Portland Oregon Fishing Opportunities

When it comes to sports fishing in Oregon the Portland area is a favorite of Oregon Fishing Guides. Located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Portland is considered an urban angler’s paradise with fishing opportunities abound. The region boasts some of the best salmon fishing in the world. With three species of salmon to target, several rivers and streams, and just a couple hours away excellent saltwater fishing opportunities as well. This makes fishing in the Portland Oregon area a major attraction that draws thousands of anglers to the region every year.


Fishing on the Columbia

First and foremost, the largest fishing attraction in Portland is by far the Columbia River. The Columbia produces the largest populations of salmon in the Pacific Northwest as well as sturgeon and several other desirable sports fishing species like steelhead, walleye, bass, shad, catfish, trout and more.

Columbia River Fishing Guides fish from the mouth of the Columbia at Astoria and Buoy 10 stretching several hundreds of miles all the way to central Washington. The salmon migration in this area of the Columbia River is one of the largest in the world. However, in the Portland area anglers primarily focus on salmon, Sturgeon and walleye fishing from Astoria up to the Dalles Dam. Some of the largest concentrations of salmon can be found on the Columbia at the I-5 bridge between Vancouver, Washington and Portland Oregon.

This is one of the main areas we fish when targeting spring chinook and fall salmon. There are also many other great places in this section of the Columbia that offer bank fishing access via several parks as well. If you’re interested in some guided fishing, we at Columbia River Fishing Adventures fish these waters regularly and would love the opportunity to earn your business!

We generally start the season catching Sturgeon in the Portland area or Salmon near the mouth of the Lewis on the Washington side and work our way up the Columbia all the way to the Hood River area.


Willamette River

Second, only to the Columbia, the Willamette River offers some great Portland Oregon fishing opportunities.  Salmon, Trout, Steelhead, Sturgeon, Catfish, Shad and Bass and a few walleye. Chinook salmon and Sturgeon are among the most sought after of the species on the Willamette. With the primary fishing action taking place from the mouth all the way to the Willamette Falls. At the mouth Guides target monster Sturgeon as well as Salmon.

Moving upriver opportunities increase with Shad catfish, walleye and Smallmouth Bass. The Willamette is also one of the most accessible rivers in Oregon with lots of public fishing access points. Making for easy access to bank fishing and boat fishing alike. The Willamette River offers some excellent fishing opportunities. If you’re in the Portland area you can be on the Willamette and catching fish in just minutes. If you want to target salmon or sturgeon on the Willamette give Columbia River Fishing Adventures a call. This is one of the favorite fisheries of Portland Oregon Fishing Guides. Book your Willamette river fishing trip today with Columbia River Fishing Adventures 503 490 3099.


Sandy River

When it comes to fishing the Sandy River, Oregon Fishing Guides target Salmon and Steelhead. Bobber Dogging is the name of the game here. With ample opportunities from the mouth to the Sandy River hatchery. The Sandy is a great choice for some good salmon and winter steelhead action close to Portland. This river offers year-round Salmon and steelhead opportunities. It’s close to Portland so it can get very busy on the weekends so keep that in mind.

There are several key access points on the Sandy starting near the mouth at Lewis and Clark State Park, next to the Dabney and Dodge parks as well as the Oxbow Park and Sandy River hatchery.

Once the Sandy River hits 10 feet we run the river in our jet sled anything below that is a raft and drift boat show.  This is when the fishing is at it’s best and Columbia River Fishing Adventures can help to get you on them.


Clackamas River

Get your rod and reel ready because if your looking to target steelhead, chinook, coho, and fin-clipped trout the Clackamas River is your go-to spot.  With decent public fishing access, the Clackamas could be your answer to a Portland Fishing Trip and an empty freezer. Probably one of the best Coho fisheries near Portland Oregon. The Clackamas offers some great winter steelhead fishing as well a few Spring chinook in April, May, and June.  The Clackamas offers decent public fishing access and is sure not to disappoint even the most discerning anglers once you get on the water. If you’re interested in fishing the Clackamas give us a call. This is a limited fishery and seats go fast. Give us a call today 503 490 3099.


Gilbert River

The infamous Gilbert River is renowned for Catfish, Sturgeon, Bass, and Walleye fishing. This river is one of the great go-to spots in the Portland area. The Gilbert is most widely known for Catfish and Sturgeon but be aware as of 2018 there is a year-round closer to fishing for Sturgeon due to excessive poaching. However, during certain times of the season, you can target Sturgeon on the Multnomah Channel near the mouth of the Gilbert and it can be none stop action!  The two main fishing access points on the Gilbert are the Big Eddy fishing pier at the headwaters and the Gilbert fishing pier near the mouth.


Tualatin River

The Tualatin River is known for excellent  Largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and coho fishing at the mouth. There is also a decent amount of public fishing access on the Tualatin making it an attractive fishing destination in the Portland area. The season is pretty much year-round, but the bass fishing tends to pick up during the summer when the water warms up the fish become more active.


Eagle Creek

Eagle Creek should be worth a try when conditions allow.  This creek is now a late-arriving winter steelhead fishery since the ODFW switched the Eagle Creek releases from early to late returns about three years ago. It also has a very healthy coho Salmon run. Be aware this fishery is very crowded at times and keep in mind that long stretches of Eagle Creek do run through private property. Particularly up near the hatchery and from an area below the lower ladder on down near Bonnie Lure to the mouth. Anglers are advised to pay close attention to where you fish, and the ODFW encourages anglers to ask permission prior to accessing or crossing private lands while on your way to your favorite fishing hole. If you aren’t looking to hire a Portland Oregon Fishing Guide this might be the perfect river. This is a small river and a great place for the guy who wants to go it alone.


Molalla River

The Molalla River offers winter steelhead and summer run steelhead fishing opportunities in the Portland area. although in recent years the fishing has been very slow. You can get info from the ODFW for fish crossing info at Willamette falls to get an idea when the best times to show up for steelhead. This fishery is year-round for steelhead and the river can be accessed through Molalla River State Park. It’s a bit of a haul from Portland but well worth the trip if you are looking to get away from the crowds. You will probably spend a lot more time fishing than catching!


In conclusion

These are some of the top fishing destinations in the Portland Oregon area. Most are within an hour in most cases well worth the effort. Although we do not offer guided fishing trips on all these rivers If you’d like to get more information on the rivers we do Fish Please give us a call. We would love to share with you some of the spots and techniques we have learned over the past 30 years and create memories that last a lifetime! Call 503 490 3099.

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