Cascade Locks

April Doornbos Starred Page By April Doornbos , 15th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Oregon

This is about two weeks that I spent at this location in Oregon and the people I met there

The Boat Launch

The first time I arrived at the Cascade Locks I made a wrong turn and ended up by the river ferry that shuttles people up and down the scenic river, there is also a small marina there and a sailing club that gets very busy during the weekends which I usually try and avoid. The next time I returned to the Cascade Locks I made a left and headed towards the small RV park and tent camping grounds just above the second boat launch better for fishing boats instead of sail boats also there is a long cement channel along the boat launch on both sides and deep fast moving water many fish are forced to swim through creating an ideal place to catch steelhead, sturgeon and salmon when they are running. This area only a few miles perhaps 30 at the most and is completely different than The Dalles were there are a few scattered trees across the barren mountains that border both sides of the river.

Local Anglers

This a very small town and if you miss the only exit for it of well that's it there is only one but all the locals and Indians know this well kept secret and the excellent fishing opportunities it yields for anglers without boats. While I was there hanging out an still attempting to still catch fish but of course I was pathetic but with a little local advice I finally did get some action but hooking a sturgeon and actually catching it are two completely different things, some of those sturgeons are so big and strong they keep swimming ignoring that hook that's in their mouth and finally the hook just bent and came lose so at least I got my tackle back.

The Bridge of the Gods

There is an old bridge that links Washington State to Oregon called "The Bridge of the Gods" but that's not how this area got its name, many years ago there was a massive land slide that blocked a large portion of the river making it very dangerous to travel by boat and many settlers died by drowning as their water crafts were turned over loosing all their possessions and were lucky to escape with their lives, as the area became settled this blockage was eventually removed either by dynamite or some other method but the name still stuck. I enjoyed the two weeks I spent there arriving early each morning and attempting to catch fish even if my luck was not so great it was still immensely fun watching the other anglers land their fish which was quite a spectacle.


When I arrived at this location it was early August and the steelhead were running, the fish in the Columbia are so predictable you can set a clock by them the time of year they will be flooding into this mighty river, of course all the local anglers know this too and make the most of it, when catch or fishing for steelhead you are only allowed to keep hatchery fish and to distinguish them from wild steelhead they have two fins on the top of their backs, one in front and the other located closer to the tail of the fish, hatchery fish have that read back fin clipped off before they are released into the river. I must say after observing these able anglers catch these fish and the way they sprint to their fishing poles that all have a bell attached to them to alert the anglers they have a fish on as they say, to land their catch is a team effort especially since the new regulations require barbless hooks when fishing for sturgeon, steelhead and salmon so the angler must keep the line taught or the fish will get off, the angler with the fish on grabs his pole which has several leaders attached to it and begins to reel in his fish at the same time his partner grabs the large net to scoop the fish up with. It is quite a coordinated efforts but they are well practiced, if this all seems like to much trouble and expense local Indians often have fresh steelhead or even early fall Chinook for sale already smoke over the traditional alder wood near by.

Victory Island

Just a short walk from the boat launch across an over pass that leads to this long scenic island were there are picnic tables and beautiful views of Washington State, the whole experience was breathtaking and immense fun if you enjoy the out doors which I do, the little town is expensive so before going there stock up on food and gas. All in all I will return again to this beautiful location and explore it in depth, that can be challenging in a large motor home and many of the roads are in accessible by motorhome but some of the locals will point you in the right direction.

The Bonneville Dam and Hatchery

Just one exit west from the Cascade Locks is the beautifully landscaped Bonneville Dam which is free and interest and educational if you have children and would like to teach them to respect and they mean of conservation and preservation for future generations. At the Bonneville Dam take time out to meet Herman the sturgeon and view the next generation of Chinook Salmon, the fish I saw and ate were the best I ever have, you will never feel the same way when you go into a super market after fishing the Columbia.


Conservation, Fishing, Fishing Town, Nature

Meet the author

author avatar April Doornbos
In my younger days I exercised famous racehorses until I injured my spine since then I have traveled to Europe many times and all over the Unite States.

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author avatar Eva Gallant
24th Nov 2013 (#)

An interesting read! Thanks for sharing!

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author avatar April Doornbos
25th Nov 2013 (#)

I will post photos in a day or so to go along with the story

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
25th Nov 2013 (#)

Oh yes, I would love to see a photo, this area sounds like a great place to visit.

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