The Clackamas River is really quite a remarkable river. It’s headwaters originate on Mt. Hood and the river gathers steam as it reaches the town of Estacada. River Mill Dam is the upriver deadline for most anglers although native steelhead and Salmon will move through the recently improved fish ladder for traditional spawning grounds. The Clackamas finishes it’s run from Mt. Hood by dumping in the Willamette River between Gladstone and Oregon City.
The Clackamas provides anglers with a Spring Chinook run, a fair summer steelhead run, Coho returns and a very good winter steelhead fishery. Most of my fishing on the Clackamas River is on Spring Chinook in May and Clackamas River winter steelhead December through April.
Clackamas River Spring Chinook begin arriving in April and remain available for those that can navigate the river well into July. Most of the fishing by anglers is done into the month of June and most of my fishing is done in the month of May. Clackamas River Spring Chinook love fresh eggs presented in a variety of ways. It’s close proximity to the Willamette River allows us to fish both rivers on a lot of our trips.
Clackamas River winter steelhead begin showing up in December and remain in good numbers through April. The Clackamas River winter steelhead return is a combination of hatchery fish headed to Eagle Creek, Natives returning throughout the system and a hatchery broodstock run that is the main attraction for anglers. Although many methods will work for anglers from a boat, side drifting probably accounts for 90% of the catch. You can learn more about fishing for winter steelhead on the Clack by visiting my Clackamas River winter steelhead page.
For any questions you might have about Clackamas River fishing, or to simply book a trip, email me, or call (503) 680-6809.