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How did you find your favorite fishing spot?
And of course you don't have to name it.
Tough question. I don't have a favorite spot but I have one particularly memorable day I'll share. When I lived in Wyoming (2003) I met a guy that had lived in the area his entire life. In fact, his family had been there for generations. I was a fairly young dad with a little family and he knew I was struggling to find my way there and he would reach out regularly to check in on me. One day he called and said he wanted to show me something. I should come to his house with a 4 wheeler and it would take most of the day.
We rode East from Dubois for about an hour and a half and ended up on a small stream in the middle of the badlands of Wyoming. I broke out the fly rod and put on a dry and caught good sized rainbows and whitefish in every hole, run and tail out. There was one particular run where the water was fast and deep with substantial chop on the surface. I'd float my fly through that chop and see giant rainbows rise off the surface but not eat the fly.
I'll never forget him for his generosity in taking his time to show me that. It was pure charity to take me there. He wasn't a fisherman but knew a day like that would help me.
I've never been back to that spot and doubt I ever will. I'd be surprised if more than a dozen people fish it in year...if that. I'm not sure that many people know it exists.
Closest to my house and it's chock full of bass, carp, catfish, and sturgeon if I feel like it. Willamette River, take your pick of under any bridge...
In July 1960 Jimco Charters of Depot Bay took a bunch of kids from SE Portland out salmon fishing. I was lucky enough to be one of those kids. We were a group of "underprivilege youth" from the PAL Boys Club. They always introduced us that way "underprivileged youths" at the time I had no idea what the heck that meant, although I thought it must be something special. Back to fishing here, they loaded us on two boats. I landed a seat on the Jimco and was beyond thrilled. The boat was built at Astoria in 1947 for Jim Conway. He worked at one of the local TV stations as the outdoor sports guy. By 1960 the boat had been sold to Jimco Charters.
They planted us in deck seats, and we headed out of that tiny port to the ocean. The moment we went under that bridge, and I felt the swell of the ocean and the smelled that salt air I became hook on ocean fishing. As a 10-year-old kid, it was real excitement to see those coho dancing on top the water once they took the herring and found a mooching rig in their mouth. I can still picture it in my mind's eye some 62 years later.
I enjoy all kinds of fishing but being out in a boat on the salt has always been special to me.
I haven't been there for about 10 years now, but several decades ago my friends and I discovered a gem of a trout stream while camping just off a highway on Vancouver Island. We chose a scenic site along a medium sized coastal river, and tried our luck casting various lures into several deep pools. Lots of small trout took the challenge, but nothing substantial. Sensing the unlikelihood of bigger fish, we decided to forego fishing, and instead forage for wildberries to augment our breakfast pancakes. In the pursuit of huckleberries, salmonberries, and thimbleberries, we stumbled on a small stream emanating from a narrow canyon. Walking along the top of the canyon, we continued upstream in search of more berries while enjoying the incredible scenery below. After about 60 minutes of bushwacking, we came to the head of the canyon, with a waterfall cascading into big pool about 20m below. We decided to rest a bit, and to take in the natural beauty. Being a warm late summer, we soon started looking for ways down into the canyon to enjoy a dip in the cooling waters.
While carefully studying the canyon for a safe way down, I happened to notice some motion in the small stream exiting from the pool. It seemed we had spooked a nice sized trout, and it had decided to bid a hasty retreat from the stream back into the safety of the deeper pool. Suddenly, we had a renewed interest in fishing! We drew sticks, and my buddy was tasked to go back to camp for some lightweight fishing gear, while I was left to map out a way down (and back up again).
By the time my buddy had returned, I had discovered out a safe traverse down to the stream and back again. With gear in hand, we made a couple short casts downstream from the pool, but had no takers. We then moved upstream in stealth mode to test the deep pool waters. My first cast across the to the base of the waterfall was almost immediately attacked by a fish too big for my 5' travel rod. After a short, but vigorous fight, I landed a nice fat 16" wild rainbow. Not to be outdone, my buddy also landed a similar nice fish. The next 2 or 3 casts each stimulated some nice fish, and every fish put up up a massive fight. Then, it suddenly stopped. For the next hour or so, nothing. We figured that the fish were on to us, and no longer wanted to play that game.
Getting cold (no sun reached the bottom of the canyon), we decided to call it a successful day, and vowed to return again in the morning. Which we did, and each managed to catch one more nice fish before they again wised up. We left the area the next day, but I returned almost every year to the same spot for several years until I left the Island for a career move. A couple decades later I returned with my 10 yr old son to show him the joy of wild trout. And the trout were still there, still easily spooked, and self limiting catches of nice rainbows.
I have never confirmed it, but I think that the unnamed creek must have been a natural steelhead nursery. High water flows in the fall would allow fish to escape the small stream in favour of the salt chuck, while continued flows would allow winter spawners back into the system. Frys hatched in the stream would fatten up in the pool below the falls, but then stay there as the low summer water flows restricted downstream migration. I don't know how long the fish would remain resident in the stream, but I understood that almost all rainbows in the coastal Island streams are migratory, hence "steelhead" and would eventually seek the salt chuck when big enough (12 ~ 16"?).
I still dream of that pristine place, or of finding another similar gem closer to my current home.
I don’t have a favorite fishing spot per se, but I do have a favorite stretch on an Oregon coastal river. I found it through hard work and years and years on the water. This particular stretch or river is big winter steelhead water. It has produced 3 of my top 4 biggest steelhead. It’s classic big fish water, bedrock ledges, boulder gardens, deep water, and heavy current. This stretch has produced a 15lb hen, a 16lb buck, and a 19 lb buck. One year, I saw a steelhead that would likely have gone into the low to mid 20 lb range holding. It followed my spoon to the back then disappeared forever into the green depths.
Poaching GPS cords off social media photos not scrubbed of EXIF data.
Miller Lake. It has been a family camping spot for years and was shown to me by my Dad. It is where I learned to fly fish, learned to build a camp fire, life lessons were learned, and forgotten, and counted more stars than I can remember. It was Dad's favorite spot as well, and is where his ashes are spread. He and my Grandpa found it when my Dad was about 5 or 6 years old back in the late 60's. The story goes that they had heard rumors of the place and went searching with some trout gear, a tent and a small canoe. When they arrived there was nowhere to camp because they were still building the campground. They had an amazing weekend and decided to keep coming back.
I have friends that make Miller an annual trip. Been there once while hunting but didn't have fishing gear. We used to have property just 15 miles away and still never made it up there to fish. Definitely a bucket list location.
Found it myself fishing OFF Pepperdine University in 90 feet of water we called it Malibu Bubbles because methane gas rises up its at the base of Las Vergenes Canyon. Halibut, Sand Bass,Sculpin galore! Very similar to Topanga Bubbles which at times had yellowtail white sea bass and even blue fin tuna and thresher shark!I have to fish that area at least one more time in my life I know every reef in the Santa Monica Bay!
Favorite spot for what? Species, memories, camping or fishing. For me all that I just mention would be Putha Creek California just below a 200 ft. dam, it had it all. Perfect camping, fishing, and species which made for memories never to be forgotten. Secluded camp, fishing holes galore and perfect waters of all types, fast/slow/ clear/shallow/and deep. Perfect temps, water below the dam that was so cold and hasn't seen day light for who knows how long and downstream so warm and calm all with-in 1 mile hike. Radio com was inline of sight. It was dream trek of all times. MY FAV. Tony
A buddy and I just recently found our new favorite steelhead fishing spot. We were on our way to one of my other usual locations when we found a side road leading down the river. we then proceeded down the road (after checking to make sue it was in fact public access). It soon brought us to the river along a very steep what can only be described as a cliff. We hopped out and inspected the edge for a way down to the very promising looking water below. Further examination revealed a small path down to the water. There are definitely other people that go there but I get the feeling that it is not super well known or at least commonly used. We fished there for about 4 hours and lost one nice native hen (mostly due to user error). She put up a spectacular fight giving us a full acrobatic demonstration and its just as well that she threw the hook. We also had a few other suspicious bobber downs but that was it for the day. Its one of those known secret spots if you catch my drift.
My understanding is that are no secrets spots anymore so if you wouldn't mind posting GPS coordinates or just send me an OnX waypoint, that would be great.
Seriously though....what a find. I'm quickly losing the spirit of exploration or even the ability to make it down a steep bank.