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?)|
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 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.)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.