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                        Row River Update June 17, 2009.
 On June 15th  I had the inclination to wade and fish the Row River from Killion's Market to the confluence with Mosby Creek. In  "Fishing the Cottage Grove Area" I mention fishing this area - here.  On this particular day I decided to take the camera and do some indepth research so this information might be of assistance to anyone interested in fishing for trout in this beautiful stretch of water. Most of the river is running east to west so I will describe the bank I am fishing from as north or south. I start on the south bank of the river at the bridge at Killion's Market.

This pool to run has not changed much in 30 years! Killion's Market is to the right just out of camera range. I am looking down from below the bridge and I will walk downstream and fish the run and riffle below.

Although this run and riffle is heavily fished I can usually take a fish or two out of it. And I do take a 11" cutthroat before I head upriver. You must be able to wade. You walk in the tailout of the pool above this riffle run and cross the river to the north bank here.
This next picture is from the north bank looking down stream.

If you come here in July you will usually see some good trout rising just below the bridge support on the left side looking downriver. It will be just before dark...8:30 to 9:30 pm. You will be standing below the bridge support on the right casting a dry fly upstream to left of the support. But this is in the middle of the day in June and I will fish the run above the bridge with a dry fly.

There are always some big fish in this area because of the depth under the bridge and there are lots of snags under the bridge that bait fishermen hate. This day I catch two smaller cutthroats here and move on.

This yellow house is just above the last picture. There is good fishing just below the house in the riffle. When I was fishing here three days out of a week in 1986,87 and 88 the house was not there. There was a smooth grassy field with nothing but nature and I remember taking all my clothes off and  sunbathing in the nude! In those younger years I owned the world and controlled it. As we grow older it becomes a battle to be young in mind. And of course in body! I used to love fishing by myself and I still do as I did this day. But unfortunately there are more houses on the river and you cannot take your clothes off unless you are willing to risk a complaint and the police. You can see that the wading is tough.

Here is the first cutthroat of size I catch and release just above the last picture. It is about 11 inches and I am using a hairwing caddis in size 14. I catch 3 more the same size before I cross the river back to the south bank.

You now see the riffle above the yellow house where I caught the trouts. That riffle above the yellow house has always held some good trout although it looks to shallow for the fish. I will now turn the camera upriver toward the north bank and here is what you will see ...

I call this the "Stump Hole" right in front of the house. There is a stump of a tree that is still visible in low water. It used to stick out of the water a foot when I started fishing here. The stump is in the ground under the water and slow erosion brought the river over it. In other words the river you see in front of the house used to be dry land with trees. This hole used to be deeper and held big rainbows but now it is too shallow to hold really big trout that have to have depth or some depth with heavy currents. These big trout come out to feed in shallow water but need the deep water to rest and hide when they are not feeding. I remember hooking a large rainbow from this side of the river and it made it to the left side of the stump. I held him under light pressure until he gave me some slack and I instantly threw a big roll cast over the log and the line went over and behind the log where I could fight him and land him! Oh memories! And again I remember when this happened the house was not there. I feel that I am not imposing on the house and the people who live there. I feel as though they are imposing on the fish, the river and me.
      But enough of the "Stump Hole!" Our journey continues upriver and we will have to wade to the other bank. In order to do this we will have to wade in the riffle run above the "Stump Hole" here ...

By this time your feet and ankles are starting to feel some pain unless you are 30 and are used to wading in tough conditions. When we cross the river just above the riffle you will come to a wide open flat that looks like this ...

I am about 75 yards above the "Stump Hole" now on the north bank looking downriver at the yellow house. This flat area has trout on the far bank where it is deeper. This deep side across the river usually has shade over it. It is a good dry fly area. As we wade upriver casting the dry fly the river becomes deeper and narrower. This used to be the "Burner Hole."

There used to be an old mill burner with it's wicked rusted head that stuck out amongst the trees. This stretch with heavy current and depth had the largest rainbows and probably still does although I didn't catch one on this day.

There were many days I took rainbows up to 16 inches here. If they are not here now I believe they will be here later in the year as the water warms up downriver in the MIddle Fork of the Willamette and the fish migrate to cooler water. I believe the big rainbows were here this day ... they weren't feeding at 2 pm on this sunny day. As we wade above the "Burner Hole" we will come to some turbulent water and the "Little Falls."

There are fish in this rapid below the "Little Falls" but it is not easy to fish. Very turbulent.

Above the turbulent water is the pool of the "Little Falls." There are good fish in this tailout but I did not get one on this trip.

Here we are at "Little Falls." You can dangle a wet fly in the strong currents and get fish...I got two 10" cutthroats. You know there are bigger fish here! There used to be a big deep slow hole above the "Little Falls" but it is now a run with downed logs and snags in the upper run. It looks like this ...

Where you see the downed log was a deep slow pool many years ago. And this is were we have to cross the river again. This whole area is mostly a deep run today and it used to be easier crossing the river at the top of the pool. So here is the run right above this downed log ...

When I looked at this I was not sure I wanted to cross the river right above the big log. It is still deep here. Up to my waist and powerful currents. The only other choice I saw was walking on this bank above the next rapid you see at the top of this picture. But the bank was covered with brush and blackberries. So I crossed just above the big log with a stick I picked up for a cane.

I'm on the other side (back to the south bank looking north) and I didn't drown! But this time I am feeling my age of 58 and I don't have any water or food. My feet and ankles are really aching. And the worst part is I haven't caught any decent trout for my efforts! But man I am having fun!
     When you look upriver from here you will see a another run and the mouth of Mosby Creek. This next run used to be a wide deep pole that was dug out as a gravel pit many years ago. It has finally filled in. You would not be able to tell it used to be a wide, slow, deep pool.

And here is the mouth of Mosby Creek just beyond the corner ...

I do not know why but Mosby Creek doesn't fish well. It has enough water throughout the year but it has never been productive for me. I used to have a friend who had a home on the creek and he bought lots of trout from a trout farm and put them in the creek. Of course there were anglers who caught them and there were stories of 18 inch trout in Mosby Creek. These were just trout that got washed downriver after a storm.

Here we are with the Row River on the left and Mosby Creek on the right. You can see Mosby Creek has some volume of water. From this point you can walk another eight of a mile and come to the "Cliff Hole."  There is good fishing all the way. But today I am beat and decide to finish my upriver fishing in the riffle you see on the left. This is the riffle right above the confluence of the Row River and Mosby Creek.

Bonanza! Here is my first 12" cutthroat for the day!  I lose a 12" rainbow who fights his heart out. And I catch a fish almost every cast in this riffle. All of them are 10" and over with two more at 11 and 12." I am rewarded for my efforts!  After my jubilation I am faced with the fact that I must now wade back downriver but I am still stoked! All the memories that came to me on this short trip and knowing that the trout fishing is still available for anyone who is willing to venture out is a fact that makes me happy!

It took me two days to recover from the physical exertion from this half mile hike upriver on the Row! But I am telling you this, it is tough wading. The only other river that is tougher to wade is the Locksaw in Idaho. This is one of the reasons you will probably be fishing this stretch alone....


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