Recent Posts


Clackamas River small creeks Patagonia Echo Brown Trout Mexico Rogue River Mia Sheppard Spey Fishing Tips Frank Moore Salmon Watch Wild fish McKenzie Winter Steelhead Scientific Anglers Keepemwet Fishing Trout Unlimited PMDs Streamers Klamath Lake Lost and Found Colorado Senator Ron Wyden Deschutes River Hardy Reel Grand Teton A River Between Us Clackamas Rio Fly Lines Craig Montana March Browns Eric Neufeld G3 Waders Native Trout Travalley Williamson River Corey Koff Owyhee River Bulkley Trout Redband Trout Salmonflies Mousing Sea Trout McKenzie River Willamette Coho Salmon PGE Road Trip Rainbow Trout Kamchatka Lahontan Cutthroat Catch Magazine Bozeman Black Friday Douglas County Fall River Lincoln Motor Company native fish Chum Salmon Klamath State of Jefferson Casting for Recovery Winston Smithers Alaska Oregon ODFW photography Bruce Buckmaster Twin Bridges Sage Fly Rods Bamboo Jurassic Lake invasive species Metolius River Tarpon Big Trout Trout Spey hatcheries fly fishing Kispiox Soft Hackles Southern Coast LaFollette homestead Bears Renzetti Atlantic Salmon Fly Expo Christmas Trees Florida Keys Trout Bum Road Trip boat cleaning stations Port Orford Goldenstones Carp Extinction Bamboo Rods Fly Reels Nevada hot water Salmonfly hatch Dry Fly vintage news Klamath River Kenny 5 Legs West Slope Cutthroat Fishing License Sage Fly Fishers Club of Oregon Kenny Morrish Kate Koff Steamboat Inn Jason Atkinson Sweden Native Fish Society Rio Products Willamette Falls Christmas Rob Crandall Elk & Sixes John Day River Abel Reels saltwater Green Drakes Deschutes National Forest Small Streams John Day Senator Jeff Merkley Sea-runs #keepemwet Willamette River Sea-run Cutthroat North Coast: Film Contest Cutthroat Trout Nautilus Reels Bill Bakke pay it forward Steamboat Creek Bass Argentina Big Bugs Northern California Instagram Project Healing Waters Brian Silvey Dale La Follette Sr. Ochoco Creek Trailer Trash Thursday Coat Drive Yellowstone Simms Rio Travally Mountain Goats Steelhead Sanctuary Atlantic Salmon Kickstarter Black Spot Klamath Dams Fly Fishing Collaborative Conway Bowman Seychelles Oregon Trout Trail Costa Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Poachers history Roamerica "Clipped" Tying Contest Pelton Dam Cookie Lady Elk River roll cast North Umpqua Kevin Callaway Bauer Fly Reels flies Salmon Summer Steelhead Salmon habitat Winter Spey Strategies Marty Sheppard Bill Black Sandy River Bonefish A River for Christmas Tenkara Guided Fishing How to Permit Snow Prineville Redside Rainbow Morrish's Fluttering Stone Fishing Report Nehalem River Sharks SA Mending Fly Tying Winston Fly Rods Simon Gawesworth Brian O'Keefe Trask Bryan Huskey Salmon Fly Cuba Water Time Outfitters Maupin Chinook Salmon Bull Trout Parasite Skaters BC Montana Todd Moen Boston Whaler Legos Metolius Sea lions Puget Sound New Zealand Wild Steelhead Coalition Dean Finnerty Stefan Tritscher Soul River Spring Chinook Little Creek Outfitters Oregon Back Roads on-line fly shop Crooked River Trout-a-Thon British Columbia Pyramid Lake frying pan river Redfish F3T Pacific ocean Spey-O-Rama Press Release Fly Fishing Film Tour The Creel Blast from the Past Frank Amato Invasives Olympic National Park Dolly Vardon Deschutes Green River Steelhead Spirit River Coho Warm Water Deschutes River Alliance Vets FarBank CFR Oregon Trout Bum Home Waters for the Holidays Caddis Outdoor Adventure Day Whitefish Wader Maker Contest Columbia River Jay Nicholas Adventure Mako Shark tippet rings Salmon-Trout


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!

A Shy Fish

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, March 02, 2016
Inspiration comes in many forms. A simple story passed on for generations or a scrap of paper marking the location of a special place. Whatever it may be, it has caught your eye and now you are easily distracted as you attempt to peel away time to uncover the true details. Somewhere beneath the moss and bark are the roots you are seeking, held fast in history, set in stone.

But even stone turns to dust making the truth even harder to find. The whole story may never be found, but the adventure is in the attempt to uncover what has been forgotten. The pieces now are spread farther from where they once stood. Details mixed with the dust and pine needles of time require more patience to reassemble. It is a challenge.

As I brush away the years to discover my roots as an angler I hope to share some of this journey as it unfolds. We will start with my inspiration, a short story about a boy, a fish and a forgotten place in the Ochoco.

Dale La Follette Sr.  on the Metolius circa 1912

This story was originally printed in "The Creel."
The bulletin of the Fly Fisher’s Club of Oregon Volume 3, No.1, July 1964

An excited jay sent his warning echoing through the pines of the narrow valley but the red-tailed hawk riding the thermals above didn’t see anything to get agitated about. It was too hot.

The Upper Ochoco wandered there below, first in a sweetgrass meadow, then in brush pasture dotted with random pine. The stream was not impressive, just shallow pools separated by thin riffles but in places there were deeper, narrower runs under the cut banks. Thick willows lined most of the bank but frequent openings gave a young fisherman access to the stream.

The lad, about eleven, moved quietly along the shady side of the willows. Once in a while he slipped through an opening to return with a trout wriggling from the short length of line which hung from the tip of his old bamboo brush rod. The trout were slipped into his small creel, and he advance to the next opening, careful to keep his shadow away from the stream.

He faced an old problem up ahead, however, and his mind was fixed on a pool set below high cut banks where one large trout constantly eluded him even though the boy knew every detail of that pool. It was surrounded on three sides by overhanging brush, and the lone opening was toward the afternoon sun. The problem trout would be out there in full view, finning to maintain his feeding position in the Ochoco’s currents. Where the water flowed into the pool, a large red-horse sucker would be examining the debris in the deeper slot, and the water would be so clear that the fish would seem to be suspended in air...he always saw the fish’s shadow, in fact, before he saw the fish.

He walked through the grass pondering the problem of how to present the fly without frightening the trout. The slightest motion-the shadow of a head thrust above the edge of the cut bank-would spook him back past the old red-horse into the shadows. It happened many times before and he feared it would happen again today.

So he waded a shallow riffle and continued toward the trout. Then, just above the pool he swung away from the stream and seated himself against a pine trunk to examine his tackle. The snelled McGinty tied to the enameled salt and pepper level line seemed sound. He was innocent of Mucelin; besides, there was no room for a cast or a float. Dibbling or dapping was the only technique he knew.

He started to rise, but halted. He would assume the trout was there. So he started toward the opening above the pool on hands and knees. Several feet from the water’s edge he gripped the butt of the rod in his right hand with the fly pinched between thumb and fingers. Then, thrusting the rod ahead like a foil he began to squirm forward with one cheek to the ground, his heart thumping in anticipation.
He resisted the temptation to peek at his quarry, and edged forward cautiously, extending the rod forward slowly until all but the butt overhung the edge of the cut bank.

Slowly then, he lifted the tip of the rod and released the fly. In his mind’s eye he could see it swinging out just above the water. Then slowly, from the wrist, he lowered the tip as his heart thumped against the earth.

The splash of the striking trout frightened the boy and he responded instinctively by putting both hands to the rod grip. Then he threw that trout over his head. The old line parted and the fish fell in the pine needles. There was a brief scramble but he finally hooked his thumb through the trout’s gills, and he ran for the ranch house!

There, in the sheet iron sink he pumped cold water over the beautiful trout to loosen the pine needles.
It was a picture I would never forget.

About the author, Dale La Follette Sr. (1907-1984):
Since the days when he pondered the ways of trout in the Upper Ochoco pastures where the hawks used to dive at his head unpredictably, Dale La Follette has cast for trout and panned for gold in many waters. The biscuits he bakes and the dry flies he ties please all who try them. He impressed the 1963 Dean River Expedition with the gourmet flavor of his smoked trout and his daring boatmanship at The Rapids. (The Creel July 1964)

Contact Us

21570 Willamette Drive West Linn, OR 97068

2014 Royal Treatment Fly Fishing
Privacy | Legal