Winter fishing

FairweatherFisher
FairweatherFisher
Hey all,

As you might be able to guess by my handle, I’m much more of a warm sunny summer days kind of angler. Generally I’m only fishing for stocked hatchery trout with a spinning reel/rod on the McKenzie and Upper Willamette, with some crabbing on the coast peppered in towards the fall.

That said, winter is upon us and I’m getting a hankering to go fishing, maybe make it a cast & blast by adding in some duck hunting as well. What considerations do I need to watch for? Typically I consider cold and wet conditions to be more danger than they’re worth, so safety is certainly my highest priority. I do have waders, and I recently bought an inflatable boat. Not sure if those options, separate or combined, are actually better than bank fishing?

What species are best to fish for around the Eugene area Dec-Mar? I’m not particularly interested in immersing myself in steelhead and salmon fishing, as the regs around what you can and can’t keep on whichever stretch of the river leave me constantly questioning if I’m within the confines of the regs, but if that’s what’s around and the risk of needing to catch and release is relatively low, I just might take it up. I’m just really bad at swiftly removing hooks, so I try to only fish for things I can keep.
 
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O
olshiftybiscuits
Stocked hatchery trout on the upper Willamette? I would double check on that. It’s wild trout only above Lookout Point, unless you’re finding migrators up above Hills Creek.
 
FairweatherFisher
FairweatherFisher
Is there an official start/end to the segments of the river? Guess I am using it very broadly. When I’m saying upper willamette, I mean anywhere south of the McKenzie confluence. For me, I fish mostly the banks along Alton Baker park, or the McKenzie near Leaburg and Vida. I’ve been thinking to check out (maybe do a float trip?) from Eugene to Harrisburg though.
 
kemfish
kemfish
Everything is slower, but I caught some trout at Foster reservoir in all three winter months trolling around. Triangle Lake, Dexter lake and Cooper creek reservoir each produced some fish as well. I fished all these from a Kayak. I try to avoid freezing days and watch the wind forecast.
In town the Alton Baker canal is probably your most consistent bet. I think it gets stocked throughout the season and is easily bank fished.
Check out the ODFW stocking report for when they load the other area ponds. Junction City,Cottage Grove nature park, EE Wilson ponds all will get fish at some point and can be good.
 
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FairweatherFisher
FairweatherFisher
Hadn’t thought of EE Wilson. That might work out pretty well for the fish/duck hunt. I’ll have to look into the rules for the WA. If it all checks out in my favor, hopefully I won’t come home empty handed.
 

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