Salmon fishing for the first time near Portland- help and advice


B1purtle

New member
Hello

Thank you in advance to anyone who replies. My name is Brian. And I’m coming to Portland for a mini vacation from out of state April 8-13 to visit a friend and we’d like to do some SHORE, salmon and maybe steelhead fishing (imNot sure it’s steelhe season). Unfortunately we organized the trip last minute so didn’t have time to charter a guide or boat. I have never fished for salmon or steelhead before- I am experienced in fishing for trout and catfish and have targeted some big brown trout and rainbows where I live, but I know salmon and steelhead fishing is very different requiring much bigger tackle, and I know Oregon has some specific regulations to be followed. I’m just looking for any advice on where to fish, how to fish for the salmon and what rod and reel and tackle techniques to use- I’m basically a beginner for Salmon and steelhead. I’ll have a rental car and I bought a 9’ medium -heavy Okuma travel rod with a 6000 size spinning reel- i know baitcasters are recommended but I’ve never used them and was told they foul up a lot if you aren’t proficient with them. I was planing to visit a local tackle shop for the rest of my tackle but am not sure what stores would be good to go to that might have knowledgeable helpful sales staff.

I’ve been told the Columbia river will be closed to fishing starting April 10th, but that the Willamette and clackamas confluence are better places to fish (some place called meldrum bar). I was planing to use my rod and reel with 25lb mono line but have no idea what else to rig or how to rig. I’ve been told shrimp is a good bait , not sure about weight sizes either. I typically lake fish so this is quite different.

Any advice or tips on places that might have advice would be appreciated. I’m hoping my 9’ Rod isn’t too small for salmon.

Thanks!
 

troutdude

Well-known member
Moderator
@B1purtle welcome to OFF. I hope that you have a great time in Oregon.

There is WAY to much to learn in short tutorial or two. VOLUMES of books, magazine articles, blogs, and more have been written about the salmon fisheries. You're best bet would be to book a guide. And I can't recommend anyone better than Darryl, at Oregon City Charters. I just asked--and he's got seats for 2 next Saturday, the 13th. So if you contact him quickly, you may be able to get those seats.

Good luck, tight lines, and let us know how you do.
 

305to503fishermen

New member
@B1purtle

Fishing might be rough while you are here. We just had a huge bump in both those rivers heights. Not sure when it will be projected to come back down.

If you want to fish from shore watch and read about a technique plunking. That will be your best bet on catching a salmon or sturgeon.

Best of luck to you.
 

troutdude

Well-known member
Moderator
@B1purtle @305to503fishermen is quite right. It's been raining cats and dogs. The rivers will be washed out, rather dangerous, and not fishable at all. Unless you know how to plunk. Sorry to see that your timing is a bit OFF.
 

B1purtle

New member
Hello;

Thank you all for your responses and advice. I'm saddened to hear the weather and flow is bad. :( . Ill give plunking a try.Unfortunately i don't have much control over when i can take vacation time with my job. I'm not averse to fishing for salmon in a lake but i don't think there's landlocked salmon up there is there? ill just be happy to get my line out. If i catch a salmon great if not, i wont get my hopes up too much with the info you've given me.

Appreciate the help. Next time ill try to plan out a bit further and go on a boat
 

305to503fishermen

New member
Well there is always opportunities for stocked trouts in any of the lakes while you are here. We also have the landlocked salmon or Kokanee in some of our deeper lakes. So you can try your hand at that if you can get your hands on a boat or something.

Hagg lake offers boat rentals and has stocked trout and Kokanee in it if you want to research about it. Obviously these fish won’t give you the fight you may be seeking.

Also don’t forget about obtaining the proper licensing in order to fish for the salmon on the willamette. I live right by where you were seeking and have seen ODFW checking for it.

Best of luck for you.
 

B1purtle

New member
Well there is always opportunities for stocked trouts in any of the lakes while you are here. We also have the landlocked salmon or Kokanee in some of our deeper lakes. So you can try your hand at that if you can get your hands on a boat or something.

Hagg lake offers boat rentals and has stocked trout and Kokanee in it if you want to research about it. Obviously these fish won’t give you the fight you may be seeking.

Also don’t forget about obtaining the proper licensing in order to fish for the salmon on the willamette. I live right by where you were seeking and have seen ODFW checking for it.

Best of luck for you.
Cool, thanks! Ill research that lake. I was also recommended the Clackamas and Sandy rivers, but im guessing they are just as bad. As for the fishing licensing; im a bit confused--im going to get a 3 day non resident license- but do i need an Adult Combined Angling Tag or /and a Hatchery Salmon Harvest tag as well? I know i need the Columbia River Basin endorsement.
 

troutdude

Well-known member
Moderator
Yes you'll need a Salmon Tag. And remember to IMMEDIATELY fill out the tag, if you get a keeper.

According to this graph, the Clackamas should be fishable in a day or two.


Likewise for the Sandy:

 

B1purtle

New member
Yes you'll need a Salmon Tag. And remember to IMMEDIATELY fill out the tag, if you get a keeper.

According to this graph, the Clackamas should be fishable in a day or two.


Likewise for the Sandy:

Great. Appreciate all the help! If i get luck and catch something ill post.
 

Top