Best Year Round Fishing in Portland Oregon

In any season It a great time to hire an Oregon fishing guide. Oregon’s rivers are a “must” destination for avid anglers around the world. With plentiful runs of salmon, sturgeon, steelhead, walleye, and more, an Oregon fishing trip is bound to be an exciting adventure. The Columbia River and the Willamette River near Portland, in particular, offer world-class fishing unequaled in the contiguous U.S. Here is a quick guide to the best fishing, by season, in the Portland area.


Winter Fishing Trips


Winter river fishing in Oregon is mainly about catching steelhead and sturgeon. With the population of steelhead growing during their migration in the first months of the year, and the sturgeon runs in the Columbia River sticking around the Portland area early in the year, fishing in Portland in the winter months offers plenty of chances to bag a nice haul of fish each day. Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced that this year’s anglers can keep one sturgeon per day of fishing, and two per year.


Spring Fishing Trips


Spring fishing cranks up in March when the Spring Chinook salmon run enters Oregon rivers. Salmon returns can be unpredictable, even within the same season, so it’s advisable to check the current runs and regulations ahead of time. Experienced fishing guides, like Buddy Dupell of Columbia River Fishing Adventures, will always have the latest information about the runs.


Most steelhead fisheries get going in early spring, since both the winter run and the summer run of steelhead spawn in the spring.  Good numbers of shad are also in the water in the spring, and Spring Chinook salmon fishing in the Columbia River is unbeatable anywhere in the U.S.


If you’re interested in trying for a huge “trophy” sturgeon, the best fishing “window” for them in the Columbia River begins in May.


Summer Fishing trips


The largest sturgeon and the best Chinook salmon runs in the world occur in late-summer and early-fall; and some of the best places on the Columbia River to fish for them are accessible from the Portland area.

Walleye can be caught in the Lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers near Portland year-round, but the best walleye fishing is in the summer, from late June through September.  These toothy predators can feed aggressively and are a lot of fun to catch.  The Columbia and Willamette rivers have both produced record walleye of more than 18 lbs.


Fall Fishing Trips


The Fall Chinook run is the biggest salmon return of the year.  More than a million fish return to the Columbia River and its tributaries to spawn, beginning in late August, and peaking in the Portland area in December.

The best steelhead runs are in the late summer and early fall months on Columbia’s tributaries like the Willamette, Clackamas and Sandy Rivers. Some anglers call Steelhead “the ultimate game fish” because of their elusiveness and spectacular fight.


To book a Columbia River guided fishing trip from Portland in any month of the year, give Buddy Dupell of Columbia River Fishing Adventures a call at (503) 409-3099, or email him at [email protected].  He will be happy to answer your questions, and help you plan a thrilling, unforgettable fishing adventure with family members, friends or colleagues.


Leave a Comment