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Untouchable Steelhead- Clackamas River Chrome

It’s June on the Clackamas river, the ducks and geese have their fluffy young next to them, the river foliage is in vibrant colors and the summer Steelhead are in.  The Clackamas River near Portland, Oregon is stocked with Skamania strain summer steelhead.  These fish return each year to the waters of the Clackamas full of vigor and power.  These summer steelhead are different than winter steelhead. Winter fish come in sexually mature and ready to spawn.  Summer fish won’t spawn until next year in February/March.  This means they spend a lot of time in fresh water.  Their genetic map however prepares them for this long stint in the green waters of the Clackamas; they are full of fat upon arrival.  It is this fat that nourishes their body for the long stay in the river.  What this also means is that these fish are the literal rocket ships of the river. 

Extremely tough fighters these chrome bright fish are often jumping 5-6 times before they yeild.  Line sizzling runs are common and many times these fish move so fast that you swear you have lost the fish as a running steelhead comes right at you, the line going slack only to retighten as it passes you and cartwheels across the water.

The early arrivals of this stock show up as early as March but the majority of these fish come in during June and July.  Right now these fish are perfectly chrome with clear fins and great sport on a fly rod.

Our favorite strategy is to swing flies with spey rods casting Skandi or Skagit fly lines.  As the water temperatures warm we use floating lines.  Our favorite flies are patterns that have a lot of movement in black, pink, red etc…

Come join the fun, just out of Portland for amazing hard fighting summer steelhead.

Water Time Outfitter’s guides have been fishing the waters of the Clackamas river for over 20 years.  See more at: or call Rob Crandall 503-704-6449

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