Trout fishing near Portland?

moosejuice

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Hi All,

I am currently evaluating a job offer in WA state just north of Portland. How is the trout fishing in the area? I've heard the WA and OR do not have year-round trout fishing, is this true? How do the fishing seasons work? I am an avid trout angler here in Colorado and wondering how the Pacific Northwest fly fishing compares? Thanks for any help and insight you can provide!

John
 

dillon

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I live in Portland, but mostly fish for Steelhead locally. There are several steelhead streams in SW Washington as well with both summer and winter runs. There are sea run cutthroat in the Oregon and Washington coastal rivers that can be fished seasonally late spring through fall when they are open. They also have salmon and steelhead runs. Oregon has a a couple streams with hatchery and wild trout in the Salem/Eugene area, the Santiams and the McKenzie. The best wild trout fishing is East of the cascades in both states. The Yakima in Washington and the Deschutes, Crooked, Metolious and Fall Rivers in Oregon and most if not all are open all year. The Deschutes is the closest to Portland, a two hour drive. Both states have some very good Stillwater fishing east of the cascades and some decent but not as good on the west side. Good technical presentation, match the hatch fishing, is a good 7 hours east of Portland in my opinion and that why I take a long road trip in Idaho and Montana every year. I fish mostly summer steelhead and Stillwater trout in Oregon, and a little time on the Oregon rivers I mentioned.

Many of my local fly fishing brethren also fish the Columbia river in boats with conventional gear for spring, summer, and fall salmon. They are some of the best eating salmon to be found an we are not ashamed to pursue them with bait and lures and some also fly fish for them in the tributaries but their meat is usually not has prime as an ocean or Columbia fish. I've been invited to the coast to go crabbing and salmon fishing on the lower Columbia with a friend next month and will never pass up any such invitation. Besides the weather may be 30 degrees cooler if there is a heat wave in the valley. I was planning to spend time at my Deschutes cabin this week but temps will be in the 100s there...
 

dillon

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For trout your best bet is either eastern Oregon or Washington. Some parts of the top end of rivers will have 'some ... but not much.' Those you 'find' are likely to be salmon or steelhead smolt.

fae
Thanks Fred, I was just going to add that to my post. I will say that 10-12 inches is large for most mountain streams and 6 to 8 is more common.
 

moosejuice

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Dillon and Fred, thanks for the input. It is much appreciated. I have never fished for steelhead and am very unfamiliar with it. What type of rods does one use to chase steelhead? I have heard that fishing for steelhead is quite a bit different than trout fishing in terms of number of fished hooked in a regular day.
 

sjkirkpa

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I lived in PDX for 15 years, up until about 8 years ago when I moved to the UP of Michigan.

All the rivers for the most part in the coastal range are full of resident cutthroat and seasonally, sea-runs come up them. Rivers like the Nehalem for example. They don't see too much pressure, either, unlike their famous cousins (e.g. Desuchtes) to the east of the Cascades
 

sjkirkpa

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And don't forget you have the whole Olympic Peninsula to play in. Steelhead heaven...silvers, chums, pinks, kings, etc... plus sea run trout galore even right in the Olympia area.

I vaguely remember once that I was able to find a river with a steelhead run in it every month of the year within a 2 or 3 hour drive (at the very most) from PDX

You won't have to worry about running out of fish to (try to) catch
 

dillon

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Dillon and Fred, thanks for the input. It is much appreciated. I have never fished for steelhead and am very unfamiliar with it. What type of rods does one use to chase steelhead? I have heard that fishing for steelhead is quite a bit different than trout fishing in terms of number of fished hooked in a regular day.
9-10 ft 7 or 8 weight single hand rods can be used to swing wet flies or dead drift nymphs with a floating line. 12-13 ft 7or 8 wt spey rods are used to swing wet flies with a floating line. when the water drops below the high 40's sink tips can be used to get the fly down a bit as fish are not as aggressive in colder water. Yes, steelheading can be slow, but when they are in it can be great... My favorite is to wake and skate dry flies with a spey rod.
 

flav

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May thrugh October there is plenty of trout fishing within an hour drive of PDX . The fish are generally smaller than what you see in the rockies, but the vast majrity will be wild. During the colder months you'll usually need to drive 2-3 hours for trout, and usually to the east. When I lived in Portland I drove east of the mountains a lot in the winter just to see the sun, the trout fishing was just a bonus.
 
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