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Hi, My wife has a conference in Portland Sept 10-17 and I might tag along and visit some rivers. I have 3 days while she's in classes and then we're thinking of heading down the coast towards the California border along 101. I'm wondering about fishing opportunities, preferably spey related. Not too fussy about species as long as they pull. Being from the Great Lakes I have no idea what to expect species timing, location. Thought about taking one day to fish the Deschutes with a guide and I hear the rivers along the coast are very nice (e.g., Rouge). I've read some interesting, albeit, dated posts on SP about Oregon fishing. I'm in the stream ecology business (gov scientist) so I'm also interested in meeting up with like minded people to talk shop about rivers and fish. Cheers, Nick
 

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Should be some summer steelies on the Deschutes and Rogue. I think the coastal rivers west of Portland mostly have winter run fish only. Could be some cutties, maybe fall chinook, I'm not sure.
 

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The unfortunate part of Portland is you have so many options within three hours, especially during that time for summer steelhead. Do you want to hit as much water as possible or learn one river really well?

* Deschutes
* Clackamas
* Klickitat
* North Umpqua
* Sandy
* MF Willamette
* John Day
 

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What kind of setup(s) do you have, I might be able to provide some recommendation? PM me to chat.

I fish quite a few of these rivers mentioned here regularly, and I agree there are many options and can be a headache to decide where to go XD
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. Because we will be travelling by plane I'll likely just pack a Pieroway 510 Metal Detector with a skagit head, tips, and a box of flies. I'll likely get one day on the Deschutes (guided) and one day somewhere else (walk and wade myself). After that will be on the road together so I might only get an evening (couple hrs ) during our travels along 101.
 

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If your heading down the coast there is only 1 option, Umpqua. Every Steelheader worth their salt needs to fish the NF Umpqua once in their life. The fly water is trully magical and special beyond words. Spend a night at Steamboat Inn(you wife will love it) and fish the holy water.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Rifflehitch. That looks great. Hopefully we can end there and get a day on the Deschutes. Two bucket list rivers for sure.

As Coalbe mentioned there are so many options. Any rivers to access relatively close to Portland I could check out while my wife has classes until 1300hrs? Thanks
 

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If your heading down the coast there is only 1 option, Umpqua. Every Steelheader worth their salt needs to fish the NF Umpqua once in their life. The fly water is trully magical and special beyond words. Spend a night at Steamboat Inn(you wife will love it) and fish the holy water.
Wholeheartedly agree! My wife and I spent part of our honeymoon there. First steelhead that I ever landed was in the Kitchen Pool on that river (before my honeymoon). It’s a magical place.

Mark
 

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Thanks Rifflehitch. That looks great. Hopefully we can end there and get a day on the Deschutes. Two bucket list rivers for sure.

As Coalbe mentioned there are so many options. Any rivers to access relatively close to Portland I could check out while my wife has classes until 1300hrs? Thanks


It's a big state so don't spend to much time trying to go everywhere, leave Portland and drive right to th NF Umpqua, will take 3.5 to 4hrs to maximise your fishing time. For local rivers close to Portland look at the Willamette tribs and Sandy rivers.

Also leave the 5wt at home and bring a 7wt, single or double.
 

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Thanks Rifflehitch. That looks great. Hopefully we can end there and get a day on the Deschutes. Two bucket list rivers for sure.

As Coalbe mentioned there are so many options. Any rivers to access relatively close to Portland I could check out while my wife has classes until 1300hrs? Thanks
The clackamas is 30-45 mins from Portland and September can be a decent time for steelhead/coho.

If you and your wife are set on driving 101 then the NU is probably not gonna fit in your plans as it’s a massive detour to get to and from the fly water from 101.
 

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The Alsea is another river to consider along the coast. I've caught steelhead in it before. If you make it into Northern CA, I'd recommend the Smith. It's a technical river, but its beauty makes it worthwhile.
 

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If I had to choose one Oregon coastal river to fish in September it would be the Siletz.
 

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Were I you, I would book a multi day trip on the Deschutes while your wife is hung up for classes in Portland. if that is not possible, next choice would be the Sandy. The river is easily accessed around Troutdale/Oxbow Park. Check with the Fly Shop in Welchs. The John Day is further East than the D, plus it is a bass fishery this time of year. There are other Columbia tribs on the Washington side, the problem is proximity to the metro areas, ie crowded. The coast rivers I know little about, until you get down to the Umpqua. Like said though, the fly water is inland quite a ways. Nice drive following the river over the mountain, just time consuming. The lower Umpqua is gear water, you would not be happy there.
 

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Realistic plan based on the data you gave us:

Two days on the D, or if you need to stay closer to PDX one of those days, one day on the D, one day on the Clack

Unless there's been rain the coast trip will be good sight seeing and the chances of hitting the weather pattern right that time of year is slim. There are a few coast rivers that still have hatchery runs and one with wild fish but the detour you need to fish those in the right places is going to kill your 2 hours on its own. You could bring a trout rod and hit some of the lagoons/lakes for SRCs, but if it were me, I'd just be a tourist with the lady and bank your brownie points for the next time you need them.

-John
 

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Send me a PM if you're looking to spend a few hours at a couple different runs on the Clack or Sandy for a day, if I'm around I'd be happy to show you.
 

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If there were only one month to last all year (steelhead wise), September would be it! Too many places to explore but ideally you’ll link with somebody in the know or get some good beta right before on current conditions and/or how to get down to Notellem Creek. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the advice and PMs! After a quick visit to the coast between Lincoln and Florence we head to North Umpqua (3.5 days). Once back in Portland I hope to get a day trip on the Deschutes. It sounds like the Clack and Sandy can be fun if the flows are up and pulling fish up river. Need to research the North Umpqua for access to the river. Looking forward to this trip and thanks again.
 

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Thanks Rifflehitch. That looks great. Hopefully we can end there and get a day on the Deschutes. Two bucket list rivers for sure.



As Coalbe mentioned there are so many options. Any rivers to access relatively close to Portland I could check out while my wife has classes until 1300hrs? Thanks


The Clackamas and Sandy rivers are probably your best bet if you want to swing in the AM when your wife is off at conference. September usually is challenging due to low and warm water. Though there are some fish around. In September you may have a chance at some coho too. Nice time to visit and get a line wet . The North Umpqua is easy access. On the south side of the river there is a trail along the river. It is basically all public access.


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