Let’s start near the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers where cooler days and more shade has the native Cutthroat and Rainbow trout looking up for small caddis patterns, Parachute Adams, and even some large Stonefly Patterns like the Chubby Chernobyl in Tan and Golden. Currently the lower Willamette is dropping and will fish great this fall until the river blows out with high cold water due to rain.
As we move up the Willamette into the “Town Run” from Island Park in Springfield down to Division Ave, just above the confluence of the McKenzie Steelhead fishing has really picked up of late. Swinging Hartwick’s Hoser, Miles Davis and Reverse Marabou Steelhead flies has been very good.
From Island Park up to Dexter Dam Steelhead fishing with similar swing tactics has been productive. Anglers should also consider nymphing this stretch with October Caddis Pupae imitations as we head into later fall. Trout fishing in this section has been really good in the Jasper down section as well. Try a large October Caddis Dry with a size 12 Prince Nymph hung underneath it. This time of year you will find fish moving into shallow water riffles and cut banks.
Moving up to the Willamette above Lookout Point Reservoir (the Middle Fork between Hills Creek and Lookout river) levels have come up and fishing has improved greatly over the last week. Hopper dropper set ups have been working really well. Chubby Chernobyls, October Caddis, Half Down Golden’s in Orange all with Possie Buggers or Princes dropped below them have been very productive.
Closer to the top of the system the section of the Middle Fork above Hills Creek dam is also fishing well. Angling pressure has dropped tremendously. If you have the time to drive up and around to the Upper Middle Fork you will find some good fishing. The river is small up in this zone and offers some of the best wading opportunities around in the Fall months. Try hopper dropper rigs in the deeper runs and pools, small dries in shallower riffles.
There is some great fishing to be had this time of year, ENJOY!