First day swinging for summer steelhead on the Eugene town run

I went out on my first trip targeting the Willamette Summer Steelhead over the weekend. With over 2,000 summer steelhead over Willamette Falls fish count, and clearing water on the drop in the town run, we had a shot.

We didn’t hook up with any steelhead that day, swinging leeches in the usual spots. But the diver and bait anglers did well up river. We did hook into a few really big native urban redsides.

Eugene Willamette River Town Run

We also saw tons of cormorants, more than I’ve ever seen this far inland. Maybe the hatchery steelhead smolt migration is bringing them in?

Eugene Willamette River Town Run

Eugene search and rescue teams ran up and down the river getting some practice in for the inner-tube season. Summer and summer steelhead are close.

Eugene Willamette River Town Run

Eugene Willamette River Town Run

Eugene Willamette River Town Run

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7 Responses to First day swinging for summer steelhead on the Eugene town run

  1. Rob R says:

    I put in a couple of hours last night. No signs of adults, but the smolts kept me on my toes!

  2. Joe says:

    Spotted a ghostly blue shadow while floating over a McKenzie tailout Sat, and was imediately struck by summer steel fever. They’re HEE-er!

  3. Dave says:

    Looks like Chris is enjoying a Siglo cigar out on the Willamette. And there were a few steelhead in the Leaburg trap as of Saturday evening.

  4. Jim says:

    You mention trying “the usual spots” along the town run. Any chance of posting a map of those “usual spots” for those of us who do not know that run very well?

  5. gregH says:

    I was out on the Town Run swingin with two hands myself Saturday… make that “flailing” with two hands – RR, I need a “tune-up” – have you got any openings in that class?? I was on the Mighty Mac Sunday afternoon (the usual spots).

  6. O Larry says:


    That would take all the fun out of you learning the river yourself now wouldn’t it? Don’t expect a map brother, it ain’t coming. Put your time in, you’ll find um.

  7. Chris Deppa says:

    Take a notebook and ride your bike up and down the bike paths that line both sides of the river. Write down every promising riffle, run and pool. There you go, a perfect map of the usual spots.

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