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).
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.
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.
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 (www.hellscanyonadventures.com).
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.
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Anglers like their tools close by. And it's even better if it's connected to you so it doesn't go in the drink. T-Reign retractable gear tethers hold onto your pliers, hemostats or landing net. Several size options. Carabiner connects to D-ring, belt loop or strap, or use the stainless steel clip on belt or pack.
Suzuki DF15A/20A EFI
Suzuki's two new four-stroke, two-cylinder portable outboards have a compression reduction system for easier starting. The 20hp tiller model weighs 97 pounds the eletric-start model weighs 106 pounds. Single overhead cam, four-valve engine with Suzuki's Lean Burn Control and bat-tery-less electronic fuel injection. Built for running in skinny water, both motors come with five tilt pin positions and 15- or 20-inch shaft.
Rapala is hoping the new Scatter Rap Series lures and their 'œevasive action' will be as popular as the original 'œwounded minnow' style action that the company is famous for. The new lure has a 'œScatter Lip' that creates an evasive, erratic, aggressive sweep-ing action. Ideal for multispecies gamefish, the Scatter Rap Series is available in 14-16 classic and new color patterns. Baits 5- to 9-feet deep.
MSRP, $18.95 per pair.
The original Gear Grabbar is a unique way to hold lures and tools at the ready in boats. But the new Lure Hangar is a step beyond. This is a 12- by 16 1/2-inch plate,m ade to mount on your gunwhale, that holds 16 or more lures. There's enough room for a selection of jig, plugs, topwaters or whatever other baits you want to hang.
Honda Marine's BF250 outboard is a 24-valve 3.6-liter V6 that uses varia-ble valve timing and lift electronic control (VTEC). Programmed fuel injection delivers the precise amount of fuel and air to each cylinder for easy starts and instant throttle re-sponse. 20-, 25- and 30-inch shaft models.
TACKLE TOTE VEST
If you wade when you fish, Fish-N-Hunt Pro Gear designed a Tackle Tote Vest that to keep gear accessible but dry when you're standing in deeper waters. It's adjustable, sturdy, has lots of pockets and a modest pricetag.
FLEX '˜N GO TACKLE SATCHEL
On-the-go anglers will find a lot to like in Plano's new Flex '˜N Go Tack-le Satchel. It features adjustable built-in storage with a deep bin on one side and framework for the pair of swap-pable Plano 3600 StowAway boxes on the other, each Stowaway held with a flexible strap.
www.cabelas.com Jackets MSRP, $249.99-$269;
Cabela's Guidewear raingear now comes in four distinct series. Bass Angler (pictured) jackets and bibs are built with the tournament bass angler in mind. Xtreme parkas and bibs will help anglers fishing Northern lakes and rivers. Tidal jackets and pants offer lightweight, waterproof and breathable protection. River Runner jackets are perfect for wading anglers.
BERKLEY JAR BAIT FOLDER
Anglers who use jar baits know it's a pain to carry more than a few. Berk-ley now has two Jar Bait Folders to keep the baits at hand and make them easy to transport. Model 1170 holds 10 jars. Model 1490 holds 16. Both have various pockets and a D-ring for pliers.
BERKLEY TRILENE XL
Berkley says they've improved a classic. New Trilene XL lines are now 10 percent stronger 20 percent more flexibility then they had been. Knot strength has also improved, said the company. Trilene XL has been around since 1972.
The new AV Micro is a complete underwater camera system that is the same size as a smart phone. On the boat or off the dock, use it to see where fish are hanging out. 3 1/2-inch diagonal display. Built-in rechargea-ble lithium ion batteries.
Smithwick Rogue's has been a stand-ard in bass-anglers' tackle boxes for years. Now they've got a new twist on the famous jerkbait. The
Perfect 10 Rogue has a new lip de-sign, to get deeper, quicker than other jerkbaits.
SIMMS WEATHER GEAR
MSRP, jacket $349, bibs $299.
Simms designed its Contender Gore-Tex jacket and bibs for anglers who need reliability when they are motor-ing on the water at 70 mph in rain and wind. Waterproof and breathable. Cuffs are water tight and adjustable.