The Trout Line Newsletter - August 19, 2019


August 15, 2019


Welcome to The Trout Line Newsletter! This is our Tualatin Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter newsletter that will be coming out twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month.


Fly of the Month - Schwarzenegger Chironomid

Written by Mike Gentry
A number of years ago, I was starting to fish the lakes.  I read an article about a supersized breed of chironomid that could be found in the lakes east of the Cascades.  According to the article, for reasons not clear to the author, this strain of midge was hardly a midget, at least in the pupa stage.  The body was distinctive, much more "spiky" than the standard midge patterns I had seen.  As I was just getting ready to head to Grindstone Lakes for the first time, and since I am a sucker for a new pattern, I tied five or six and threw them into the fly box.  Am I (and countless fishing buddies since) glad I did!  Since then they have been a staple in my box; I tie them in sizes 10 and 12 on a 2X or 3X hook.

Thread:     Black 8/0
Hook:        Tiemco 5262 or 5263
Body:        Deep Red or Scarlet Hackle, trimmed
Rib:           Fine copper Wire
Thorax:     Peacock Herl
Gills:         White Antron

1. Prepare the hackle.  This is the most laborious part of this pattern.  Take a number of long saddle hackles, and holding each one by the tip with the fingers of one hand, gently "straighten" the hackle splines by using two fingers of the other hand to stroke the splines toward the hackle base.  Eventually they will stand out pretty perpendicular to the hackle shaft.  Once that is done, trim each side so that the splines are about 1/16 inch.  An easier way for some is to trim them roughly to about 1/4 inch and then to trim them down to about a 1/8 inch wide body once they are on the fly.  Once they are trimmed, put them submerged in a glass of water for awhile to get them nice and supple.

2. Tie in a short antron piece at the bend of the hook (you'll trim to length later).  Then tie in a piece of ribbing wire at the same location.

3.  Tie in the hackle by the tail, and tightly wind the hackle forward to about 1/4 inch behind the eye, tie off and trim.  The idea is to have a tight-against-each-other "underbody" of the hackle shaft turns, with the short hackle splines sticking out.  Sometimes I have to tie in another hackle piece if the first one isn't long enough.

4.  Counterwrap the ribbing wire forward in spaced turns to the front of the body, tie off and trim.  Some of the hackle splines will be trapped by the wire but that is OK; enough will stick out.

5.  Tie in a peacock herl piece at the front of the body, leaving it sticking backward and out of the way.

6. About 1/8 inch behind the eye, just forward of the herl, tie in a one inch plus piece of antron with a number of figure eight turns of thread, lightly at first and then tighter as the antron begins to be secured horizontally and perpendicular to the shaft.  For the thorax, wrap the herl fore and aft of the antron tufts, also figure-eighting it several times over and under the antron shaft to create a fuller thorax.  Tie off right behind the eye, and trim off.

7. Finish the head with a thread wrap and three half-hitches as usual and put a small drop of head cement on the head.

8. Holding each antron "side gill" strand out, clip so that the remaining tuft sticks out about 1/16 inch from the thorax.  Also trim the antron piece at the back of the hook the same length.

When I got to Grindstone that year, I showed the flies to Bill Beardsley who had been running the lakes for a number of years.  He confessed that he had never seen that pattern and hadn't ever heard of any chironomids on steroids in any of his lakes, but since dinner wasn't for several hours, I should go out and give "em hell.  Williams Lake is right next to the farmhouse, and is about a mile in circumference by my estimate.  I worked my way on shore around the lake, casting out about thirty feet, and came to dinner twenty three fish later!  Bill was amazed, and I was in heaven.  I was hooked on lake fishing and on this fly. 

Like any chironomid pattern, I find a slow retrieve of four inches or so to be the most productive.  The fly is not very heavy; I fish it either as a trailing fly on a beadhead lead or on my nymphing rig of a dry fly line that has not had its first fifteen feet treated with line cleaner or floatant of years so that it is an improvised slow sink tip.  It has consistently been productive the length of the east side. 

For those who get discouraged with the hackle preparation process, which resembles a trip to the dentist, a reasonable substitute is dyed pheasant tail fibers - but they are not nearly as "spiky" in appearance.  Either way, "Mikey tried it" and so should you.



Volunteer Opportunity

This is an announcement from Pat Kaczmarek of the Clackamas River Basin Council about the 17 Annual Down the River Clean-Up that will take place on Sunday, September 8th. 

Registration for the is now open at   We Love Clean Rivers.

The work portion of the day is from around 8 or 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event sites are:
Milo McIver State Park (lower boat ramp) – 24101 S Entrance Rd, Estacada, OR
Barton County Park – 19009 S Barton Park Rd, Boring, OR
Carver Park – 14888 S Springwater Rd, Oregon City, OR
Riverside Park – 17298 SE Water Ave, Clackamas, OR
Clackamette Park- 1955 Clackamette Dr, Oregon City, OR 

Just decide which site works best. 

There are many volunteer opportunities either on the river or on land. You can read the descriptions for volunteer positions on the website in the preregistration page, or use the links below.



Safety is a top priority, so please make sure you read all of the safety requirements. For On-Water positions, there are boat, equipment and safety requirements.

It's a fun event that culminates in a BBQ at Barton Park as a thank you to everyone who comes out to help keep our river clean.


Pat Kaczmarek

Communications and Program Coordinator

Clackamas River Basin Council

PO Box 1869, Clackamas OR 97015

O-503.303.4372 x101

Fax 503.303.5176



Meetings Location and Dates

Regular chapter meetings are held at the Lucky Labrador Public House 7675 SW Capitol Hwy. Portland, OR 97219 (503) 244-2537.  Food and beverage available.  Social get together starts at 6:30 pm and formal meeting starts at 7:00 pm unless otherwise noted in the newsletter or website.

August Meeting - No Meeting

September Meeting - Sept. 11, 2019 - J. Michelle Swope - Cutthroat on the Fly! - Where to find them, how to fish for them, and how to care for this amazing fishery.

J Michelle Swope, owner of Olympia Women on the Fly Guide service, and WI coordinator for Washington State Council of Trout Unlimited will be giving a presentation on Cutthroat. We  will cover the emerging studies out of Washington state regarding these gorgeous, mysterious fish. When and where do they spawn?  How far do they travel? How can we fish for them in Oregon?  What is being done to protect these fish that have been with us since the ice age?  Come attend our meeting, and learn more about these anadramous fish, their habitat, where to find them in Oregon, and how to fish for them successfully.   She will also share the most effective fly pattern (according to her) that she uses to fish for Cutthroat in the salt.  Also, meet Duncan, the wonder lab, who is J Michelle's permanent side kick and best boat dog ever. (Duncan says, treats are welcome and encouraged, as long as they are wheat free).




More Information:


TVTU Website:

TVTU Facebook Page:

C4C Facebook Page:


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