This five-acre pond in Willamina in western Yamhill County is most enthusiastically fished for the hatchery rainbow trout that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plants here during the cooler months.
A former mill pond previously known as Hampton Pond, the park pond also offers a modest fishery for largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and bullhead catfish.
This is one of the Willamette Valley fishing holes that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks during the winter months to provide some good off-season fishing during those pleasant breaks in the weather.
Many years the stocking trucks first appear in December or January and continue dropping off fish here throughout much of the winter and spring.
The numbers of fish planted here aren’t huge, but this is a small water and angling is very good when there are trout to be had.
Plus, some of the trout stocked here likely will be the larger-sized “trophy” fish.
Trout fishing will be best shortly after plantings. The usual trout-fishing tactics will all work here. (More detail: Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.)
Don’t expect to catch trout here once summer weather heats the water and most trout have been caught out.
Summer is the time to turn to bass lures, crappie jigs and worms and other natural baits to fool the bass and panfish that are year-round residents but bite most aggressively in warmer weather, starting in mid-spring and tapering off when the leaves start changing color.
Bank access is very good here for all kinds of anglers, including kids and other beginners. Some shoreline also is accessible for people with disabilities.
There is a small, unimproved boat ramp as well for people who want to launch a small watercraft.
Huddleston Pond is about a 20-minute drive heading southwest on Highway 18 from McMinnville, and a reasonable drive from the Salem and Portland areas.
From the highway, take Exit 34 at Sheridan, and then continue west on Oregon 18 Business (Sheridan-Willamina Highway) for another five miles to the park, which will be on your left as you’re coming into Willamina.
When you’re out this way during trout-stocking season, another fair bet is Sheridan Pond, near the federal prison just across Highway 18 from Sheridan.