Mt. Hood Territory is home to 20 of Oregon’s top 50 places to fish within a 60-minute drive from Portland. Lakes, rivers and streams team with salmon, steelhead, trout and small mouth bass. Novice and expert anglers alike can choose from a variety of outfitters, guides and resources to get geared up for and locate your intended catch.
Early Fall is the best season for fishing, so we’re entering prime catching time here. Make sure your licenses are up to date, and your fishing line is fresh. The North Fork Reservoir, located along the Clackamas River just east of the town of Estacada, is known for its excellent fishing, with its schools of rainbow trout that are quite accommodating with their willingness to grab your lure. It’s a great spot to take the kids for that milestone moment of catching their first fish.
Canby Community Park typically has a healthy supply of rainbow trout, including several lunkers. Competition for these fish is lower than many other spots as only kids under the age of 17 or anglers who have a Disabled Hunting and Fishing Permit fish here. It’s the perfect spot to take your kids and get them hooked on fishing.
Winter steelhead season reaches its peak in February, with great catches possible both from boat or shore. Fishermen report success while drift fishing using live bait, while bobber and jig and even spinner baits are effective choices to catch this popular sportfish. Best bets on the Clackamas River include Barton Park between Oregon City and Sandy or Milo McIver State Park near Estacada.
Starting in March, a wonderful family friendly spot is the Rainbow Trout Farm outside of Sandy where you can fish from one of the 10 ponds located on the 30 picturesque acres. And because the facility is on private property, no fishing licenses are required. You don’t even need your own tackle, as the friendly staff will offer all the equipment you could need, bait included. Once you’ve landed your catch, they’ll clean the fish for you to take home, or you can grill your catch right there at their picnic facilities.
The Willamette River will become the hotspot in the Spring as the Chinook salmon runs hit high gear. The historic communities lining the river serve as a scenic backdrop to some quality fishing as anglers bring in impressive hauls of salmon. Last year’s counts saw some record numbers in area rivers, so there is high anticipation for a great fishing season this year as well.
Summer is the perfect time to hit the Sandy, Clackamas and Willamette Rivers for some superior salmon, steelhead and shad fishing. Shad fishing is unique as they are eager biters yet hard fighters. An effective way to fish for shad is by fly fishing on the Willamette River below the historic Willamette Falls
Of course there are countless miles of waterways to explore. With so many lakes, rivers and streams in Mt. Hood Territory, it’s no surprise that fishing is a popular pastime. Choose one of our licensed guides to help you find the best spots and keep you familiar with the state’s regulations.
If you want to make it a full outdoor adventure, check out our campgrounds that are near fishing hot spots, so you can roll out of the tent and get that bite first thing in the morning. Be sure to share photos of your catch with us. Post them on Instagram using our #omht hashtag, or share them with us on Facebook @mthoodterritory.
Molly Johnson grew up in Mt. Hood Territory and loves getting to write content inspiring others to visit her beloved home.