Sand Creek GallerySand Creek Rates

BOB QUIGLEY - May 15th 2007
Master Fly Tier & Author of Quigley's Cripple

Tucked away in a wilderness setting in Southern Oregon's Yamsi Valley, Sand Creek Ranch on the upper Williamson River rates high in fishability. The upper Williamson River intimately winds its way through a narrow meadow surrounded by a well groomed forest. A nature friendly access road enables one to easily fish the many ox-bow bends on the upper Williamson River with ease. Most presentations are 20 to 50 feet with ample room for longer back cast if needed. Foot Bridges allow access to opposite banks, with streamside accommodations and barbecue.

The upper Williamson river is most noted for its famous spinner fall of Black Drakes that start in late May and continue to the middle of June. This hatch is preluded by early season PMD and Caddis. The Hexagenia hatch starts mid to late June with PMD and Caddis hatches throughout the day. Tricos, Ants, Beatles and Hoppers round out the summer, a true dry fly fisherman calling. Nymphs and streamers are always effective on acrobatic rainbows to 24 inches, sometimes larger, occasional trophy brook trout to 20 inches. The upper Williamson river Basin has abundant wildlife, including Deer, Elk, Antelope, Coyote, Bobcat, Beaver, Otter, and Muskrat. Many birds can be seen while fishing at all times of the day from Golden Eagles, Osprey, Bald eagles, Red Tail Hawks, Sand hill Cranes, Blue Herons, Great Grays and Horned owls.

Carol, Steve Koon and family graciously welcome fisherman, there 25 plus years living in this wilderness setting is a bounds of knowledge to visiting fisherman. Guiding is available. Easily accessible by a combination of good paved and dirt roads, it is about a forty five minute drive from Chiloquin to this outstanding wilderness spring creek.

Fisheries Biologist - June 8th 2007

In the early 1980's after a change in ownership, restoration began on this section of the Williamson River that flows through Sand Creek Ranch.

Since that time, the fishery in the Williamson River has responded dramatically to these restorative changes. The health and vigor of the riparian vegetation and banks has helped narrow the Williamson River, increasing velocities as well as forming deep holes and undercut banks.

Tremendous mayfly, caddis and midge hatches occur throughout the year. The May to June, Black Drake hatch is of significant magnitude to awe even the most seasoned anglers and entomologist. The predator swamp tactic employed by these large insects literally sends thousands of mature adults into the air on any given day. The later season Hexagenia is equally impressive, but more for the size of the insect than for its numbers.

The mouth of Haystack Creek, which is contained within Sand Creek Ranch, is the only substantial spawning site for rainbows on the entire Upper Williamson River. In early spring large fish develop redds that ultimately produce the year's fry.

These fish are classified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as Inland Redband Trout. This is a very unique rainbow, with unique characteristics. Dr. Robert Behnke, noted ichthyologist from Colorado State University, describes these fish as typical Redband coloration with yellow and orange tints, elliptical parr marks with supplementary rows, and a trace of a cutthroat markings. Three specimens collected in 1883 from Sand Creek Ranch's water, or in close proximity, are on display at the National Museum in Washington D.C.

Typically, Redband in the upper Williamson River are prolific spawners, and fast growers that can reach extremely large sizes. In early summer it is not uncommon to see hundreds of young-of-the-year inhabiting the upper strata of a hole, with several large fish resting on the bottom. A typical two-year old can easily range between 18 and 24 inches. Much larger fish, while more difficult to catch, are not uncommon.

Whether a seasoned angler, or a novice, the fishing experience provided by the Williamson River and the hosts at Sand Creek Ranch is unique and incomparable. Sand Creek Ranch's isolation provides an opportunity to view myriad species of wildlife, with a background of fantastic scenery. This fishing and wilderness experience can only be classified as distinctive.

Contact Information: 541-783-2086 or email