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For fishing Oregon, let ODFW guide.

Byline: MIKE STAHLBERG The Register-Guard

MOST OREGON anglers have traditional spots where they prefer to greet trout season on opening day, the fourth Saturday of April. Often, these are waters that members of their family have fished for several generations.

But what if you're new to Oregon, or new to fishing? Where do you go and how to you get started in building a fishing tradition of your own?

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife addresses those questions in a recent publication called "Let's Go Fishing! - 24 Great Places to Fish in Oregon."

The 52-page booklet contains enough information to help anyone living anywhere in the state find a good location to fish nearby.

It also offers simple, one-paragraph descriptions of eight different fishing techniques - four for rivers or streams and four for lakes - plus a couple of drawings that illustrate where fish are likely to be found in lakes and rivers.

In selecting the featured waters in the booklet, the ODFW used several criteria likely to be important to newcomers - starting with there being plenty of fish available to catch and keep. Other criteria included no requirement for high-tech equipment or boats, that the stream or lake is accessible by family car and that "comfort facilities" such as toilets, picnic tables and drinking water be available, and that there be activities available for non-fishing family members.

The booklet features four waterways - three lakes and one stream - in each of the ODFW's six geographic regions.

One page is dedicated to each featured waterway, with details about how to get there, what types of fish live in the waterway and when they're most active, tips on tackle, techniques and other useful information, plus a rundown on facilities, fees (if any) and regulations. Finally, there is a listing of alternative activities for those who might grow tired of fishing.

Oregon, of course, has many more than two dozen waterways that would meet those criteria. So the ODFW also lists several "also recommended" lakes and streams in each geographic region.

All in all, "Let's Go Fishing!" is a handy little introduction to about 50 great places to fish.

Unfortunately, the booklet is in very few hands.

"Let's Go Fishing!" was printed last year for participants in ODFW's angler education programs and its Becoming an Outdoors Woman program.

"Unfortunately, we don't have sufficient funding/copies to hand them out to everyone," said Anne Pressentin of the ODFW's public information office in Portland. "We'd like to reprint it sometime in the future."

The agency has, however, made the complete booklet available on its Internet site. It can be read online or downloaded (including maps and illustrations) as a printable PDF file. (Point your Web browser to:

Meanwhile, printed below are condensed versions of the booklet's write-ups on four featured waterways within a 90-minute drive of Eugene-Springfield - Cleawox and South Twin lakes, Fall Creek and the Umpqua River.

Cleawox Lake

Getting There - Turn west off Highway 101 about three miles south of Florence, following signs to Cleawox and Jessie M. Honeyman State Park.

Fisheries - Legal-size rainbow trout stocked from February through late May are usually available through June. Additional trout are stocked in late September. Crappies, yellow perch, bluegills, brown bullheads and largemouth bass are available year-round.

Useful Information - Deeper (colder) water in the center of the southern pool and about halfway up the long northwest arm may attract trout as the water warms.

Tackle & Techniques - All lake-fishing techniques can be effective.

Facilities - Boat ramp, designated swimming area, picnic tables, drinking water, wheelchair-accessible restrooms with showers, picnic tables, BBQ grills, tent sites, RV hook-ups.

Fees - Yes, for overnight and day use.

Regulations - Open for fishing and camping year-round; five trout per day, 8-inch minimum; five bass per day, no more than three over 15 inches; no restrictions on crappies, perch, bluegills, bullheads.

Alternative Activities - Boating and water-skiing on Woahink (in Honeyman Park, east of Highway 101); bird watching; off-road vehicle trails; hiking trails.

For More Information - ODFW, Newport - (503) 867-4741; Reservations, Northwest - (800) 452-5687.

Fall Creek

(Above the reservoir)

Getting There - From Interstate 5 south of Springfield, take Highway 58 east to Dexter Reservoir, crossing the reservoir on the Lowell Road and continuing north to Unity. County Road 6204 (which becomes Forest Rd. 18) leads to Fall Creek Reservoir, skirts the reservoir's north shore, and follows the free-flowing creek above the reservoir into Willamette National Forest.

Fisheries - Legal-size rainbow trout are stocked from Dolly Varden campground to Gold Creek. Wild cutthroat trout are also present.

Useful Information - Trout are released near the campgrounds and tributaries. The stocked trout tend to congregate near their release sites and in bedrock pools.

Tackle & Techniques - Bait and spinners are most effective in early season, with fly-fishing picking up in summer and fall. Fly-fish nymphs (caddis, mayflies, chironomids) on a floating line, or cast dry flies to rising trout.

Facilities - Fall Creek Recreation Trail from Dolly Varden campground to Tiller Creek; six national forest campgrounds (some with drinking water); pit toilets, picnic tables and fire grates; wheelchair-accessible toilets at Broken Bend and Bedrock campgrounds.

Fees - Yes, for all overnight and some day-use sites.

Regulations - Mainstem and tributaries are open for trout fishing from the last Saturday in April through October 31; five trout per day, 8-inch minimum; bull trout must be released unharmed.

Alternative Activities - Swimming hole at Bedrock campground, hiking, scenic falls.

For More Information - ODFW, Springfield -(541) 726-3515; Willamette National Forest, Lowell Service Center - (541) 937-2129.

South Twin Lake

Getting There - From I-5 south of Springfield, take Highway 58 east past Crescent Lake Junction. Turn left onto the Crescent Cutoff (County Road 60). Go about four miles and turn left onto the Cascades Lakes Highway (46). Drive past Davis and Wickiup lakes and turn right on County Road 42. The road to Twin Lakes is one mile past the Deschutes crossing.

Fisheries - Stocked rainbow trout 9 to 15 inches.

Useful Information - Best fishing is within 30 feet of the shore and in the top 30 feet of water. Worst fishing is right off the campground's day-use area. The northwest shallows offer especially good fly-fishing.

Tackle & Techniques - All lake-fishing techniques can be effective here. "Power Bait" is popular, but spinners, small lures and flies all catch fish.

Facilities - National forest campground with boat ramp, drinking water, picnic tables, fire grates and flush toilets; Twin Lakes Resort with rental cabins and apartments with kitchens, RV park with full hook-up, showers and laundromat, restaurant, fishing guide service, rental boats for both South Twin and Wickiup Reservoir.

Fees - Yes, for overnight and day use of campsites; Northwest Forest Pass required to park at boat ramp.

Regulations - Open for angling from the fourth Saturday in April through Oct. 31; five trout per day, 8-inch minimum; no motorboats.

Alternative Activities - Paddle boats, swimming, hiking, exploring other lakes in the area including North Twin Lake (one mile by trail).

For More Information - ODFW, Bend - (541) 388-6363; Twin Lakes Resort (541) 593-6526.

Umpqua River

(Scottsburg to The Forks)

Getting There - From I-5 at Sutherlin, Winchester or Roseburg, follow local roads west to access the Umpqua. Highway 138 leads directly from Sutherlin to Elkton and follows the river from Elkton to Scottsburg.

Fisheries - Smallmouth bass are the main attraction in the mainstem Umpqua. They are active from late April through September, with peak catches when the river temperature is 60 degrees or higher. Summer and winter steelhead, fin-clipped coho, spring chinook and shad are also available for harvest here.

Useful Information - Look for smallmouth out of the main current and along ledges, rocky points and submerged wood. Cast to visible fish.

Tackle & Techniques - For smallmouth, use light gear (7-foot rod, 4- to 6-pound test line). Fish with live or molded plastic bait (worms or grubs), spinners, topwater crankbaits, poppers or flies (either wet or dry).

Facilities - Paved trail with disabled access to fishing float at Singleton Park in Roseburg; bank fishing at River Forks, Mack Brown and Scottsburg parks; bank fishing opportunities at most boat ramps between Roseburg and Scottsburg; year-round camping at Tyee campground (12 miles west of Sutherlin off Garden Valley Road).

Fees - Yes, for overnight at Tyee; no, for day use at public sites.

Regulations - Open year-round for smallmouth bass; five per day, no more than two over 15 inches; open for chinook and steelhead year-round (only fin-clipped steelhead may be kept); open for fin-clipped coho Aug. 1 through Dec. 31.

Alternative Activities - Swimming, hiking on logging roads.

For More Information - ODFW, Roseburg - (541) 440-3353; Arlene's Cafe, Elkton - (541) 584-2555.
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Title Annotation:Recreation
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 25, 2002
Previous Article:Outdoor Digest.
Next Article:Trout outlook murky.

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