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John Day River, Oregon
New Abel Sound
Steelhead Clinic
Christmas Party


John Day River, Oregon
Running over 500 miles, the John Day is the second longest free-flowing stream in the United States. It is protected as a “Wild and Scenic” river under Oregon Scenic Waterways Act. The country is characterized by steep basalt canyon walls, juniper, and sagebrush dotted hills, abandoned homesteads, and petroglyphs. This is one of the most culturally rich river corridors in the state. Human presence in this system spans 
more than 10,000 years. For thousands of years the Northern Paiute lived on this river they called the Mah-Hah. In 1805 these canyon dwellers met their first Europeans, the Lewis and Clark expedition. In 1812, the river was renamed the John Day after one of the members of the Astor-Hunt overland party. It was the discovery of gold in 1860 that advanced pioneer settlement. The John Day River is truly the Grand Canyon of Oregon. The river’s serpentine course through vertical basalt cliffs has, at times, an almost 
haunting feel.  This river was also home to huge runs of Steelhead and the famous Columbia River Chinook Salmon, which reached over 100lbs. At present, the system has one of the last all-wild runs of adronomous fish east of the Cascade Mountains.  The John Day has the largest and most viable run of all wild Steelhead in the lower ’48 states. 40,000-50,000 wild Steelhead will return to spawn in the John Day this year.   A few discerning anglers know that the river is one of the best trophy bass rivers in 
the US, but only a select few have ever experienced the world class dry fly steelheading that the river often has to offer.  
Patty and I joined up with Marty Sheppard and Jad Donalson in the restaurant of the Hotel Condon, 7:00pm, 11/26/02.   Outside air temperature was 29 degrees.  After a pleasant dinner we had an exquisite nights sleep in a snuggly feather bed.  Next morning it was 25 degrees.  And was dark when we threw our gear in the back of Jad's diesel Suburban  for a trip 
down secret dirt roads to the river.  We started fishing in the dark.   The air temperature was brutal.  The water temperature turned out to be 34 degrees.  Clouds came in and the brutality continued until Jad fixed breakfast on the river at 10:00am.  Not one single fish had touched a fly for 3 hard hours of probing the water.  We saw several steelhead holding in a very still pool.  One followed Marty's fly nearly to the beach, but would not take. Marty & Jad have been very successful with weighted flies presented with a floating line.  I followed suit until late in the afternoon I switched to a clear intermediate tip so I could fish a very lightly dressed Golden Demon through some gentle water flowing moderately deep over a group of large boulders.  The fly hung and slowly sank and swung about very slowly about three foot deep.  There was a soft pluck and then the line tightened slowly as I fed my shock loop.  The fight was somewhat sluggish because of the low water temperature.  That fish was released and another hooked and lost almost immediately.  Then the day was done.  I had learned a new trick and a new place , and was very satisfied.  MB
Thanks to John Ecklund of Little Creek Outfitters for much of the research and writing in this article.

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December 14, 2002, Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm
Annual Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Clinic

This clinic has something for all steelheaders whether beginner or veteran.  Slide programs, lectures and on-the-water demonstrations will teach you how to locate steelhead water and how to approach it, select the right flies for each situation & how to present the fly you have chosen.  Demonstrations will show you how to tie these same flies.  Watch an expert guide as he fishes and discloses the secrets and proven methods that put fish on the beach. 
Free casting lessons will be available in the back lot. Get a lot of hands on help so that you too can be productive.  Save yourself years of experimenting on your own. 
Slide programs and on the water demonstrations by Mark Bachmann,  & Jim Teeny.  
Fly tying demonstration by Brian Silvey.  Fly casting lessons by John Jones & Mark Meriwether.  Bring your own waders & rain gear for outdoor events.  
A munchies & coffee will be served.  There is no charge for this program.

December 15, 2002, Sunday, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Annual Christmas Party
Free Barbeque! Prizes!

Special Guest: Jim Teeny
This is what Jim Teen says about his nymph, "This is my original pattern that started my fishing career. I originated this pattern in May of 1962 to catch trout. I had no idea that this fly would hold so many world records and catch so many different fish. There's hardly a fish that couldn't be caught on a Teeny Nymph.
Jim will bring one of his entertaining slide presentations.

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Mark & Patty


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