First time fishing the Wilson. A few questions.

M

MrJones23

New member
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
4
Location
Aloha
Well, I fished the Wilson for the first time over the weekend. My first time fishing in Oregon, in fact. I have just been so busy since I moved here from Texas I haven't really had enough free time to be able to justify the expense.

When my buddies announced that they would be camping at Jones Creek this weekend, I signed up, and it seemed to be the perfect time to get into fishing. None of them fish, so I didn't have any expert guidance, so I did a little research(how I found this site). I grew up fishing on lakes in Texas, but river fishing is new to me. After some research I decided to go the spinner route, as opposed to fly fishing, since I am familiar enough with the sorts of gear used, and fly fishing would be just too much to learn all at once.

Anyways, I got myself a license and an inexpensive rod/reel combo, a variety of spinners, and some other essential gear then headed out. I tried a few different methods in the river itself and the streams running through the campgrounds. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to catch anything, don't think I got any real bites even, but I had a lot of fun both on the river and around the campfire. Saw a bald eagle on Friday, I hope he managed to catch more fish than me. The lures I lost were worth it and I'm anxious to get out there again. Probably this coming weekend in fact, but just a day trip.

I do have a few questions to the more seasoned regulars here, though. Sorry if these questions have been asked before.

1) What sorts of lures do you guys have the best luck with around these parts? I'm going to the Cabellas grand opening this week and I'll pick out a few more shiny baubles to leave at the bottom of the river.

2) Casting upstream: I was having a little trouble with this, and was having difficulty controlling slack in the line. Any good videos that illustrate proper technique?

3) Where are the good sorts of spots to catch trout? upstream or downstream of rapids? Deep pools? Still spots? Sorry, but I just have no idea where the fish will be in a river like the Wilson.
 
M

Modest_Man

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 2, 2010
Messages
1,061
Location
Woodburn, Oregon
FYI, the Wilson is closed to trout fishing until May 28th. If you're out there with a little trout pole and no salmon/steelhead tag you could get a hefty fine. It IS open for steelhead the entire year, and I've managed to catch plenty of trout with my size 4 spinners when trying for steelhead.
 
C_Run

C_Run

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
Messages
1,326
Location
Polk and Coos Counties
You're on the right track seeking information. I'm far from "seasoned" myself but just studying this forum or reading what you can ahead of time can shorten the learning curve significantly. I would recommend going someplace like the Bi-mart sporting goods department and look at the books there and find ones that deal with whatever it is you're after like steelhead, trout etc. "Oregon River Maps and Fishing Guide" is a good resource, too. That book also has a lot of pictures of gear and diagrams of how to cast in different river situations. I would pick one or two methods and just go out and start trying. Casting upstream, usually not a great way to fish spinners or spoons but ,still, possible. I've had to do it when I've spotted a fish and "sight- casted" upstream with success. Books like the ones you'll find in the sporting goods stores discuss the anatomy of rivers , i.e. riffle, pool, tailout and talk about how to fish each part and "read" the water. As far as what lures to buy I would suggest spoons like little cleo or steelie in various sizes and finishes and spinners such as Blue fox, Mepps, Rooster tails for starters and those come in about any color you can think of. Fish all of those close to the bottom so they don't just blow by over the top of the fish. Keep your line in the water.
 
M

MrJones23

New member
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
4
Location
Aloha
FYI, the Wilson is closed to trout fishing until May 28th. If you're out there with a little trout pole and no salmon/steelhead tag you could get a hefty fine. It IS open for steelhead the entire year, and I've managed to catch plenty of trout with my size 4 spinners when trying for steelhead.

Oh crap. :p I read the 2011 fishing reg guide and missed that. From the language in the guide, I thought that it was restricted to artificial flies and lures from may 28 - aug 31, you could not use bait those months. I didn't realize that it meant no fishing outside those months, and then only artificial lures.

"Angling restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater, May 28-Aug. 31." Grr... Use clear and concise language in your regs, OFW. I thought I was legal.

Well, I guess I'll just have to wait a couple weeks to go back out. Bummer. Thanks for the info, though.
 
G

GDBrown

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
1,485
Location
Hillsboro, Oregon
What you missed!

What you missed!

Welcome to Oregon and to our OFF family.

The first time you read the regs it is very confusing. I have copied the special regulations (below) that apply to the Wilson River. Note that nothing here is mentioned about trout so they are under state wide or NW Zone regulations. That means that trout fishing will be from May28th to August 31st. A short season but necessary since there are so many salmon and steehead smolts in the river. But the river holds salmon and steelhead almost year around. Note that salmon under 15" are considered trout except Coho salmon which are always considered salmon. When you see what a juvenile salmon looks like you will understand why. There are some great sea run cutthroat trout in the Wilson.

Wilson River (Tillamook Co.):

1. Mainstem upstream to South Fork including tidewater......

• Open for adipose fin-clipped steelhead entire year.
• Open for adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook salmon April 1-July 31.
• Open for fall Chinook salmon Aug. 1-Dec. 31; except closed for Chinook salmon
upstream from railroad bridge Aug. 1-Sept. 15; 2 adult Chinook salmon per day, 4 in
any 7 consecutive days, 10 per season in aggregate from all Nehalem, Tillamook, and
Nestucca bays and streams.
Use of bait allowed.



Don't despair though there are plenty of places to fish that are open now. Try Hagg lake southwest of Forest Grove or even the little pond on the way to the Wilson river.
Better yet head to the Willamette and its tributaries which are already open for trout. The Clackamas is actually much closer to you than the Wilson river.

GD
 
C

ChezJfrey

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2010
Messages
1,508
Location
Tigard, OR
Oh crap. :p I read the 2011 fishing reg guide and missed that. From the language in the guide, I thought that it was restricted to artificial flies and lures from may 28 - aug 31, you could not use bait those months. I didn't realize that it meant no fishing outside those months, and then only artificial lures.

"Angling restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater, May 28-Aug. 31." Grr... Use clear and concise language in your regs, OFW. I thought I was legal.

Well, I guess I'll just have to wait a couple weeks to go back out. Bummer. Thanks for the info, though.

The next column over from what you read indicates the trout season, which has a starting date that coincides with the lure only season mentioned. Also, the 'Special Regulations' mentioned in the column you saw, show that bait is actually OK in the Wilson, so it is not a 'lure only' fishery.

As mentioned, steelhead season is all year, so you can target them in the meantime with the proper tags.

And like Modest_Man, I've caught quite a few trout from the Wilson while angling for steelhead...the largest being a 15" rainbow; just have to put them back when not in season.
 
M

MrJones23

New member
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
4
Location
Aloha
Thanks for the advice, guys. I feel like a fool for trying to poach. It's a good thing I wasn't very good at it I suppose, I will be more careful in the future.
 
W

waco

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2010
Messages
1,516
Location
Tillamook, Oregon
Get ready with some spoons and spinners when the season is open you can also get a lot of info and tips on you tube!!!
 
C_Run

C_Run

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
Messages
1,326
Location
Polk and Coos Counties
Could I add one thing? The great thing about lures is that you tie one knot and you're ready to fish. The bad thing about them is they come with those nasty treble hooks. A lot of us here have adopted the practice of replacing the treble hooks with a single point "siwash" hook. This is a conservation measure since you will probably catch a lot of small fish like undersized trout and salmon smolts in the rivers. You won't maim and mortally wound too many if you use a single point hook. All you need is a pair of pliers to put them on and it doesn't really affect the catch rate by only having one hook on a lure.
 
M

Modest_Man

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 2, 2010
Messages
1,061
Location
Woodburn, Oregon
Could I add one thing? The great thing about lures is that you tie one knot and you're ready to fish. The bad thing about them is they come with those nasty treble hooks. A lot of us here have adopted the practice of replacing the treble hooks with a single point "siwash" hook. This is a conservation measure since you will probably catch a lot of small fish like undersized trout and salmon smolts in the rivers. You won't maim and mortally wound too many if you use a single point hook. All you need is a pair of pliers to put them on and it doesn't really affect the catch rate by only having one hook on a lure.

Frankly, the few times I've hooked small fish with a siwash it's gone into their eye/brain due to the longer shank. I fish a treble, but barbless.
 
N

NoobTooner

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
102
Location
beaverton
Frankly, the few times I've hooked small fish with a siwash it's gone into their eye/brain due to the longer shank. I fish a treble, but barbless.

yuhknow, i've actually noticed the same thing. i've tried going down a size and pinching the barb but it's still too long. i'd say you're dead on with that as long as you're fishing the smaller fishies. steel and salmon though, and i'm all about the swiwash! ..much better hook-set with only one point rather than having to punch 2-3 points in at once.

a second bonus is that you do less damage to the nates.
 
C_Run

C_Run

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
Messages
1,326
Location
Polk and Coos Counties
OK I'll go with what you more experienced guys say on the hook issue. I just hate performing surgery on the small fish when it seems they always manage to get all three hooks in them. It's fresh in my mind so that's why I brought it up.
 
M

Modest_Man

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 2, 2010
Messages
1,061
Location
Woodburn, Oregon
There are trade-offs with each hook type, and you're never going to see a 100% survival rate when a 4-5" parr kamikazes a larger spinner.
 
brandon4455

brandon4455

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2010
Messages
3,860
Location
Oregon
ive been using small single hooks on my spoons (not siwash) and they work fine without hurting the fish. thats another reaosn i like fly fishing..no death at all! :clap:
 
N

NoobTooner

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
102
Location
beaverton
bah.. just pinch your barbs down smooth and you'll be a lot happier with the results.
also, you can buy a spinner kit or just the shafts and replace your fav. spinners' hook with any hook you like. i've done this a few times myself and been very happy with the results. one thing to keep in mind here though is that the hook makes up some of the weight so if you go too light, you may notice a difference in the action(never been a real big prob for me though).
and go pick up a few small wablers.. blue has worked pretty good for me in the past with surprising results. some of the cuts in that area get to be realy nice size so you should have a great time this summer.

oh and before i forget, look threw the forums. a few of us a trying to get together and do a little clean-up soon.
welcome to the area and tight lines to ya.
 
M

MrJones23

New member
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
4
Location
Aloha
So, would you guys say de-barb even when trying to catch dinner? It makes sense, I suppose, as in the past I haven't had much more trouble bringing them in on barbless hooks when fishing c&r.
 
N

NoobTooner

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
102
Location
beaverton
if you're targeting smaller fish i'd say it's a wise idea. smaller fish tend to hold in the same water and if you're gonna be fishing it, the potenial for injuring fry and smolt are much higher while like you said, your success rate will prob be just about the same. ...unless you're just playing around with the poor things (in which case you deserve to loose it) and if you're looking to catch dinner i kinda doubt that.
 
Last edited:
M

Modest_Man

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 2, 2010
Messages
1,061
Location
Woodburn, Oregon
Personal preference. I've seen no reduction in catch rate after switching to barbless, and it's a LOT easier to let the fish you don't want to keep go (alive).
 
G

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
938
Location
Forest Grove, Oregon
Instead of switching to siwash - you can reduce hooking mortality by simply cutting off one or two of the barbs of a treble. This is what I do with all my Rooster Tails and Panther Martin spinners. I tried going to siwash hooks - but wasn't pleased with the results. I cut the front hook off the trebles on the plugs I fish usually too. I don't like farting around with multiply pinned fish - especially wild fish - that I'm going to release. I despise treble hooks anymore, so every lure gets surgery. I'll take a trade off of a few fish that don't get hooked solid, for not killing a bunch of fish because I've got them out of the water way too long, because they got three prongs from a treble in their mouth, pinning it shut, and making it a PITA to unhook 'em. That's my personal preference. I've had too many fish pinned with all three points, and had the fish re-hook themselves with a barb when trying to get a treble undone from a fish's mouth.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom