Oregon is an opportunity-rich state for fly fishing. Choosing where to fish and where to stay can be a daunting challenge, and picking the right location can dramatically improve angling success.
Trout and steelhead anglers have many choices when fly-fishing Oregon. The Cascade Mountains cut north to south through Oregon, creating two different climates with distinct trout and steelhead environments. Fly fishing in Oregon can be minutes away from the bustle of town or deep in a remote canyon far from civilization.
Western Oregon On Oregon’s west side, anglers fish in lush forests where large amounts of precipitation allow ferns and moss to grow. Rivers like the North Umpqua, Willamette, McKenzie, and other valley systems get year round runs of anadromous fish as well as hosting healthy populations of resident trout. Some of the earliest returns of summer steelhead can be found in these rivers; fishing in May is not too early and it is continuous through the fall months. This is the home of winter steelhead. Bright fish pulling in from the ocean speed upriver to spawn. Winter steelhead fish are big and strong; they can make multiple trips to and from the ocean, growing in size every cycle. Fish return in rivers across the coast from the northernmost rivers like the Nehalem, south to the Umpqua and Rogue. Winter season is from November to early April.
Eastern Oregon East of the Cascades is High Desert country. Snow melt, instead of rain, feeds multiple rivers including the Deschutes and John Day. Desert rainbow trout, locally known as “red-sides”, are some of the strongest trout found anywhere. Many well-travelled anglers will testify to their strength and vigor. While not as long as some trout, they make up for it in thickness and spirit. Our guiding season for trout begins in earnest with the salmon fly hatch in the last week of May and we continue to pursue trout into the end of October. Salmon fly hatches in the late spring, early summer are one of the most sought-after events of the year. Following the big bug, caddis provide anglers with the opportunity to hunt big trout as they rise softly to naturals. Fishing attractor dry-fies and or nymphs can provide action throughout the entire season.
From the Columbia, steelhead make their way upstream to spawn in the High Desert rivers. Fishing can be outstanding. Dramatic river canyons and long, classic steelhead water greet anglers. Fishing can begin in July and might carry on for many months. Eastern Oregon steelhead are equipped with large stores of energy and, when hooked by anglers, can complete long runs with multiple jumps.
Renton’s River Adventures can create an angling adventure any season of the year. We recommend that you hire one of our guides when planning an outing. Oregon flyfishing demands a variety of styles including dry-fly fishing, swinging flies, and nymph and indicator techniques. Our staff of professional fly fishers will lead you to angling success.. Novice to experienced anglers can leave the river with newfound skills and confidence. Renton’s operation uses the highest quality equipments available. If you are interested in fishing waters that we don’t guide, Renton’s River Adventures can direct you to our many contacts in the fly fishing community.