Copyright 2019 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Clackamas River Oregon
The Clackamas River is an 83 mile long river that's a
tributary of the Willamette River in northwestern Oregon.
The headwaters of the Clackamas River are in the
Cascades' Mount Hood National Forest. It drains a
rugged heavily forested area of the Cascades and flows
through the North Fork Reservoir at Estacada. About
half the length of the river is designated as a National
Wild and Scenic River. It joins the Willamette River near
Oregon City. Fly fishing the Clackamas River offers a
great variety of opportunities depending on the season.
The Clackamas River has runs of Coho salmon, spring
and fall Chinook salmon, and summer and winter
steelhead. The river has both hatchery and wild
steelhead. In fact, your find different strains of
steelhead in the river almost year-round.
Fin-clipped hatchery Coho salmon enter the river in
September and remain though October. Spring run
Chinook salmon enter the river in April.
The first run of winter steelhead return to the Eagle
Creek fish hatchery. Eagle Creek is a tributary of the
Clackamas river. These steelhead are in the Clackamas
River from about the middle of December through
January. Most of the wild steelhead start entering the
river in late January and remain through the month of
May. There's also a Skamania Summer steelhead run.
These fish are present in the Clackamas River from
about the first of March and remain there into June.
Rainbow and cutthroat trout are present in the upper
basin of the Clackamas River as well as its small
tributary streams. Hatchery trout are stocked in all of
the upper basin lakes. Mountain Whitefish are also
plentiful in the upper section of the river..
The steelhead fishing is at its best from about the middle
of February through May.
Summer run steelhead enter the Clackamas River in
Fly fishing the upper headwaters of the Clackamas River
for rainbow and cutthroat is good throughout the
Early Fall is generally good for Coho Salmon.
|Type of Stream
Steelhead (Wild and Hatchery)
Rainbow Trout (Wild)
Cutthroat - Sea Run
Cutthroat Trout (Native)
Small to Large
Varies by species. See current
State of Oregon
National Weather Service
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Flies
USGS Stream Flow Data:
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
For Steelhead and Salmon
7, 8 , 9 or 10 weight for appropriate type
rod, sinking, sinking tip and floating
10#, 12# in 9 to 15 feet lengths
10# and 12#
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly 7, 8, 9 and 10 ft. single hand
For 7 to 10 weight lines
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
KISS Strike Indicators, Lanyards, etc.
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Clackamas River Fishing Report:
Clackamas River Fishing Report
(Bottom Of Page)
12/28/13 Steelhead are being caught in the lower
Melting snow and rain have the Clackamas in good
shape. Both hatchery and wild steelhead are being
caught. Fish are being caught up to the mouth of
Eagle Creek. Two customers ordered flies. They are
indicator fishing using our Black stoneflies, Green
Sedge and Cinnamon Sedge steelhead nymphs.
01/04/14 Considering the low water/little rain
situation, the Clackamas River is in good shape.
Anglers are catching a few wild and hatchery fish.
01/18/14 Conditions are much better with higher water
levels. Steelhead are being caught between
Gladestone and Barton.
01/25/14 Low water temperatures (about 39) has
the catching down some but still lots of fish are
being caught. It has been crowed at time. Our
customers reporting our Perfect fly Spey patterns
have been producing well.
02/01/14 The river is back low again and few
anglers are fishing. When the water was up,
there was several fish caught and a few are
being caught even with the low water conditions.
02/08/14 Good news. Melting snow and rain will
greatly improve the fishing later this coming
week. It will be important to keep a check on
the levels and adjust your fishing accordingly.
02/15/14 Currently the stream levels are
very high due to recent rain (blown out)
and there is more to come for the coming
week. More steelhead have entered the
river and fishing should improve big time.
02/22/14 Stream levels have dropped some
but are still high. More rain is in the forecast.
There are plenty of steelhead in the river but
better stream level conditions needed.
03/01/14 Winter steelhead remained fair this
past week. Fish were caught mostly from
Gladstone to McIver Park. Much more rain is
in the forecast, so be sure to check the flows.
03/08/14 There are plenty of winter steelhead
in the river but it is still very high. Fishing
should be great when the levels subside some.
03/15/14 Water levels have subsided some
and some anglers are giving it a shot. Less
rain is in the forecast so maybe it will settle
03/22/14 Several customers ordering flies,
mostly Spey flies, reported steelhead are
being caught in good numbers from Dog
Creek to Carver. Hopefully, these conditions
will continue for a few days.
03/29/14 Stream levels are very high, flowing
at 10,500 cfs and at 16.23 ft. Lots of rain is in
04/05/14 Stream levels are down and a few
summer run steelhead have been caught. A
few winters are still being caught. Look for
springers any day now.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
04/12/14 Fishing has been very good for winter
steelhead. Now is the time to get with it. Several
fish has been caught.
04/19/14 The stream is still in good shape and
plenty of steelhead are being caught.
04/26/14 A few steelhead, winter and summer
fish, are being caught from Gladstone up to
05/03/14 Same as it has been, very good for
this time of the year. Plenty of fish reported
caught this past week.
05/10/14 Stream levels are very high right now
but should be falling all week after today.
05/17/14 Stream levels are back down to a
normal level. Fishing should be good but for
some reason, we didn't hear from anyone this
05/24/14 There are summer steelhead
scattered throughout the river but especially
from Carver to Barton. A few late winter SH
have been caught. Plenty of springers are
being caught but few on the fly.
05/31/14 There are plenty of summer
steelhead throughout the system. The water
levels, etc. are in good condition.
06/07/14 Our local contact reports anglers are
having a ball catching the summer steelhead.
Conditions remain very good.
06/14/14 Lots of summer steelhead being
caught. Stream and weather onditions are good
in all respects. Cutthroat and rainbow trout are
being caught in the upper sections of the river.
06/21/14 More good reports come in this past
week on both Summer run SH and trout. The
weather and streams levels are both in decent
07/05/14 Even more good fishing reports coming
in from customers this past week. Summer SH
and trout are being caught consistently.
07/19/14 Summer steelhead are dispersed
throughout the river and anglers are catching
plenty of them. Carver up to McIver Park is the
hot area to fish right now.
07/26/14 More good reports from those fishing
for summer run steelhead. .
08/10/14 Not so good reports came in this past
week. There have only been a few fish move
into the river. Conditions should improve later
on in the month.
08/16/14 Summer run steelhead and a
few Chinook salmon are being caught but
the water is very low and not much relief
is in the weather forecast.
08/30/14 A few Coho have shown up and
some being caught along with a few
steelhead. Anglers are catching some
resident cutts and rainbows in the headwaters.
09/13/14 Summer steelhead and Spring
Chinook are in the river but the water is still
very warm. Fishing is marginal at best.
09/27/14 Some Coho and some summer
steelhead are in the river but more rain is
needed to move the fish in better.
10/10/14 Running low and clear. Coho and
summer steelhead are scattered throughout
the river. Anglers are catching a few in the
riffles, pocket water and holding water.
Summer S. H. exist from Carver up to McIver
10/18/14 The rain should help big time
this coming week. Summer steelhead and
Coho are the main species to focus on.
10/25/14 It has been up and down with
periods of rain but now coming down
pretty steady. Lots of summers and coho
in the river. Check the levels.
11/08/14 Stream levels are in good shape.
Plenty of coho are in the river along with
some summer steelhead.
12/07/14 Summer steelhead fishing and
coho fishing is about over. Winter
steelhead are beginning to come in the
river and should be good by the end of the
12/14/14 More rain forecast. No reports of
any winter SH caught yet.
12/20/14 There are reports of a few
winters caught below Carver. It will get
better by the day.
12/27/14 The stream flow is 4970 cfs, at
13.72. This is getting in good shape but
not quite there yet.
01/03/15 The stream levels are about as
good as they are going to get. There is
more rain in the forecast.
01/17/15 More good reports on steelhead.
Stream levels are up a little but okay.
01/24/15 Recent rain and higher water has
brought more steelhead into the river.
Levels are back in fishable condition.
01/31/15 Several great reports on the
steelhead came in this past week from out
customers. Conditions have been excellent.
02/07/15 Stream levels are up headed
high. Wait for them to first starting fall
out to fishable levels..
02/21/15 Stream levels are back down
and anglers should be able to catch some
new run steelhead.
03/07/15 Lower water levels have made
the "catching" tougher but some are
being caught, mostly on nymphs.
03/21/15 Recent higher levels gave a boost
to the steeelhead fishing but levels are back
down. There is lots of rain forecast.
03/28/15 Anglers fishing for steelhead are
reporting poor results.
04/11/15 Winter steelhead are being
caught in very good numbers. Customers
using our nymphs and swinging flies. Both
wild and hatchery fish are being caught.
04/25/15 The winter fish have slowed
down but more summer fish are entering
the river and fish are still being caught.
05/02/15 A few summer runs are being
caught. Low water levels isn't helping.
05/23/15 Low water levels continue to
make it tough to catch fish but a few are
06/13/15 Trout fishing has been very good.
Lots of aquatic insect hatches.
06/20/15 Two customers reporting some
nice catches of trout. Spotted segdes,
PMDs, Golden stones and others hatching..
07/04/15 Warmer than normal weather but
a few spring Chinook and a few summer
steelhead are being caught.
07/11/15 Very warm water temps have the
fishing opportunity slow to slower.
07/18/15 More very hot weather with no rain.
07/25/15 The Clackamas River is closed to
fishing from the I-205 near High Rocks
downstream to its confluence with the
Willamette under a temporary closure
implemented July 18. Under this closure,
fishing for trout, steelhead and salmon in
this area is prohibited.
08/08/15 The river is still closed to fishing.
Hopefully, that will change soon. There is
some rain in the foreast.
08/15/15 No changes except no chance of
08/29/15 Finally, rain is falling and more is
on the way. Look for big improvements.
09/05/15 All restrictions have been removed
and the river back near normal shape.
09/12/15 There will be a big swing in the
weather and stream levels this coming
week and conditions should be improved.
09/26/15 Rain is needed badly. Low clear
water exist and few fish have moved into
the river. .
10/03/15 The river is still in need of more
rain to bring more fish in. Coho should be
arriving but so far, they are few and far
10/10/15 Sorry, still slow. Maybe today's
rain will help bring in some fish.
10/17/15 Some coho have been caught
but it is still slow. The rain should help.
10/24/15 Still waiting on the coho to show
up. Rain is needed for that and that may
well happen this coming week. Keep in
10/31/15 Still not many Coho or steelhead
but there are fish here to be caught. There is
a lot of rain in the forecast which should help.
11/14/15 The rains came and the levels
come up but there are still few Coho and
Summer runs. Everyone is disappointed with
the size of the runs. A few are being caught,
but it takes a lot of cast.
11/28/15 There is a lot of disappointment
with the coho and summer run. It is about
over. Looking forward to some better fishing.
12/05/15 As I'm sure everyone knows, there
is a lot of rain in the forecast this coming
week and hopefully, it will start bringing in
some winter steelhead.
12/12/15 As you probably know, the river
is extremely high and muddy in the flood
stage. No fishing this coming week.
12/26/15 The river has dropped down to
3620 cfs and 13.16 feet high at Estacada
which is not far above the normal levels.
Snow is forecast from Sunday through
01/09/16 The flows are at 1950 cfs and
12.10 feet. Excellent conditions and that
should't change. Swinging flies and
nymphing using indicators are both working.
Fish from Gladstone on up to McIver Park.
Check out the Perfect Fly steelhead patterns
01/16/16 Two good reports from the past
week from customers swinging Spey Flies.
The levels are currently back up high.
02/06/16 The Clackamas is back in good
shape and producing a lot of winter
steelhead for both bank and boat anglers.
The preferred area is from Eagle Park
downstream. The river will continue to fall for
the next few days.
02/13/16 The action continues. Watch the
stream levels, there is some rain in the
forecast but for now, conditions are great.
02/27/16 The stream level is normal at this
time but there is a lot of rain in the forecast,
so watch the levels. Lots of steelhead are
being caught from Gladstone to Rivermill
dam. Swinging and nymphing are working.
03/05/16 The river is very high (blown out)
and flowing at 5480 cfs and there is more
rain in the forecast.
03/26/16 Winter steelhead are being caught
in good numbers from Riverside Park up to
Dog Creek at McIver Park. The stream
levels are still high but it can be fished.
Check out the Perfect fly steelhead patterns.
04/16/16 Our customers are reporting
although the winter fish are slowing down
some, they are still catching them and a few
summer fish are showing up as well. Winter
fish have given a lot of anglers a good thrill
04/30/16 Still getting reports of both winter
and summer fish being caught, mostly
summer now. Best when the stream levels
are average to a little high and it has been
high often recently but in good shape now.
05/07/16 A good report from a customer
catching several summer runs this past
week. Stream level and weather is good.
05/21/16 More good reports for the summer
run fish. There is rain in the forecast about
every day, so watch the levels.
05/28/16 Good conditions continue. Good
levels and weather and catches reported.
Trout are being caught in the headwaters.
06/18/16 The river is back in very good
shape and our customers are catching a lot
of trout. Stoneflies, PMDs, spotted Sedge and
Green sedge caddis are hatching.
07/02/16 The Gladstone area upriver to
McIver Park and above Rivermill dam is
producing summer run steelhead. The trout
fishing continues to be good.
07/23/16 The summer steelhead fishing
continues to be good in spite of the low water.
There are a lot of recreational boaters, but
both bank and small boat anglers are catching
S.S. The Gladstone to Mclver park continues
to be good.
08/06/16 The stream levels continue to be
low making it tough on those floating the
river. There are a few summer run fish being
caught from the bank.
08/20/16 The low water and heat continues to
be a problem. A few summer steelhead are
being caught but only a few.
09/03/16 Lots of hatchery summer steelhead
are being caught. The cooler weather is
helping. The water is low, so larger boats
may have a problem.
10/08/16 The summer steelhead fishing
continues to be good and a few Coho have
moved into the river. The rain has helped.
10/22/16 The river is still very high and not
worth fishing. More rain is forecast. Just
watch the levels.
11/26/16 The river is at 3370 cfs at 12.94
feet. There is rain in the forecast everyday
this coming week. A few winter steelhead
have been caught between Feldheimers and
12/24/16 The stream levels are down to
normal and good numbers of winter steelhead
are being caught drifting and from the bank.
Fish the lower river. Perfect fly steelhead
01/14/17 We have several reports very lately
of steelhead being caught, two by customers.
They are swinging mostly but some were
taken on SH nymphs. This should continue to
01/28/17 More steelhead are in the river and
it should continue to increase. Most are
below Barton this early but some have been
caught above there.
02/11/17 It was very good until it blew out.
What the reading and fish as soon as it gets
02/25/17 The stream levels are back down to
almost a normal level. We haven't received
any "catch" reports yet, but should soon.
04/01/17 The levels are still high and the
water muddy. There are steelhead in the river
and they can be caught, but tough conditions.
04/22/17 The river is at 4690 cfs at 13.78.
That is high but still fishable by boat. Some
steelhead are being caught in the lower river.
05/13/17 The flows have been high for a long
time but are back down not too high at this
time. Few steelhead have been caught lately.
06/03/17 A few summer steelhead have been
caught. Flows are at 2920 cfs at 12.64 ft. It is
still a little high to wade but there are lot of
bank access. No reports yet on trout.
06/10/17 The river is down to 2540 at 12.24
feet and clearer. More summer run steelhead
are being caught.
07/01/17 The stream levels are in good shape
and a few summer run steelhead are being
07/28/17 The stream is low but there are
some summer run steelhead being caught.
08/12/17 Few anglers fishing and few fish
being caught. Stream levels very low and
water too warm.
08/19/17 There are a few summer fish being
caught but the stream is very low.
09/16/17 The river has been low for a long
time now but hopefully, the rain and cooler
weather in the forecast will improve the
10/14/17 There are coho from the mouth to
Eagle Creek. Rain is needed. Fish are
holding in the pools.
10/29/17 The river is messed up now but
should clear up and drop fast for more Coho
to come in headed to Eagle Creek.
11/20/17 The river is at 3650 cfs at 13.31 ft.
Coho are still moving to Eagle Creek. There is
some bank fishing opportunity.
12/04/17 Steelhead are coming in the river in
good numbers and some being caught
headed to the hatchery. Send us an email for
a recommended fly list. .
12/25/17 Winter steelhead are being caught.
The stream levels are still low and SH nymphs
are working better than swinging or eggs.
01/01/18 There were a few more winter
steelhead caught and hopefully, this will
improve this coming week.
02/12/18 Steelehead, winter wild and stocked,
are being caught in good numbers. The water
is a little high but still good.
02/19/18 Good conditions including stream
levels. Both wild and hatchery steelhead
being caught in good numbers.
02/26/17 The water is a little low but still okay
with decent numbers of steelhead being
03/19/18 Conditions remain good with good
stream levels and lots of steelhead being
caught. The coming week should be good.
04/09/18 The stream levels are up making it
tough. Good numbers of winter and some
early summer steelhead were being caught.
05/01/18 The winter steelhead are about
done but there are some early run summer
steelhead being caught.
05/08/18 The river is turning out a few early
summer run steelhead. Stream levels are
06/19/18 Good numbers of steelhead are
being caught. Fish from the hwy 99 bridge
to the Rivermill dam. Boat and bank anglers
are catching fish.
07/03/18 The action is slow with only a few
fish being caught lately. Keep in touch.
08/21/18 The river is low, too low for boats.
Wading/bank anglers are catching summer
steelhead and Chinook. Fish early
mornings. Conditions have improved with
09/04/18 Stream levels are still a little low but
better shape. Wading anglers are catching
summer steelhead and some Chinook.
09/18/18 The stream is still low but anglers
are still catching a few summer steelhead
10/05/18 Stream levels are up some but
still low. Summer steelhead are still being
caught. Fish above Foster Park.
10/15/18 The Summer steelhead fishing is
still good along with plenty of Coho. The
drop in the water temp is helping a lot.
10/22/18 Cooler weather and little rain help
but dropping again. Plenty of Coho and
summer run steelhead are being caught.
11/15/18 We continue to get good reports
on Coho and summer steelhead. Send us
an email for a fly list.
12/01/18 There are some wild (C & R)
coho in the river and winter steelhead are
already showing up thanks to the recent
12/22/18 The river has been high, but fell
but dropping. Winter steelhead and some
coho are in the river. When the levels are
right, winter steelhead fishing is good.
12/30/18 Stream levels are down but few
fish are being caught so far. Winters should
be coming in the river.
01/06/19 It is early for winter steelhead but
they are coming in the river with recent
heavy rain. Some are being caught.
02/03/19 There are some winter steelhead
being caught but it may be a few more
days before the big run happens. It
usually takes place around the middle of
02/17/19 The cooler water has the
steelhead a little sluggish but it will be
warming up some this coming week.
02/24/19 A few hatchery steelhead are
being caught but the cold water is making
it slow. Use our Steelhead nymphs.
03/12/19 A good number of winter
steelhead were caught this past week with
cold weather. This week should be
warmer and much better.
03/22/19 Conditions have improved and
more steelhead are being caught by both
boat and bank anglers. Send us an email
for a fly list. email@example.com
04/07/19 It doesn't get much better than
this. Winter steelhead are being caught in
very good numbers.
04/20/19 The river has been high and dirty
but it is back in good shape and winter
steelhead are being caught in good
05/15/19 The river is in good shape with
good numbers of summer steelhead being
caught as well as a few winters.