Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide in Eugene, Oregon

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Ethan & Alia Nickel

Ethan Nickel Outfitters

Phone icon541-554-2303 Phone icon808-227-4450 Email iconenickeloutfitters@gmail.com Link iconflyfishoregon.wordpress.com
170 W. 35th Place
Eugene, OR 97405

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The Story

At Ethan Nickel Outfitters, we take pride in providing you with the best guided fly fishing trip possible. Over 18 years of experience, enthusiasm for the sport, as well as a patient, professional, and focused attitude distinguish the service we provide. From the most inexperienced angler to the seasoned veteran, we look forward to helping you improve your skills with expert instruction and to putting you on fish. We are fly fishing guides because we love what we do, and look forward to sharing it with you!

Based in Eugene, OR, at the southern end of the Willamette Valley, we fish many of Oregon's finest trout and steelhead streams including the McKenzie, Willamette, and Umpqua Rivers. We also offer trips seasonally for smallmouth bass and fall chinook salmon on the fly.

We offer trips from one to five days in duration, and can accommodate nearly any size party, from a single angler to large corporate groups. Each boat can fish up to two anglers, for larger groups I work in conjunction with a number of other fishing guides who are all exceedingly competent, seasoned professionals.

We operate the majority of trips out of McKenzie-style drift boats. This safe, stable, and maneuverable craft, expertly rowed by your boatman, offers a comfortable ride and is the perfect platform from which to fish the area's rivers. Additionally, we recently added a jet boat to the fleet and offer jet boat steelhead trips on the Willamette River throughout the summer and fall, as well as the Umpqua River for the winter steelhead run.

Western Oregon is arguably the best place in the country to be a fishing guide. We offer world class flyfishing opportunities year round for an exciting array of species. Come experience what fly fishing in Oregon has to offer!

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

We fish a number of western Oregon's best rivers including the McKenzie River, Willamette and Middle Fork Willamette, North Umpqua, Main Umpqua, Siuslaw River, Lake Creek, among others, most of which are within an hour of the Eugene area or around 2 hours from Portland.

Typical Weather by Season

Late Fall, Winter, and Spring are often rainy in western Oregon, but with as many pleasant days as wet and cold ones. With the proper clothing and rain gear, however, almost any day can be comfortable, particularly with the help of the propane heater systems in our drift boats!

Spring: Typical weather ranges from cool (40s) and rainy to warm (low 70s) and sunny. It is good to be prepared for anything this time of year.

Summer: Though it rains a good deal in Oregon at times, summers are usually warm (highs in the mid 70s-90s) and dry. Though we rarely get much rain in the summer, it is not a good idea to go fishing in western Oregon without a rain jacket.

Fall: Starting sometime in October some rainy weather generally starts to creep back in. Fall weather ranges from warm and sunny (highs in the 60s and 70s) to wet and cooler. Often the clouds that fall brings make for some of the best summer steelhead and trout fishing of the season.

Winter: Typical low temperatures on winter days are in the mid 30s and 40s, though freezing temperatures first thing in the morning are not uncommon. Afternoon highs usually range from the low 40s to low 60s. Don't let the cooler temperatures of winter scare you off. Winter steelheading is awesome!

Sample of Typical Trip

Day trips are typically around 8 hours in duration. We will meet up somewhere adjacent to the stretch of river we will fish for the day.

Trout fishing trips: meet time is usually between 8 and 9 am. The rivers in our area fish best by boat, so waders aren't necessary.

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Great Fishing and Great Family Adventure Ethan arranged three boats for five anglers ranging from first time fly fisher's to seasoned fisher's. Ethan and his team to took the time to teach those first timers, and hooked them on fly fishing, and put the experienced in challenging situations to test their talents and experience. Well prepared, knowlegdeable, great instruction and dedicated advocates of maintaining and growing fishing stocks. Thanks Ethan for all that you did. Once again, using an Orvis endorsed guiding service is a good choice in exploring a new location.
Date published: 2020-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ethan is a great guide Had an unbelievable day with Ethan on the upper Mackenzie. Not only is he an amazing oarsmen but a great fisherman and a pleasure to be around. We caught a ton of fish, he brushed me up on some new techniques and helped my with some flaws in my short casting game. I had a great day with him and plan on many future trips to come.
Date published: 2019-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fishing with Ethan If you want to catch steelhead on the N Umpqua or a variety of trout on the Mckenzie and Willamette Rivers, I would highly recommend fishing with Ethan. He will put you on the fish and help you get them in the net.
Date published: 2019-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Epic trip into Oregon Ethan and his Buddy Ty showed me and my two buddies an awesome time on the McKenzie and Willamette River this April. We were from Atlanta and California and used Orvis to find them. 3 days of incredible fishing, white water and new friends.
Date published: 2018-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best 21 Run Ever Ethan guided my son and I on the McKenzie, a trip I booked to celebrate my son's 21st birthday. We're both novice fly fishers and would have been happy to catch even one fish. Ethan was an incredible guide, knowledgeable, assessing and matching the type of fishing to our skillsets and most importantly showed an understanding of the fishery and care for the environment that made the day even that much better. We lost track of the number of fish we caught throughout the day and hope this is the first of many we will take together and with Ethan. If I could provide a higher rating I would, Ethan Nickel Outfitters is a must if you are coming into Oregon.
Date published: 2017-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Swinging flies for Steelhead Ethan provided a great 1st experience for fishing for steelhead. We were swinging flies out of his drift boat and couldn't have been happier. Quality gear, excellent knowledge of the fishery and ability to create a fun environment in the boat. And the fish!! Looking forward to our next trip with Ethan!
Date published: 2016-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great coach, beautiful scenery, great experience! I went winter steelhead fishing with Ethan in early April and it was a wonderful experience! Choosing a 2 day trip was ideal. The first day I learned a great deal from Ethan, who is a great coach! The second day, it all came together and I caught 6 steelhead - what a thrill! The scenery was absolutely beautiful and getting to the area was easy (fly to Eugene and drive 1 hour south). It was very easy to set this up with Ethan via email and I really enjoyed Ethan's company as well as his instruction. As an added bonus, his wife prepares a lunch with beautiful, delicious sandwiches and homemade cookies. I just love that extra touch! 5 stars!!!
Date published: 2016-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The BEST guide ... perfect caster or tangler Ethan has the perfect touch. My first cast was with Ethan and 8 years later, I still go back for more. He puts you on the fish and he pushes you "gently" to be the best. I never realized how many ways there are to cast. Both summer and winter adventures have been amazing. Hooking winter and summer steelhead and summer trout, Ethan makes the experience one you talk about months after. The Deschutes "camping" trip is fun and gourmet. The McKenzie, my first, got me totally hooked on fly fishing. He really works to make sure everyone has a great experience.
Date published: 2016-04-05
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