This is going to be a short post, because there really isn’t a whole lot to say. I was lured to the Bull Run River with promises of being able to keep up to five hatchery trout, and it is open for salmon and steelhead too. This made me think the river would be packed with fish. The Bull Run Reservoir is Portland’s main water source, and although on the map there are roads that follow the river up to the reservoir, they are gated and closed off to the public not far upstream from Dodge Park. Really the only access to the river is at Dodge Park, where the Bull Run enters the Sandy. The main portion of the park is on the Sandy side of the river, but there is another little parking lot along the Bull Run. From there parking lot there is access downstream to the confluence, which has couple runs and some pocket water. Within five minutes I hooked two eight inchers on a #2 black and brass spinner, but nothing after that.
A small trail follows the river upstream for maybe a quarter mile until it runs into a fence with a “No Trespassing” sign. I’m sure the more intrepid could walk up along the high-water mark, but at this part of the stream it turned into very shallow, fast moving water.
There are definitely spots fish could be hiding, and they managed to remain hidden from me.
The ODFW regs talk about a fish weir that hasn’t been built yet. When that happens it will further diminish access to the river—75 yards downstream and 200 yards upstream—leaving the angler with hardly any access at all.
If you stop at Dodge Park while fishing the Sandy, head over to the parking lot to try your hand for a couple of trout, but don’t bother planning a fishing trip around Bull Run River.