Fly fishing spots around Eugene, Oregon?


sambone

New member
Im just learning how to start fly fishing, been going out to armitage the last couple nights to practice some basic techniques with a single dry and dry dropper rig to see if i can get some strikes. Tonight was the first night i really tried to fish but it was too windy and the fish werent that active . I scouted it out the night before and there was no wind and lots of fish were all over the place .The gates to the park close at dusk so you have to leave right before prime fishing time which is really annoying to have to think about when youre out there. Anyone got good public spots around eugene on the willamette for fly fishing? I havent tried any spots on the willamette yet. I have some chubby chernobyls, possie buggers, and a elk hair caddis fly to play around with. The guys at the fly shop in town said those are some good ones for my basic setup on the mckenzie, im guessing theyre good for the willamette too?
 

fishpro123

New member
Im just learning how to start fly fishing, been going out to armitage the last couple nights to practice some basic techniques with a single dry and dry dropper rig to see if i can get some strikes. Tonight was the first night i really tried to fish but it was too windy and the fish werent that active . I scouted it out the night before and there was no wind and lots of fish were all over the place .The gates to the park close at dusk so you have to leave right before prime fishing time which is really annoying to have to think about when youre out there. Anyone got good public spots around eugene on the willamette for fly fishing? I havent tried any spots on the willamette yet. I have some chubby chernobyls, possie buggers, and a elk hair caddis fly to play around with. The guys at the fly shop in town said those are some good ones for my basic setup on the mckenzie, im guessing theyre good for the willamette too?
Park on Coburg Road across he river from Armitage Park. No gates to worry about. Fish till dark. Try the boat launch areas on the McKenzie in the north part of Springfield. Use google maps to locate public access in both rivers near town.
 

maxwyatt

Member
Sorry I didn't see this earlier. You can take Armitage rd from North Game Farm Rd and park directly under the Freeway. There's good access there. Also look at Deadmond Ferry rd near RiverBend. I've had moderate success at each location.
 

SciFly

New member
If you just want to catch fish on a fly and don't care what's tugging...think about a simple Clouser Minnow in olive over white. The smallmouth on the Willamette crush that fly. Going sub-surface you no longer have to wait for a rise or a hatch to get action all day, rain or blazing heat. Obviously there will be variations to the bite, like any fishing, but you won't be a one-trick pony...unless you only have an olive over white Clouser. :cool:
 

maxwyatt

Member
I'm curious, how do you fish the Clouser? Strip it in like a streamer or let it sink and pull it in a few inches at a time? BTW, I haven't caught a smallmouth this far up river (Eugene). How far down would one need to go to start finding them? Harrisburg?
 

SciFly

New member
I'm curious, how do you fish the Clouser? Strip it in like a streamer or let it sink and pull it in a few inches at a time? BTW, I haven't caught a smallmouth this far up river (Eugene). How far down would one need to go to start finding them? Harrisburg?
Use a snappy one-foot strip, where you flick your wrist quickly, then the pause in between strips as you reach for new line. You could count in your head "Thousand one, thousand two..." with the strip being every number and the pause being "thousand". The mass of the Clouser allows it to briefly accelerate forward and up, followed by a noticeable slow down and drop. They take on the drop and you feel them on the strip. Every now and then they will crush it on a drive-by and your line with slip through your rod fingers as your stripping hand had released line and is advancing to re-grip. Find a rhythm that works. Most importantly, keep changing the rhythm until you start getting hit. Focus on that retrieve. Maybe it's a quick three strips with a pause, maybe it's a steady strip-pause with a two-foot strip and slightly longer pause (include unlimited variations). First one-foot variation is my most productive. After many trips on many days, you will eventually find the mojo that works for you. My go-to line is an Intermediate sink (Cortland Camo rocks!) for surface to about 7 feet. If I'm fishing anything deeper than about 7 feet I also have a heavy shooting head Type VI that can get me down to the 30 foot range if necessary, although I don't often have the patience to wait for the drop to that depth :). Vary the speed to maintain a depth once you figure out where the vegetation layer is, that's where the most common ambushes occur. Clousers in the 2.5--3 inch range seem to bring me the most action.
Pyramid 13.jpg

As far as trout go, I've caught 10 inchers to many fish over 10 pounds on that same size fly. Attached a little eye-candy. Everyone appreciates proof.
Tight lines!

Pyramid 14.jpg
 

SciFly

New member
Forgot to answer the "where?" question. I have only been in Oregon for two years and in that time have only thrown for smallies on the Willy through Salem ( from right downtown to the Wheatland Ferry), and then on/near the Columbia in the Hood River area. Heard they are thick at least up through Corvalis, but no personal experience with that.
 

Bandrew

New member
If you just want to catch fish on a fly and don't care what's tugging...think about a simple Clouser Minnow in olive over white. The smallmouth on the Willamette crush that fly. Going sub-surface you no longer have to wait for a rise or a hatch to get action all day, rain or blazing heat. Obviously there will be variations to the bite, like any fishing, but you won't be a one-trick pony...unless you only have an olive over white Clouser. :cool:
Are there small mouth bass in the Willamette in Eugene?
 

maxwyatt

Member
I've caught trout and pike minnows in the Willamette in Eugene, but never bass. I understand there are bass in the Alton Baker canal/pond, but I haven't made an effort. The river transitions between Eugene and Corvallis where it becomes more of a warm water fishery.
 

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