I am new to the forum... Just moved to Harrisburg from Utah 2 1/2 months ago. I made a pretty good attempt at trying to wait 6 months to become a resident until I bought a fishing license but I don't think I can hold out any longer. Anyhow... I was at the city park during my lunch yesterday and the fish in the Williamette were jumping like crazy. Not really huge but not fingerlings either. Any Ideas on what these fish were?? my boss thought they were probably cutthroat?? Is the fishing good on this stretch of river?? What are the target species through this stretch? I would appreciate any help!!
There are a lot of trout in that section of river along with some summer steelhead coming through. It could have also been pike minnows! I hate those things. :D
Thanks man... Maybe I will get a 24 hr license and hurl some spinners & lures their way. This not fishing is killing me. It's a huge portion of why I moved out here. Is the Pike Minnow a native species? good for anything? Told you I am kinda dumb to the area.
Just wanting to get educated.
Welcome to the forum.

Agreed. There are lots of cutts in there. Try dark flies, dark colored spinners, or just worms on a drift.

However, I personally ONLY catch and release from the Willy. There are a lot of farm n' industry chemicals in that river any more. So, I do not eat any fish that spend their whole lifespans in that water. (I'm okay w/ steelies and salmon cuz they're only in that water for 2 very short periods of time).

Also agree on the Pike Minnows. A nuisance fish in my book. Throw them back in, or use 'em for fertilizer.
thanks troutdude. so is there much of a steelhead and salmon fishery through this stretch? or are they just a pleasant bycatch. we used to fish for steelhead in idaho on the salmon river so i guess any day with less than 8 to ten hours invested per fish would be smoking action for me! also can you use pike minnows for crab bait? just a thought. thanks ahead for any info
There are a couple of forks of the Willy, and the McKenzie River proper, but there are no runs of either Fall Nooks and/or Winter Steelies (at least according to the Complete Angler's Guide to Oregon, and the best of my recollection). And I don't think that the Santiam system gets any such Fall/Winter runs either. It's primarily the coastal streams that get those runs. The closest are the Siletz or the Alsea.

The river mentioned above do however, get good runs of Spring Nooks an Summer Steelies.

I'm not very well versed on crabbing. But, I would think that if the pike's are dead that they could be tossed into your crab pots.
KDSW, welcome to the group...and our town of Harrisburg! Do you fish for bass at all? Although I have had little luck catching trout in the WillyMae, I have had no trouble with bass.
I've fished the stretch of the Willamette around Harrisburg a few times, and have caught plenty of trout, but no steel or nook. If you are going to spend the cash to get a 1 day liscence, your time would be better spent up by Leaburg on the Mckenzie, or Dexter on the Willamette. It is less than 45 min to either place and your chances at a nice fish are 20x better. I also live in Harrisburg.
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