NW Chronicles: Going Coastal

Well, after a week of “vacation” with the families, I finally got a day of “holiday” yesterday. I decided to head out to the coast, hit the North Fork Nehalem, and try my luck for some winter steelhead.

The winter steelhead runs on the coast tend to start in late December and run through March. Different rivers have different peaks and mixes of hatchery and native fish. The hatchery fish tend to draw large crowds of “combat” fishermen looking for “meat”. The native fish (which you are not allowed to harvest) come a little later in the run, but can run up to twenty pounds. Massive.

I fished the North Fork many times last winter, so I was eager to return to familiar spots, see how the river had changed, and try my luck. I had a great day working my way through the woods and hitting familiar lies. Other than a couple other guys, I had two miles of the stream to myself. Perhaps the near constant drizzle kept folks at home. I think fish must have stayed at home as well; the only one I saw I managed to spook before I even saw it. No matter, it was great to be outside, in the woods, and on the river.

I wish everyone a happy New Year. May it be filled with wondering and wandering.

(Don’t forget to get your new license next week. I always do.)


  1. I am always waiting & looking forward to reading the NW Chronicles, thanks again PDX Drifter. A river offering Coho, Chinook, & Steelheads… what more can a man ask for. I read about the North Fork Nehalem, “A river difficult to float and requires good boating skills…” I like how that sounds. A fish from such river must be equally wild. Happy New Year to you & your family, all the best.

  2. That kind of trip sounds very familar to me. We often say, it won't be fun if we catch fish so easy. It is just great to be out in the wild nature.