The Chetco River, as is typical of the Pacific coastal rivers, is dominated by trout and salmon. It also has a large population of winter steelhead, fall Chinook Salmon and sea run Cutthroat Trout. There is also the occasional Coho and Chum Salmon found on the river. The upper portions of the river and its streams are loaded with Rainbow and Cutthroat trout. The Chetco possesses some of the highest salmon smolt returns of any coastal river in Oregon.
The Deschutes River
The Deschutes River is world renowned for its fly fishing on the upper portion of the river. The last two weeks in May through the first two weeks in June, fly fishermen from around the world travel to the Deschutes to take advantage of the Stonefly hatch. The Deschutes produces a unique native strain of rainbow trout locally known as ‘Redsides’ or Redband Trout. These trout grow larger and stronger than most and have a darker red stripe. Warm Springs to Macks Canyon is the most popular location to fish for Redsides. The Warm Springs Indian Reservation owns certain portions of the Deschutes River. Fishing from these tribal lands does require a special permit.
Steelhead fishing is done on the Deschutes from the mouth of the Deschutes on the Columbia to Round Butte Dam. Spring and Fall Chinook Salmon fishing is also abundant from the mouth of the Deschutes to Sherars Falls.
Elk River holds a large population of Chinook salmon, Coho, Steelhead and Cutthroat Trout. The river is also open to fall salmon, winter steelhead and trout fishing starting in late spring. There are several areas to fish from the bank and for drift boat take outs. The most sought after fish of course is the fall Salmon run on the Elk River.
The majority of the river’s path runs through the High and Western Cascades and the Klamath Mountains. The Klamath Rivers ecosystem ranges from high desert country to lush, green forests full of redwoods and underbrush. The Klamath is known for its fall Salmon runs and is also fishable for trout and steelhead in the right seasons.
Oregon’s Smith River offers fishing for Shad, Striped Bass, Steelhead and fall Chinook. This is primarily a catch-and-release river so if you are just looking to spend a day fishing, but don’t plan on having fish for dinner, it’s a great place to be.
The North Umpqua is one of the best fly fishing areas in the Northwest and is also known for its salmon and steelhead fishing.
The South Umpqua is known for its Small Mouth Bass fishing from early spring through the summer months, and winter Steelhead from December through early March. Although there is a large fall run of salmon on the South Umpqua, fishing for them on this fork of the river is illegal.
The Main or Lower Umpqua is the river formed by the joining of the North and South branches of the river. This portion of the river provides fishing opportunities year round: there is salmon fishing in the fall and spring, steelhead fishing in the winter and summer, and sturgeon fishing year round. This portion of the Umpqua also provides Striped Bass fishing. Around the Elkton area, starts the area for Small Mouth Bass and Shad fishing along with salmon and steelhead.
The Rogue is most famous for its Salmon and Steelhead runs but provides a wide variety of year round fishing opportunities, including Chinook and Coho Salmon, Steelhead, Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Catfish and Sturgeon.
The Upper Rogue River provides a large variety of fishing opportunities: the middle section of the Rogue produces fall and spring Chinook, Coho in the fall and an amazing summer and winter Steelhead run. This section of the river also provides the opportunity to catch some very large Rainbow Trout.
The Lower portion of the Rogue River boasts great runs of summer and winter Steelhead, a large variety of trout and possibly even Catfish for the lucky ones. The bottom half of the Lower runs summer and winter Steelhead, spring and fall Chinook and Coho. The portion of the Lower Rogue near the Pacific Ocean also produces the opportunity to fish for Perch, Lingcod, and Sturgeon.
The Coquille River is comprised of four rivers that come together – the South Fork, Middle Fork, North Fork and East Fork. The Middle Fork feeds into the South Fork and the East Fork feeds into the North Fork. The North and South Forks come together in Myrtle Point, OR.
The main Coquille River is 36.3 miles long with its start in Myrtle Point, running its course through Coquille to Bandon where it empties into the Pacific Ocean. The main portion of the Coquille River is well fished for its fall Chinook, Coho and Sturgeon. Steelhead also run this area in the winter. There are several locations between Coquille and Bandon for launching boats and fishing from the bank. In the fall you will find many fishermen also trolling the bar for Salmon.
The South Fork of the Coquille has an excellent winter steelhead run lasting from December through March with its peak steelhead run being in January. Some also fish for fall Chinook on this river.
The North Fork not only provides Salmon and Steelhead fishing, but a large variety of other fish such as Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass and Yellow Bass.