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I have an opportunity to relocate from Baltimore, MD to either Portland, OR (or up the valley) or Seattle, WA in the coming year. Without getting into any regional "issues" between the two (if they exist) I was wondering what the respective fishing communities and opportunities are like?

I've been to Portland and the Deschutes several times, and Seattle proper twice (both times bright and sunny). Since this would be for several years to permanent I wanted to hear from my fellow Spey casters what you liked about each is (that's a broad statement I know) as far as fishing culture and even local culture.

Thank you.

-Chris
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Chris -

I guess it was your destiny :)

They are both very cool. The Seattle area has a stronger saltwater influence but a short drive from Portland and the magnificent Oregon coast is yours. Both cities have a cool kind of funky/funky but chic-ness to them, kind of a SFO'ish cultural richness blended with the wilderness touches of AK to the north. It really fit my taste in living. You can take in a four star dinner with local wines that compete internationally or do the slam n' eggs at Denny's and no one will look down (or up) to you. Pretty even-keeled compared to the cities of the east. Personally, I loved both cities and it was painful to leave the area. Looking out the window at blizzard du jour, it still is. Snow is pretty rare, and fishing is a 12 month a year affair.

Fishing:
Both are good, in fact Seattlites head south a lot and no Portlander's season is complete without a pilgrimage to mecca in the Cascades, OP, or BC. Portland has more prevalent summer fisheries with the Columbia and her tribs than Puget Sound, however the OP is no slouch and BC is closer in the fall. It's a toss up IMHO, they are both great for a spey fisher.

Weather:
The annual rainfall is actually less than most cities in the east... the 'gotcha' is the number of sunny days per year (or lack thereof). However, I didn't own a shovel and caught many a steelhead or salmon taking a few casts in formal attire on the way to meetings at work. My recommendation is to live somewhere that a deodara cedar, vine maples, and if you're lucky some mountains and water are in the picture window and avoid areas that are bound in concrete as gray on gray is ugly but hints of the rain forest in a drizzle in the yard are refreshing. Or better yet go fishing, you don't need to take a 6 month leave like we do in the east.

I was fortunate to live there for a large chunk of my life, best of luck if this happens.

Juro
 

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I'd pick Portland

Trout fishing is better in Oregon and the weather is better. Economically, Seattle is a little more vibrant. FWIW
 

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a/k/a loophitech
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relocation...

howdy wilson,

I second Juro's comments.

i too am a Maryland (Severn) transplant to Boston and now in the PNW. I think either city has more fishing oppurtunity within a reasonable distance than anyplace on the East Coast. If you are striper fan they are to be found in Southern Oregon and Cali and can be a real treat to get a fix on the striper fishing that I soooooo miss.

Being from MD and close to the Chesapeake Bay, I am a huge saltwater freak and there is plenty of sw fishing to be had ranging from the salmon runs in late june to january, to the sea run cutthroats and the resident silvers in narrows of tacoma. Oh yeah, steelhead too, :saeek:

Vinnie
 

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Portland

is my choice. My parents lived there for 30 years, I lived there a year after college, and spent many vacations there. My Uncle has the Upqua in his back yard (75 yards) in Reedsport. Where you work will probably determine where you live. My parents lived out Rt. 26, in an area called Rock Creek, near Hillsboro/Beaverton, very nice family area. If kids are involved, check the schools, they differ greatly from school district to school district. The bridges are the pits to commute on but nothing like around here (I'm in MD, too). The whole town is neat from downtown to all the suburbs. Lot's of good fly shops in the state.
Don
 

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JD
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Fwiw

Oregon has no sales tax. Washington has no state income tax.(last time I checked) Washington seems to take the position of pass any law to appease whoever makes enough noise, just don't enforce it. That way you please one side but don't P.O. the other. So the fish get the short end of the stick. Not that Oregon is perfect either. What else is new? I'm in Southern Oregon because #1, I knew someone here, #2, I got along better with a realtor down here than I did with any of them up there. :lildevl:
 

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As someone who lives very close to Portland I'd pick seattle in an absolute heart beat.. I am pretty opinionated but frankly i think the fishing close to Portland absolutely sucks. I'd rather be 2 hours from the Hoh than 20 minutes from the Sandy 10 times out of 10. I'd rather be closer to the Methow than the Deschutes even though i have never fished the Methow. The Deschutes steelhead fishery is FAR FAR too competitive for me to find any enjoyment at all. I'd literally rather stay home doing nothing than fish the "D". The ONLY thing Portland has going for it in my opinion is the reletive proximity of the North Oregon coast streams. Just my opinion but i'd rather be close to the Skagit Sauk and Sykomish..

that's just my strong opinion.. The Only thing Oregon has going for it is the North Umpqua...

On the other hand both would be about a billion times better than anywhere east of the Rockies..
 

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loco alto!
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Rob, are you using a time machine or hyperspace to get from Seattle to Hoh in 2 hrs? (insert haha here). Or was your post a sly attempt to send a potential competing angler farther north? (insert haha again). just kidding
 

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Wow! Steve you are right 3hr 45 minutes I thought it was a shorter trtip than that... But in all sincerity I could care less for the fishing around here, Sandy,Clackamas, Santiams, Willamette Deschutes even the wilson and Trask don't hold much interest. To be honest it stems from having known a couple fisheries since childhood and having them destroyed before my very eyes, I just cannot bring myself to invest myself that much to learn new fisheries , i don't have the energy to participate particularly when they arecompetitive like the Deschutes. Anymore I am only interested in fishing wild winter runs and summer runs that can be caught on floating lines and unweighted flies with little competition.. Fisheries other than that are so unappealing to me that i'd rather give up fishing than participate in them..
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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only interested in fishing wild winter runs and summer runs that can be caught on floating lines and unweighted flies with little competition.. Fisheries other than that are so unappealing to me that i'd rather give up fishing than participate in them..
Dude then do not move up here if you do not like competition. However it seems the amount of people willing to get to a run 2 hours before dark is still pretty low...

The fact is the oregon fish and game folks are much more fish friendly than ours up here. In portland you do have a ton of summer fishing avail and the cow is only an hour away if you really need a fish fix.

The BC rivers are even a long trip for us and adding another 3 hours is not a huge deal as trips into BC are usually planned trips of a week or so. Not really quick day trip type thing.

The OP really aint so far from portland either. About an hour more than from Seattle.

Our puget sounds rivers have been pretty poor the last few years and things do not look to be changing anytime soon. If I did not have a family that I dearly love I would be living in portland.

-sean
 

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Wilson,

I lived in Seattle area (Mt. Lake Terrace/Edmonds area) for 2 years in the early 80's, and I've lived in Portland for the last 15. I prefer Portland--smaller and still friendlier, IMO.

If you prefer winter steelheading, you may prefer the Seattle area; if you prefer summer steelheading, well, there's a difficult and very famous river in Oregon that has my heart, and that of quite a few others on this forum. I haven't had the chance to fish in British Columbia, but on the best coast of the US it's the greatest.

Rob,

You need to either (1) go fishing with me...it ain't that bad...or (2) have a kid and take him/her fishing so you can look at things with new eyes.

(1) I had a day last fall on a PDX river where I had 10 grabs from 7 fish in 3 hours. Floating line, waking fly. If I wasn't so twitchy I would have hooked most of them instead of just 3, but it wasn't the fishies fault. Only two other anglers in sight. Of course, I'd rather be on the NU 10 times out of 10, but still...

As for (2) and the D, last weekend was reasonably busy, but we found a number of empty back eddies. At the first Roman had 2 strikes from redsides>16", and at another we fished for an hour without moving, because fish were feeding frantically all around us. We didn't do well, but that was our fault, not the fish. Plus the weekend of the D steelhead rondi last year, Olga and I had no trouble finding good water empty. (Empty of fish for us, too, but...) I agree that we need to beat up all the competitive types, though. :lildevl:

I even think SSPey enjoyed the fruitless afternoon we spent on a PDX river last week--though we found no fish (I know little about winter fish on the fly, and less about the local rivers), we had plenty of good-looking water to ourselves.

I don't mean to get on your case, but have some fun! Bass season is a-comin', anyway, so I know you'll be OK, but cheer up, friend...

--Bill
 

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Portland would be my choice. Oregon is much, much more proactive with it's fish management strategy than Washington. You have a lot of great fishing within a short radius and you don't have the serious traffic problem that Seattle has.
Chris
 

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quality of life vs. fishing (like there is a difference?)

Born and raised in Seattle, lived in PDX for 4 years.

Quality of life - I think PDX wins (but not by a whole lot) smaller city and more "manageable" but still has the nice downtown, great eats, better weather (warmer summers, more sunny days). Just a great city - Seattle is a close second but it's just getting kinda huge! Oh, but the scenery in Seattle with all the surrounding water (P Sound, Lake WA) blows away Portland - and you'll be seeing alot of it sitting in the Seattle traffic!

Fishing - Seattle wins (but not by a landslide) the D is pretty crowded as others note. Stilli, Sky, OP, Skagit, BC, Sauk - hard to beat for tossing a Spey... Good trout fishing as well on the Yak (although it's getting to be crazy as well), Eastern WA lakes are great.
 
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