Winter Fishing in Portland Oregon

November 28, 2021

Sturgeon Fishing

The number of sturgeon in the lower Willamette begins increasing in October to November as the Sturgeon migrate out of the Columbia River and into the Willamette. Many stay until the spring making this a very popular fishery for Columbia River Fishing Guides.  The best-known types – white sturgeon, green sturgeon, trophy sturgeon and keeper sturgeon – can all be found in the Willamette River, below the Willamette Falls.  The lower part of the Willamette is a favorite location for sturgeon fishing because it holds a large population of the fish during these months.

Since sturgeon are migratory fish that swim up and down the rivers looking for the best conditions and sources of food, year-round sturgeon fishing in Oregon means being able to change location as needed.

Buddy Dupell, owner and guide of Columbia River Fishing Adventures, has the knowledge and experience to know when to switch locations to take advantage of changes in migration patterns, and conditions like water levels, weather, and other factors, for planning successful guided fishing ventures.

Winter Steelhead

Steelhead put up a spectacular fight with anglers, so catching one is often the prize for patience and persistence. Many who come to Oregon to fish in the fall and winter look forward to the challenge of an exciting battle with a hard-fighting winter Steelhead.

The Clackamas River, near Portland is the best place to fish for winter steelhead in most years, with about 2,000 hatchery-born steelhead taken home annually. Winter Steelhead fishing near Portland starts around Thanksgiving to early December, and offers great opportunities for an exciting guided boat fishing adventure.  The winter run continues with good numbers into early spring in the Willamette River’s tributaries near Portland, like the Clackamas and the Sandy River.


Walleye like cool or cold rivers with sandy or gravely bottoms, and spend most of their time staying close to rocky structures, waiting to dine on small fish and other prey. The Columbia River is known as one of, if not the best walleye fishing location in the country, with walleye not only large in size, but abundant in supply.

Walleye can be caught in any season in the Columbia, Willamette and Snake rivers near Portland, including 10-pounders and even larger.  January and February can produce trophy-size fish, but it takes a dedicated angler to brave the frequent cold temperatures, wind and rain.

To book an exciting guided fishing trip near Portland, Oregon for Winter Steelhead, Sturgeon or Walleye, contact Buddy Dupell at Columbia River Fishing Adventures, (503) 490-3099. Have questions? Call, or email Buddy at [email protected] for expert answers based on his decades of experience fishing in Portland and Oregon.

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