Your Best Spring Fishing in Oregon

Whether you're planning on hitting the steelhead or spring fishing in Oregon for smallbouth bass, these are the top places in the Pacific Northwest you definitely won't want to miss.



Clackamas River, OR

Steelhead are in the Clackamas year-round, but the best month of all may be March, when winter steelhead fill the river. Look for steelhead all the way from the mouth at Clackamette Park up to McIver.

The best bets in March are from Barton to Carver or McIver Park to Barton. From the bank, you can drift bait, run a jig and float or cast a spinner. If you head upstream to fish Eagle Creek or in the McIver run, bring a fly rod or a jig-and-float setup.

For up-to-date stream flows, call the PGE Fish Line at (503) 464-7474. For other information, check in with Fisherman's Marine and Outdoors (503-557-3313).

Other Choices

For loads of steelhead in clear pocket water, head to the Oregon's Wallowa.

Washington's best stream trout fly-fishing can be found in Rocky Ford.


Rainbow trout

Detroit Lake, OR

High in Oregon's North Cascades, Detroit Lake is a best bet for a limit of rainbows.

For the best chance for a big walleye, drift a bottom-walking rig on the middle Columbia during the first two weeks of April.


Smallmouth bass

Hells Canyon, OR

One-hundred-fish days? You can have them on the Snake River and her impoundments in Hells Canyon. The action heats up when the daytime temperatures hit the lower 70s and 80s.

Use a leadhead jig and a tube with a color that matches the bottom. The trick is to get the bait as close to the rocky structure as possible, bump the bottom, crawl over the rocks, fall down the other side, like a crayfish on the move.

For a guided trip, try Hells Canyon Adventures (

Other Choices

Ring the dinner bell for Odell Lake mackinaw up to 30 pounds and bigger.

Lake Billy Chinook's bull trout bite heats up when the water temperature clicks up a couple of degrees at the end of the month.

Few lakes can top little Honeoye, in Ontario County, for numbers "keeper" largemouths. Experienced bass anglers often do 40 or 50 bass a day.

Don't forget to share your best fishing photos with us on Camera Corner for your chance to win free gear!

Recommended Videos

New From FAB Defense: GL Core S Butt Stock

Donald Wright offers this overview of FAB Defense's new compact butt stock.

Bear and Son Cutlery 751 Bird and Turkey Knife

Matt Griffey talks about what makes this knife so versatile.

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.