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.
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.
When winter steelhead season comes into full swing, I’m definitely going to go explore the full 18 miles of river.
It’s finally trout season in Oregon! Beyond lake fishing, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot available to the trout angler west of the Cascades. Most of the trout streams are in Central Oregon, but some good fun can be had chasing cutthroat in the coastal streams. Continue reading
Author’s note: This is a belated post. The North Fork Trask closes March 31. Be sure to check your regs!
The Trask quickly became my favorite river of 2017. I’ve seen, hooked, and landed more steelhead on this river in the past four months than ever before. Continue reading
This one is a little out of the way. The Salmonberry is a tributary of the Nehalem, and about 1.5 hours out of Portland off Hwy 26. The disaffected Old Tillamook Railroad runs from the coast almost into the city along the Salmonberry and the Nehalem. Continue reading
The “snowpocalypse” put fishing on hold for almost a month in Oregon as everything froze over, was covered in snow, then spent another week thawing and blowing out all the local rivers. My cabin fever symptoms were somewhat assuaged by the arrival in the mail of Jed Davis’ Spinner Fishing for Steelhead, which I had time to read while stuck indoors. Continue reading
After two unsuccessful days on big water, I decided to go back to my roots with smaller-stream fishing. The Big Nehalem was a bust for me this past summer, so I was a little apprehensive about it; too big and slow for my spinners, but the North Fork is a much smaller stream, and more to my liking. Continue reading
We spent a few days out at the coast, so I thought I’d test out my bigger-water chops. This was the tail-end of the fall Coho run, and since my first steelhead last month, I’ve been itching to catch bigger fish. A tip pointed me toward the Wheeler dock, right in the center of the town along Hwy 101. Continue reading