Middle Fork Willamette Report: Daytime, slow and low. Evening fishing, white hot

Thursday, I floated the Middle Fork of the Willamette from Oakridge to Black Canyon . . . ok, floated might be a bit generous. I banged and dragged my way down the river with a couple gentlemen who had purchased the trip in the Trout Unlimited auction back in February. Thanks for your generous support of TU guys!

Beautiful weather, good company, good anglers, good times, the day couldn’t have been better except for one thing: a river that appeared completely devoid of insect life. Despite the tough conditions, the guys managed to hook a couple nice fish and eked out several more.

Reaching Black canyon around 6:00 the guys had enough and called it a day but Matt didn’t start calling me ‘The Mule’ for nothing. Stubborn and a good bit dumber than a bag of hammers I decided to hit my favorite bank spot before heading home. Jackpot!

There were bugs galore, caddis, huge golden stones, PEDs and big green drakes. The drakes really had the fish turned on and I caught active fish everywhere they were supposed to be and even in a couple places I’ve never hooked a good fish before. It was a mixed bag for a change, a couple nicer cutts and a slew of fairly good rainbows.

Upper Willamette Cutthroat

Seeing interest in but several refusals of the Green Stimulator, I switched my approach. A hairwing green drake on bottom and a high floating Green Humpy (yeah, I know) up top. Fish ate them both and the two biggest ‘bows even ate the less precise Humpy. It was getting dark and not wanting to miss the hot bite I didn’t get photographic evidence of all the fish–but guys, it really happened, I promise.

They were eating every few casts and I’m guessing it’ll be an early morning/evening show until the weather cools. I’ve been wrong before but every so often my stubbornness gets rewarded.-KM

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