Where are you trout fishing this winter?

Peaceful

Peaceful

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Hi all! Happy (almost) New Year.

Nice thing about the winter regulations is that I'm forced to go explore further out from Portland. Lately, I've visited the upper McKenzie, Metolius, Fall Creek, and, of course, the Deschutes. I'm not accustomed to winter fly fishing (I've never been quite this motivated/troutbitten either), so I'm still shocked at how much these rivers swell this time of year. I'm also still surprised how much "work" it takes to get a trout to bite this time of year. No doubt it'll make me a better fisherman in the fairer seasons.

But to my question for ya'll... where are you finding some calm-ish streams to freeze your hands and toes off to catch a few redbands or browns, cutthroats or rainbows? Tailwaters? I've been out to the Crooked and had a blast. How's Fall River right now? How about further south along the I-5 corridor?

Or is this your time to stash away the rods and focus on fly tying?

Cheers,
jam
 
TheKnigit

TheKnigit

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I am hoping to focus more on chasing steelhead this winter. However, I would love to spend a couple of days at my Cooper Creek Reservior and try and make it up into the Cascades near the tail end of winter for some treks through the snow to a couple of high lakes and streams.
 
C

Clbagshaw

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I have been to Cooper creek reservoir a few times plan to go more but my plan is to get on some winter steelhead. My buddy i took up to cooper three weekends ago did get a 3.6 pound rainbow.
 
Peaceful

Peaceful

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My buddy i took up to cooper three weekends ago did get a 3.6 pound rainbow.
That's exciting! I hadn't heard of Cooper Creek Reservoir, so I'll have to look into that one. Was your buddy throwing streamers? (Lake flyfishing is still pretty new for me.)
 
C

Clbagshaw

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That's exciting! I hadn't heard of Cooper Creek Reservoir, so I'll have to look into that one. Was your buddy throwing streamers? (Lake flyfishing is still pretty new for me.)
We were trolling crankbaits because we had started the day off bass fishing and that was no good. So we just ended up using our bass tackle for trout fishing.
 
G

gfisher2003

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This is pretty out of your way but a lot of the tributary rivers of the Willamette around Corvallis such as the Mary's and Luckiamute can fish pretty well for Cutthroat when flows are cooperating, they are open year-round and generally pretty free of people!
 
O

olshiftybiscuits

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Jun 17, 2019
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Hi all! Happy (almost) New Year.

Nice thing about the winter regulations is that I'm forced to go explore further out from Portland. Lately, I've visited the upper McKenzie, Metolius, Fall Creek, and, of course, the Deschutes. I'm not accustomed to winter fly fishing (I've never been quite this motivated/troutbitten either), so I'm still shocked at how much these rivers swell this time of year. I'm also still surprised how much "work" it takes to get a trout to bite this time of year. No doubt it'll make me a better fisherman in the fairer seasons.

But to my question for ya'll... where are you finding some calm-ish streams to freeze your hands and toes off to catch a few redbands or browns, cutthroats or rainbows? Tailwaters? I've been out to the Crooked and had a blast. How's Fall River right now? How about further south along the I-5 corridor?

Or is this your time to stash away the rods and focus on fly tying?

Cheers,
jam

Winter is tough in terms of variety, but don't let those swollen rivers put you off too much. The Deschutes gets high, but I think it fishes as well in high water as it does in good weather, if not better. In winter, fish stack up in likely looking spots because in a river like the Deschutes there are limited places to survive when it's cold. If you find one fish, there are a half dozen more in that same hole. IMO, the trick in Winter is to find one piece of water and work it to death. You pretty much have to hit the fish in the face with your drift, they're conserving energy, so changing your drift or cast by tiny increments helps cover the water effectively. I'd call the Deschutes upstream of Maupin about as close to a weather-proof fishery as we have. Even when it blows out like it did just before Christmas, it clears very quickly. And for the most part, the weather is much better there than it is in Portland. Especially in February and March, there are some truly unbelievable days to be spent on the Deschutes. I also like that there are two options for getting there, and this time of year almost always take 84 through the Dalles rather than messing with 26.

I also keep a close eye on the Middle Fork Willamette. It's fishable up to 2500 CFS, but ideal under 1300. Probably my favorite fishery within three hours of Portland. Also a route that never gets blocked by weather. I highly recommend checking it out, DM me if you'd like some specifics.

The Metolius doesn't blow out and fishes great in winter, same goes for the Crooked, but the routes there aren't always friendly. If it's raining in Portland it's probably snowing in Camp Sherman.

When it gets really bad, whip out a map and see which tailwater fisheries are open. Head straight to the dam. Tailwaters before they hit their first naturally occurring tributary act a lot like a spring-fed river and will be fishable when the rest of the river is blown out. This fall/winter so far has been particularly rough for rainfall, a lot of what should be coming down as snow at altitude is coming down rain and blowing everything out. So, it might be time to tie flies for a bit if the Deschutes isn't holding your interest (which I get, it's a big hairy river and effective techniques this time of year are pretty limited). Or, I'd recommend just pulling out the regulations and fishing some open tributaries. A lot of those creeks get very low in summer, so high water might actually make them a bit more fun to fish. They're typical westside creeks in that most of what you'll catch is six inches or less, but if you have time on your hands I'm sure you'd be able to find a few gems.
 
Grant22

Grant22

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Gorgeous fish! Put up a pretty good fight in heavy current, or did it walk on in to shore?
They were pretty lethargic but fought good once they were hooked. Not as active or aggressive as in the spring.
 
Troutski

Troutski

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Deschutes, Coast Fork Willamette
Coast fort of the Willy, a hidden gem in the Willamette Valley. The great thing about living in this area is we have so many places to fish all year long. Such a shame it is so far from the Portland area, your area is mostly closed during the winter months. If you do make it down here please contact me, I can at the least point you to the right rock to fish from 👍

Chuck
 
Peaceful

Peaceful

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Coast fort of the Willy, a hidden gem in the Willamette Valley. The great thing about living in this area is we have so many places to fish all year long.
Thx a lot, Chuck. I take it you live in the Eugene area? A few follow-up questions for ya...

Does the coastal fork beneath the Cottage Grove reservoir fish like a normal tailwater? In other words, is the flow pretty steady throughout the year? Recently, I went up Fall "Creek" (out of Springfield) and found it running like a class 3 rapids river. Could barely wade in past my knees, and the fish were not interested in my offers of good tidings. 😄

I might head down there this weekend if weather doesn't look too soggy. I can usually find the right rock to stand on, but it would be fun to fish with a local if you're looking for a good reason to get out on the water! (I'm using mostly euro-style nymphing methods at the moment, in case that's interesting/pertinent.)
 
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Troutski

Troutski

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Thx a lot, Chuck. I take it you live in the Eugene area? A few follow-up questions for ya...

Does the coastal fork beneath the Cottage Grove reservoir fish like a normal tailwater? In other words, is the flow pretty steady throughout the year? Recently, I went up Fall "Creek" (out of Springfield) and found it running like a class 3 rapids river. Could barely wade in past my knees, and the fish were not interested in my offers of good tidings. 😄

I might head down there this weekend if weather doesn't look too soggy. I can usually find the right rock to stand on, but it would be fun to fish with a local if you're looking for a good reason to get out on the water! (I'm using mostly euro-style nymphing methods at the moment, in case that's interesting/pertinent.)
My home waters are influenced by the weather, with all the reservoirs in my area one needs to know the out flow of each river or creek that is down stream from the dams. I have a website that gives you just that, out flow in CFS once you are comfortable with it you can time your fishing to coincide with the flows. (nwd-wc.usace.army.mil) It helps to know your gov jargon, If you need help just send me a PM.
As for me joining you it might be tough, I am recovering from a knee replacement and dont get around very good on uneven earth. I do have a bunch of maps that I have drawn over the years and will share...

Chuck
 

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