President’s Message – August 2019

Tying up for casting competition

I hope everyone can join us at the annual member picnic on August 13th at  the Westmoreland Casting Pond in Sellwood.  If you haven’t registered for this event, please do so on the website. The club hosts the picnic (it is BYO – don’t forget your favorite beverage) so there is no cost for members or their guests, but we need you to register to ensure an accurate head count for food.  A big thanks to program director Ross Beatty for handling the menu and inviting several local fly shops to join us for casting games and rod demos.  Bring a favorite rod to cast or demo the goodies on display.  Prizes will be awarded to contest winners and via drawing.

I was sorry to miss the club fishing trip to Laurance Lake on July 20 due to a last minute invitation to join friends on Government Camp for a weekend of hiking and gourmet food and wine.  While I hate to pass up a chance to fish, it was a good reminder that Oregon offers plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities that don’t require a fly rod to be enjoyable.

My own fishing this month included a trip to Grindstone Lakes, a series of five impoundments on a large private ranch deep in Central Oregon about 75 miles southeast of Prineville.  I was joined by club members Rick Pay, John Pyrch, and Paul Franklin plus two other anglers.  We fished three different lakes for big rainbows and managed to land some very nice fish up to 28 inches in length and many pounds in weight.  The lakes are spring fed and fish surprisingly well this late into the summer heat.  Grindstone rainbows are strong fish that fight hard and know how to use the prolific weed beds to self-release from the fly.  Tactics included stripping leeches, suspending chironomids, and casting dry/dropper rigs close to shore.  Evenings offered quality dry fly opportunities from shore with beetle patterns and parachute Adams triggering great eats.  It was a fun trip with a nice camp, and I think we’ll be doing it again next year.

Grindstone Fatty

In early August I am traveling to visit my son in upstate New York for some small stream adventures chasing smallmouth bass and some walleye.  I’m also planning to get some more smallmouth action on the John Day midmonth.

Hard to believe that summer is racing by so quickly.  My fishing thoughts have begun to turn toward steelhead. The fish counts at Bonneville Dam remain discouraging, but I am still looking forward to hitting the lower Deschutes for a day trip on August 20 and a three-day steelhead camp in early September.  My trusted advisors have advised me to expand my rod collection by adding a lighter summer steelhead rod (and line), so who am I to argue with experts when they recommend new gear?

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer whether it be fishing, family vacations, or hanging out in your back yard.  See you at the picnic!

Tight lines,


President Hillas Taking a Break