We’re enjoying the beginning of Spring in the Pacific Northwest. Most Oregon schools will be on spring break next week, with Washington schools out the first week of April. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city by heading to the coast is always a nice treat. While the kids may be begging to visit The Tillamook Cheese Factory, don’t forget that some of the best steelhead fishing in the Northwest takes place in Tillamook.
Within 20 minutes of Tillamook there are five rivers – the Nehalem, Kilchis, Wilson, Trask and Nestucca Rivers. Having this many rivers gives us a number of options as we deal with water levels and trends in productivity. All five rivers offer robust wild returns. The Nestucca and Wilson both have hatchery steelhead that can be retained through March and even into April. Some of the bigger brood fish are just heading up the rivers now.
Remember that snowpack I talked about earlier this month? Springers aren’t the only fish that love it. Tillamook steelhead do as well. Recent warm weather melted any remaining snow in the Coastal Range. Combine that with a few rainy days, and the rivers rose. The Wilson River is a good place to fish right now. We can run 3-4 people in a sled (power) boat, or 2-3 people in a drift boat, with a limit of 2 hatchery fish per angler.
Just today we brought in a steelhead that tipped the scales at 16 pounds! Beautiful fillets to throw on the grill for dinner. It’s a quick and scenic drive from the valley if you don’t already have a beach trip planned.
If you’re looking to do some fishing in the next few weeks, don’t forget about the amazing steelhead in Tillamook. Maybe a trip to the coast is just what you need.