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From January through April, the rivers on the Northern Oregon coast transform into some of the most productive and seductive winter steelhead rivers in North America. Structurally they are a “swing” fisherman’s paradise and the quarry is almost always sea-bright, wild, and willing to chase a well swung fly. This is true winter steelhead fishing, and as such, challenging weather conditions with relatively low catch rates are the norm. On the bright side, the wild coastal steelhead in the region are typically very bright and often large. Additionally, the rivers are very well suited to the fly and a great pleasure to fish. Scott O’Donnell is an exceptionally talented and experienced guide and his skills translate into success more times than not. He has spent over 25 seasons guiding in Alaska and finishing up his second decade guiding winter steelhead. Scott is sponsored by Sage, has been a part of designing the Rio “Skagit” lines and MOW tips, and is one of the nation’s top spey instructors.


Please contact David at 800.552.2729 to inquire about winter steelhead opportunities in the Pacific Northwest

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  1. Scott’s intimate knowledge of the system’s he frequents is unmatched, always having you in the right place at the right time. Those who have fished on the Oregon coast for steelhead in the winter know how important timing is, and also how volatile these systems can be during storm events. Scott’s experiential knowledge spanning decades on these rivers means he knows where to be and where not to be on any given day during the season.


  2. Scott is a pioneer of skagit style casting and his teaching ability will improve your skills as a two hand caster and angler. While landing a winter steelhead is never a true guarantee, you can be confident that you will leave Scott’s boat on the last day of your trip a much better steelhead angler than when you arrived.


  3. The steelhead encountered here are typically wild, sea bright and each cast offers the chance at that fish of a lifetime. The size of fish generally range from 5 – 12 lbs with a few mid-teens fish seen each season. Regardless of their size, steelhead in these systems are fresh, bright and incredibly strong, making them a joy to catch on a tight line swing.


  4. The rivers Scott frequents are easily reached via Portland and their scenery and structure makes them a pleasure to fish. The lush evergreen forests of the Oregon coast and the turbid, powerful rivers that flow through them to the Pacific Ocean create one of the most healthy environments for winter steelhead returns in the world.


  5. Scott’s knowledge and skills as a boatman allow access to the most secluded sections of rivers. Rafting certain sections of Oregon’s coastal rivers and streams take a lifetime of experience to float comfortably and Scott truly knows them like the back of his hand.