Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Let's Go Fishing - it's October - A great month for catching

This evening President Dave called our meeting to order at 7:10.
We had 16 members and guest in attendance tonight.

The first order of business was Pres. Dave announced that our club's chapter of Project Healing Waters (PHW) meeting place would be moving from the Walla Walla VA Hospital to the Walla Walla Veterans Center on 27 October. This move we hope will enable more of the 4700 vets in Walla Walla to participate in our PHW programs. We will continue to hold our weekly meetings on Thursday between 5:00 and 6:30pm. Dave also made a request to any and all club fly tyers to consider participate during the upcoming winter months to help with fly tying instructions for PHW. Dave also announced that PHW, was going to start fishing with spinning / level wind gear on fishing trips. The activities will not just be using fly fishing for it’s therapy functions.

It was announce that Vice President Tom and President Dave has been in touch with Devin Olsen, a member of Fly Fishing Team USA to make arrangements for him to address our November 16th meeting. 

Thereafter we had a round-the-room discussion of current fishing trips.

Tom started the discussion telling us about the very successful steelhead fishing trip he had made with Troutwater Guide Service. Tom and a friend made their trip on the Klickitat River and brought back evidence of the steelhead in the river.  

One of Tom's catch for the day

Tom and Dale told of their trip to the Deschutes River on September 22. They found the river to be in great shape, and some nice 34” steelhead being caught on Blue Fox spinners. 

The lower Deschutes between Moody and Rattlesnake rapids runs wide

They reported that their flies would hardly penetrate the walls of wind they were casting against, and they came back skunked – no jerks, no fish.

Barbara and Dale had made a trip to Grande Ronde Lake on September 25th
A splashing performance for Barbara

and had a great afternoon of playing with trout. Barbara was quite amazed at the amount of fish rises on the lake, and how many times the fish jumped at and over her fly in their attempt to attack it.
Rings of Rises just beyond the lily pads, as the sun sinks into the west
Diane told us of her 4-day steelhead fishing trip on the lower Wallowa River with Grant at Minam Raft Rental. She is still looking for that one elusive first steelhead to take her fly and make her reel scream.

Barbara and Dale told about the numerous fall catching trips they had made to Jubilee Lake in late September and October 1st and 16th.   
Looking east across Jubilee "mirror" Lake, as the sun sets in the west
Posted signs indicated that Jubilee Lake campground would be closing on October 17th, making it a rather long walk to get to the water to fish thereafter.
Jubliee Lake - last cast of a wonderful day's catching
Barbara and Dale also told of a trip made to the upper Wallowa River on October 1st. They found that fishing was not quite as good as a couple of weeks earlier, but still worth the trip, being a Monday on the river - not on the job.
Barbara with a perhaps a juvenile Wallowa River steelhead.
Until they go to salt, they are Redband trout.
 Again they found there was one spot on the river that they had fished previously, which surrendered about 40 trout hookups for the both of them.

Barbara, Tyson and Dale talked about the fishing trip they had made to Jubilee Lake with Robin and Harold on October 9th.
Tyson with a splashy fish
As all good husbands will do - Harold is working the oars - and enjoying watching Robin's catching

Barbara having a splashy good time
At the end of the day everyone had fish to take home - nice 10"-12" rainbows
Emails have been sent out since last Friday, for all interested parties that wish to join Dale and Barbara on the John Day River to steelhead fish to meet at Dale’s house Friday morning at 8:30.

This evening our guest speaker was Mike Johnson.
Mike had been the Washington State game warden/ officer for Walla Walla County from 1983 – 2012.
Mike grew up fishing with his father, first with bait and spinning gear as a child and then with flies and fly rod; as his father was an avid fly fisherman, and Mike followed in his footsteps. Mike’s father was also a law enforcement officer, so Mike received a lot of education from his dad in many aspects of life.
Mike told us that most of his fly fishing experience has been in stillwaters. Before moving to the Walla Walla area, his home waters was those of Grant County, WA in the area around Pothole Reservoir and the Pothole lakes. Quail Lake - was one of he and his father’s favorite. Other than spending a lot of time on Bennington Lake, other favorite waters of Mike art Lenice, Lenore, Nunnually lakes. After the program we also discussed fishing for Chum salmon in Hood Canal, WA.
Since Mike was stationed in Walla Walla County with Washington State Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement, his most familiar fishing water is Bennington Lake. 

He talked about the very diverse use of Bennington Lake and the recreational grounds around the lake. Mike pointed out that Bennington Lake was a flood control reservoir under the control of the Army Corp of Engineers, and therefore it was never at a constant level to enhance its fishery. It is usually in the spring after spring snowpack runoff that the lake is filled and fish are stocked. Mike tells us that Bennington Lake usually has a nice carryover of largemouth Bass, Crappies, Trout, Catfish, Carp, Bluegills and is also stocked with Triploid trout. 

Mike gave us a look at his fly box
He also told of some of the “hotspots” where fish hold as the seasons and water level changes.

and his tools for his stillwater trade
Mike told us that most of his fly fishing experience has been stillwater fishing, and that he would like to join us in our chasing of trout, steelhead and salmon in our area rivers and streams. He will now be getting emails for all fishing outing, stream, river and stillwater to join us.
Mike also shared with us some of the perils of a law enforcement officer. We as law abiding citizens and good sportsmen and women should give all due respect for the person that stands up to protect our lives, property, and the natural resources we love.

Thank you Mike of sharing your time, your fishing and law enforcement experiences.
We will now plan to add to them with
sharing some Walla² Fly Fishers' fishing outings.

Meeting came to a close at 8:30
Our next monthly meeting will be November 16th at
Smith's Family Restaurant
1425 Pine Street

Dinner and social at 6:00 pm with meeting following at 7:00

Come one, come all, come as you are.
Our meetings are open to the interested fly fishing public.

Respectfully submitted,
Dale McKain
Club Secretary

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

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Let's Go Fishing - Jubilee Lake - Tyson may have hooked…

Word went out this past week that the Walla² Fly Fishers were planning a trip to fish Jubilee Lake on Sunday.
Some regrets were received – could not attend – 5 RSVP’s came back saying “Going fishing” - details, please.

Our point of rendezvous was to be the Long Branch Saloon in Weston – 10:00 am.
There Robin, Barbara, Harold and Dale had a most delicious and filling brunch once again and were on our way to the lake. 
We arrived at the lake around noon, shortly thereafter we were joined by Tyson. There was one boat on the lake when we got there, and before we got our watercraft on the water, they and filled their creel and left. The couple that left as we were launching our boats, told us that they had filled their creel and caught one triploid rainbow. 
Everyone got their watercrafts on the lake and proceed to start their afternoon of catching. 

Our weather for the afternoon was cool, not cold, and a bit overcast, the perfect conditions for October trout fishing.

It wasn’t very long before reels began to sing, and water was being splashed from stem to stern by quite a few 10”-12” rainbows. From this writer’s viewpoint, it appeared that Tyson had the most successful afternoon of having to take fish off his hook, while Barbara probably came in a close second with 38 C&Rs to deal with. 



Today Robin got her first exposure to stillwater fishing while Harold did the kindly husband thing - of manning the oars. They were learning a lot about being stealthy, and hooking fish that don’t jump onto flies in the same manner as they do in running river waters.

Stillwater fly fishing is a different kind of fishing game, and like everything else, it takes a little practice to become really good at it.
By the end of the afternoon, everyone had a full creel, our hands were getting cold, and we had a good day’s catch to take home for dinner.


It was another good day on the fly at Jubilee lake, and a fresh caught dinner treat when we returned home.

Respectfully submitted by
Dale McKain

Tight lines and good fishing.

Walla² Fly Fishers