Need advice on easy trout fishing with kids in the Portland area

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thomasrboyd

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I've looked through a bunch of threads and can't quite seem to find one that answers my question.

I don't know much about fishing, but my son really wants to do it. The regulation book seems ridiculously complicated and I'm really concerned I'm going to unknowingly break a law.

I have a canoe, but I'd rather just fish from the bank or dock.

I live near the Clackamas River so that's would be the most convenient but as far as I can tell not that easy for someone that doesn't know what they're doing.

I found an article on Harriet Lake that made me think it would be productive, but talked about fly fishing and float tubes.

I know I could just go down to Carver and ACT like we were fishing, but I'd like to actually catch something.

So, here's the question, if you were going to send someone out that doesn't have a clue about fishing with a 12-year-old boy, where would you send them?

There's so much expertise here I'm hoping someone can help.
 
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Green_Tackle

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You've come to a great place for those questions!

For "easy" trout fishing with your son, hitting one of those lakes out near Estacada would be a good bet. The Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks those lakes with catchable trout for just that purpose. Looking at the trout stocking schedule you will see that the following lakes close to Portland are scheduled to be stocked this week: Estacada Lake, Faraday Lake, Harriet Lake, North Fork Reservoir, Small Fry Lake, Trillium Lake, West Salish Pond.

If you want specific information and advice on one of these lakes in particular, let us know. If you need advice on what type of gear, lures, or bait to buy, this forum can certainly help you with that too. I have a "environmentally friendly" bias on fishing tackle if you are interested in that.

As far as the regulations, yes, they can be confusing at first. If fishing for the above mentioned stocked trout in those lakes, you will have a limit of 5 fish. The size limit is 8" I belive (bring a small ruler or tape measure) but they are almost always legal size since they stock them at catchable sizes. If you pick a lake then we can help you more with the rules and you can always call the ODFW if you are unsure about a specific rule or body of water.

Harriet lake is beautiful and fun to fish, but, there is only a limited amount of bank access and it's a bit steep in parts. But you certainly can fish it from the bank with conventional tackle (not just fly fishing and float tubes). Lots of people fish there with spinners, spoons, powerbait, and worms.
 
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thomasrboyd

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Thank you so much for these responses. I headed out before this was posted and read it on my iPhone after buying my license. We went to Small Fry Lake and a had a couple bites but didn't land anything. We were short on time and didn't stay long enough anyway.

But, on the way home we explored Promatory Park and also North Fork. I think we'll go back tomorrow armed with better information.

Thanks again, this is exactly the information I was looking for. Someday, I'll try to catch steelhead in the Clackamas and this will be my first stop in figuring out how to do it.

Tom
 
troutdude

troutdude

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Happy to have helped. I'm glad you had a good day, even though you didn't catch anything.

Then again, it is called fishing and not catching. LOL
 
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chrisohm

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To let you know, this last week they stocked Estacada Lake with 2000 legals, Small Fry Lake with 300 legals and North Fork with 7000 legals. From talking to some people at Estacada Lake today thay will be stocking again this next week to get ready for the holiday weekend. My son and I caught 4 today with Chartuesse Powerbait and worms. It was a blast!
 
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wozniasm

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I suggest any of the following. They are stocking this week for the three-day holiday weekend.
Just get there early for a spot!
I like NF Reservoir. Go past mile marker 28 and take your first right to the boat launch. There's a small beach area that produces but lots of snags. If you can get on the floating dock, it's best. Bring worms and a bobber (fish 3-4 feet down) or bottom fish with powerbait - Leaders should be 2-3 foot long. I'd be there but I'm camping at Trillium Wed - Saturday...

08/30/10
Estacada Lake 2,000
Faraday Lake 2,000
Harriet Lake 2,000
North Fork Reservoir 16,700
Small Fry Lake 300
Trillium Lake 4,000
 
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moosebrew13

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I take my 5 and 2 year old to small fry lake. Pink powerbait works every time. Also, try the reservoir. If you are headed out of Estacada, turn left just before you get to Promontory Park. There is a little parking lot there and it is where they stock all the fish for the reservoir. It always produces also. I have even fly fished there if you head up river a little bit but fishing right next to the tube that goes to the main reservoir seems to be the best. Just watch for boats coming in. Good luck.
 
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ChezJfrey

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08/30/10
Estacada Lake 2,000
Faraday Lake 2,000
Harriet Lake 2,000
North Fork Reservoir 16,700
Small Fry Lake 300
Trillium Lake 4,000

Just thought I'd let you know that I was planning on taking my kids to Faraday for just the same reason; it would be a good intro to fishing and with a recent stocking, most likely productive for them.

However, when I called the ODFW phone # about the stocking that was supposed to happen the week of 8/23 (per the web site), Faraday was not listed, nor was it mentioned in the confirmations.

I emailed ODFW and they said that it was not stocked and would not be in the near future due to PGE work being done and the lake had been drained pretty low for that reason. They are planning for possible stocking mid-September.
 
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pdxjon

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I am taking my two boys up to the Reservoir in the morning. If you can make it out with your son PM me and I would be glad to show you around.
 
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wozniasm

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Just thought I'd let you know that I was planning on taking my kids to Faraday for just the same reason; it would be a good intro to fishing and with a recent stocking, most likely productive for them.

However, when I called the ODFW phone # about the stocking that was supposed to happen the week of 8/23 (per the web site), Faraday was not listed, nor was it mentioned in the confirmations.

I emailed ODFW and they said that it was not stocked and would not be in the near future due to PGE work being done and the lake had been drained pretty low for that reason. They are planning for possible stocking mid-September.

I got the stocking listing from the website. What phone number do you use for the report you discuss?
 
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ChezJfrey

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I got the stocking listing from the website. What phone number do you use for the report you discuss?

I got it off the bottom of the web page for the stocking schedule: (971) 673-6000

Then dial 2, then either 1 for the current week's stocking schedule, or 2 for the confirmations.
 
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wozniasm

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I got it off the bottom of the web page for the stocking schedule: (971) 673-6000

Then dial 2, then either 1 for the current week's stocking schedule, or 2 for the confirmations.

Thanks for the response. Of course I didn't see it on the web page - it was directly in front of me!
 
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ChezJfrey

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Sure thing.

Of course I have NEVER, EVER overlooked something that was right in front of my face...LOL!
 
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