for dinner.

After fishing the Outhouse Hole, most of us were getting tired of the round trip 5-mile hike upriver, and standing in the river current for most of the day, not to mention the 4:30 a.m. wake up call.
So as everyone headed back to the rigs for the return trip home, Dale and Mike did stop and fish the Cable Hole downriver to the brink of Moody Rapids. The Deschutes River Cable Hole was the spot that Dale caught his first steelhead in hand.
So all in all it was a great day to have been fishing on the Deschutes River, OR. All-in-All it was not a good day for catching steelhead. Actually it was a no show day for steelhead fly fishing, which reminds one why they call this sport "fishing" not "catching".

A great day to be on the river.

Tight lines and good fishing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2010 Fly Fishers' Banquet

It was a beautiful evening, this evening when the Walla² Fly Fishers came together for our 2010 Fly Fishers' Banquet. This year we held our banquet at the Crossroads Restaurant in City Center Walla Walla, WA. Our very special guest speaker for this evening was world traveling fly fisher and photographer Brian O'Keefe.

We started our cocktail hour at 6:00 p.m. at which time the crowd begin to shuffle in and filling the room. We had a no host bar available to all. Scott and Dale sit up a couple of display tables for raffle and silent auction items.

This evening we had 38 Walla² Fly Fishers and guest for dinner, with a few folks coming in after dinner to enjoy Brian's presentation of Fly Fishing around the World.

Being that a picture is worth a thousand words, this reporter will let the following pictures tell the story and be the record of our evening's activities.



Making silent auction bids

Buying raffle tickets at a good price.
Tom did win the big prize of the evening.
He just keeps doing that.

Looking around the room things began to look like this a little after 6:00.

After everyone begin to settle in for the evening, dinner began to be served at 6:45 or so.

Our dinner was to have been a BBQ buffet, but since this was the very newly re-located Crossroads Restaurant they were unable to have their facilities setup for a buffet service, so we had their BBQ served via waiter/waitress in a rather crowded dinning room. Togetherness.

After dinner President Scott conducted the raffle drawings for goodies provided by FFF National and Skip Pritchard. Tom Craig won the big raffle prize of an Orvis fly box and a guided fishing trip on Mill Creek with Skip.
The silent auctions items were won by the following:

FFF 3 year membership --- Jan Atwater
Orvis fly box --- Jan Atwater
Grizzly hackle --- Jan Atwater
FFF T-shirt --- Ed Chesnut
fly tying kit --- Mike Garton

The raffle and silent auction items netted the club $468.
Thank you guys.

After the money works were over, our special fly fishing guest - Brian O'Keefe made his PowerPoint Presentation of his experiences of fly fishing around the world from the time he was a rather young man to his present day trips with a fly rod in one hand, and a camera in the other. You will find Brian's work in many of today's fly fishing magazines, and in his co-produced Catch Magazine. Brian broke down his presentation of this evening by discussing the different species of fish he had stalked and caught in his adventures to everywhere a fly rod could take him.

After Brian's presentation, Dale asked if he would tell the group of one of his most memorable fly fishing trips. He told us of a most hair-raising experience / trip to Africa, of which you will have to talk to him about the next time you see him. This reporter tells no tales.

All-in-all our evening together with each other and Brian was a great experience. We thank Brian for being with us and sharing his fly fishing experiences, we must thank FFF National and Skip for their donation of items to help fund this event and Thank you EVERYONE that joined us for the evening and those which help make it happen.

Brian invited everyone in attendance to contact him if they had any questions concerning his travels and advice of where to go, what to do, how and why.

To contact Brian you can follow these Internet links:'Keefe&ie

and/or email Brian @

Don't forget that you can also see more of Brian's work by subscribing to Catch Magazine -- FREE.
Issue #13 is great, just sign in and enjoy.

available on the Internet at this link connection...

OK, now looking at the banquet's bottom lines: cost was = $1754, the banquet funds intake was = $1414. So all-in-all this leaves the club's bank balance at a bit over $700 in the black. This means we had a pretty good year with a lot of good informational speakers to share their fly fishing experiences and expertise with the Walla² Fly Fishers.

Tight line and good fishing.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Walla² Fly Fishers' Banquet

Saturday 9/18

Please mark your calendars for our first Walla² Fly Fishers' Banquet with Brian O'Keefe - our guest speaker of the evening.

When: Saturday, 18th September 2010
Where: Crossroads Steakhouse and Lounge
207 West Main Street, Walla Walla, WA*
*formerly - the 26 Brix Restaurant
Directions: *click on above address for map/directions
Time: Cocktail hour begins at 6:00 p.m. (no host bar)
BBQ Dinner Buffet to be served at 6:45
Brian O'Keefe's program at 7:30

BBQ Buffet includes:
Beef ribs
Pork ribs
Baked beans
Cole Slaw

Banquet cost: $30/singles ~~ $55/couples
$18.75 children
~includes meal + service gratuity~
Your RSVP needed

Banquet cover charge ~without dinner~
includes no-host bar, silent auction items,
and Brian's presentation

RSVP unnecessary if you are not having dinner with Brian.

Brian O'Keefe is a world renowned fly fisher, with photography as his trade. You will find Brian's photography in many fly fishing magazines and websites on today's market. Brian is one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. So come out and join us for dinner, an evening of fly fishing experiences, to be shared by all.

Brian and wife Judith at a favorite winter fishin' hole.

We must give our caterer a ONE week's notice
of our guest count for food preparation;
so we ask that you make your Banquet meal RSVP
by noon Saturday 9/11/10

RSVP to: Scott Peters -
Dale McKain -

Walla² Fly Fishers is an affiliated chapter of the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) and this will be our first banquet for area fly fishers and all wannabe fly fishing guest. Banquet room capacity is 65 fly fishers, and guest.

Send payment for dinner to:
Walla² Fly Fishers Banquet
PO Box 674
Milton-Freewater, OR 97862

Thank you

A silent auction for various fly fishing items and 3-years FFF memberships will be offered.

Tight lines and good fishing.

Walla² Fly Fishers

Scott Peters - President
Skip Pritchard - Co-President
Barry Gould - Treasurer
Dale McKain - Secretary /
Blog Master