- Fresh Water
SeasonYear around, best December - August
- The rate is $450 per boat per day, for 1 or 2 anglers.
Number of guestsOne or two anglers per guide. It is possible to do a two-boat trip.
- Spring Chinook
Sandy and Clackamas Rivers
Sandy and Clackamas River
Marty and Mia Sheppard of Little Creek Outfitters
Marty and Mia Sheppard are experienced steelhead anglers, who know the techniques of how to cast and fish spey rods, which lines and tips to use, and fly selection including their own patterns. Every day on the water they share their experience, making you a better, more knowledgeable angler.
The Sheppards guide on their home waters, the Sandy and Clackamas, from December through May. Both rivers fish very well for steelhead during the winter into spring months. Spey rods are effective due to the size of these rivers, their changing levels and varied runs. They are perfectly suited to fishing the classic wet fly swing, using sink-tips.
The Sandy River, a tributary of the Columbia River, is a beautiful, intimate river, originating on the slopes of Mt. Hood, running 56 miles long. Located east of Portland, the Sandy produces good numbers of winter Steelhead. The largest run of wild Steelhead enters the river in January and continues through May. In April, summer Steelhead start to enter the system, giving you a chance at hooking either a winter or summer fish during that time. Marty and Mia offer day floats on the “wild and scenic” stretch of the Sandy.
The Clackamas River originates from Olallie Lake and flows northwest through the Cascade Mountains before flowing into the Willamette River. This is a beautiful river to observe wildlife and catch Steelhead. Winter steelhead enter the system from December to April, and summer steelhead begin entering the river in April. Day floats on a few different sections of the river from McIver Park down to Carver Park are available.
Your guide will have lunch, flies, and few rods to demo for you at no extra fee. All of the knowledge of catching Steelhead on the fly will be shared through guidance on fly selection, reading water, mending and casting.
The rates are $495.00 per day for two anglers
Marty and Mia also guide on the John Day and Grande Ronde.
Fishing the Clack with guide Ted Neely
The Clackamas River is a tributary of the Willamette River, winding 80 miles through the Mt. Hood National Forest before reaching its destination. This beautiful mountain river is close to the Portland area, which makes it a wonderful day trip for locals as well as visitors. Due to the fluctuation of water levels, we find that using our 16-foot cataraft allows us to access the best fishing water.
The Clackamas River is one of the top ten producers of steelhead in the Columbia River system. This river has a good run of summer and winter steelhead. Ted Neely fishes this river regularly from December through June for steelhead, as well as into the summer, when he is not on the Deschutes River. Most of the trips go from McIver Park to Barton or Carver Parks. Daily guide rate for 2 anglers is $450
Fishing the Sandy with guide Ted Neely
The Sandy River begins in the glaciers of Mt. Hood and flows 50 miles through Mt. Hood National Forest before reaching the Columbia River. Like the Clackamas River, the Sandy is located conveniently close to the Portland area. This river offers a scenic drift through Oregon rainforest with rocky cliffs and waterfalls. We fish steelhead on this river from December through June. Due to the fluctuation of water levels we utilize our 16 ft. cataraft to maneuver through the water, placing anglers in the best possible water. Daily guide rate for 2 anglers is $450
Fishing the Clack with guide Jeff Hickman
The Clackamas River begins as a high alpine stream in the Northern Oregon Cascade Mountains before it descends over eighty miles to the west where it eventually meets the tidally influenced Willamette River in Oregon City. Known locally as the Clack, it drains the forests, springs and snowmelt of the western Cascadian ridgeline between Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson. The source of its northern fork is less than ten miles from the house I grew up in. This cold, clear, nutrient-rich water is perfect habitat for many fish species, both resident and anadromous. For me, the waters of the Clack run deep into my memory and heritage. It is where I caught many of my first small-stream trout on dry flies, and also where I was first introduced to wild winter steelhead, and I now live only ten steps from a great piece of swinging water.
The Clack’s water from the mouth upstream to River Mill Dam near Estacada is where all of its anadromous fishing takes place. This section of river provides an abundance of awesome year-round opportunities for a steelheader. Its waters beg for flies swung on two-handed rods and chrome fish are there twelve months out of the year to intercept those flies and stretch your backing. For a fly swinging junkie like me, I feel unbelievably lucky to have such an amazing river right in my backyard.
Fishing the lower Clack, we wade in the green water and swing our flies through the river’s countless ledgy slots, boulder-strewn runs and broad tailouts. I prefer to use my 20-foot jet boat to get from spot to spot, it is key for success. The jet boat gives me maximum flexibility to adjust and adapt to the changing conditions and the ability to stay in the fish and not waste time floating between spots. The Clack’s bounty is no secret. Don’t expect to be the only boat on the water. Though, with the flexibility of the jet boat, you can usually find solitude and be at the right spot at the right time to connect with the river’s awesome ocean bright fish.
The fact that there are others on the water factors into my fishing techniques. First thing in the morning with good water conditions I may fish a bigger fly on a light sink tip over a broad tail out to rested fish. When I pull into another run later in the day, I assume that I am not the first person to fish that spot and switch to a smaller fly with a larger sink-tip and concentrate my efforts on the deepest slot of the run.
Taking into consideration all of the factors on the river greatly increases the odds of finding fish on a swung fly. Luckily for us, Clack fish are very aggressive to the fly, and if your efforts are concentrated in the right places, you are often rewarded. Though you can catch steelhead on the Clack every month of the year, my favorite time is December through June. Winter is the season the river is known for, but one secret that is not often known is that May and June can also be incredibly productive.
Daily guide rate is $525 per day for 2 anglers in a jet boat