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Newport’s Big Creek Reservoirs Numbers 1 & 2 are well known to locals as good places to fish for rainbow trout, but even though they are only short distances east of Highway 101, tourists rarely see them or even realize they are there. Reservoir Number 2 provides the best fishing of the two, because it is deeper, has fewer snags, has more places to fish, and there is much better bank access. However, ODFW (Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife) plants large numbers of trout in both reservoirs every year (Trout Stocking Schedules), so if you can’t find a place to fish in Number 2, or the fish in Number 2 aren’t biting, Number 1 is a nearby alternative.
The shore area near the front of the photo above is one of the best places to fish at Number 2, especially for children, beginners of any age, or anyone with a physical disability that makes steep-bank fishing difficult. Not only does the gently sloping bank make access easy, but the backside is free of branches, so beginners can cast without catching trees. On top of all that, trout tend to cluster near the dam, so it is also one of the best places to catch trout.
However, there are several other good places to fish along the north shore. Watch for parking spots along the south side of the road. Most of them have trails leading down to fishing spots, even though you may not be able to see the reservoir from the road.
Another area that is often as productive as fishing at the dam, and sometimes even more so, is located near the east end of the reservoir. There are several good places to fish along the road there, but the bank is steeper and there are more tree branches to cast through. Experienced fishermen will also consider those spots to be easy to fish, but they won’t be so easy as down by the dam for beginners or those with physical disabilities. This next photo shows one of those east-end spots.
Even when fish aren’t biting, how bad can sipping your favorite beverage in a place like that be? Some people wait all year to vacation somewhere like that, but here in Newport locals sometimes come over during their lunch hour or stop by to catch dinner on their way home from work, which sure beats the big-city method of stopping by a shrink for expensive therapy following a stressful day!
So, how good is the fishing? Of course it is called fishing, rather than catching, because no matter how good fishing was yesterday, or will be tomorrow, someone may not catch a single fish today. The probability of catching rainbow trout at either Big Creek Reservoir is highly dependent on the season. Mid-April through the end of June rainbow trout fishing is generally excellent. Someone might fish all day and catch nothing, but that would be rare if they know how to fish. Sometimes it takes two or three hours to catch a daily limit during those months, but it also sometimes only takes 30-minutes or less. Sometimes you will repeatedly have another one on before you have had time sit down after taking a last one off, especially with two rods, which is legal with an ODFW two–rod fishing validation (ask about a two-rod validation when you buy your fishing license if you are interested in that.)
Rainbow trout are sometimes caught at the Big Creek Reservoirs during other months. If someone is willing to wait a long time to catch a few fish they probably could do that any month of the year, but good trout fishing is generally over early in July.
Most people who go to either Big Creek Reservoir are careful to leave areas they visit in as good a condition as they were in when they arrived. Please note the rules above and do not do anything to that will destroy the pristine beauty or contaminate the water.
Alternative Trout Fishing Locations
If Big Creek Reservoir trout aren’t cooperating or you just want to try something different, Olalla Reservoir is an excellent alternative that is 26-minutes away. Another less popular alternative is Eckman Lake, which is 37-minutes away.