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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!

The Art of the Dry Fly ~ Vintage Fishing Report

Joel La Follette - Thursday, August 10, 2017


DRY FLY ART LURES 
English Branch of Water Sport Is Delicate One. 
FLIES MUST BE NATURAL 
W. F. Backus Tells Some Fine Points in Attracting Fish by Artificial Bait; Anglers Now Seek Choice Spots in State.

BY W. F. BACKUS.

Just imagine yourself on your favorite trout stream, near one of those rippling pools that ends in a quiet bit of water before breaking into another riffle. You stand below the break, and can barely make out the boulders in the still deep water just above. Your rod is set up, with the casting line well greased to keep it on the surface. Your leader is made up of gut strands of gradually lessening diameter, ending with a piece almost as fine as hair. At the end of this gossamer cast you fasten the daintiest fly imaginable, no larger than a half-opened violet bud, with a fuzzy yellow body and a pair of pearl gray wings cocked bolt up right in a most jaunty fashion. With your eye on the lazy water some 50 feet beyond you commence working out this cast, sending the little fly whizzing back and forth, but never touching the water. Finally, as the fly stretches out at the end of the forward throw, you see that it is hovering just above the desired spot. Then you get your feet well braced, make an extra careful cast and the fly settles calmly on the unruffled surface of the pool.


Fly is Snapped Up

In perfect tune with the sluggish flow it comes drifting toward you. Its pert little wings set at a most tantalizing angle, while your left hand is kept very busy taking care of the slack line. Then just as you decide that it's time to retrieve, there is a flash, a snap, and the fly has disappeared in the maw of a hungry trout, who promptly raises a most welcome fuss. That is dry fly fishing, the very highest branch of angling.

This style of fishing had its inception in England, where the nature of the streams is such as to make Impossible any other method of fly fishing. Their so-called chalk streams are very clear, of shallow depth and with very slow and uniform current. The fish feed almost entirely on the insects which hatch along the banks of the stream, and to fool them you must present a mighty close Imitation. English fly tyers have devoted years of patient study to the making of floating flies, and some of their copies are of a microscopic exactness. They will take a fly no larger than a good-sized mosquito and duplicate exactly every shade of color, and the general shape of the legs and body.

The favorite method of fishing there is to discover a rising trout and then put their fly over him with all the skill at their command. Not only must the fly drop lightly and naturally, but n must float down stream in perfect ac cord with the current Any drag on such smooth water Is fatal. As most of the English streams are open, it Is often necessary to crawl on hands and knees in order to get a good cast without being seen.

English Flies Too Small
 
On most of our Western streams such tactics would be entirely out of place, but there Is no disputing the fact that most excellent dry-fly fishing can be had on certain portions of many of our best streams. A few changes in tackle, however, would be necessary, for instance. It strikes me that the favorite English flies are too small. On account of the extremely clean and comparatively shallow water, their flies are tied on No. 12 and 14 sneek hooks. I believe that for our fishing dry flies dressed on No. 10 and 12 sproat hooks would get better results. Our streams are just as clear, it Is true, but there is nearly always some motion to the water, and the ever-present, foliage tends to darken many of the pools For these reasons it would seem that flies a trifle larger than the favorite English sizes would be better suited to our waters.

Your regular rod and line will do for this fishing, provided the line is heavy enough to carry up well.

The leader must be at least six feet long, while a nine foot is even better, and if tapered to a fine point will work admirably. Tapered leaders are expensive and rather hard to find, so an excellent substitute can be had by attaching a six-foot light midge leader to a three-foot length of medium weight gut. In this way the difference between the heavy line and the fine gut is gradually equalized, and a more delicate cast is sure to be the reward.

Prescription Ought to Do
 
With an outfit such as I have described, and an assortment of No. 10 double-wing floating flies, including, the Coachman, Governor, Black Ant, Flying Caddis and Blue Upright. I believe you can get some high-class sport on most of our streams. At any rate I intend to try my own prescription on the McKenzie very shortly, and may have some stories to tell a little later.

Portland anglers are now making excursions to all corners of the state. Dr. E DeWltt Connell and E. O. Mattern left recently for a trip to Alsea Bay, and are prepared to handle anything from a 10-inch trout to a 50-pound salmon. The Chinook salmon have begun to enter the bays along the coast, so these anglers are quite likely to find the big fellows waiting for them.

Devereaux Expects “Time”

E. L. Devereaux is another local angler who expects to have a big time next week, as he left for the McKenzie River a few days ago, taking along enough bucktail flies to feed a hundred hungry trout. This grand river should be at its best during the next few weeks, and E. L. will probably get his share.

Bass fishing at Sucker Lake has been good this week, and the fish are taking more interest in artificial lures. Dick Coles took six fine ones there during an evening's casting, one of which weighed almost four pounds.

Clackamas is Prolific
 
The Clackamas River has yielded several good catches during the past 10 days, in spite of the fact that it is still too high for real good fishing. Herman Schneider, who hands out the anglers' licenses at the Courthouse, brought in a fine basket last week. He had 42 fish, all of nice size, with a few of the long ones we are all looking for, and he caught them all on flies. That old reliable fly the Gray Drake, proved the most attractive to the trout, and most of his fish were taken on this pattern.

Fishing on the coast rivers is improving dally. As the vacation season approaches, these streams are sure to be visited by many local anglers, as the getting there is now an easy matter. You can hardly go wrong In selecting any of the Tillamook streams for an extended trip. The fish there take the fly very eagerly and there are still enough of them to make things interesting for you.

This report come from the pages of the Sunday Oregonian circa June 23, 1912

Deschutes Troutflies

Joel La Follette - Thursday, August 03, 2017

This week's Blast from the Past comes from the May 9th, 1907 issue of the Crook County Journal. Great Uncle Guy La Follette, the editor/publisher of this weekly publication, once again shares the family's fondness for piscatorial pursuits with his readership. One hundred and ten years later, I share it with you.
 
Someone reported last week that the flies of which the trout of the Deschutes River are particularly fond during the early summer had hatched and several Portland nimrods visited that famous stream. Unfortunately the report was untrue and the fishermen were unsuccessful.

Upon their return the anglers said that almost any day now the troutflies, as they are commonly known, may hatch along the Deschutes River following which for a few days there will be fishing unexcelled in this or any other country. This particular period lasts not longer than a week and during that time it is no exaggeration to say that the fish can be caught as fast as a hook and line can be cast in the water.

The trout fly is larger than the salmon fly. In the Deschutes River there is a large caddis worm from which originates the troutfly. When the weather becomes warm enough the worms come to the surface of the water and their thin lobster like shells split in the back and out crawls the troutflies. The insects are beautiful and have four long gauze wings. The insect just after they are hatched are very weak and when they attempt to fly often fall into the stream or fly near to the surface which is just as fatal. For five or six days of each year the flies are numerous.

It is a very easy matter to catch the flies, and when placed upon a hook they are certain death to a trout. When a cast is made the trout will often jump two or three feet in the air for them. it is no rare occurrence to see several large trout jump for the same fly.

During this short period thousands of trout are caught in the Deschutes River. After the flies become less numerous the trout become more wary but can be caught with artificial insects with good results, but nothing like the initial opening of the fly season.

The Yellowstone River is known as one of the greatest fishing grounds in the country, but those who have fished in the two streams declare that the fishing in the Deschutes River is the better. The trout in the Yellowstone River where it connects with the Yellowstone Lake bite with the rapidity of a swarm of sun-perch. How ever as they are so numerous and as the water is warm coming from the Yellowstone Lake, they are not so gamy as the trout of the Deschutes River where the water is always cool.

Along the Deschutes River but few fish are lost when once hooked if the troutflies are about. The fish will swallow the hook often before the line becomes taunt, and while they put up a noble battle, they are easily landed. The only thing to guard against is the line which may break if the fish are pulled in without being given time to exhaust themselves.

New Trout Fly Called "Williams' Special"

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, May 31, 2017
New Trout Fly Called "Williams' Special"

Stone Fly Made True to Life By Portland Tier - Comes in Two Size Hooks

A brand new trout fly has made its appearance in Maupin and by those who have tried them have proven to be the best ever. The new fly is called "Williams' Special" and was made after a pattern supplied by Johnny Williams of this city.


Last summer Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Motley, Portland, were visitors at the Maupin Camp grounds. While here Mrs. Motley told of being a fly tier and Johnny Williams caught several small stone flies and asked could she duplicate them. The lady said she could, thereupon the camp ground man gave an order, specifying the flies must be true to the sample. Saturday he received an initial shipment of the flies. They have been tried and exceeded all expectations, those using them making good catches of good trout. The flies received by Johnny come in two sizes - 12's and 14’s - and are as true to nature as is possible to make them.

Mr. Motley writes that among her orders for flies this spring has been one from President Coolidge, while Congressman Hawley has ordered many for friends at Washington, D. C.

Meier & Frank of Portland want the exclusive sale of the new fly. The hook on which the fly is tied comes direct from Oslo, Norway, none of the kind desired being made in this country. The first order for hooks placed by Mrs. Motley brot but 1500, and as these have been tied and the demand so great, the lady has ordered a large supply to be delivered as soon as possible.

Multnomah Anglers club members who have used the Williams Special, are enthusiastic over them. Mrs. Motley searched the state over for the right feathers for the special finally securing what she wanted from near Roseburg.

The Maupin Times April 26th, 1928

WARDEN ASKS THAT ALL FISHERMEN OBEY LAW

Has No Desire to Arrest Violators
Therefore Asks That the Laws Be Adhered To


With fishing season now open Harold Clifford, state game warden, make an urgent request that all citizen observe the law that have been made for the protection of fish.

"We have no desire to arrest men or women for violation of the law," he said last week. "We want them to know, that all citizens of Oregon they are harming their state and themselves by angling in closed streams, taking more than the legal limit or catching fish under six inches in length. Our warden make it their business to educate the fishermen. They make arrests only when they find fishermen willfully and viciously violating the laws. If a man is angling for trout he is entitled to sixty fish in one week they are his fish if he can catch them. When he takes more than that number he makes it necessary for the warden to do his duty and make an arrest that will mean punishment."

The Maupin Times April 25th, 1929

A Plea for Trout

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Transcribed from The Dalles Daily Chronicle, January 13th, 1893

THE DALLES, OREGON

A PLEA FOR TROUT
It Is Necessary for Us to Read the Fish Commission the Riot Act About Black Bass.

It is proposed sometime soon to send out another carload of Bass from eastern waters by the United States fish commission to stock the lakes and streams of Oregon and Washington. Our mountain trout has been the divinity of anglers in Oregon streams for time immemorial, and there is a wholesome objection raised to the proposal of the United States fish commission in its efforts of supplanting them with bass from anywhere.

Judges, presidents, senators and plebeians, who have gone many miles to toss the gamy speckled trout a fly will ask the press of this coast to enter a protest against this proposed desecration, which is a worse one than the infliction visited upon our “preserves” by the introduction of carp and bull-pouts.

Our mountain trout is the acknowledged king of all fresh water fishes. No other will take the fly like him or compare in gaminess; nor is there any so toothsome. The black bass is a very good fish compared with the bull-pout and sunfish, but he is hot in the same category with the trout.

As food the black bass brings eighteen cents a pound in the New York market today, where the trout sells for a dollar a pound. There is a corresponding difference in their game qualities. The bass is not the superior of our trout, in size even. Any one who has ever caught either the large bass, or the small-mouthed bass, in eastern waters, where the fishing is considered good, will tell you, if they ever had the experience, that they, never had so much sport in a whole day, as they found in Trout lake, or any one of the hundred trout streams in the vicinity of The Dalles in half an hour.

This is not the climate, either, for bass, under the most favorable circumstances, and he would never flourish here. He is no comparison to the trout in any sense, and our Rod and Gun clubs should teach the fish commission that their labors in this behalf would never be appreciated.

Our fish is a true trout, though differing slightly from the eastern brook trout, and being a purely Pacific coast product, it should be our pride and ambition to keep him at his best. Then we may treat out eastern visitors to sport such as they can only read about at home. Nothing less than the speckled beauties we have is good enough for the waters of our magnificent regions. Let us put a stop to the fishing out of season, slaughtering trout with giant powder and set-lines, and the Inland Empire will long remain a spot tor anglers to dream of.

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.

Trailer Trash Thursday Montana Winter Edition

Joel La Follette - Thursday, November 10, 2016

I thought maybe you like to see video of what my trip to Craig, Montana was like. While we didn't have the ice like shown here in todays film, it did get a little breezy. I even met some of these folks while I was out there and I just have to say... THEY ARE NUTS!


Part of Winter from scumliner media on Vimeo.

Trailer Trash Thursday Green Drake Edition

Joel La Follette - Thursday, June 09, 2016

While this video was NOT filmed on the Metolius I thought maybe it would get you fired up for one of our favorite hatches. Even though it is a relatively short lived hatch we carry a wide selection of patterns  in the shop. Next to the evasive Shad run, Green Drakes on the Metolius is all Nick ever talks about. While Josh has two full boxes of Green Drake patterns just for this time of year. I’ll admit I have been known to disappear for a “meeting” when the weather is warm and clouds are in the forecast….


Green Drake from TroutHunter on Vimeo.

ODFW to conduct Trout, Whitefish survey on Crooked River

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, June 01, 2016

ODFW Press Release

June 1, 2016

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – Biologists from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will sample the Crooked River below Bowman Dam for redband trout and mountain whitefish from Monday, June 13 through Friday, June 17.

Biologists will be electrofishing the river between the Big Bend and Cobble Rock campgrounds. During the sampling, fish will be stunned and netted so biologists can record the size, condition and abundance of both redband trout and mountain whitefish. The fish are then released unharmed. Fishing is likely to be adversely affected in the portion of the river being sampled but the remainder of the river will be unaffected. Due to safety concerns for anglers and the potential adverse effects to the fishing, ODFW requests that anglers avoid this stretch of river while the biologists are sampling.

The population assessment estimates the number of fish greater than or equal to eight inches in length per river mile for redband trout and mountain whitefish. In 2015, the number of redband trout per mile was 2,582 fish per mile while the number of mountain whitefish per mile was 7,467. The average length of all trout collected last year was just over 11 inches long and many anglers are reporting catching trout that are 16 to 18 inches long in 2015.

ODFW began sampling the Crooked River in 1989 in order to track the long-term health of the redband trout population.

Questions regarding this press release should be directed to ODFW

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.



Trailer Trash Thursday Upstate Edition

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We're heading upstate this week, although I'm not sure which state these millennials are referring to. I guess we have to assume they mean New York because, well, that's like a place we've all heard of. In any case, I love the video and I'm pretty we all understand "Stay stoked!" While I'm not sure when Episode 2 will air, I will keep an eye out for it.  I'm going to go stoke the fire now and stay warm!



Upstate Fly: Episode 1 from Sean Molloy on Vimeo.


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