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Camp Water

Camp water is close to home. Here you will find information on stuff happening here in the shop and on our local waters. You'll also find our weekly newsletter feature, Trailer Trash Thursday, a fun collection of fly fishing videos, perfect for a midweek distraction. If you don't get the newsletter, be sure to sign up today!

Let's Make the Metolius Fly Fishing Only

Joel La Follette - Thursday, May 24, 2018

A few weeks ago this photograph came across my desk of 16 illegally poached Metolius River Bull Trout. While many of you may think that the Metolius is already a fly fishing only stream, conventional tackle including multiple point hooks is allowed below Bridge 99. This puts resident wild native fish in danger and makes enforcement of game laws harder for officers according to the State Trooper who took the photograph in question. It seems that poachers utilize the river below Bridge 99 to slip in and toss baited lures to catch Bull Trout and depart before they can be caught. As proven here, not all are successful at avoiding apprehension. These two face charges for their efforts. Evidently this is a fairly common occurrence that is increasing according to law enforcement in the area and one we all should want to stop. 

There is a movement afoot to clarify and simplify the regulations on the Metolius making the entire river Fly Fishing Only / Catch and Release. It should be noted that enforcement officers are in favor of this change as it would make enforcement easier. Additionally, law enforcement officers say that the fly fishing community seem to police themselves and tend to follow the posted regulations. It should also be noted that the Fall River in Central Oregon is Fly Fishing Only and is stocked with hatchery Trout, while the Metolius is managed as a wild fish river without any hatchery stocking since 1997 yet is not Fly Fishing Only throughout its full length. 

It is important to state that the Metolius is Fly Fishing Only in the area of the popular camp grounds so a change to regulations to encompass the whole river would not impact families utilizing the Metolius for fishing recreation. They are already using fly gear. It would only protect fish in the lower river below Bridge 99 from less scrupulous anglers. 

This effort to simplify the regulations and make the Metolius Fly Fishing Only is spearheaded by ODFW casting instructor and friend, Chris Foster. Chris has taken on this issue as a personal quest to protect the wild fish in the Metolius River. Public input is very important and this is where you all come it. 

Please take a minute to email ODFW Director Curt Melcher, ODFW Program Manager Mike Gauvin and the ODFW Commission and simply say "Make the entire Metolius River Fly Fishing only. Protect our wild fish." 

Click the links above and take two minutes to protect the wild fish of the Metolius River. Chris has provided a detailed proposal and additional information on the issue in a notebook which is available in the shop for viewing during business hours.

Trailer Trash Thursday Confluentus Edition

Joel La Follette - Thursday, December 14, 2017

“Confluentus” (Trailer) - Official Selection, IF4™ 2018 from IF4™ on Vimeo.

Trailer Trash Thursday Kootenay Bulls Edition

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Our friends at Scientific Anglers have been sharing some of their adventures....
 

Scientific Anglers/Fly Fusion TV Web Series - Episode 1 from Scientific Anglers on Vimeo.

A Queer Fish

Joel La Follette - Thursday, June 15, 2017

In a letter to the Salem Statesman Hon. John Mento, of Marion county calls the attention of The Astorian to a queer fish caught in a high cascade mountain stream recently by Mr. Shrum. Mr. Minto says this fish was twenty two inches long, with a general appearance, on a hasty glance, of being a trout, but upon a critical inspection proved a fish that might be described as a cross between the catfish of the Mississippi waters and a trout; head large, mouth to correspond, body roundish and tapering from the gills to the tail, color very dark on the back and gradually lightening to a whitish yellow underneath, the whole body splashed with irregular sized orange colored spots.

Perhaps it was the habits of the fish, as described to me by many of the young men in camp and which was confirmed by the oldest of them who have had opportunity to observe them, that gave him (to me) the most repulsive look which I ever noticed in a fish of the trout kind.

To these habits I invite the attention of all lovers of that kind of food fishes, the salmon; and those in Oregon who have interested themselves in keeping up the supply of salmon in the waters of the state. The egg eater is the name applied to the fish by the anglers here. They are frequently caught from two feet to thirty inches long. They wait upon and diligently watch the female salmon and salmon trout, and devour the spawn. The male salmon chase them, and fight them, but wolfish in their nature, they are persistent in their quest of prey.

At other times than the spawning season they are sluggish in their habits, take slowly but certainly such baits as a piece of raw meat, and never (according to my informants), rise to a fly or other surface feed. Mr. E Henness, who is well acquainted with the fish and its habits here and has trapped and fished on many of the head branches of the upper Columbia, tells me he has always found the egg-eater in streams frequented by salmon, but has never noticed them in waters where the salmon was not or could not be. If my information is correct, its destruction, as a species, as soon and complete as possible, would certainly be one means of conserving the public interest in the wealth of salmon the waters of state are capable of yielding.



As you may have guessed by now the species in question is the Bull Trout...and that's the news. 

What is Black Spot?

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, May 03, 2017

This photo of a Deschutes Bull Trout infected with Black Spot was taken by Nick Wheeler on May 1st on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section of the Deschutes. 

A few weeks ago I mentioned that a parasite that infects salmonids was becoming more prevalent in the Deschutes with many anglers reporting catches infected with the telltale “black spots.” To answer some the questions floating around I turned to biologist Greg McMillan and asked “Just what is Black Spot and why are we seeing an increase in cases in the Deschutes?”

Greg responded, "Black spot disease is caused by a flatworm (trematode) parasite known in the scientific community as Uvulifer ambloplitis, and also known as “neascus”.  This parasite has a complicated life cycle that starts with eggs in water, which hatch and become juveniles known as miracidia, which in turn infect aquatic snails.  In snails this form of the parasite matures into the next life form, known as cercariae.  Cercariae are shed by the snails and become free swimmers, which attach to fish.  Once the cercariae have attached to the flesh of fish, the fish develops an immune response that causes the dark spot.

Kingfishers are the next host, which become infected when they ingest infected fish.  The cercariae develop into adult flatworms.  The parasite then produces eggs, which are shed in feces by kingfishers, and deposited in water where the life cycle is reinitiated.

These flatworms do not appear to be fatal to fish, or other hosts.  There are scattered reports of fish stressed from other sources dying while infected.  No human infections have been reported, but there is no real surveillance mechanism to detect human infections.  Although probably safe for human consumption after thorough cooking, there is no study data to confirm that.

None of us who have fished the lower Deschutes River for decades can say that we’ve seen many, if any fish with this condition until a year ago.  There are reports indicating there have been infected fish in the lower Deschutes River and tributaries in the past, but they aren’t common.  So what has changed?  Is this random?  Or linked to the ongoing ecological changes we are all seeing in the lower river?

This might be related to an increase in the snail population in the lower Deschutes River. Portland General Electric’s Year 1 Data Summary Report from their Lower Deschutes River Macroinvertebrate and Periphyton Report Study published in 2014, indicates that there has been a significant increase in snail populations in the lower Deschutes River.  This increase in population in the intermediate host (snails) might be related to the increase in black spot disease noted in fish.  The snail population increase is likely linked to the increase in algae in the lower river.

Is this a catastrophic occurrence?  Probably not, but it could be another indication of ecological change in the lower Deschutes River."

As Greg said, Black Spot is probably not catastrophic, but it is of concern. Finding out more information on the disease occurrence in Oregon is hard as it seems to not be of concern to ODFW at this time. Perhaps if more cases are reported by anglers, ODFW will finally take notice and look into the cause of this increase in cases. 



I would suggest that anglers fishing the Deschutes carefully photograph and report cases of Black Spot to ODFW. Take note of where the catch was made and how many cases were observed. Please make an effort to leave fish in the water when handling and photographing them. If you send a photo of infected fish to me I'll add it to this blog post. Again, please handle all wild fish with respect and care.

Oregon Trout Trail

Joel La Follette - Thursday, May 19, 2016


It's time to rediscover your Oregon fly fishing roots and hit the Oregon Trout Trail. Starting on May 22nd, if you venture out to do some Trout fishing keep a photographic record of your catch and see if you can collect photos of at least 6 of the native Trout species found in Oregon. When you complete the Trail, send us your application and we'll send you a cool certificate to commemorate your accomplishment.

It's really easy.  Register on the Oregon Trout Trail registation page and you will receive an email with a copy of the rules and instuctions for registering your catches. Catch and carefully release 6 native Trout species in the state of Oregon. Document the date, location and species of each encounter. Register your accomplishment to received a Certificate of Completion of the Oregon Trout Trail. There is no deadline to complete the Oregon Trout Trail, but the first 25 pioneers will receive a commemorative Oregon Trout Trail sticker in addition to the Certificate of Completion.



The six species are.

Steelhead Trout (wild)
Coastal Cutthroat
Sea Run Cutthroat
West Side Rainbow Trout
East side Rainbow Trout (Columbia Redband)
Bull Trout

Participants must register on-line before heading out on the Oregon Trout Trail. 

Rules:

1. All fish must be caught legally in open waters in Oregon on fly fishing tackle and carefully released. Fish caught before registation for the Oregon Trout Trail can not be entered. 

2. All fish must be handled with great care and not removed from the water.

3. All documentation photos of fish must be taken with the fish in the water or in a net in the water. Photos of fish out of water will not be accepted as documentation of a catch.

4. The date and general location must be recorded on the application form. Photos may be used to document locations, but the honor system applies here.

5. Royal Treatment Fly Fishing reserves the right to modify these rules to maintain the conservation aspect of the Oregon Trout Trail  certification.

Participants are encourage to share their travels on Instagram and #Oregontrouttrail. Be sure to check ODFW regulations for open waters and angling rules.

Oregon Trout Trail stickers are available for your boat or fishing rig on our website or in the shop.



A River for Christmas

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A River for Christmas (Director's cut) from Joel La Follette on Vimeo.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Royal Treatment Fly Fishing


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