Wilson River Report 3/14 - 3/15

G

Green_Tackle

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
118
Location
Portland, OR
Hey all.

Panther Martin has a new line of spinners which are 100% lead free known as "Big Belly" spinners (most commercial spinners contain lead in the alloys used to cast the bodies and sometimes the blades, and they are often painted with lead-based paint). We'll be carrying the big belly spinners at Green Tackle, so I had to take 'em out for a "spin" (pun intended... my apologies).

Went out to the Wilson yesterday for about 2 hours and despite the rain and cold, it was very nice out there. The water was a beautiful green and the sun would come out in little pockets here and there. The two other people I talked to had both been catching steelies and sure enough, I hooked one at this little pool at the turnout just about 1 mile before the footbridge trail-head directly across from a small paved forest road.

The fish was putting up a pretty good fight and I had finally gotten it within a few feet when it occurred to me that my back was not carrying it's usual load--I had left my backpack with all my gear, including my net--the thing I needed at that precise moment--in my truck up at the turnout. I was about waste deep in 45 degree water next to a steep, rocky cliff wearing wool golves (the only pair I brought; if they get too soaked then I'm done for the day). It was a decent fish. Nothing to write home about but, large enough to make my arms pretty tired. I looked around for some shallow water to guide it to and let my guard down; the line went slack and the fish thrashed about, earning it's freedom.

I had a great time, and I gotta say, these spinners are pretty good. I was using a pink Panther Martin Lead-Free Salmon Spinner with the single siwash hook. They are pretty descent spinners as far as commercial spinners go and I'll surely be carrying a few with me when I go steelheading from now on. While I still prefer the home-made spinner and have never been a huge fan of the Panther Martin style blades, these have a decent feel (I can feel the blade spinning MUCH better than some of the other commercial spinners I've tried). I did have to give them a little jolt to get them going in some cases--or at least more so than with properly balanced home made spinners--but since I could feel whether or not it was spinning this was a minor issue at best.

If anyone is interested in giving these spinners a go (for those who fish commercial spinners), We'll be carrying them at Green Tackle within a week or two and I know they carry them at Fisherman's Marine & Outdoor and Cabela's too. I'm sure most places will have them soon (I haven't seen them at Joe's yet)--they just came out this year.

So, despite my better judgment after reading the weather forecast and water levels for the Wilson (over 6' now), I went up there again this morning just to see what it was looking like. I threw out a couple of casts just for kicks, but it was too windy, too fast, and too full of debris for me and I came home.

Ive attached photos of the pool where I hooked the fish yesterday and what it looks like today. What a difference a day makes. I've only recently started fishing the Wilson (I'm in Portland so I was fishing the Sandy... but I like the atmosphere of the Wilson and how much bank access there is) and it seems to me from my few trips that 4 - 5' is a pretty good level to spinner fish from the banks along highway 6.

Cheers,
 
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T

tnffishman

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
464
Location
SE Portland
Hello, I am relatively new to the Wilson but have caught some summer steelhead on flies, and a silver while chinook fishing, but WHAT are the main methods (this time of the year) for catchin winters?:think:
 
A

ArcticAmoeba

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
974
Location
Oregon
Drift fishin. It is a great river to learn, or hone your skills on. Very drift gear friendly in most spots... If you run the proper amount of weight. I see a lot of people get frusterated out there because they see their gear sweeping over the top of fish, and they add more, and hang up, only to stir the pool. Fish look up to see whats going on. If they like your stuff they will move for it. I have watched oh so many, broodstock Wilson Winters shift out more than 5 feet to eat a yarnie, or some eggs. In a pool 3 feet deep, and 10 feet wide. There are also some narrow slots, that could call for a float if you don't find fish anywhere else. Float 'n eggs, or a jig is the norm. But I have yet to be let down drift fishin the Wilson this Winter.
 
J

just1nook

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
71
Location
SE PDX
Thinkin about hittin the Wilson tomorrow. I have fished up high before but never down low by the guide shop etc. With the new rain and river level above 6' and on the drop, would there be a better chance for fresh steel down low, or just as good up high? Any favorite Mileposts?
 
B

Big Moby

New member
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
17
Location
the grove
Thinkin about hittin the Wilson tomorrow. I have fished up high before but never down low by the guide shop etc. With the new rain and river level above 6' and on the drop, would there be a better chance for fresh steel down low, or just as good up high? Any favorite Mileposts?

Blown out until...wednesday???
 
J

just1nook

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
71
Location
SE PDX
You don't think it will be fishable tommorrow?
 
O

osmosis

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
846
Location
Trapped inside my own mind.
If I can catch fish in the clack at 16' with nearly no visibility - theres no reason there are no fish to be had in the wilson at 6'... It may not be Prime, but it should be doable.
 
J

just1nook

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
71
Location
SE PDX
So what's the secret to high water catchin, larger brighter offerings right? And the fish will be closer to the bank but probably moving? So do you still target walking to jogging speed water or maybe faster?
 
A

ArcticAmoeba

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
974
Location
Oregon
You are on the right track Chris. The fish are always there. I know this guy, he says this a lot, but nobody seems to listen, or realize it;)... "Fish don't teleport between "holes" or disappear in not so favorable conditions. They just relocate, if anything."
 
O

osmosis

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
846
Location
Trapped inside my own mind.
when fishing in mud I upsize a little bit, but guage that on the visibility or lack of..
for the most part all you need to do is fish the same baits you normally do, but in slightly different areas.
In high water you're right, the fish often are moving more than holding but never forget that they are lazy fish. After they smash up a set of rapids, they find a good rock or something similar to hide behind and catch a breather. Find the areas that make steelhead use the least amount energy and you will find fish.

Steel in the clack particularly are near the bank very often, in high or low water. when it gets ultra low and clear they seek out deep spots to hide in but for the most part I fish structure along the bank.
 
B

beaverfan

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
2,179
Location
Beaverton, Oregon
Hey all.

Panther Martin has a new line of spinners which are 100% lead free known as "Big Belly" spinners (most commercial spinners contain lead in the alloys used to cast the bodies and sometimes the blades, and they are often painted with lead-based paint). We'll be carrying the big belly spinners at Green Tackle, so I had to take 'em out for a "spin" (pun intended... my apologies).

Went out to the Wilson yesterday for about 2 hours and despite the rain and cold, it was very nice out there. The water was a beautiful green and the sun would come out in little pockets here and there. The two other people I talked to had both been catching steelies and sure enough, I hooked one at this little pool at the turnout just about 1 mile before the footbridge trail-head directly across from a small paved forest road.

The fish was putting up a pretty good fight and I had finally gotten it within a few feet when it occurred to me that my back was not carrying it's usual load--I had left my backpack with all my gear, including my net--the thing I needed at that precise moment--in my truck up at the turnout. I was about waste deep in 45 degree water next to a steep, rocky cliff wearing wool golves (the only pair I brought; if they get too soaked then I'm done for the day). It was a decent fish. Nothing to write home about but, large enough to make my arms pretty tired. I looked around for some shallow water to guide it to and let my guard down; the line went slack and the fish thrashed about, earning it's freedom.

I had a great time, and I gotta say, these spinners are pretty good. I was using a pink Panther Martin Lead-Free Salmon Spinner with the single siwash hook. They are pretty descent spinners as far as commercial spinners go and I'll surely be carrying a few with me when I go steelheading from now on. While I still prefer the home-made spinner and have never been a huge fan of the Panther Martin style blades, these have a decent feel (I can feel the blade spinning MUCH better than some of the other commercial spinners I've tried). I did have to give them a little jolt to get them going in some cases--or at least more so than with properly balanced home made spinners--but since I could feel whether or not it was spinning this was a minor issue at best.

If anyone is interested in giving these spinners a go (for those who fish commercial spinners), We'll be carrying them at Green Tackle within a week or two and I know they carry them at Fisherman's Marine & Outdoor and Cabela's too. I'm sure most places will have them soon (I haven't seen them at Joe's yet)--they just came out this year.

So, despite my better judgment after reading the weather forecast and water levels for the Wilson (over 6' now), I went up there again this morning just to see what it was looking like. I threw out a couple of casts just for kicks, but it was too windy, too fast, and too full of debris for me and I came home.

Ive attached photos of the pool where I hooked the fish yesterday and what it looks like today. What a difference a day makes. I've only recently started fishing the Wilson (I'm in Portland so I was fishing the Sandy... but I like the atmosphere of the Wilson and how much bank access there is) and it seems to me from my few trips that 4 - 5' is a pretty good level to spinner fish from the banks along highway 6.

Cheers,

That right there is one of my fav. holes for sure. Probably my number 1 spot. I fish that spot and walk upstream casting a spinner. There is a couple hundred yards of nice deep holes and boulders. I believe it's milepost 21. I was talking to the lady who runs Lee's Camp Store and she said they are closing down all the free camping spots between mile marker 26 and 14 I believe. I always enjoyed early spring camping out there. Looks like this is the last year for that. If people would pick up there damn garbage they would leave it open. I guess man kind is in capable of caring for itself without someone picking up there mess when they leave. I tend to stick to the upper Wilson to stay away from the crowds and for the easy bank access. Nothing like a day hiking the shoreline of one of the most beautiful rivers in the world!
 
O

OneMore

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
98
Location
Gresham, OR
Your right about the garbage. I always have to pick up a big bag of it when fishing those stretches.
 
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