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Editor’s Note: I have two treats for you this month, thanks to members who generously shared their fishing stories. FCO Board Member Steve Willhite has been fishing all over the continent lately. He has sent some impressive photos to your Flyline Editor documenting his adventures. I think I may have finally twisted his casting arm hard enough for a story. I was delighted to receive this piece from Steve last week about a simple and creative method to bring success to fly fishing newbies. Hint: Oregon’s own Dave Hughes devotes a chapter to the method in the second edition of his book, Trout From Small Streams. Next, you will be delighted with member Geoff Roach’s adventures at Trout Creek on the Deschutes. So many memories were invoked by his prose. Enjoy! LKH

I was out on the Mackenzie last week. Here is my story:

What is (a)Tenkara?

May 25, 2007- I had the pleasure of fishing with Brian Marz of Orvis, Christian and Nancy Werner (new FCO members), and their friend Derry. We had perfect weather to fish the Mackenzie in the Springfield area. Since we all couldn't fit in Brian's boat, we enlisted Matt Ramsey of Two Dudes Flyfishing to be the extra guide and boat. As we were discussing the day with Matt, he suggested the ladies should join him in his boat and Christian and I would fish with Brian. Christian said he hoped to fish with Nancy after lunch.

Christian and I headed down river as the ladies and Matt pulled over and dropped anchor. The ladies were hoping to catch their first fish and Matt had a plan. Out comes the Tenkara!! This is the ancient Japanese form of angling that utilizes a long and limber rod and fixed single length of line to present flies of all kinds. As a boy I grew up in the south. Can you say cane pole? Well not exactly. The word Tenkara means "From the Sky/Heaven". This is the perfect way to introduce casting flies without dealing with the line in the offhand. After a few minutes of instruction, down the river the ladies went.

We met them 45 minutes after we hit the water. We had a slow start. We had only caught two fish. Here come the ladies. "How are you girls doing?" "We have both caught fish and Derry caught two". Hmm. Something seems to be working for them.

We broke for lunch and Christian said he wanted to fish with Nancy. "No thanks", said the girls. They were having a great time with Matt and didn't want anything to stop their mojo. We all floated down to the take out and anchored at a confluence across from the takeout; the boys in one boat the girls in the other. There were fish breaking the surface and the boys were nymphing, throwing wet flies and a few dry flies. No results. The ladies were anchored 50' away. During the 20 minutes they caught 2 cutthroats and lost another. Nothing for the boys.

We crossed the river to the take out and the ladies were beaming. They were hooked!! Matt had helped them catch their first trout and they are well on their way to being committed fly fishers. The Tenkara opened the door for them.

Steve Willhite


Flyfishers Club of Oregon - Literary Angler

Trip Report

Trout Creek Camp on the Deschutes River May 17-22, 2017
Submitted by Club Member Geoff Roach (who’s having trouble making meetings of late)

Back in town and on my arse today.  It is screen time and meetings at the salt mine.  I did the Monday evening session this week and then pulled stakes for home to unpack and work in the garden yesterday.  

Conditions steadily improved across my time at Trout Creek this year.  It was cold upon my arrival there last Wednesday, like the real final day of winter.  By Monday of this week an errant big bug could poach in my waders draping the truck bed at midday it was so hot.  Bugs flew a bit more on Sunday evening and more so on Monday afternoon and evening.  I raised a lot more fish my last day than I did my first, though it never developed full bore.  Each fish was a reward, a gift that only unwrapped after countless probing casts and drag-free drifts over quality water. 

Since old enough to know the big bug, I have valued my birthday's calendar placement, falling predictably between May 15 and June 15.  The birthdays, though passé at my age, are great excuse to hit the river at a time when there is every chance for a quality redside on a gigantic dry fly, the D's environs are verdant and pleasing, and a well dug fire pit can hold a flame through the end of May.  Let me see - Big Bugs, Birthday, River, Aesthetics, Camp Fire, ... what can possibly make this annual alignment even more joyful?  Of course, friends! And they showed.  Their time, their fellowship, their ardent enthusiasm for this craft, their stories and songs, their gifts and vittles, and our breaking of bread and the casual consumption of ales by night and by riverside - all are treasured.

A couple of shorts: 

I marked the location of two obliging fish above the camp island on Monday afternoon by missing both takes.  I proceeded to the first rock wall and shined one fish, but had nothing beyond the shine to show.  The sun was off the water by the time I returned to the marked locations.  I stepped in and set up on the first fish - one of those upstream casts where you really should loop your fly out to the side of your line as the whole assembly floats downstream.  On the second of such casts the trout rose again and either it or I missed.  I waded down to the second marked location and made one cast which worked its way well into the under recesses of the overhanging tree.  After what seemed an hour the trout rose and again we missed each other.  I walked back to the first lair and raised him one last time; and then it felt like I could leave.  The fly came off, the line was retrieved, the reel was stowed and rod disassembled for my walk back to the rig. 

It was about 9:00 PM when I hit the Mill Creek Bridge just west of Warm Springs on HWY 26 and Mount Hood was glorious.  There remained good light.  As I crossed the bridge over that gape in the earth I hit a mass big bug upwelling.  It was so dense I decided to stop and make sure it was the big bug. It was; and thick and filtering up from that crack in the earth!  There is a ranch house a quarter mile west of the bridge on the south side of the highway and the bugs thinned out about there, but the trees in the ranch house yard were draped in big bugs.

All fun and looking forward to the next gathering of friends – two-legged, finned, and with any luck, both! Happy Oregon summer to all.

Tight lines. 


Flyfishers Club of Oregon - Literary Angler

Flyfishers Club of Oregon - Literary Angler

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