Fall River, OR

Head waters to campground

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Outing Information

Start/End Time
10:00am to 3:00pm
Best Fishing Time
Water Temp
Water Clarity
Clear - 5'+ visibility
Water Level

Fish Caught

Rainbow Trout

Caught Avg Size Pattern Optional Fields
0 0"
0 0"
Total: 0 fish Top Patterns: Unspecified (0)


Mostly Cloudy X X
None X X
Very Light - <5 knots X X
Air Temp High/Low
- / -
Wind Direction
Weather Front
Moon Phase
92% Full (Waning gibbous)

Other Patterns Tried

  • #18 Olive Blue-Winged Olive
  • #16 Copper Pheasant Tail


  • 1 1 Blue-Winged Olive Ephemeroptera Baetis

Insect Seining

No seining information for this outing.

Fishing Partners

No fishing partners were saved with this outing.


No waypoints were saved with this outing.


This was the first fishing trip that Bryan and I had taken since sometime in October of 2007. As is custom, we try to get out and fish once a month in the winter, even if conditions aren't the best for fishing. At the very least, if fishing looks like a bust, we'll try to get out for a round of "tundra golf" as long as the weather is a least dry. It's just nice to get out with a good friend, drink a Slurpee, eat some McDonalds for breakfast and talk and laugh through a Saturday.

Winter of '07/'08 had been especially long and gray, and it seemed like every time we tried to get out, the weather would take a turn and the pass would be impassable or the conditions at every destination were so horrific that it we'd wait until the next week when conditions would hopefully improve.

Since we hadn't be out since a round of golf in December, we were both really looking forward to this trip. I was actually surprised how clear the pass over Hwy 22 was, because just a week or two earlier the National Guard had been called out to the tiny town of Detroit Oregon to clear away several feet of snow that had been falling during the previous weeks.
That's not to say that we didn't encounter a lot of snow. When we stopped at the Marion Forks fish hatchery to use their outhouse, we actually had to climb over a bank of snow that was several feet high in order to get there. When we arrived at the headwaters of the Fall River, there was so much snow off the road that we couldn't event get into the small parking lot, but instead had to park along the side of the road, where the snow was piled up at least 3 feet high.

Walking into the river was challenging because we would often find our legs crashing through the snow and struggling to break free and get back on the trail. It makes for some challenging walking, but on the positive side, it really provides a great calorie burning workout!
The Fall River is a spring fed river that runs a constant temperature year round. I can't recall what temperature it runs, but I can assure you it is quite cold when you stand in it for any length of time.

There was one year we made a trip to the Fall River in January when the weather was crystal clear and sunny, but the temperature was only 10 degrees!! The most interesting thing I remember about that trip, aside from what a strikingly beautiful day it was, was that the normally frigid waters of the Fall River were actually steaming because it was so much warmer than the ambient temperature. (That was one of those trips that makes me wish I had started journaling and taking pictures of fishing trips years sooner!)

The river runs crystal clear which is kind of double edged. It's good because when the fish are out you can see them everywhere and watch them inspect, and then hopefully take your fly. The first few times we ever fished the Fall River there were fish everywhere and we had a great time watching the trout respond, or not, to what we were offering them. The problem with the water being so clear is that you can see when the fish aren't there. That was the scenario we had when we showed up.

Usually during this time of year the Fall River has a nice hatch of Blue Winged Olives that draw the attention of the fish. However, when we showed up we didn't see a since fish or rise the whole time we were there. With the water being so cold and visibility being so good, we wound up moving rather quickly from the headwaters down to the campground in about 3.5 hours.
One thing that I really enjoy about fishing in the snow is how it causes most of the ambient noise to become hushed while at the same time it seems to amplify the running water of the river.

Bryan and I were both talking about how we really need to give this river a look a little later in the fishing season. For some reason, we only seem to hit this river in the winter because it is open year round and provides the potential to catch fish this early in the season. That said, I think that this would be a fun river to try to fish in the mid-Spring time frame and see how we do. The problem we run into is that Oregon offers so many great fly fishing options during the spring and summer that the Fall River often gets overlooked in favor or other waters that fish very well when trout season really gets started.

This river is in such a beautiful part of Oregon that although we didn't connect with any of the rivers "local residents", we were nonetheless out there enjoying the first trip of the 2008 fishing season.