Sunday, May 5, 2019

Walla² Fly Fishing women are at it again

The Walla² Fly Fisherwomen were at it again…

With beautiful blue sky and "perfect" temperatures to greet us, a small cheery group of women gathered at Tietan Park for our second mini-workshop on fly casting and knots last Saturday, May 4th.

Club President Diane started by leading the group through basics of putting rod/reel together and stringing up the line.  Hula hoops were placed in the lush lawn to serve as "targets", and as Diane started the demonstrations and students started to cast, the breeze came up, making casting more difficult.  Diane had the students move to the other side of the hula hoops, and casting became much easier, with students enjoying themselves as they learned.

With the smaller class size this time, Diane was able to provide a bit more personalized help to individual students.  After a nice amount of time casting, students were advised to set rods aside for awhile, and move to the picnic table to work on knots.  Diane again provided materials and demonstrations so that each participant had the opportunity to "tie a fly on" a few times, as well as get hands-on experience working with knot-tying tools to practice the knots to add tippet onto leader.  

The temperature remained ideal, and the gentle breezes felt great, plus the breeze provided a bit of "realism" to the knot-tying practice! Diane used that situation to explain why it's often best to tie SOME knots on shore or other protected area! (such as adding tippet to leader!)

After the knot-tying session, the group resumed casting practice.  Diane again provided personalized instruction as students practiced casting.

Smiling faces and cheerful conversations wrapped up the morning's activities.  Walla² Fly Fisherwomen circle leader Heidi provided some resource handouts to those interested, as students chatted and put gear away.   A fine morning indeed!
Our next casting practice will be held at the College Place Lion's Park next Wednesday May 8th.
Casting practice at Lions' Park - May 8 

The Walla² Fly Fisherwomen were at it again…
Happily, the predicted gusty winds didn't materialize, and there were only moderate breezes to "play games" with fly lines and yarn on Wednesday afternoon, May 8

Several ladies gathered at Lions Park in College Place for the afternoon casting practice lead by Dale, the Walla² Fly Fishers club secretary.  

Putting rods together and stringing them up with line was the first order of business.  That was followed with students standing along the edge of the pond as Dale talked about the "10 o'clock ~~  2 o'clock" casting stroke and other aspects of casting.  The occasional loud splash of ducks jumping into the pond added a bit of "outdoor adventure feel" as the students practiced casting.

In short order, a leader with yarn found it's way to a tree branch during a back cast, and Dale stopped and got everyone's attention, then explained and demonstrated the best way to retrieve the line/leader without risking damage to the fly rod.  That is an extremely useful bit of information, since I suspect every fly fisher has been in that situation at least once, and some of us have on multiple occasions!   

A good amount of time was provided for casting practice, and as activities were winding down, participants were reminded of the Walla Walla Fly Fishers club meeting next Wednesday evening, and invited to attend.  

A quick reminder: The next women's fly fishing activity will be Wed. May 22 at 6 pm, at Clarettes restaurant in Walla Walla.  Along with the social meet and greet time (plus ordering any food and/or beverage if desired) there will be hands-on and information re: fly fishing tools and accessories, and if time allows, maybe some knot tying.  We're looking forward to seeing you there! 

Tight lines and good fly fishing,
Walla² Fly Fishers

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Minam Fishing Guide Services with Grant and Lottie

This evening President Diane called our meeting to order at 7:03.
We had 33 members and quest in attendance.

Diane and President Judy gave a warm welcome to our evening guest and asked them to introduce themselves.

Thereafter Diane asked for a Moment of Silence – for our dear departed club founder Skip Prichard. 
Skip had thoughts of opening an Orvis fly shop in Walla Walla in 2009, and prior to opening such he worked on developing a fly fishing club – The Walla² Fly Fishers.  Skip was a most devoted husband, father, grandfather, a counselor and minister of the College Place Presbyterian Church. Skip was also a certified fly casting instructor, owner of his Stone Creek Fly Fishers’ guide service. An asset to our community, and a friend to all that knew him. RIP – Skip, you will be missed by many.

Secretary Dale was asked to give his report, of which he mentioned the club blog being updated, that we were working on acquiring a fleet of watercraft (pontoon boats and float tubes) to let out to all Annual Due Paying  club members, for their enjoyment of stillwater fishing – hopefully by the time Bennington Lake is fishable. Dale said that fellow member Jerry Makus (Attorney-at-Law – retired) was working on a Watercraft Use Agreement for the club.
He also mentioned that the club was again lining up a meeting presentation by Rick Hafele 
(Author/Lecturer/Bug Man) in May. A few of the many books written by Rick.

Treasurer Harold gave his report that we currently have about
$1400 in the club’s checking account.

Fellow club member Heidi has been working on organizing a women’s only fly fishing group; to complement our club’s effort to share fly fishing with more area individuals. Fact is, women make better fly fishers than do men in almost every aspect of the sport. Heidi announced the first “Meet and Greet” ladies fly fishers meeting at Clarette’s Restaurant on April 10th and had 9 women in attendance.
Their next schedule get together will be April 20th at Tietan Park –WW- at 10:00 am for a class of Introduction to Fly Casting, directed by Diane.

Thereafter the drawing for the Door Prize Fly Box was made.

President Diane mentioned that we were in conversation with the WW Sportsman Warehouse to set up a Fly Fishing Fair for all interested parties and their store customers.

Tom thereafter gave a report on the WW 4-H Super Saturday event that Dave and Judy helped him with. This event offered a short presentation of fly fishing with some hands on fly casting for the kids to participate in.

Tom then introduced our evening program speakers – Grant and Lottie Richie.

Grant and Lottie own the Minam Store – Raft Rentals and Fishing Guide Service.
NOTE: This same business was once the Minam Motel – but they no longer have rooms to rent.

They did mention that their Minam Store does have groceries, snacks, pop along with rods/reels/flies and fly lines for sale. The main feature they have to offer is their 40-mile guided fishing trips on the Wallowa and Grand Ronde rivers.

In this Oregon NE Zone fishing is allowed in streams and river year around – of course depending on water flow conditions.

Grant gave us a general schedule of fishing the area being:
Steelhead fishing from late October through early April with the best being in March
Trout fishing in March is best with Stoneflies, in April it is with using Mayflies imitations.
Around Mother’s Day in May the Caddis Flies begin to show strong for the balance of summer. In late June, early July a strong hatch of Golden Stoneflies come off.
By mid-July the Wallowa and Grand Ronde river flows are getting low, so Grant and Lottie bought into a Snake River Raft ~ Guide Service last year with they get into from July 4th through Labor Day, into September. The Snake River fishing is primarily for bass; and they tell us that it is hard to keep those pesky fish off of their Hoppers and Poppers. They told us that usually in later September / October they return to their guiding on the Wallowa when the flow rate reaches 450 cfs. This year Grant said he is going to start a “Cast & Blast” guide service in the road-less area of the Wallowa… hunting for Chukars and fishing for trout.
Not only are Lottie and Grant’s river guide service about fishing and this year bird hunting, but there is also a lot of exposure to the Great Outdoors, wildlife and NE Oregon beauty.
So a few pictures can best tell the story….

After Grant’s presentation we had the Fly Box Raffle drawing – Steve WON that box.

Thereafter, Dale introduced Heidi with a very full fly box from Paul Anderson of Fly Fishing Strategies Fly Shop located in The Dalles, OR. 
While visiting the Tri-Cities Sportsman Show, Heidi had received a 2-sided floatable fly box with a dozen flies as a donation to our club - with no strings attached.

Dale later filled this unsinkable fly box to contain 60 all-purpose flies to be raffled between now and our May 15th meeting with Rick Hafele.
Raffle tickets for this fly box went on sale this evening - $2 each - and will be selling at our next meeting to help with Rick Hafele's travel expenses.

Our meeting was adjourned at 8:15.

Our next meeting will be held at Smith's Family Restaurant on W. 9th Street in Walla Walla --
15th May 2019
6:00 pm Dinner and Social
7:00 Call-to-Order Club Business

Respectfully submitted,
Dale McKain
Club Secretary

Diane Briggs –  Co-President
 McDole – Co-President
Tyson Kopfer – Vice President
Harold Saxby – Treasurer
Dale McKain – Secretary - Blogmaster

Dave Stemmer  PROJECT HEALING WATERS Coordinator

Friday, April 12, 2019

Ladies Fly Fishers "Meet and Greet" gathering

A cheery group of women met at Clarette's Restaurant in Walla Walla at 7 pm Wed. April 10,  for a fun social "meet and greet", and to start planning for workshops, classes and fly fishing outings.

Nine women were in attendance.  There would have been more, but one was unable to get over the Blue Mts. due to the severe weather, and another was out of town for work.  There are several others that are interested, but were also unable to attend for various reasons.

Contact information was obtained for each attendee, and each person had the opportunity to list skills or aspects to fly fishing that they would like to learn about or practice, types of fishing they'd like to try/do, and places they were interested in fishing.  

Discussions re: potential spring fishing opportunities spurred conversations about fishing licenses for WA and OR, and options for single day license for non-resident OR etc.  

The "mission statement"/goals and objectives of the women's group was discussed, along with various safety plans and other items of interest to women fly fishers.

It sounds like there will be several women attending the introduction to rigging of fly rods, basic knots and fly casting mini-workshop at 10 a.m.,  Saturday April 20, at Tietan park.  At this point, it sounds like Diane will be able to manage and teach the workshop on her own, but if she needs assistance she will ask.

Diane brought enough flies (and a corks to take them home on) for everyone in attendance to get one.

Heidi H. donated a small lanyard/keychain made from recycled fly line that was made by a women-owned company in Montana called Fly Vines, for a door prize raffle.  Judy McDole won the raffle.

There is much enthusiasm and interest in planning more activities, from intro/beginner classes, fly tying, and some more advanced casting and fishing skills, as well as definite excitement at the prospect of planning some fishing outings!

More social meet-and-greet activities may be planned in the future as well.

It was a very enjoyable evening indeed!  
Heidi Hoffer
Email contact:

Ladies - are you thinking about trying the sport of Fly Fishing?
If so the women of 
Walla² Fly Fishers are here to help you.

Follow this video presentation link to meet Joan Wulff -
"Queen of Fly Casting" 
- to help you get started with fly casting...

Joan Wulff
Available from Amazon - $1.99

Tight lines and good fishing
Walla² Fly Fishers

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Restoring the Tucannon River fishery

President Diane called our meeting to order at 7:05 PM.
We had 24 members and guest in attendance.

Prior to the evening’s meeting everyone is invited to dinner being served (Dutch Treat) from the menu, while tales of fish tails are being shared.  Ex-Pres Dave passed out door-prize-tickets (for a box of flies) to all. We also have a second round of tickets being sold (1 for $1 –or- 6 for $5) for club raffle-fund-raiser which wins a second fly box for the evening.  

Diane welcomed all to our meeting and introduced our visitors.
She then ask Secretary Dale to give his report.

Dale gave a synopsis of last month’s meeting and program. He mentioned the club’s online reference points he maintains – the club blog site (as seen here) and a Facebook page. He also mentioned that he had posted on the Facebook page an invitation to all area US Veterans to join in, with our ongoing Project Healing Waters meetings being held at the Walla Walla Vet Center on Popular Street. 
All Project Healing Waters activities are FREE for all vet who wish to participate.
Dale also mentioned that due to the record breaking winter snowfall, that he had not yet picked up the club's 9' pontoon boat from Tom, nor had he and Dave gone out to Waterbrook Winery to check on having a June Fly Fishing Fair day.

#12 March Brown

Dale did mention that he was logging to the club's Facebook site, the river flow and the flies that he was collecting at his home, overlooking the Walla Walla River at Stateline, on particular days so there would be some record "chart" of this 2019 season's hatches, with changing river flows.

Treasurer Harold reported that the club now has a little over $1300 in our checking account. 
Those that wish to pay your annual membership dues may do so at our club meetings or by mailing your dues to Harold Saxby – PO Box 218 Walla Walla, WA 99362.
Membership dues are - $15 for individuals and $20 for families

Dave (in Tom’s absence) gave a report of the upcoming 4-H Super Saturday activities. He reported that it appeared that Tom would have plenty of help from club members for the event.

The first drawing (by a guest) was made for the evening’s Door Prize fly box.

The second drawing for the Raffle fly box was made just before our evening’s program.

Heidi, announced that several women of our club had a ladies only fly fishing group forming.  This group would be to promote the camaraderie of area women fly fishers and train more women to become fly fishers. Heidi told us that she was working on the first ladies outing (to develop rod/reel casting skills) to be held at Tietan Park with a follow-up mid-week “Meet and Greet Tea" at Clarette's Restaurant - 15 S Touchet St, Walla Walla
Heidi also mentioned that she and VP Tyson are continuing to work on cataloging the club's library, and it will be available soon for member's check-out of a lot of fly fishing information... literature and video works.

Dale asked the group this evening to keep their ear on the rails, and if anyone hears of Bennington Lake being filled and stocked... please spread the word.
Dale says he will keep the club posted on any upcoming stillwater fishing trips being planned by the Pendleton fly fishers. We have an open invitation to join them to fish NE Oregon with some nice stocked triploid rainbow, to be caught there.
7100' elevation -Anthony Lake - rainbows

Diane brought up the idea of developing a Casting for Recovery group in our Walla Walla area – to be discussed later.

This evening our program PowerPoint presentation was made by Eric Hoverson. Eric has been fisheries biologist that has been working with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) for the past 27 years.
Effective the first of this year Eric resigned from the CTUIR, became the President of our local Walla Walla Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter.
Eric’s position with the CTUIR was the manager of stream / river habitat restoration of the Tucannon River.

As mentioned his presentation was of Power Point slide and since a picture is worth a thousand words, this writer will use his pictures to recap Eric’s program.

Progress in the works
It is a tough job, and Eric gets to work with dreams of a job well done and fisheries restored.

Eric, Thank You for this evening's program and a job well done with improving / rehabilitating the salmon, steelhead and trout habitat of the Tucannon River. A lot of people fish that river for trout from the upper ponds, to the mouth of the river for steelhead.

Our meeting was adjourned at 8:35.

Respectfully submitted,
Dale McKain
Club Secretary

Our next meeting will be held at Smith's Family Restaurant on W. 9th Street in Walla Walla --
17th April 2019
6:00 pm Dinner and Social
7:00 Call-to-Order Club Business

Judy McDole – Co-President
Diane Briggs –  Co-President
Tyson Kopfer – Vice President
Harold Saxby – Treasurer
Dale McKain – Secretary - Blogmaster

Dave Stemmer  PROJECT HEALING WATERS Coordinator