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Old 11-15-2009, 09:39 PM
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Default Fly fishing in downtown Portland

I recently took up fly fishing and love this hobby. I try as much as possible to practice my casting. I'm here in Portland for the week and I decided to bring my fly rod and try some casting with the hope of catching a fish to be released. I went to Waterfront City Park and went down to the beach area in the southern end where the Marquam bridge is.

It was a nice peaceful time and I tried to read the Willamette River and get a sense of it. I could see the Submarine moored by OMSI on the other end of the river. I did not see anyone else out with a fishing rod (fly or not). I was out there at 3PM and it was a grey overcast day. Water temp was 46 degrees, little wind, a little murky, and a slow current headed northbound. I have a couple questions.

Are there fish in this part of the Willamette? LOL! The river looked really barren with no signs of wildlife except for the Canadian geese.

Can you fish in this section? No one bothered me and I saw no sign saying I could not but am just asking to be sure.

I don't have a car and am wondering if there are other bodies of water very close to downtown Portland that you may suggest I try out?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing in downtown Portland

I'm not sure if you can get to it via PT, but there's a nice park I fished years ago where the Clackamas pours into the Willamette that might be worthwhile. I think I fished the north bank at Cross Mem park, not Clackamette park.

Hope you do better than I did. That was just another stop on my steelhead-free tour of OR.
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing in downtown Portland

like cliff said. I fish the clackamette quite often. The sandy river is a good place also. It is one of my favorites.

I dont think, in all the time Ive lived in Portland that I have ever seen people fishing where you talked about. If you walk the river by OMSI it is posted no fishing, though I have never been to the opposite side.

There is a park off of River Rd, in Milwaukie that people fish all the time. Mostly sturgeon I think.

Check this out:
http://rainbow.dfw.state.or.us/fishfinder/
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing in downtown Portland

Thanks for the replies. I think the Clackamas is too far south but I see that Butterfly City Park on the Willamette just a bit further down might work out. If I go try, I'll post a followup.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing in downtown Portland

Do you want to have a chance at catching some fish?
I am going to guess (you can correct me if I'm wrong) that you are throwing a 5wt... yes? If you are, then your chances on the Willamette are slim...or none.
No car? $5.- will buy you an Adult All Zone pass on Tri-Met...busses, light rail, it covers all their routes. So here are 4 just off the top of my head;
#20 will get you within striking distance of the Sandy River (you might have to walk a few blocks)
#30 will get you to Estacada and within striking distance of a good portion of the lower Clack.
#33 will get you Oregon City and I think you can transfer to get to Mollala and within striking distance of the Mollala River.
Westside Max+ #57 will put you within striking distance of Dairy Creek and west side farm ponds.
AND... if a guy had a Mountain Bike, which can be taken on most Tri-Met bus/light rail.... well he could do some damage.
That fare is good from like 5am till 11pm or midnight...all day, all zones.
Leave the Will-a-met to the bait fisherman...
jus sayin...
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing in downtown Portland

you said it better than me badfishhunter...
i fish mostly in Hillsboro. Dairy creek, tualatin river, rock creek and there are lots of ponds around here that I go to as well. They are all about 10 minutes from downtown....blue line max.

and just to add a note....the green line to milwaukie is running.
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing in downtown Portland

Thanks for the tips. I will check out the TriMet.

I actually fish with an 8wt. From out east, I actually fish the surf a lot. Stripers are my favorite to chase. It may amuse you but I brought a stripping basket that I realized I didn't need here

Out of curiosity, what kind of fish do the bait fisherman catch in downtown Portland? I am wondering because it seems the Willamette doesn't have much life there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by badfishunter View Post
Do you want to have a chance at catching some fish?
I am going to guess (you can correct me if I'm wrong) that you are throwing a 5wt... yes? If you are, then your chances on the Willamette are slim...or none.
No car? $5.- will buy you an Adult All Zone pass on Tri-Met...busses, light rail, it covers all their routes. So here are 4 just off the top of my head;
#20 will get you within striking distance of the Sandy River (you might have to walk a few blocks)
#30 will get you to Estacada and within striking distance of a good portion of the lower Clack.
#33 will get you Oregon City and I think you can transfer to get to Mollala and within striking distance of the Mollala River.
Westside Max+ #57 will put you within striking distance of Dairy Creek and west side farm ponds.
AND... if a guy had a Mountain Bike, which can be taken on most Tri-Met bus/light rail.... well he could do some damage.
That fare is good from like 5am till 11pm or midnight...all day, all zones.
Leave the Will-a-met to the bait fisherman...
jus sayin...
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing in downtown Portland

sturgeon, shad and some steelhead....though I dont hear much about the steelhead.

When ive been out to clackamas its always been sturgeon.

Clackamette has shad and bass and some others. If you go to the back side the fish are huge, but Ive never landed one.

Best of luck to you...I look forward to your follow up post.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing in downtown Portland

As far as the Willa-met goes, I will only refer you to page 18 of the ODFW regs. That should keep you away. And I apologize... I have a tendency to speed read threads, did not catch that yer just here for a week.
With an 8wt, normaly you would be lookin for some leftover Summer Steelhead... the Sandy or Clackamas would be yer best bet, and a quick check of their levels shows them way high due to the rain... doubt they will come down in a week given the forecast. Regular season for Trout is over around here... 'cept for something you might find in a lake.
So take in the sights, Art Musem, get a good book, play indoor games. Then plan to come back next year....like August/September/October....invest in a 5 wt and some wheels...you won't be sorry
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing in downtown Portland

Not a very timely reply on my part, However. The Wilamette river in the area around downtown Portland is a PRIME smallmouth bass fishery. It will not win and beauty prizes but 4 pound smallies are common and fish up to 6 pounds are not unheard of. bass tournaments routinely require 5 fish bags of 18 pounds to win. i'd focus efforts on rip rapped areas that drop into at least 12-15 feet of water. Fish can be shallow in any low light conditions or when the tides are right (this varies spot to spot). Look for fishing to be at it's best March through September. anything from top waters to clouser minnows should produce for you...
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