North Fork of the Nehalem River: Where are the Steelhead?

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Steelhead Fishing

The North Fork of the Nehalem is a great spot to fish for winter steelhead. There’s a hatchery on the river just below Highway 53.

Above Highway 53 there is a gated logging road which follows the river upstream for a few miles. The owners are gracious enough to allow hikers and anglers access by foot into the area above the gate.

In late January I returned to the beautiful Coastal river. After parking I hiked about three miles up the road, dropping down to the river in spots that looked “fishy”.

But, unlike some of my past trips, I didn’t even get one strike from a steelhead. As I’m always reminded: That’s why it’s called fishing, not catching.

Nonetheless, it was a cold, but wonderful day on the river.

Umbrella Falls below the hatchery

Sign at access to upper river

No one told the steelhead that this was a great place to be

Fisherman below the hatchery

Pond along the road



Categories: Oregon Coastal Mountain HikingTags:


  1. Right on man that looks like a fun trip! And that water looks pretty fishy I’m surprised you didn’t catch anything. Cool post tho! 👍🏽

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