Eugene Weekly : Summer Guide : 6.4.09


Playing Catch with Fish

As the weather heats up, it’s time to pull out those rods and tackle boxes and hit the water for another great season of summer fishing. For the uninitiated, the Eugene-Springfield area has fantastic fishing spots along the McKenzie and Willamette rivers, and angling shops in town will help you with all your questions and equipment needs. 


Fishing Hotspots

The McKenzie River, running 90 miles from the Cascades, provides some of the most spectacular scenery around. Here, Rainbow trout are known as “redsides,” and they’re fishing especially well on the lower section of the river, from Leaburg Dam to Armitage Park. Also find Chinook salmon, Bull and Cutthroat trout, Steelhead and many other fish varieties. From Eugene, take Hwy. 126 east 18 miles and take a right on Leaburg Dam road. 

The Willamette River is still a bit high for really good fishing, but as the summer months approach the water drops back, making it a top fishing destination. Find many kinds of trout, a couple of salmon varieties and others. Anglers can find numerous good spots on the river from Hills Creek Dam to Lookout Point Reservoir near Oakridge. From Eugene, take Hwy. 58 southeast 37 miles and turn right at Hills Creek Road. 


The Caddis Fly is a full service fly-fishing angling shop, providing equipment sales, repair and rentals, and even guided fishing trips. Rods, reels, lines, waders and boots start at $15 for daily rental, $25 for weekend rental and $75 for weekly rental. To immerse yourself in the full experience, all-day guided fishing trips on the McKenzie and Willamette start at $395 for two, including all equipment and lunch. Three and four day trips are available on the Deschutes, Rogue, and Umpqua rivers. (The Caddis Fly, 168 W. 6th Ave.,, 342-7005.)

Home Waters Fly Fishing provides bait, licenses and permits, lures, reels, rods and just about everything else an angler could want. They don’t rent equipment, but are happy to sell it to you and answer all your fishing questions and concerns. (Home Waters Fly Fishing, 444 W. 3rd Ave., 342-6691.) 


Licenses, Tags and Permits

Be sure to take advantage of the Free Fishing Weekend, running state-wide Saturday, June 6, and Sunday, June 7, you won’t need a license to fish. Otherwise, purchasing a license is inexpensive (starting at $24.75 for adults, $6.74 for ages 14-17), and can be obtained from fishing shops or online. (

Of course, be sure to comply with all fishing rules and regulations, also access-ible online. ( — Katie Kalk