President’s Message


Happy Fall Everyone! 

Tis the season for changing colors, shorter days, the return of the Old Fashioned to my cocktail lineup, and, of course, fishing for steelhead.  I was fortunate enough to be invited on a three-day Deschutes steelhead camp trip early in September.  Todd Harris of Harris Anglers picked up three of us on his jet boat at Heritage Landing on a beautiful sunny day and motored us through some prime steelhead water.  It was my first trip from the mouth of the Deschutes, and I was excited to fish some of the famous holes that I had only heard about, including Wagon Blast, Kloan, Corner Pocket, Magic, and Free Bridge.  Despite lingering remnants of the White River blowout which prevented us from fishing floating lines, it was a successful trip.  Over the course of three days, we hooked nine fish and landed seven, including a beautiful 10-plus pound B-run fish that took me well into the backing.  What a thrill to play and hold a magnificent wild fish that had traveled so far and through so many obstacles.  Although the fish counts remain abysmal, I am encouraged every time I see a wild fish on this beautiful river.


jim w B run

Todd Harris runs a fine steelhead camp and provided me lots of practical tips that I have stored in the memory bank, including the need to check your leader for abrasions and wind knots (aka tailing loop casting knots).  They say good judgment comes from bad experience, and I learned the hard way when what would have been my third fish of the trip was on for a brief but exhilarating moment before the line went slack.  I reeled in and found a tell-tale curlicue at the end of my 10-pound Maxima.  Ugh.  When you are realistically expecting a shot at one fish per day, it really hurts to lose one to an avoidable mistake.

FCO Welcomes Clackamas Fly Fishers to October Meeting

I’m looking forward to our October 8 dinner meeting, which is a joint meeting between our club and the Clackamas Fly FishersDevon Olsen, a longtime member of Fly Fishing Team USA will give us a peek at his new book Tactical Fly Fishing: Lessons Learned from Competition for All Anglers.  Don’t forget to sign up this week to learn more about the when, why, and how of angling different water types within a river.

Moccasin Lake Outing Coming Up!

Our last club fishing outing of 2019 is also coming up soon.  Members Ross and Teri Beatty have generously agreed to host club members at Moccasin Lake, a private lake located on their family property in the Methow Valley of the North Cascades. The fishing is free but please register for this event so that Ross and Teri know how many anglers to expect on the lake.  You also will need to make arrangements for accommodations. I’m staying in the Mt. Gardner Inn in Winthrop which is about 15 minutes from the lake.

Treasurer Positions Open for The Flyfishers’ Club of Oregon and The Flyfisher Foundation

Finally, I’m putting out a call to any members with a finance or accounting background.  Our FCO board treasurer Ken Betschart will be stepping down at the end of the year, and FFF board treasurer Mike Collins has to resign immediately due to increasingly stringent conflict of interest rules from his employer.  We very much appreciate all of the contributions from Ken and Mike and their depth of knowledge will be sorely missed.  To that end, we are actively seeking volunteers to take over the two board treasurer roles. Please contact me directly if you are interested.

Tight lines,

Jim Hillas