In search of year round creek fishing

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Fish_bot9000
I have recently gotten hooked on tenkara fly fishing but many of the beautiful fishing waters that I've found will be closed until the spring soon. I'm looking for relatively small water ideally within about an hour of Portland. Looking at the regs it looks like the creeks feeding the Tualatin river are open year round for catch and release, fanno creek in particular looks good to me, but I wanted to check in here to make sure I won't be breaking the law and to look for other suggestions.
I mainly target trout but as long as I'm catching fish I'm happy.
 
M
mattsavage
I go to the regs online and do a ctrl+f "Open all year for trout" You'll get a lot of hits.
Gales Cr. is pretty good, I have fun hitting that with the 2wt or tenkara. I'm wondering with the removal of the last dam on that creek if fishing will improve. I've been wanting to check out the upper tualatin/roaring cr. area or even scoggins above hagg lake.

https://www.eregulations.com/oregon/fishing/willamette-zone
there's some pretty good youtube videos of guys fishing the larger style tenkara rods in the 20' range on larger rivers. could be fun to try out so as to not rule out the deschutes, santiam, mckenzie, etc... would be fun to swing streamers on one of those.
If you want to travel a little further, parts of the claskanine and Lewis & Clark rivers towards Astoria are open year round. check the NW zone regs
 
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J
Jeffry
I've been fishing and teaching tenkara for about 15 years. I fish the S Fork Yamhill and tributaries, the Upper Tualatin and Gales Creek. These all contain wild, native cutthroat trout mixed with rainbow trout (ie juvenile steelhead). Please be certain to pinch the barbs on your flies (small muddler minnows, spruce flies and kebari) and release all fish without removing them from the water.
Thanks!
 
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olshiftybiscuits
Most of the year-round streams in the regulations are worth exploring when the flows are cooperating. That’s infrequent this time of year, especially at lower altitudes. I use the gauge on the Little Luckiamute to determine if I can reasonably fish the Yamhill and Tualatin systems. If it’s under 300 CFS and falling you can find trout. Ideal is below 100 CFS. This would be a good week to get out there.

http://levels.wkcc.org/?f=8w3

In addition to those that have already been mentioned, Fifteenmile Creek and all of its tributaries are now year round and sit outside the Mt. Hood rain shadow.

Just to help you set expectations, the reason there are so many year round trout streams on the west side is due to the amount of private property. It takes a lot of patience and scouting to find public access, and I’d recommend having multiple streams on your list for one day so that you can fish enough holes to make it worthwhile. Most of these streams are not designated as “navigable,” so accessing at a bridge and wading below the high water line won’t cut it. If you’ve ever spent time in the coast range foothills, you know these property owners aren’t folks you want to tangle with. They’ve got more bullets than brain cells.

Small streams are also just hard to fish in winter, they’re often too high and muddy to approach and even when they’re not that cold, high gradient water isn’t super appealing to trout. I love small stream fishing too, but I’m happy to get 1-2 decent fish (10+ inches) fishing these creeks in the off-season.

If you expand your radius to 2-2.5 hours from Portland, you’ll start to find higher quality year round trout streams with a lot more public access.
 
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M
mattsavage
Over the course of a 4 day weekend, ending yesterday, I fished the Kalama (twice) Gales, and Luckiamute (southern branch near Hoskins)
Naturally the oregon coast streams produced plenty of cutthroats, a couple in the 12" range, most about 6-8". but, surprisingly, not one single trout in the kalama over two days of fishing!! A few whitefish. I threw every sort of nymph and streamer i had at them, nothing.
I'm a big fan of the luckiamute now, can't wait to head back when things warm up and they're feeding on dries. Right now with the cool, clear, very cold water, the fish seem to be as deep as possible and not moving to feed. But they're there, just have to really work for it.


 
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