12 Unconventional Fishing Spots in the Portland Area


When it comes to fishing in the Portland area, most people think of the well-known spots like the Willamette River or the Columbia River. However, for those seeking a more unique and off-the-beaten-path fishing experience, there are plenty of unconventional spots to explore. From hidden lakes to urban ponds, the Portland area offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities. Here are some unconventional fishing spots that might just become your new favorite angler’s hideaway.


Unconventional Fishing Spots in the Portland Area

Powell Butte Reservoir

Located in Southeast Portland, Powell Butte Reservoir is a hidden gem for fishing enthusiasts. While the park itself is well-known for its hiking and biking trails, the reservoir offers a peaceful escape for anglers. Stocked with trout, it’s an excellent spot for fly fishing or using bait. The serene surroundings and relatively low fishing pressure make it a great place to unwind while trying your luck.

Mt. Tabor Park Pond

2023 Best Fishing Trails in Mount Tabor | AllTrails

Tucked away in the heart of the city, Mt. Tabor Park Pond is an unexpected oasis for urban fishing. Stocked with rainbow trout, this small pond offers a convenient fishing option for those who might not have the time to venture out of the city. Pack a picnic, bring your fishing gear, and enjoy a day of relaxation surrounded by the beauty of Mt. Tabor.

Kelley Point Park

Situated at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, Kelley Point Park offers a unique fishing experience with the backdrop of industrial Portland. This spot is known for its diverse range of fish species, including salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon. While the surroundings may not be conventionally picturesque, the fishing opportunities are anything but ordinary.

Hagg Lake Inlet

Hagg Lake Bass and Panfish Fishing Tips - Best Fishing in America

Hagg Lake is a popular destination for water sports and picnicking, but the inlet area, near Scoggins Valley Park, is a hidden treasure for anglers. This quieter section of the lake provides a more secluded fishing experience. You can expect to catch a variety of fish, including bass, trout, and catfish. With the picturesque forested backdrop, it’s an idyllic spot for a day of fishing.

Milo McIver State Park

Located just outside of Portland in Estacada, Milo McIver State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. While the Clackamas River is known for its fishing, the park itself offers several unique fishing opportunities. Try your hand at bank fishing along the river or explore the more secluded spots in the upper reaches. You might be surprised at the variety of fish you’ll find in this lesser-known area.

Trillium Lake

Trout Fishing at Trillium Lake Near Mount Hood (2023 Stocking) - Best  Fishing in America

A bit farther from Portland but worth the trip, Trillium Lake near Mount Hood offers a stunning backdrop for fishing. Surrounded by forests and with a clear view of the mountain, this lake is stocked with trout and provides a tranquil setting for anglers. Whether you’re fishing from the shore or a boat, Trillium Lake promises a memorable experience.

Clackamette Park

Nestled at the confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette Rivers, Clackamette Park in Oregon City is a surprising fishing spot. While the park is known for its recreational activities, the fishing opportunities here are often overlooked. Anglers can expect to find a variety of fish, including steelhead, salmon, and sturgeon. The picturesque views of the merging rivers add an extra layer of charm to this unconventional fishing destination.

Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area

Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area, Portland | cityseeker

For a truly unique fishing experience, head to the Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area, located in North Portland. This expansive wetland complex provides a habitat for a wide range of wildlife, including various fish species. It’s an excellent spot for kayak fishing, allowing you to explore the serene waterways and cast your line in areas that are often inaccessible by foot. Keep an eye out for migratory birds and other wildlife while you fish.

Oxbow Regional Park

Situated along the Sandy River, Oxbow Regional Park offers a blend of natural beauty and recreational activities. While the Sandy River is well-known for its fishing, the park itself provides some lesser-explored spots. Head downstream from the main park area for a quieter fishing experience. You might hook into some steelhead or trout while enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

Scouters Mountain Nature Park

Scouters Mountain Nature Park | Metro

This often-overlooked gem in Happy Valley boasts a serene fishing pond that’s perfect for anglers looking for a tranquil escape. The pond is regularly stocked with rainbow trout, making it an excellent spot for both beginners and experienced fishermen. The park’s elevated location also offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to your fishing experience.


Rooster Rock State Park

While Rooster Rock is popular for its beaches and water activities, the park also offers excellent fishing opportunities. Located along the Columbia River, this spot provides access to a variety of fish, including bass, salmon, and steelhead. Bring your boat or fish from the shoreline, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the gorge while casting your line.


Shepperd’s Dell State Natural Area

For a fishing spot that combines natural beauty with a touch of history, head to Shepperd’s Dell State Natural Area, located along the Historic Columbia River Highway. This hidden gem offers a unique fishing experience with its small creek that flows into the Columbia River. It’s a perfect spot for fly fishing enthusiasts looking to catch native trout in a peaceful and picturesque setting. The moss-covered rocks and lush greenery surrounding the creek add to the charm of this unconventional fishing location. Additionally, the nearby waterfall provides a soothing soundtrack to your fishing adventure, making it a truly special place for anglers seeking a one-of-a-kind experience.


Wrapping It Up

While the Willamette and Columbia Rivers are undoubtedly popular fishing spots in the Portland area, there are many unconventional options that offer unique and rewarding experiences. From urban ponds to secluded lakes, these spots provide a different perspective on the rich fishing opportunities in the region. So pack your fishing gear, explore these hidden gems, and you might just discover your new favorite fishing spot in the Portland area.


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