What You Need to Know About Willamette River Fishing

view of the santiam river, a branch of the willamette river

Oregon is brimming with fantastic fishing. The abundance of rushing rivers and sparkling lakes provide the ideal environment for all kinds of fish, drawing many outdoor adventurers to try their hand at catching the next big one. The Willamette River is a major river that is home to many kinds of fish. Here’s what you need to know about Willamette River fishing!    

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Willamette River Fishing

The Willamette River is one of the best places in the state of Oregon to catch a variety of species of fish. It flows from the Cascades and Coast Range and connects to the Columbia River in Portland, leaving a broad expanse teeming with all kinds of opportunity.

Types of Fish

You’ll find Chinook and Coho salmon, various kinds of trout including Steelhead, rainbow, and cutthroat, sturgeon, smallmouth and largemouth bass, crappie, walleye, catfish, and American shad when fishing the Willamette River.

You’ll also find yellow perch, sunfish (including bluegill), suckers, carp, northern pikeminnows (squawfish), peamouth, and even starry flounder sometimes.

It’s an impressive range, but some sections of the river produce more results than others. Time of year matters, too, and there are always many different ways to fish—by boat, from the shore, by wading in—the list stretches on.

Of course, the challenge is half the fun! For tips and suggestions on fishing strategy, “Best Fishing in America” covers how to best fish different sections of the Willamette River. Be sure to familiarize yourself with Willamette River fishing regulations before you go!

Willamette River Guides

If you’d like a little help navigating the waters of the Willamette River, there are a few different guides in the area that will be more than happy to help you. You can book trips centered around catching specific fish or bound for a specific destination on the river. Utilizing a guide is a convenient option if this is your first time fishing the Willamette River or if you don’t have gear with you.

Best Time to Go Fishing on the Willamette River

That all depends on what you’re looking to catch! Chinook salmon have runs in both spring and fall. You can catch Coho salmon during the fall, sturgeon during much of the year, and Steelhead trout during both winter and summer.

Other Places to Fish in the Willamette Valley

The Willamette River is one of many in the valley that offer excellent fishing. The Umpqua River, Columbia River, and Rogue River are some other fantastic destinations. Still bodies of water include the St. Louis Ponds, Walter Wirth Lake, Walling Pond, the Silverton Reservoir, Huddleston Pond, and Sheridan Pond.

These are just a few of the endless places to go fishing. For more information, check out the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. They’ve got all kinds of great resources, including recommendations like 50 places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Portland and their map for anglers with disabilities.

Stay in the Lovely Willamette Valley

What You Need to Know About Willamette River Fishing 1Wake up and be within a short drive from some of the best fishing in Oregon when you stay with us! Youngberg Hill presides atop a 50-acre hilltop 20 minutes from downtown McMinnville and about an hour from Portland. However, when you relax on our deck with a glass of award-winning wine, you’ll feel like you’re miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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