Looking for Walk/Wade rivers in Oregon & Washington

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by itsbenlong, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. I am trying to plan a steelhead road trip in the fall and would like to ask for some advice on rivers in Oregon or Washington. I will mainly be swinging & skating with my spey rod but will have a single hand rod with me as well. I am looking for the following:

    1. Good Walk & Wade Rivers
    2. Best months to fish them
    3. Places to camp along the way (not so important as the above)
    4. Olympic Peninsula info...
    5. Rivers close to other rivers that can be fished in the same day.
    6. The less people the better...not afraid of a hike :)

    I would preferably like to find water I can access from Hwy 5 (not along the hwy, but within an hour or two from it). However, anything coastal is of interest as well.

    Typically how I fish in my area (Klamath/Trinity) is drive, park, climb, crawl, fish, climb, crawl, drive over and over throughout the day. lol

    I can't afford a guide, but would love to meet some folks to fish with or just chat with along the way.

    Thank you!
  2. North fork of the still has a lot of wade access.
  3. Skagit, Cascade, Sauk and Stilly would be a fun few days in August or September.
  4. Hope this helps;)

    Attached Files:

    Pat Lat likes this.
  5. The Mouth of the Deschutes is a little over an hour East of I5. Best months late July through November (best numbers, but also most crowded - Sept/Oct). State campground at mouth. Good wade-able swing water from about 1mile up from mouth for a number of miles on up. Other choices fish able in the same day - Hood River, John Day River, and (across the Columbia in WA) the Klickitat.

    The Sandy and Clackamas are both near I 5 have decent steelhead runs from now through the fall, have some state and county campgrounds, have a considerable amount of wade able swing water, and can be fished on the same day.

    Going on down I 5 you cross the Santiam river. Both the North fork and the South fork each have several miles wade accessible swing water. I don't know about campgrounds on the South Santiam, but there are several on the N. Santiam. Best months are probably late July through October.

    You're probably more familiar with the rivers further south ( N. Umpqua, Rogue, Illinois, Elk, Sixes, & Chetco) than I am.
  6. Thanks everyone for sharing!

    Hey double B (BaldBob), thanks a bunch for all the info. Looking forward to researching all these places. By the time I'm ready to head out I'll need a month to fish all these great rivers.
  7. If u wanna do stilly this summer shoot me a pm. I have found a lot of access and if u hit it mid weeks u may not even see another steelhead fisherman. It's also fly only
  8. I will definitely pm you if I make it that far up....might have to do a fly to Seattle trip just to fish that river and the surrounding area....thanks BT
  9. Definitely N Umpqua in August. If you are as far north as Portland during mid-week (I don't fish weekends as that is family time), send me a PM, I can show you some places. Lots of rivers meet your needs.
  10. Thanks rmflyrods......

    I will definitely hit you up with a PM if I end up in that area.....

    I have always wanted to fish the N Umpqua....

    I think it will take my lifetime to hit even a small percentage of all the water I want to be on. Not sure if this post helped my cause or not...lol

    It looks like it has turned my trip into 10 trips. Guess that isn't a bad thing but sounds expensive. :)
  11. And you haven't even touched east of the Cascades as you limited yourself to near I-5. When you add the Columbia tribs for summer runs, your list will grow to way more than 10 trips, LOL!
  12. No kidding freestone! I got myself in deep on this one! Sounds like a lifetime of good times is ahead of me though, as long as we can manage to keep those runs in order for years to come.
    plaegreid likes this.
  13. Regarding the Olympic Peninsula rivers all of them are walk/wade accessible. And none of them are far from a paved road for most of their lengths. There isn't any secret to fish any of them either, just read the water and fish for steelhead, coho, and searun cutthroat in the type of water each likes to lie in and fish with tactics each species responds to. There are also many clearly marked public fishing access sites on the OP rivers and you can access the rivers at any bridge crossing. Granted you may have to walk a few hundred yards to find good water, but it is beautiful scenery.

    There is a lot of water within an hour of I-5 all the way from the border city of Vancouver on the Washington side of the Columbia River all the way up to northern Puget Sound. And all of the rivers have public fishing access sites on them. A Washington Gazetteer and the Amato Publication WASHINGTON RIVER MAPS will shows you were to access them at the well-known access points.
  14. Thanks FT....I was looking for some good access maps....We have Streamtime maps down here which can be really handy....

  15. I don't know of any published maps for NW Oregon and Washington can compare to those streamtime maps. I've got the streamtime map for the Rogue and that thing is worth it's weight in gold.
  16. Your not kidding! Hands down, the best fishing maps I have ever come across. My guess is, there are many people out there that would like to do away with them as well. lol

    I bought everyone made my Streamtime over the years, but haven't had the chance to use all of them yet....:)

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