Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2015 - Looking at things to do, places to go fish

Tonight Vice President Dave called our meeting to order at 7:14.
Dave announced that President Tom had left the country this day.
Tom was headed for a "summer" fly fishing trip in New Zealand for the next few weeks. We hope to hear fabulous stories of dreams come true from Tom's mid-winter excursion.

This evening we had 24 club members and guest in attendance. 

Dave began our meeting’s discussion announcing that he and Tom had made contact with Waterbrook Winery, and discussed a Fly Fishing Fair event there for 2015. Waterbrook Winery has had a change in management and Dave indicated that the discussion went from the subject and concept of an outdoor educational fly fishing experience to a “fly fishing” banquet / salmon bake. This proposal created a concern, as it would be a major deviation from our past 6 years of a FREE outdoor Fly Fishing Fair; with the interested general public, to a $25/plate salmon dinner. 
Dave passed out a Fly Fishing Club Banquet questionnaire this evening, asking for our membership's input concerning our 2014 banquet and suggestions for a 2015 banquet. This was also in light of the discussion Dave and Tom had with Waterbrook Winery and their idea of having a salmon bake dinner at their location off Hwy 12 west of Walla Walla.
Please share your thoughts, suggestions with the return of the questionnaire / handout of this evening.

This evening fly box – door prize – was won by John W.

Robin announce that the Walla Walla Fairgrounds’ Farmers’ Market would begin operating again this year on the 1st Saturday in May and run through the 19th of September. With the success of last season’s Kids’ Day, that event was being scheduled for a repeat this year on 12th of September. She said they would again be happy if our club would like to have a sharing booth at no charge this season. She asked that all interested fly fishers consider joining them once again for a morning of fly fishing demos and games in September for their Kid's Day activities.

Jerry announce that our club’s chapter of Project Healing Waters, was progressing with their fly rod building projects. He stated that the group had learn a few things –not always mentioned in the book–about building a fly rods from scratch. 

It was reported that seven members of our club shared bits of their fish catching experiences at our club's first fly tying gathering at Stu's house on 7 February. This group came together to share their time and ideas about the art of tying flies. It was a good afternoon of whipping thread, fur, feathers, dubbing, onto hooks with good camaraderie around the table.
This day we tied, an Egg Sucking Leech, a Flash Wooly Bugger, and a Green Butt Skunk. Here you can see that Barbara first time tying turned out quite well.
Our next scheduled fly tying meeting will be held Sunday 22 March at Stu’s house off Cottonwood Rd. in SE Walla Walla. All club members are welcome to join us, and Diane has some extra fly tying gear that she will share to help get individual's into the art of fly tying for FREE.

Wallowa River steelhead fishing was discussed. Even though our Walla Walla River waters ran high and looked like milk chocolate this past week, the Wallowa River had a good fly fishing flow rate and was not off colored. Erik and a fishing buddy has a 9-fish hookup day, with 5-keepers last Saturday.

It was discussed about scheduling with fellow club member / fishing guide / motel owner Grant Richie, a fishing outing on the Wallowa and / or Grande Ronde rivers between now and 15 April - the closing day of steelhead fishing season.

Dale brought up the idea of putting into our club’s 2015 fishing trip schedule some stillwater fishing outings. It was mentioned that most stillwaters are open for year around fishing. In Oregon the best waters are stocked lakes / ponds at higher altitudes, and to fish them (other than ice fishing) we would have to wait for ice off and after the spring turnover – usually in late March. Dale mentioned that he was familiar with this timing a bit from his experience with the membership and fishing outings with the Blue Mountain Flycasters while living in Pendleton. He said he would share this 2015 timing via this blog report…

March 21 (Saturday) fishing trip to Cold Springs Reservoir near Hermiston. 

April 4 (Saturday) Fishing trip to Lake Lenice in SE WA. 

April 25 (Saturday) fishing trip to Bull Prairie Reservoir south of Heppner, OR 

May 30 (Saturday) fishing trip to Penland Lake, SE of Heppner, OR 

June 27 (Saturday) fishing trip to 5412 pond south of Pilot Rock, OR 

July 11 (Saturday) fishing trip to Jubilee Lake east of Weston, OR

Dale mentioned that during the balance of summer and early autumn there are many high lakes and ponds that he knew of that were great places to-beat-the-heat and catch fish, but some did get too mossy to fish as the season progressed. He also mentioned that a lot of these ponds could be fished from the shore very successfully, but to fish the lakes – one would need a watercraft. 
July - October fishing trips to NE Oregon high lakes such as Anthony Lake...
7100' elevation - the highest drive to lake in Oregon - great area trout fishing

Dale mentioned that he had rented the ole "Guard Station" at Anthony Lake for weekend stillwater fishing outings with the Blue Mountain Flycasters. He suggested that our club might consider doing the same as the cabin would sleep 8-10, had hot/cold running water - shower, full kitchen, and dining area.

All of these options are to be discussed as the 2015 fishing season approaches, and we decide which way to go with our fishing gear. 

Our next meeting will be 11 March at Smith's Family Restaurant in Walla Walla.
6:00 pm dinner and social hour ~ 7:00 business meeting

Our meeting was adjourned at 8:10. 

Respectfully submitted,
Dale McKain
Club Secretary

Tight lines and Good Fishing

Contact Us

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

Gerald Newell - PROJECT HEALING WATERS Coordinator

Past Presidents
Tyson Kopfer
Bob Long
Scott Peters 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Walla² Fly Fishers' fly tying session

Super Bowl XLIX, was played about a week ago, and many of us lost that game to the guys on the East Coast. In time this lose won't hurt quite as bad, because those guys are now buried under about 70" of snow, and our weather in the Pacific Northwest this past week has been warm, foggy, and wet. A good week for winter steelhead fishing, without icing our rod, line or guides.
Got a report from Erik who with a buddy spent today steelhead fishing the Wallowa River and had a 9-fish hookup day.

Let it be known, that to be steelhead fishing the Wallowa Country between now and 15 April, one should carry their own rock to fish from. The river does get crowded... with people and FISH.

Today we also kicked off our Walla² Fly Fishers' 2015 fly tying season, for novice tyers and whip-finishers alike.

Tis the season for resupplying one's fly boxes of summer / winter steelhead flies and preparing for the spring, summer, fall trout, bass, carp, crappie, salmon, walleye, etc. fishing season.

Club member Stu Farnham invited all club member interested in forming a fly tying round table at his home to do so. We had about 12 interested fly tyer to respond to our club's email invitation, and seven of us showed up with hooks, thread, fur, feathers, and tools in hand. Diane also had extra gear to share from her grade school fly tying classes. If you wish to join our group in the future, Stu tells us that he can put another leaf in his table and we can seat 12. Stu served a round of coffee and tea, Barbara brought in some baked treats and we proceed to sit around the (square) table and tied flies.

This day to keep tying fly patterns simple...
Dale began passing around materials for an Egg Sucking Leech, and proceeded to instruct putting that fly pattern together. Today we used Krystal Eggs for our flies heads, but it was discussed how else to create an egg-head for an Egg Sucking Leech using standard tying materials. The Egg Sucking Leech in black or purple, is a very good fly for winter steelhead fishing.

Again to keep the fly tying process simple for all, Diane passed around the materials for tying a Bead-head Krystal Flash Wooly Bugger, a very good fly for hooking all kinds of freshwater fish.

After some round table discussion, of some historical fish hookups and procedures for using these flies, it was Stu's turn to lead the group into a favorite fly pattern of his to tye. His choice was the steelhead catching Green Butt Skunk pattern. After handing everyone a steelhead hook, Stu proceeded to pass around the materials for tying this pattern. When it came to pass out the dubbing material for the fly's thorax Stu took the time to create 7 dubbing brushes with his Turbo dubbing spinning block. Thereafter he pulled out a patch of Polar Bear hide and passed it around for everyone to snip off some wing material. We then proceed to tye a sparsely dressed and very attractive Green Butt Skunk, one of the best flies to have in your box when fishing for summer steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.

Having started our fly tying session around 1:00 pm, we had finished tying these three patterns, with a lot of discussion and round table camaraderie and started clearing the table shortly after 4:00 pm. Everyone committed that they were very glad to have had this opportunity to get together, and asked "When will be our next sitting?"
Our next fly tying session at Stu's home is now planned to be held on Saturday 14 March 1:00 pm. Wish to join us?
You can email our club and we will send you directions to our next fly tying session.

Now if you would like to get out-of-town and see a really big fly tying show that same weekend -13 and 14 March - you might consider making a trip to Albany, Oregon for the 25th Annual Northwest Fly Tyers Expo.

The NW Expo has been heralded as the “largest fly tying event west of the Mississippi". Come to the Expo and be part of the crowd of fly tyers and fly fishers building their knowledge and seeing old friends.  At the Expo you will have the opportunity to:

Admission: General Admission: $10.00
FFF Members, Veterans and Youth 18 & Under: FREE
Parking is also FREE

Respectfully submitted,
Dale McKain
Club Secretary / Fly Tyer

Tight lines and Good Fishing