Middle Fork Willamette Fishes Despite High Water

Saturday I floated the Middle Fork Willamette from lower Oakridge down to Black Canyon with my new buddy Mike. He rowed and I fished–what a revelation! I’m used to being the poor slob on the oars watching my passengers fish. The hatch wasn’t anything to write home about, a few caddis here and there, a few March Browns and that was about it. The fishing wasn’t hot but we had steady action from about noon until seven. I managed to pick up this fish on a #14 March Brown wet on the swing:

Middle Fork Rainbow Trout

We managed a few others including this well proportioned fish:

Middle Fork Rainbow Trout

The North Fork was putting alot of water into the system and the river beneath the confluence was rising all day. Something was putting some sediment into the river too as the color wasn’t great as you can see in the photos. At one point a train passed slowly spraying what must have been a defoliant and then came back for another pass. It smelled like burning brakes and probably took a couple weeks off our lives. Anyway, we managed to get into several more fish including a bohemoth at the take-out that threw my barbless rig after I felt the power! It felt like a runaway train.

If the Middle Fork comes down some the fishing will be great so keep an eye on the gauges.

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