Kilchis River

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About equidistant from Portland as the Trask, the Kilchis flows into Tillamook bay just north of the Wilson, and is one of two rivers with a run of chum salmon (C&R only). It’s a short river, and the only bank access starts above the “logger bridge” and fee parking lot. This is definitely the hot spot on the river where the majority of anglers congregate. Fishing in Oregon says the chum don’t go much higher than here, and spawn in the gravel beds upstream of the parking lot. If you’re out there, be careful not to stomp through the redds. The north bank leads up to the Kilchis county park, a fee park with some access and a river trail. Crossing over the logger bridge leads to Kilchis River Road and six and a half miles of salmon fishing up to the next bridge and deadline. Of course, when I was there pods of salmon were milling around in the pools just above the deadline and out of legal reach.

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There’s lots of access along the Kilchis Forest Road, with plenty of pullouts worth exploring. The only caveat is that the banks can be steep to get down to the river, which can leave you hauling yourself up or down by roots and branches. The drive and hike is definitely worth it as the upper river is spectacular, and holds plenty of fish.

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When winter steelhead season comes into full swing, I’m definitely going to go explore the full 18 miles of river.

 

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