Steep eroded cliffs along the shoreline of the Columbia River

Eroded cliffs along the Columbia River.

Walleye caught in the Columbia River
One of the few fish that I caught on this trip to Oregon.

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Facts About Oregon that I Considered Relevant (in 2002)

Size: Oregon is approximately ½ as large as California, though California has about 10 times as many people.

Cities: It is a state with only one large city (Portland – 384,000).

All of its other cities, such as Eugene and Salem, are much smaller.

Salem is the Capitol city and I plan to visit it on this trip.

Rivers: The 6 major fishing rivers in the state are the Columbia, Rogue, Willamette, Deschutes, Umpqua, and Jon Day Rivers. I plan to fish both the Columbia and Willamette.

National Parks: Its major national park is Crater Lake National Park. I visited it when I was 5 years old and on this trip to Portland, I flew over it on the way home.

Population: The coastal side of the state is much more populated than the eastern side, which is generally mountainous and high-desert country.

Weather: Oregon may have rain any day of the year. However, most of the summer rain is more misty than torrential. I had great weather with no rain.

Fish in Oregon that I Have Not Caught Before

I wanted to catch species that I had not caught in California and Oregon had several possibilities.

New types of Trout for me: Redband Trout, Coastal Cutthroat Trout (it is smaller, less abundant, and harder to catch), and Westslope Cutthroat Trout.

New types of Salmon for me: Silver Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Pink Salmon, and Atlantic Salmon.

Other new fish: Walleye, Whitefish, Pikeminnow, and Green Sturgeon. The Pikeminnow is like the Squawfish we have in California and the Green Sturgeon is Olive colored and has a flat snout.

For both Salmon and Sturgeon, I would need to purchase a Harvest Tag. Only one rod is allowed in Oregon and all types of chumming are illegal.

I also learned that fishing for Sturgeon in Oregon is different from Sturgeon fishing in California. For example, there is no night-fishing for Sturgeon or Whitefish, but 1 hour before sunrise and 1 hour after sunset is permitted. It is illegal to remove an over or undersized Sturgeon from the water - even for a photo. Keeper sizes for Sturgeon are between 42 and 60 inches in Oregon and 46 and 72 inches in California. In California, any type of hook is allowed, but in Oregon, only singlepoint barbless hooks are allowed. These were the regulations in 2000; current regulations can be found at:

Final Notes

I’ll be spending most of my time in the Portland area and hope to see the following: The Columbia Gorge, which was carved out by thousands of years of river flow; Multnomah Falls; and Mt. Hood (El. 11,245’), the highest mountain in Oregon which is a dormant volcano. I had a hard time getting a good view of it because of smoke from the surrounding forest fires.

The downtown area of Portland is compact and it is a good city to see on foot. I took a photocopy of a map to be used for planning a walking tour of the city. Some important sites I want to see are the Pioneer Courthouse Square, which is the central plaza of old downtown; animal sculptures and pools; Soaring Stones, which are stones in sculptures; Waterfront Park on the Willamette River; and a display area for local artists.

Since I was not staying right downtown, I decided to drive and park near the Hawthorne Bridge, then start my walk at the Waterfront Park. This went as planned but the streets in the downtown area are outmoded and many are complex and one-way. The walk along the Waterfront Park was interesting but surely not spectacular.

Next ---- >

Notes about Travelling Alone Later in Life

All travel can be difficult these days, but when you are in your 80s and travelling alone, it can be much harder. Clean bathrooms, medications, and mobility limitations are the reality. This trip was even worse because of a bad head cold and I know that I heard even less of what was said to me than usual. Although the fishing was disappointing, I saw many nice things and have more travel memories to relive through pictures and memories.

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