- Tom McCall Park and the East Bank Esplanade. Located on the west and east banks of the Willamette River, these two fishing spots share much in common. With the Portland skyscrapers casting a shadow over you, you can catch salmon, steelhead, bass, and perch. Despite the serenity of these locations and the cool waters flowing past you, come with added patience: these two locations are also prime spots for photographers, bicyclists, joggers, and a host of others looking to enjoy the summer sun. Unfortunately, heavy rains in the spring and fall cause sewage overflows into the Willamette that may close off fishing in these spots for some time.
- Willamette Park. Located just south of Portland’s downtown district, this fishing spot offers easy access from Interstate 5 with fewer visitors than Tom McCall Park and the East Bank Esplanade. This fishing spot is located just south of downtown Portland and minutes from Interstate 5. Since it is located upstream from the city of Portland, this fishing spot is less affected by the yearly sewage runoffs. Since large crowds gather at this location also, it is essential to pack along patience with the bait and hook. From this location, you can catch salmon, steelhead, bass, and shad. In case you want to fish from a boat, there is a boat ramp located at Willamette Park. Parking fees do apply to this fishing spot.
- Cathedral Park. Located within a stone’s throw of one of Portland’s iconic bridges, the St. John’s Bridge, Cathedral Park offers boat ramp access and bank fishing to with the opportunity to catch salmon, catfish, sturgeon, walleye, and bass. The pleasant backdrop of Forest Park and the Portland hills make this location one of the most picturesque of the city. Also located on the Willamette River, this fishing spot offers easy access from Highway 30. With popularity less than that of other locations, Cathedral Park one of Portland’s best places to toss a line and wait.
- Salish Ponds. The Salish Ponds are located on the outskirts of Portland; however, with their proximity to Interstate 84, they are only a few minutes away from the city center. Stocked with trout, bass, and catfish, these small ponds offer a peaceful alternative to some of the bustling fishing spots in downtown Portland.
- Kelley Point Park. Located at the junction of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, Kelley Point Park features steelhead, salmon, and sturgeon. Due to the amount of fish that pass through this confluence, you chances of a catch are quite good. Kelley Point Park can also be accessed by boat, directly from the Columbia and Willamette rivers.
Regardless of where you choose to cast a line in the city of Portland, you will have a rewarding time. The beauty of the scenery, the vast numbers of salmon and steelhead, and the balmy weather will welcome you with open arms. Whether you are a one-time visitor or a long-time resident, a seasoned sport fishermen or an amateur, fishing in Portland offers a peaceful diversion from the hustle and bustle of life. Enjoy yourself, and happy fishing.