Nestucca and Three Rivers?

Hi, folks. Looking for a little help for a lake shore fisher wanting to try his hand at stream fishing. Normally I spend my time on the bank chasing hatchery rainbows with powerbait or lures, but was thinking about heading out to Three Rivers or Nestucca for steelhead or cutthroat and have some questions.

Can I accomplish much from the shore and without waders? Do you have any specific spots you'd recommend (I'm coming from Newberg)?

The ODFW regs say I can use bait or lures (I use spinning reels)--what do you recommend?

Also, I've got three setups I can use. Normally I'm at the lake with an old 6' Roddymatic and Mitchell 300 and a new 6'6" ABU Garcia with a new Mitchell 308. Both are medium action rods, according to the label, but the 6'6" is very stiff. I've also got an older ABU Garcia 5'6" light action rod equipped with a Mitchell 408.

I appreciate any advice! Oh, and I know I need to get a steelhead tag . . .


Well-known member
If you want to trout fish you can cast spinners from the bank at the boat ramps or go down off the spit in Pacific City all the way down to the mouth if you want. I believe the Tillamook ramps cost $4/day to park. I've done that. I don't know much about steelhead fishing there this time of year. There is also Town Lake at Woods for trout.
Three River is closed until October 1st from the hatchery down to the mouth, so that's a no go for any species. The Nestucca is open for steelhead and trout right now up to the deadline at Elk Creek and open for Fall Chinook below the Cloverdale Bridge. No bait allowed above Moon Creek (also known as Blaine). I went last weekend and limited on summer steelhead in about an hour tossing spinners. Go out and explore and have some fun, that's the best advice I can give you. Be sure to do a little research on the regs before you venture out.
"Three River is closed until October 1st from the hatchery down to the mouth"

Thanks! What about upstream from the hatchery? That's actually a little closer to home, but I don't know the size of the stream there or the size of the fish in it . . .


frontierhistorian First; allow me to apologize. We had a database glitch, when you first posted the other day. The net result was that your topic, was posted multiple times. In the process of deleting the multiples; your original post also vanished. If it was my fault; I certainly apologize. At any rate, I am happy that you've resurfaced and posted again!

It is wise, as noted above, to KNOW the regulations--for each river that, you intend to explore and fish. In fact game wardens EXPECT you, to know the rules before you drop a line. And coastal streams, can have some finicky regs. So be sure to read, and ask questions, before you go.

SRC's (sea run cutthroat / bluebacks), are beginning their run now. Toss hot pink Rooster Tails and/or small Brown Rooster tails. Pink makes 'em mad; and brown imitates their favorite protein snacks (little crawdads).

A 6' 6" is not ideal; especially for larger streams. Most fisherpeeps use 8' - 11' rods, for steelhead. But smaller rods, will serve you well for rainbows or SRC's. And even heavier duty, and longer rods, are used for Salmon.

Good luck, and let us know how you do.


During trout season, I believe that you do not need a steelhead/salmon tag. You just have to quickly release any steelhead/salmon that, may be accidentally hooked. And you'd have to do so, without removing them from water.

However, don't just take my word for it. Or anyone else's, for that matter. Call ODFW, and ask an OFFicer directly. That's the very best advice that, I can give you.
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Active member
I will be heading to the Nestucca this weekend from the bank as well. As troutdude mentioned, a 6'6 isn't ideal, but it can be done. I caught my first ever steelhead on an old 6'6 medium action Wonderod on an orange blue fox. I would load it with at least 8lb maxima ultragreen for tossing spinners at steelhead. Might need to play the drag a little if you hook into a doozy.
ODFW confirms that you don't need the tag if you're only fishing for trout, but you need to keep the fish in the water when removing the hook. Thanks, all! Now, if I can just find some time to get up there.


frontierhistorian;n606410 said:
ODFW confirms that you don't need the tag if you're only fishing for trout, but you need to keep the fish in the water when removing the hook. Thanks, all!

Whoa! I got something right??? Say it isn't so!!! :D


New member
I know this is an old post but I am heading out Hwy 22 Saturday and Sunday. Taking someone who has never caught a steelhead. She is excited and I have never fished here before Any Help would be appreciated. We plan on using maribou jigs and rabbit hair jigs of varying colors and eggs also.. Any special lures or bait work on Alder Creek. We plan on starting as soon as we can get a decent spot to park by the river and work our way to Hebo and then on to Pacific city. I am not worried about me catching a fish but i would like her to. So far this year she has caught Bass, catfish, trout, and surf perch. Now on to bigger fighting fish. Thanks in advance for the help.

Casting Call

Active member
Try the Little Nesstucca. Open Dec1 up to 2018. Goto the 101 boat ramp, park in the lot ($4.00 fee) walk thirty feet to the bank. Release any salmon large COHO that you hook. GL Tony
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