Wilson River noob report.

Ok, the Noob I'm talkin' bout is me....
I'm new to this kind of fishing but I've done alot of homework and asked alot of questions, so I feel comfortable sharing this kinda late report.
I went to the Mills Bridge Launch to try my luck on the Wilson on Wednesday 1-15-14, after talking to some of the fellas here on OFF, and watching every video on the subject via youtube I could find, it seemed to be a good choice, with the water levels dropping, and clarity supposed to be good, confidence was high!
So I got there before first light and with 3 rods rigged with various float rigs,(a yarnie, a jig, and a pink worm)I started up the shore feeling good that the bank was smooth as if the water had just receded, and was only the second set of tracks walking in that direction. I walked up a couple hundred yards upstream until I couldn't stand it anymore, and got my first hot tip ready to fish...the deadly pink worm!!
Ok, so not so deadly this day, so I tried a couple different scents with no luck.
Now that the light came up and I could see that the water was a nice greenish color with a couple feet of visability, which I've heard is very good color, and viability for steelies...confidence very high!!
So I tried all three rods with various scents added, with a sand shrimp tail, with gooey bobs, worm with and without a jig head, and then threw a spinner in all the locations I stopped at, which was pretty much every fishable inch upstream of the bridge for a couple hundred yards, and then continued to fish down below the bridge to where the rapids start.
So I asked every guy there how they were doing, only to hear I wasn't the only one having no action. I stayed and fished until dark going back up past the bridge trying everything I had, ending back at the launch where I did talk to one guy that had drifted down from I think he said Jordan Creek, he said they had one on early in the morning but lost it, and said they saw another boat fighting a couple early in the day higher up closer to their launch point, but didn't see any boated.
So as I was wondering if there were any fish in the river where I was,(there was alot of guys there wondering that but were fishing there with high hopes) and as I was thinking of packing it in...A VERY nice fish (my guess 30+ inch with plenty of back, I said 15-20 pounder, 15 according to the other guy that saw it) surfaced no more than 8 feet from my toes, and lazily sunk back into the depths....this kept me fishing on into the dark, still with no luck...but my confidence is still HIGH!!
Can't wait to get back out there!! Gonna try some of 20 miles or so of river I passed in the dark....Beauty of a place!


Well-known member
Gonna try some of 20 miles or so of river I passed in the dark....Beauty of a place!
Do the above...staying in one spot with no action is not recommended. Spend maybe 30-60 minutes, then find another likely spot. The Wilson is filled with good steelhead water.

Got this from the Wilson at 11 today, then bailed and tried a different, new-to-me river:



New member
Sounds like you have the fever - and eventually you will get into fish. "Fish it hard" was the advice I got on the Sandy.
Me being relatively new to this area also. I go whenever I have the day off.... but it seems like you need the water level (dropping) water clarity (some color) and water temp above 40 to start rolling the dice in your favor. I just started going after them on fly so i have a long road ahead.
Thanx Everglades, at least it's an enjoyable journey.... and as far as the Sandy goes, It's the closest place to fish for me so I will definitely be "hitting it hard". Keeping my eyes on water levels etc. too...I have no doubt the fish will come.


New member
RAIN seems to be the missing ingredient right now. Whew! I was thinking it was all "pilot error" on my part.
And when i say dropping water is goof - i mean falling after a decent gusher of a rain. I am enjoying getting to know the rivers around Portland also - and I don't mind hooking a Sucker or a Whitefish once in a while. ;)
Yeah Everglades, I figured that's what you meant, as I have tried to look up what the optimum levels are for the Sandy, which the consensus is between 9.5 and 10 feet dropping from higher "right after rain" levels, and watching the clarity turn from brown to greenish.
I hadn't heard the over 40 degree tip, but will keep it in mind. I also heard that from shore, although optimum levels are best, the Sandy is fishable at any level.
Right about now I would settle for a takedown, tug, or tussle with any species. But I am still givin' 'er hell. Went out for a few hours at Glen Otto, and then Dabney last Sat. and although the water was around 9 feet (maybe less) and really clear at Glen Otto, Dabney was more the greenish Steelie color so I tried a good section of the river there...alas no luck but fun to get out and wet a line.
So Anyway the rain has started here this afternoon and is supposed to continue for the next couple days, looking for maybe a day this weekend to hook us up with all the good stuff we described...shooting for Saturday, maybe up river alittle more!! Sunday will probably be the better day, but hey, Go Seahawks!!
As far as the "pilot error" goes, I asked everyone there and I wasn't the only one not catching any, just a matter of time before I get devirginized.