If you’re a total wuss, such as myself, you’d probably rather catch fish when it’s not dumping rain and/or cold as f*ck. Welcome to springtime in the Willamette Valley, where it’s not usually both of those things at once.
Our summertime bass fishing is outstanding, but bass tastes like mud. If you’re looking for a tasty trout with a possible side of sunshine, you’ve got about two months – so make them count.
Here’s a few places to start you off:
E.E. Wilson Pond
This pond in Adair Village was recently stocked with 1,100 trout, and they are biting like crazy right now. These hatchery trout really like Powerbait and Power Eggs; I’ve had great luck with garlic scented bait.
Please remember that the parking area by E.E. Wilson requires a parking pass that can be purchased from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife online. Buy five to reduce the chance of licensing fees going up again next year.
You’ll find these lakes located near the scenic I-5 in Albany. Three Lakes road will get you to the parking area and docks, but there’s also places to park on the road for easy lake access.
I enjoy this spot because it’s not difficult to find some solitude – just follow the trail around the lakes to find many areas to fish from.
Freeway Lakes East was just stocked with 900 trout, and other species can be caught as well. These lakes have some pretty good-sized crappie – I can attest to that.
This pond is located in Albany at Waverly Park, and is stocked with trout regularly throughout Autumn, Winter, and Spring. With the right tackle and technique, you’ll catch so many fish that you won’t even care that some recently paroled man has approached you and is currently telling you his life story.
Waverly is a perfect place to learn how to fish, or a fantastic choice for the experienced angler that just doesn’t feel like roughing it today. Pro tip: show up at nightfall or early morning with some chicken livers if you’d like to catch a catfish.
This one is a bit of a drive, but it’ll be worth your time right now. Located near beautiful Sweet Home, this fairly large lake has been recently stocked with 14,000 trout.
You’ll be better off with a boat, but Foster also has some excellent bank fishing opportunities. Starting by the dam is a decent bet, but if you drive all the way around this lake, you’ll discover some great areas to cast from. As a bonus, the good citizens of Sweet Home are friendly and gracious and might even be willing to share some fishing intel with you.
Figure It Out For Yourself, Genius
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there’s endless rivers, lakes, and streams around here. Exploring and discovering new places is the second best aspect of fishing. Sure, there’s some really great fishing holes that I haven’t mentioned in this article, but The Advocate doesn’t pay me enough to give up that information. I mean, I don’t want to ruin the adventure for you. Just remember to bring your fishing license and pack out your trash. Tight lines!
By Jay Sharpe