The Willamette River flowing west through Greenwaters Park in Oakridge, Oregon

The Willamette River, from the upper reaches outside of Oakridge all the way to Harrisburg, is in perfect shape and offers anglers excellent opportunities to chase trout and summer steelhead.

The Middle Fork of the Willamette above Hills Creek Reservoir is a great spot to get away from the crowds and put your lighter line weights to work. Two and three weight rods are perfect, smaller dries like Parachute Adams, Purple Haze, Missing Link and grass hopper imitations are all good flies to have on hand.

The Middle Fork as it exits Hills Creek dam is currently flowing at only 413 cubic feet per second. This flow is tough on boaters but ideal for the wading angler. Access around the dam outflow, Salt Creek confluence, La Duke Road, Greenwaters Park, Salmon Creek confluence, the North Fork of the Middle Fork confluence, and Black Canyon Campground is good at 413cfs. A variety of tactics will take fish on this section. Midday utilize hopper dropper rigs with small to mid sized Chubby Chernobyls and jigged euro style nymphs. Evenings will be best for hatches, Pale Morning Duns, Brown Elk Hair Caddis and little yellow stones are excellent staples.

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The Middle Fork below Dexter Dam is the next section of moving water for the fly angler and the section where summer steelhead return to each season. Mornings and evenings are best and the section to focus on runs from Dexter all the way to Valley River Center mall in Eugene. Swinging black and blue marabou style patterns, MOAL Leaches, Loop Leaches and smaller Signature Intruders will move summer steelhead to the fly. At the current water levels wading opportunities at Dexter Dam, Clearwater Park, Day Island Park and D Street Ramp are excellent. The fish counts for 2022 are not amazing but they are more than three times what they were last year at this time. We are over 5000 summer steelhead over Willamette Falls to date.

Have fun out there!

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