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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

What About Salmon Protection?

Joel La Follette - Saturday, May 13, 2017
What about salmon protection?

That the food fish of our state need better protection that is now afforded his agreed.
You have already or doubtless will received considerable literature on the subject, but no matter how attractive the argument, stop and consider how much it may be colored by self interest.

The United States Bureau of Fisheries are the greatest expert authorities on the subject and have no ax to grind. Read what they say.

Department of Commerce and Labor
Office of the Secretary, Washington DC
Hon. Charles W Fulton

Sir: The Department realizes the importance of various questions affecting the salmon fishery in the Columbia River brought up in your letter of the 18th ultimo, and has taken this opportunity to make a thorough investigation of the matter. There can be no question that the status of the fishery is unsatisfactory, and that under existing conditions the trend may be steadily downward, with the result that in a comparatively few years the run of salmon will be reduced to such degree that thousands of fishermen maybe thrown out of employment and much capital rendered idle.

The federal government is without any jurisdiction whatsoever in the premises, and the duty of conserving the salmon supply in the Columbia devolves on the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho; but this department has been charged by Congress with the important fish culture operations in the Columbia basin, and has felt compelled from time to time to direct attention to the necessity for giving adequate protection to the various species of salmon frequenting that stream.

The department is convinced that the run of salmon in the Columbia can be amply maintained for an indefinite period if artificial propagation is supplemented by rational protection; but artificial propagation alone cannot cope with the situation, and, as a matter of fact, the recent experience of the department has shown that its benefit labors are rendered almost futile by the failure of the states to appreciate this fact.

The department sees no reason for the elimination of fish wheels from the river as there is no evidence to show that this form of apparatus is particularly destructive to salmon. The condition that is especially favorable for the passage of salmon, namely very high water, renders the wheels unserviceable and, on the other hand, periods of very low water, are also unfavorable for the wheels. During the past two or three seasons the catch of salmon by wheels has been comparatively small; but even if it were very large it would be a fact of no special significance in the present connection.

The Columbia River is, however, made to yield a quantity of salmon far greater than regard for the future supply permits, and the drain is yearly becoming more serious. No one familiar with the situation can fail to appreciate the menace to the perpetuity of the industry that is furnished by the concentration of a tremendous amount of fixed and floating apparatus of capture in or near the mouth of the river.

This apparatus comprises about 400 pound nets or traps, over 80 long-sweep seines, and more than 2200 gill nets, the last having an aggregate approximate link over 570 miles; and these appliances capture more than 95% of the fish taken in Oregon and Washington waters of the river, the figures for 1904 being nearly 34,000,000 pounds, or 98.7 percent of the total yield. Under such conditions, it is self evident that but comparatively few fish are permitted to reach the upper waters where the spawning grounds are located.

The details of the measures necessary to place to save an industry of the Columbia River on a permanent basis cannot be elaborated by the department at this time, but in general it may be said there should be (1) a restriction on the amount of apparatus employed in a given section; (2) an adequate, weekly closed season covering possibly two days at first, the reduced later if the circumstances warrant it; (3) an annual closed season, preferably at the beginning of the salmon run, and (4) joint arrangement between the states, so that protective measures can be harmonious.


Respectfully, Oscar S Straus
Secretary

Oscar Solomon Straus (December 23, 1850 – May 3, 1926) was United States Secretary of Commerce and Labor under President Theodore Roosevelt from 1906 to 1909. Straus was the first Jewish United States Cabinet Secretary.

I came across this article in the Madras paper while doing research on another project and thought I'd share this perspective from 1908. 

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