The Trout Line Newsletter - April 15, 2019


April 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.

 Volunteer Opportunity:

We still are in need of  VOLUNTEERS TO ASSIST  the Clackamas River Basin Council and  NW Steelheaders on Saturday, May 4th in placing Christmas trees in the Rock Creek Confluence area just off Highway 212 in Clackamas.  It's anticipated that  volunteers will be needed from 9 am until 12 pm to help place and secure the trees that were staged there in January. 

Mike Gentry says that we can use up to six (6) more volunteers.  

If you are interested in helping, please email Mike Gentry:  or call at (503) 636-0061.   

Thank you for helping on this project.


 Raffle Item from Clackamas TU:

Clackamas TU Chapter is selling raffle tickets for a FISH CAT 9lR Pontoon boat (Valued at $700) for $5.00 each. Drawing will be held at our May CRTU meeting. Contact the following for tickets:

Ernie Tsukuda 
503 209-9519

Terry Turner
503 804-9868

Ruth Ann Tsukuda
503 799-5259  

Fly of the Month - Mike's Big Bang

Written by Mike Gentry

In recent years I've taken up lake fishing.  There's something quite peaceful about floating in still water in a tube or pontoon boat.  And when the tranquility is broken by a violent hit from a big fish, the excitement begins.  For subsurface action, the best pattern I've developed to entice those big boys is a chironomid I call Mike's Big Bang.  The distinguishing feature is a body made from an overlooked portion of a pheasant tail feather.  We're all familiar with the standard Pheasant Tail and other nymph patterns that use the dark brown barred fibers on a rooster tail.  However, on a number of larger tail feathers, one side is made up of those fibers but the other side sports lighter, grayish or gray-tannish mottled splines.  Those are the secret ingredients of the Big Bang.  The fly is simple in design and easy to tie.

Hook:        Tiemco 100 #14
Thread:     Black 8/0
Tail and Front Grill:  Betts Z-ion, standard #9 - white
Body:        Motted Pheasant Tail Fiber
Ribbing:    Fine gold wire

1. Attach the thread to the hook about halfway back to the bend with several turns of thread.

2. Take a piece of Z-lon about one and one half inch long (so it overlaps both ends of the hook) and with a bobbin divide it in half (this is a thin fly and the tail and front gill shouldn't be too fat).

3.  Affix one of the Z-ion bunches on top of the hook shank with a couple turns of thread at the midpoint of the bunch, so that plenty of Z-ion extends front and back.

4.  Wind the thread with widely spaced turns back to the bend of the hook, and tie in a piece of copper ribbing wire with two turns of thread, leaving some copper wire sticking forward along the top of the hook to just behind the eye.

5.  With your fingers, fan and smooth the mottled pheasant tail fibers perpendicular to the feather shaft - this will allow you locate and use batches of fibers that are long and sturdy.

6. Pinch and clip off at the feather shaft about a quarter inch wide bunch of fibers (usually 7-8).  Tie down the tips the fibers at the tie-in point for the wire ribbing.  Leave then sticking back and out of the way, with the ribbing wire.

7. Bind the Z-ion to the hook shank with spare (i.e., not heavily-wrapped) wide thread wraps forward to the back of the eye.

8.  Wind tightly forward to just behind the back of the eye.  The idea is to wrap one layer of strands, and not to overwrap them on themselves, as you progress forward.  If for some reason you run out of fiber length to get to the end point, just cut and tie in additional fibers.  Tie off and clip the excess.

9.  Wind the ribbing wire counterclockwise forward around the body to the back of the eye, make a number of additional wraps to create a small head, finish with three half hitches and trim the thread.  I find it easier to life the front portion of Z-ion and put a few wraps and the half-hitches under the Z-ion, to lift it slightly above the hook eye.

10.  Holding the Z-ion tail and front grill by their tag ends, clip each to about 1/8 inch.  Put a small drop of head cement on the head, and you're done.

I started fooling around with chironomid patterns several years ago after fishing the lakes three or four years.  I was looking for a material that had a more subtle look than some of the standard patterns, and decided to try out the mottled pheasant feather strands.  I was not prepared for the increase in fishy interest the new pattern generated.  I'd had good success on some the Antone lakes with more standard patterns, but the lakes were gentler and more subtle.  So after breaking off the first three fish on the take (they did the taking with violent hits), I took a deep breath, lit my pipe, re-rigged from 5x to 3x, and took six of seven 'bows in the 5-6 pound range as well as some smaller cousins.  It's been a consistent go-to pattern of mine ever since, particularly in the late afternoon and early evening when there isn't any surface activity.  I found the fly effective from just below the surface to five or so feet down (I haven't really tried to work it deeper since it rarely makes it that deep).  On a number of occasions the take is just after the fly hits.  I generally work it in fairly slow short retrieves of four or five inches.  Try it-but hold on!



Outings Schedule



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.

May Meeting - May 8 - Josh Linn from Royal Treatment Fly Shop - Salmon Fly
June Meeting - June 12 - Rob Crandall, Deschutes Trout Fishing




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