This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

July 28th, 2003

Central Oregon Fish-In
Who's Got The Cheeto's?

We took a few days and played hooky with some other folks from the Fly Anglers OnLine website, folks from the Bulletin Board and Chat Room, who met at Camp Sherman, Oregon for some R&R. (That's rest and relaxation, okay?)

Camp Sherman residence

For my husband, Castwell, and I, this was a bit of an adventure. We had not been to the area before and driving from West of Seattle, down through Portland to Salem and then making the climb over the Santiam Pass was more than interesting. The region surprised us with some very large impoundments, Detroit Lake, and our 'home' in Sisters, Oregon really was an eyeopener. Sisters has a population of just over 1,000 people, and I don't know of any city of several times its size with as large and healthy business district, and the variety of things available to see and do. The area is also a very popular winter sports area, with ski and snow mobile areas. We stayed at the Best Western Ponderosa in Sisters, and would recommend it. We did have a particularly good meal at a place called the Coyote Café in Sisters, and would recommend it as well as Whopper Bubba's favorite stop in town, the Sisters Bakery on the main drag. Really good stuff. I will of course be dieting for the next couple of weeks.

The Metolius has many faces

The area around Camp Sherman is a state wildlife preserve as well, so deer are especially plentiful. We saw several sets of twin deer in full spot with their mothers. Elk crossing signs were around, but we didn't see any. We also saw our first ever Ponderosa Pines! (And no I don't remember them from the TV show.)

LadyFisher working - Al Roberts watching

The Central Oregon Fish-In was small, just nine of us, done rather spur of the moment just from postings on the Bulletin Board, but I suspect it will become a popular place for FAOL readers. The river is twelve miles long, and is fed by the Metolius Springs - you can walk down to an overlook where the river begins coming out of the ground full force. It is fed by other springs as it flows downstream and the full length of it is fly fishing only, catch and release.

A nice glide

There is about a 400 foot section of the Metolius which is closed to fishing, right at the Camp Sherman Store and Post Office (the store has a very nice fly selection, with a box of the current "hot flies" on the counter for all to see.) The local practice is to crumble Cheeto's and feed the fish. We did that, and some of the guys went around looking for hatched stoneflies to feed the big brown who lies just below the overlook.

Golden Stonefly THE hot fly

The big brown preferred the naturals...but the guys were not to be outsmarted, when they couldn't get some fish in another pool to rise, they went a little way upstream and floated some Cheeto's over the pool. The guys marked and counted the fish. It was mostly casting practice, but they managed to rise a few.

Steve Zweber
Of course, our group is creative to say the least, and a Cheeto fly was produced. Unfortunately it didn't float as well at the 'natural' - but it was the thought that counted.

Al Roberts with Cheeto Fly

Dennis's bull trout

Dennis Garrison was the most successful of the anglers with the Redside below taken from the pool below the 99 bridge on a PMD. Although Les Young from Philly was there but I didn't talk to him after he had fished, so he may have done very well too.) There is lots of water to fish - and the largest number of state forest campsites along the river we've ever seen. Chat Room Hosts Steve ("Z") Zweber and GG (Ray Bradley) pitched camp at the Black Butte RV Resort just a few hundred yards from the Camp Sherman Store - and that was the gathering place for our group.

Dennis Garrison's Redside

Fish-In's are always a time to share ideas, flies, food, and whatever new goodies we have come up with - and always, free casting instruction for anyone who wants it. It is remarkable to see the improvement in casting with a little constructive help. It is one of my favorite things, and I know you're probably sick of hearing it, but if you can't cast you really are at a huge disadvantage. Heck, we even help perfect strangers if they ask for help.

Above the Camp Sherman Bridge

There was a cane gathering at the Camp Sherman Community Hall on Saturday, and most of our group showed up. Several local (well Oregon anyway) rod makers, some dealers in old cane rods, Leonard and Edwards seems to stick out in my mind, some interesting art - and a few reps from major companies as well. Cortland, Scientific Anglers and Lamiglas all had a displays of lines and rods. A couple of things which were really impressive was to see the original Cortland Silk Lines! Roger at the Camp Sherman Store has about a dozen in different weights, but these are the original King Eider in the original boxes, and he allowed the Cortland rep to display them. The rep, Randy Sholes, also had some of the Hardy rods which about dropped my socks. We knew Hardy had some "nice" fiberglass rods, but had not seen or cast one. They are just terrific! Randy also had two of the Hardy cane rods...and while they felt 'soft' to wiggle, that is deceptive - they cast flawlessly. Yes, it is a flashback to another time - but judging from the number of people who attended the cane event at the hall - there is a real interest in cane rods, and the people who make them. A tip of the FAOL hat to Don Chen, Quiet Reed Fly Fishing, for a great job of organizing this cane event. (It must say something when FAOL and FF Magazine both show up.)

Pete with rod, JC on left,
Al Roberts, GG, Jim Lynch and LF

Steve's camp We also got to play with some very nice rods in progress which Dan Craft brought over. Dan is one of our Sponsors, but he was very generous in answering questions and letting folks cast anything they wanted. Watch for a Product Review on a very unique 'idea' rod Dan has created. Surprising - and very practical.

Pete and LF Our sincere thanks to Pete Hyatt (Whopper Bubba) who poked and prodded until we said we would attend the first ever Central Oregon Fish-In, to Steve who played host to the group at his campsite, put up with our silliness and still cooked with a smile, to Stephie who couldn't attend because of a commitment to be in Iowa but sent oysters to be roasted over an open fire, and again to Pete for allowing us to meet his beautiful Arabian 'girls' - yes I know they are horses but he calls them his girls.


JC shucking oysters

Jim Lynch Sampling Oysters

The photos shown here are from Dennis Garrison, Ray Bradley and JC.

The Great Castwell

It was a great trip - I hope it is repeated, there certainly is something for everyone there. ~ The LadyFisher

American Merganzer and babies

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