A beginner’s guide to trout fishing in Oregon

Everyone who lives in Oregon knows the state has no shortage of exciting and refreshing outdoor activities just waiting to entertain its residents.

Whether it’s hiking, boating, camping, disc golf, mountain biking or swimming, Oregon’s pristine forests, lakes and rivers provide an outdoor playground that is ripe for adventure. One adventure provided by Oregon’s luscious and bountiful landscape is something many locals have done at least once in their lives: fishing.

From the Columbia to the Willamette, from Detroit Lake to Lake Billy Chinook, there’s no shortage of fishing holes that not only provide family-friendly fun, but also an opportunity to put a delicious dinner on the table. Depending on the fisherman or fisherwoman’s preference, there are a variety of freshwater fish just waiting to be caught, filleted and devoured.

Oregon’s waters hold salmon, steelhead, large and small mouth bass, blue gill, crappie, catfish, sturgeon, and the list can go on and on. According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, there are over 60 species of native freshwater fish found in Oregon’s waterways.

With so many species of fish available, and hundreds of ways to go about catching them, where does the beginning angler start? For most people who’ve grown up fishing in Oregon, they usually start with trout, the most common and well stocked fish in the state.

Trout are the easiest fish to catch because Oregon’s lakes, rivers and streams are regularly stocked throughout the fishing season via a wide variety of trout hatcheries located throughout the state. Not only are trout abundant and frequently stocked, but they are also a delicious treat that can complement any dinner or barbecue.

Even though trout are plentiful, there are some requirements that must be met to legally fish for them. Before someone decides to fish for trout in the state of Oregon, one must first purchase an Oregon angling license. These licenses can be purchased based on fishing location, trip duration and angler’s age. There are a variety of different options available and their cost varies depending on which one is needed.

Trout fishing licenses can be purchased directly through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via their website. They can also be purchased at most sporting goods stores like Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, Bi-Mart and even Walmart. If the angler has fished before and knows what they need, purchasing directly from the website is probably the best route to go. Once purchased, you can print off a temporary license, if needed, while waiting roughly 10 days for the official license to arrive in the mail.

However, if you have never fished for trout before and still need to buy the gear, figure out where you want to fish, and figure out what gear is needed to fish at your fishing hole of choice, the best bet would probably be to head to your local sporting goods store for some expert advice. Each store will have different levels of expertise, so choose carefully. The best place for advice would be somewhere like Sportsman’s Warehouse, where the employees most likely spend their free time fishing. Not only will they be able to provide you with the best knowledge on where to fish, but also the best gear and techniques to catch as many fish as possible on your future fishing adventures.