Aspen Ridge Ranch  |  Fly fishing  | Southern Oregon  |  Upper Williamson River

Sunday, Jul 25, 2021  

Our Story

Page 3

The eroded banks have completely filled in with grasses, sedges and other riparian plants.

Monkey flowers and wild mint now line the river's edge and deep cut-banks reach back nearly two feet. It is here, in these dark, safe recesses, that the big fish hang out.

The fish have returned to this section of the river so successfully that in 1998 I started inviting fly fishers to come fish the river in order to help supplement the loss of revenues from cattle grazing. Because there is very little public access to the Upper Williamson River—it is almost all privately owned cattle ranches—fly fishers are ecstatic to learn that they can now come fish some rehabilitated waters.

The Redband shown below measured 25 inches. The largest one caught in recent years was 30 inches. Although it is not an easy river to fish because of the competition with natural insects, many guests have caught 20 to 30 fish a day; once they learn the river.

In 1991 my family and friends helped me build this rustic log cabin. It was meant to be my weekend retreat but it has been my permanent home for 14 years. The Yamsi Valley is very remote. No one else lives in the valley year round and there is no access to regular utilities. I do have 2 solar panels which provide enough juice to power a couple lights, a stereo and my lap top computer. This allows me to pursue my writing career, though I've yet to produce a best seller.

As it turned out the grassy banks, cool waters, the return of the fish and a little mayfly have proved to be a welcomed, though unplanned for, supplement to my income while I wait for that best seller to come about.

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