Mini “tailwater” worth a look

 Both the Mckenzie and Willamette Rivers have been off the charts high.  The object this week was to find a river to float and fish within reasonable proximity to the Eugene area. Current levels allow The Coast Fork of the Willamette to fit the bill.

This Monday we floated from the BMX track boat landing on Row River Road to Dilley Lane boat landing off of Highway 58. The drift was a bit to long, around 14 miles.  Having never floated it I had no idea how far the river left the roads I had  gaged the drifts distance with.  The fishing was decent, some very nice cutthroats and a few nice rainbows. The river looks great and has inumerable fishey looking spots. This time of year the water is cool and the fish fought hard.  About two miles up stream from the Sears Road bridge there is a nasty rapid that is a very tight fit for a drift boat, no problem with a pontoon craft. Tuesday we tried to make the drift a bit shorter. Starting at the Sears Road Bridge and ending at Island Park on the main Willamette. The fishing was not quite as good on this stretch, although we did catch rainbows both wild and stocked as well as cuts. The river slows down and has quite a few large flat sections one needs to row through.  Overall both sections of the Coast Fork offer very nice scenery, quality wild cutthroat and rainbows, and zero angling pressure. Maybe on the weekends it is different but we did not see another fisher for two days. The flows for this river have been dropping fast, Monday it was around 1600 and by Tuesdays end of day it was down to around 1000.  As the river gets even lower, the faster, broken water sections will be the majority of the trout holding water.

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