The section of Willamette that I guide on is the area from Dexter Dam near Dexter , Oregon down stream to the area around Coburg , Oregon . This portion of the river hosts the newly developed “town run” of Summer Steelhead that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recently established that offers anglers a unique opportunity to catch steelhead in the heart of Eugene, Oregon.
Fantastic steelhead and Spring Chinook Salmon fishing begins in April and continues through the Summer months most years. Trout fishing is also very popular on several sections of the Upper Willamette and 30 fish days with rainbow and cutthroat trout from 12” to 14” fairly common.
This is almost entirely a drift boat fishery with some limited bank access and power boat opportunities. Many of the runs I fish give the angler the option of wade fishing as well, using the drift boat for transportation between runs.
Unique to this fishery is the generally warmer water temperatures (often staying into the 50’s well into December) that allow anglers to fish subsurface flies or even dry flies well after every other river is too cold.