- Famed rivers, pristine streams, and ideal climate make the Mt. Hood National Forest a paradise for fly fishermen.
- Seven major rivers, including the Hood, Deschutes, and Sandy, offer a fertile fishing ground for all expertise levels.
- The fast deep waters of the Columbia River are ideal for trolling.
The massive Columbia and famed Deschutes Rivers flow nearby; the lesser-known rivers Hood, Wind, Sandy, Klickitat, and Clackamas offer fertile fishing sites, and many pristine mountain streams and lakes accent the area as well. Steelhead is the primary catch in the region, but rainbow and cutthroat trout and salmon can be caught with flies here too.
Best Fishing Spots
Here’s a short list of some of the best fishing spots in or near the Mt. Hood National Forest. It’s important to note that most of the wild fish populations are catch-and-release only. Some spots are seeded with hatchery fish, whose fins are clipped for identification—these catches can be keepers.
- The Columbia River offers fantastically deep waters that are great for trolling with live bait and spinners.
- The Little Deschutes, near Maupin. Open June-August for trout and steelhead.
- Deschutes River downstream from Wickiup Reservoir, for trout, steelhead, and whitefish.
- Hood River off Highway 35, for both summer and winter steelhead February-July.
- The Sandy River near Portland, for salmon.
A huge variety of fishing excursions, tours, equipment rentals, and instruction can be found in the Mt. Hood National Forest, so interested travelers are strongly encouraged to explore the outfitters and guides listed below to help plan their trip to this fishing paradise.