The Trout Line Newsletter - March 2, 2020


March 2, 2020


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.


Christmas Is For More Than Cohos

By Mike Dahlstrom

Trout Unlimited chapters from Tualatin Valley and Clackamas River have been collecting Christmas trees in January and placing them in river channels to provide some juvenile rearing habitat for several years now.  The Christmas for Coho's program has been very successful. 

Recently members from both chapters met at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge to do some similar work. The difference however is that members secured about 300 cut Christmas trees from a local grower into a NEW stream corridor!

Chicken Creek, a small tributary into the Tualatin River, serpentined through the wetland over a 100 years ago. Then agriculture and dairy operations straightened it out and dried out the natural wetlands (apparently cows don't do well standing in water...) The US Department of Fish and Wildlife purchased the property in the early 1990's and began reclamation back to a functioning wetland. Working with local partners in 2019, the historic stream bed was reconstructed. Of the approximately 1,850+ acres of the refuge, the "new" Chicken Creek has been revitalized from a one-half mile straight stretch to over two miles of winding corridor passing through the 250 acre Atfalati Unit. 

This blank canvas has more than 60,000 bare root shrubs planted to date and heavy equipment placed large woody debris in the last few months. TVTU and CRTU members added staked trees along several stretches of the new corridor to provide future cover for native Brook Trout and Pacific Lamprey - both historical species cut off from this reach for a century. 

Under the coordinating ability of Michael Gentry (TVTU) and Natalie Balkan (Friends of the Refuge Habitat Restoration Specialist), about 20 members completed this first round on a beautiful February morning. There is much more opportunity in this location as well as looking at other possible stream locations to help juveniles survive. 

Just one example of what Trout Unlimited volunteers can accomplish to support our clean water fisheries, build some comradery and maybe meet a new fishing partner (or just learn some fishing secrets...)



Fly Tying before April's Chapter Meeting


Before the start of April's chapter meeting Mike Gentry will be tying a couple of flies and we will have some vises, tools and materials if you would like to try to tie flies.  We won't be doing this before every chapter meeting just once in a while.  Here is a pictures of the flies Mike will be tying.



March 10 FFACS Meeting


TVTU is one of the participating clubs in the Fly Fishing Arts and Conservation Society, which conducts the November Fly Tyers Rendezvous.  Many of the current FFACS Board members and Officers will be retiring and the Board will determine at the March 10 Board meeting whether to dissolve the nonprofit.  Anyone interested is invited to attend the meeting.  In order for FFACS to continue in existence, a number of Board, Officer and work party positions need to be filled by new people committing to those positions at the March 10 meeting.  The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. at Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub, 12562 SW Main Street in Tigard.


Fly Fishing Adventures

At the last chapter meeting Andy Andrews pointed out a person who wrote him letter to not only discuss the fly fishing adventure that they had over a decade ago but also what he has been doing with the education that he received.  The person he pointed out was Matt Thornton and with his and Andy's permission they are allowing me to share the letter with the rest of chapter.  

Dear Andy,

My apologies for the delayed response. I've been busy building on the great lesson that you showed me; how to love. 

It's been over a decade since our adventures. I remember bacon-wrapped shrimp, Crown Royal, Patsy Cline, The Sons of Pioneers, and the warmth of body and soul around the campfire. 

I remember tough fish and tough days on the Fall river, watching and learning from you and the guys. You were gentle, you put me first, encouraged me to try again and again. You made fun the top priority. I now practice your example as I ply my trade as a fly fishing guide in the remote wilderness of Alaska's Bristol Bay. 

This photo you took is one of my absolute favorites; that moment, and the set up to it, remain vivid and clear in my mind.

As the hatch began you selflessly left the crowded hole. I junked out 0-50 bad casts. Finally the wind caught my line just right. Everything landed in a messy pile. I almost recast but rather remembered your instruction to “leave it be;" to fish it, practice good line management and just let the current and the river do the work. You taught me to respond rather than react, and that has served me well in many facets of life. As a guide who spends his life teaching folks to fish, I watch this principle produce fish regularly.

The female Adams you handed me would have drug in the cross current, had my cast unfurled like in the movies. Instead, the heap of line allowed the split second necessary. As the fly rounded the bend and floated, dead drift, just past the rising fish, I sighed in disappointment. Just then, in that exact moment, out came the largest mouth of a trout I’d ever seen. He slashed the fly hardily and I pulled up, hooting and hollering hysterically. You came running. After a few mighty leaps I went quiet. I focused on steering the fish around the debris and bringing it to hand. You patiently coached me. You named the hatch. You chose the correct imitation. You put me in the right spot. You helped me appreciate what had just happened. You encouraged me in my many failures, and you took an excellent photo. 

In your letter to me you wrote: “remember its fighting spirit”. I do, and I honor and remember yours as well. I want to wholeheartedly thank you for the opportunities, for the lesson in selflessness, and in imperfect perfection. For your many years of showing me and folks like me how and why to appreciate and care for our wild places. 

The wilderness without is the wilderness within, and just as the thick forest seems chaotic and treacherous inside, so it seems marvelously organized and inviting from a vista. I am learning to pull back and view life from this vista, and its allowed me to be more accepting of myself, more gracious, patient, loving towards others and more at peace. I know that even in the tangles of thick branches, there are rivers of peace to walk beside, that there are views that give perspective, and that in everything a current of love can be found.

Matthew Thornton


 Come Join Us on the Board! (We need to fill the secretary  position)

Your Tualatin Valley TU Chapter could use a couple of additional Board members.  The job description is pretty simple.  The Board meets monthly at 6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month (some months with no meeting needed) in the downstairs meeting room at the American Legion Hall in Tigard.  Meetings usually last an hour or a bit more.  TVTU has been quite successful in recent years, with projects such as the Christmas for Coho efforts and with good attendance at effective and entertaining Chapter meetings held most months at the Lucky Lab in Multnomah Village.  But we can always use fresh energy and fresh ideas.  If you are interested and would like to come to one of the Board meetings to test the water (barbless hook only), please contact Mike Gentry at or (503) 636-0061.  This is a feel-good volunteer opportunity.

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 are available.  Social get together starts at 6:30 pm and the formal meeting starts at 7:00 pm unless otherwise noted in the newsletter or website.

March Meeting - March 11, 2020 - Josh Linn.


Topic: Untangling the Euro Leader
Josh has been fishing using the European methods of nymphing for the past ten years. His presentation is focused on demystifying this modern nymphing approach; including tackle, techniques and tips to being


More Information:

TVTU Website:

Current Board Members and Contact:

TVTU Facebook Page:

C4C Facebook Page:


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