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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Clackamas River Recreation Corridor

If you are visiting the Portland area, fishing the Clackamas River or are just up for some exploring the Clackamas River corridor has a lot to offer.  Following HWY 224 to Estacada the opportunities for outdoor excitement billow around you with plenty of options.  Parks along the Clackamas River such as Barton Park, McIver Park and others offer plenty of outdoor rec ideas.  The drive up 224 can be stunning as you enter the upper river canyon; wildlife viewing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, hiking, photography and fishing options are nearly endless just minutes from Portland.

Along the lower Clackamas River at Baron park you might meet with friends to play a game of softball, run the dog or go fishing.  Pickniking options abound at Barton and McIver Park.  McIver Park which is farther up river and closer to the town of Estacada offers fishing access, camping and a popular Frisbe Golf course.

Barton Park has some great fishing opportunities for Steelhead, Chinook and coho.

Driving through the small town of Estacada one cannot help but stop at one of the unique coffee shops for some java or one of our favorites- the Harmony Bakery.  Established in 1984 this bakery has enormous donuts that will make your mouth water while oogling them through the glass before you even order. Homemade breads and great breakfasts are also found here.

Harmony Bakery is found on 221 SW Wade St Estacada, OR 97023 (503) 630-6857

You will also want to stop by the Fearless Brewing on your way back.  Great beer, burgers and a cool local make this a sure bet to fill the hungry on your way home from your Clackamas corridor adventure.

Headed up river east, past Estacada on Hwy 224 you will soon enter the Mt. Hood National Forest.  Check for details on what you may need for a forest park pass.  Hunting, hiking, fishing and more are natural fits for the Mt Hood National forest.  Located twenty miles east of the city of Portland, Oregon, and the northern Willamette River valley, the Mt. Hood National Forest extends south from the strikingly beautiful Columbia River Gorge across more than sixty miles of forested mountains, lakes and streams to Olallie Scenic Area, a high lake basin under the slopes of Mt. Jefferson and encompasses the entire upper reaches of the Clackamas River.

Hiking along the upper Clackamas in Spring
Trilliums line the trail in shady forested areas
The bloom of a salmon berry bush
The upper Clackamas in April can have a good volume of water from snow melt.
Lush vegetation is common along Clackamas corridor trails

Wild steelhead are and important and precious resource in the Clackamas basin
 and must be released unharmed.

Fish Creek is a wild fish sanctuary on the upper Clackamas

Hiking, fishing, hunting and whitewater sports are all found in the Upper Clackamas River corridor.  This area is a key spawning zone for wild steelhead and salmon.  One of the last remaining late arriving wild coho runs in the entire Columbia basin has it's strong hold in the upper Clackamas watershed.  Important care must be given when fishing the upper watershed of the Clackamas; wild juvenile salmon and steelhead call this place home for several years before they go to sea.  Carefully release these fish and check your regulations carefully before you fish, many sections of the upper Clackamas are closed to fishing.  Lakes such as: Harriet Lake, Ollalie Lake, Timothy Lake, and Trillium lake offer great fishing for planted and holdover rainbow trout, some browns, and the elusive brook trout.  

For great fishing options on the Clackamas river contact a local, professional fishing guide.  We recommend Rob Crandall of Water Time Outfitters.  Rob grew up on the banks of the Clackamas and can help you find your next adventure.  See more about great fishing options at: 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Clackamas Steelhead Hit Prime Time

It's prime time on the Clackamas for Steelhead fly fishing.  This close to Portland, destination river offers year round fishing opportunities but for those who swing the fly with spey rods, this is prime time.  Water temperatures are starting to warm from the winter chilly readings, the spring foliage is budding out in brilliant shades and three strains of steelhead are steeming up the Clack right now.

While you may see ducks, geese, osprey, deer, beaver, or bald eagles it is the steelhead we are after right now.  Chrome bright fresh arriving wild, hatchery spring fish and hatchery summer fish are all overlapping right now.

See more about fishing the Clackamas River with Rob Crandall in his Jet boat or drift boat at:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Clackamas River- Oregon's Steelhead Hideaway Close to Home

Want to chase steelhead but not too sure about freezing your toes off in BC?  The Clackamas River right  in Oregon is home to steelhead nearly year-round and it is minutes from the Portland airport.  Not far from the large metropolitan city of Portland, OR the Clackamas River drains an 80 plus mile system flowing off the shoulder of Mt. Hood.  The variety of species in the Clackamas make it a great destination for those who love anadromous species.  That is, spring chinook salmon, fall coho, winter, spring and summer steelhead can all be found in the Clackamas River.  So, skip the long flights to BC and other regions; come visit family, take a break and go find some fish near Portland.

The Clackamas River in Spring

The Clackamas River lends itself to a variety of fishing options and there are a handful of fishing guides who offer different strategies for chasing wily salmonids.  Our favorite is to catch steelhead on the fly rod and Rob Crandall of Water Time Outfitters has done just that for his whole life.  "I grew up on the Clackamas," says Rob.  "I have fished it my whole life, finding steelhead on the fly rod is my favorite thing!"  See more about Rob Crandall and his favorite fishing at:

Fish run timing on the Clackamas provides opportunities year round.  Winter run steelhead start showing in December and run all the way through May.  Summer steelhead, a incredible tough fighter, come into the river as early as March and arrive through July; staying in the river through the winter of the following year.  Spring Chinook salmon show in the Clackamas in April and are found through June.  Fall salmon make their way into the Clackamas in September and October.  These are mainly coho headed to the Eagle Creek hatchery a tributary of the Clackamas.
Summer Run Steelhead like this one provide great fishing opportunities.

Favorite methods for catching fish in the Clackamas range from bait fishing, bobber and jig fishing, to fly fishing.  "My favorite way to catch steelhead is on the swung fly."  says Rob Crandall.  Fishing the swung fly the angler sweeps his fly across the water searching for aggressive fish to take the fly.  Here the name of the game is to cover a lot of water.  Cast, swing, step down; repeat is the mantra of these anglers.

Wild steelhead from the Clackamas are tough fish!

When a fish does take the fly with the swung fly strategy the take is unmistakable!  The solid grab on the end of the line is an electrifying and addicting way to catch fish.

Find out more about catching steelhead on the fly rod at: