The North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette
The river that is a mouthful. The "North Fork" as it is locally known around here is a very special stream. It drains Waldo Lake, which is one of those phenomenally clear, pure, Cascade crest lakes that set records for visibility. In my first year in Eugene I was taken canoeing on Waldo and remembering floating "magically" fifty feet in the "air" off the bottom of the lake. The river that drains such a lake also has to be special, and the North fork is. Unfortunately, for fishing purposes, the qualitites that make it so beautiful also make it tough trout habitat. Pure, distilled water makes for little aquatic vegetation and sparse insect populations. But the biggest trout I ever saw rise to a fly for many years was a "log" that lifted off the bottom of a pool when I cast to the base of a small waterfall. I refused to believe that it was, that it COULD BE a trout until it nosed on my fly. Unfortunately it missed.
The North Fork is also fly fishing only. I was presenting the club's proposal for a wild trout fishery on the North Fork to the state commissioners. Because of the preponderance of small, mature cutthroats that COULD be harvested and rare, large rainbow that should not, we were backing a slot limit 8 to 12 inches and artificial lure, single hook only, not wanting to be seen as effete, flyfishing snobs. One commissioner listened to my presentation and said, "that sounds too complicated. why don't we just make it fly fishing only."
"But we didn't ask for that," I answered, not wanting to be greedy and exclusive of others.
"But you wouldn't object if that's what we did?"
"Well, no, but that's not what we asked for."
About then I was getting so many kicks in my backside I shut up. THAT's how the North fork became fly fishing only.
LowerWillamette Pictures =>
Eugene Willamette Pictures =>
Middle Willamette Pictures =>
More North Fork Pictures =>
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