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Fishing Reports

Fishing with Thelma and Louise

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, February 27, 2019
A Trout trip to the Deschutes in the snow is a great way to get to know our new women fly shop ambassadors, Callie Freeman, and Shandy Hart Danford and chase away the "cabin fever blues." The Royal Treatment crew and Jeremy the Merman headed over on Sunday to exercise the Trout and see what these gals were made of. Well, Campers, Callie and Shandy proved they are up for adventure and more than capable of any challenge. Kind of like our own Royal Treatment Thelma and Louise...without the crime spree. 





Callie, a native of Lexington, KY became an avid angler and bird hunter at a young age thanks to her father’s influence. Their shared fascination with fly-fishing began while watching Flip Pallot and Jose Wejebe poll the flats on Walker’s Cay Chronicles and The Spanish Fly. Soon they began fly-fishing for smallmouth bass and panfish around local streams. Fishing took a backseat however to graduate school and subsequently the birth of her two children. After moving to coastal North Carolina in 2012 she was able to pick up a fly rod again with the long-awaited opportunity to target saltwater species.

Callie also has a passion for conservation and served in leadership roles for the East Kentucky Ladies Chapter of Ducks Unlimited. She also served several years on the CCA NC Board of Directors serving as Crystal Coast Chapter Banquet Chair, Fishing for the Future youth tournament Co-chair, and Communications Committee member.

Currently, she is serving as co-organizer of PDX Women on the Fly and hopes to introduce more women to fly fishing and increase their participation in the stewardship of our fisheries.

In June of 2018 Callie, her husband, Lieutenant Colonel Heath Freeman, USMC, their two children, and Labrador Benelli Rose moved to the Portland area. During her time in Oregon, she is determined to fish as many rivers as possible and learn all things related to trout and steelhead! She also plans to tackle the Fly Fishers International Casting Skills Challenge and has a long-term goal of becoming a Certified Casting Instructor.







Meet   Shandy Hart Danford

"I was born and raised in Hawaii, have lived in a handful of beautiful destinations such as Southern California, Colorado, Oregon and most recently Australia for 16 years. I’ve always been a water baby, traveler, a student of experiences rather than in a classroom. All of my travels have revolved around the surf and the cultures that support the waves and the oceans. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined dreaming of destinations around a creek, stream, river, brackish estuary or mangrove to chase fresh or saltwater fish with a fly!

I now call Salem the place where I rest my head. My "ride or die" is Rob and I am mom to Fred the Bengal cat and to Lark the...scruffy butt woolie bugger terrier thing...also known as the best little river dog a girl could ask for!

I liken myself to the 3rd grader in the K-12 School of Fly Fishing and I’ve never been so pumped!!! The learning curve is a harsh one but so worth the homework and “research” time on the water.

I am always down for a road trip, an adventure and any excuse to get out of doing chores! I dream to one day incorporate a fly rod and my dirtbike and to find water sources off the beaten track via single track and trails!

Life is here to live it!"













Jeremy the Merman



Get off the couch! 

Snow Day

Joel La Follette - Thursday, February 07, 2019


Nick's Fishing Report

Low and clear conditions continue to hold through the area with the low-pressure system hanging around. With the possibility of more snow coming to the area don’t expect our rivers to jump up soon. As this cold weather passes and we get back to our normal rainy pattern, we will continue to see fresh winter steelhead swimming up our waterways. Our local rivers and the coast even with the lower water levels still continue to produce fish. It’s just the catch ratio isn’t outstanding, but just that one fish can make your day. Even in good years you still can’t catch them from the couch. 

Josh and I made a break for the coast. With the help of Todd Rettmann from Water Time Outfitters, we all braved Snowmageddon 2019. Like stated above, all the rivers out on the coast were low and clear so expectations weren’t high, but all of us know its winter steelheading so who cares. It’s all about big flies and cold fingertips. 

We started out the day with a coating of snow across everything. After a short drive and slide, as in Todd sliding down after his boat on his butt, we were floating down the river. It was a surreal experience with snow-covered trees and not another soul on the river. These are the days I really think of when someone says winter steelheading. You feel deeply engulfed in your surroundings, somehow connected to it all. Of course, you want to connect with a fish but it no longer matters as much. You just enjoy the day. 

As our float continued, and we fought off the numbness of the cold day, we filled the fishless moments with heavy laughter and good eats. Toward the end of the day as Josh fished a tail out of a run we heard a loud cry of joy come out Josh. His number came up, and a Steelhead grabbed his fly. Unfortunately, just like us, his fish was so lethargic from the cold water it swam right for the net. Josh was now thinking he had caught the smallest steelhead ever with such a short battle but was surprised with a beautiful wild fish. 

Our day ended with most of the snow melted and an easy drive back over the pass. The lesson with this story is even with bad conditions, and low fish counts, expectations set to your current situation makes for a great day. Take what you can get, and if you get lucky your day just got that much better.  


Josh's Fishing Report

Nick and I went fishing this weekend with the guys from Water Time Outfitters. Sunday night we met up over at the lodge on the North coast so we could get up early and not have to battle with coming over the pass. There was a forecast for snow, but the way this winter has been going it probably would not happen. 

Our plan was to have a semi-casual day. We got up around 5:30 AM. To our surprise, there was an inch or two of snow on the ground. Immediately I knew this would be a great day. Winter steelheading in the snow is one of my favorite things. 

We drank a little coffee and headed for the boat launch. We were the first boat on the water and it seemed like it would probably stay that way all day. Last year Todd and I fished together and immediately he was giving me a hard time about a slip I took at the boat launch. I was telling him to watch out as it might come back on him when low and behold we pitch the boat off the trailer and Todd was yanked off his feet. He was basically being drug down the boat launch by the boat. It reminded me of a scene from Spies Like Us where Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd are in training. They get yanked off the dock by a ski boat and drug around a lake. It was a wild scene!

The river was low and clear with a blanket of snow making for awe-inspiring views and high hopes of fish catching. We fished every piece of water first. The three of us were pounding each run with nothing to show for it. By late afternoon we were approaching tidewater and a run where Todd and I had previous success. Todd fished through the run first with no fish. 

The run is big, wide, and slow. I switched up to slower sinking tip and an unweighted pink fly. I was fishing through the run and was getting towards the tail out. I waded halfway across the river casting to the other bank thinking about this being one of my last casts and then it happened. 

Well, something happened anyway. There was a soft pull, no head shake, no yank, just a soft pull that took line and kept pulling. I set the hook knowing it was a steelhead. I gave out a yell and reeled trying to come tight on the fish. After about 30 seconds of reeling, I was doubting if it was really a steelhead and thought it could be a sucker. I was a bit disappointed and confused. 

I got the fish within 40’ and finally could see it. It appeared to be what looked like the smallest winter steelhead to ever swim up a coastal river. At that point, I voiced my opinion to Todd who was standing right next to me. I got it closer and could see not that small after all and it was actually a nice fish. Maybe it was colder than we were, or maybe it had moved up into the tail out where I hooked it. We netted it and snapped a few pics before sending it on its way. 

I’m still marveling at the weirdness of my encounter with that steelhead. And despite the cold fingers, it was a great day!







Now, go make your own.


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