Sandy River Day Trips
Targets: Winter Steelhead December through April, Spring Chinook March through April
Cost: $550 for one or two anglers
Duration: 8 hours
“I can’t believe we’re 20 minutes from Portland!” Boy, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that one. But it’s a fact- with all the rainforest-y feels of a coastal Northwest river, minus all the drama that comes with the crowds, the day float from Dodge Park to Dabney Rec Area provides the discerning spey caster with more than a day’s worth of fun and challenging runs- just a short drive from PDX and about an hour from the Gorge. This big, beautiful, undammed river is born high on the west flanks of Mt. Hood- at the base of the Reid Glacier.
The Sandy is prone to sharp spikes and slow drops in flows as winter storms roll in from the North Pacific. The fish move on the spikes and settle down as the river drops, and this is the game we play. As the hunters, we benefit from the fact that the Sandy’s water clarity usually improves rapidly after a big spike in flows and we rarely miss a day of fishing due to poor water clarity. As the quarry- the anadromous species that are home to this river take advantage of the sheer size of the Sandy and its deep runs and complex structure. It’s ‘unicorn hunting’ at its best.
Each year, we look forward to winter steelhead season. The Sandy produces some of the biggest, healthiest fish that we’ll see all year. The chance of hooking one of these minty colored beauties is damn well worth the effort under cold, often wet skies.
Dependable rain gear is a must. Your guide will provide flies, tackle and a hot streamside lunch. Two-handed rods available upon request.
Not included in cost of trip: Fishing licenses, wading equipment.
We get a lot of questions regarding the ‘acceptable’ amount to tip our guides. As a career guide, I can say that nothing is more discouraging at the end of a trip than not receiving a tip. While it’s not fair for a guide to expect a big, fat tip after every trip, the gratuities we receive represent more than a tank of gas or a nice dinner out with the wife. Gratuities are a sincere way of conveying gratitude for a job well done. On average, our tips amount to roughly 20% of the trip cost. If we receive less, I usually follow up with the customer to inquire about their experience and how we can do better next time. Guiding is our chosen career. We don’t have side jobs, and this is why we are a great guide service. We take an immense amount of pride in what we do and it feels great to get a little extra when we knock it out of the park for a customer or group. When it comes to multi-day camp trips, the crew pools all received gratuities and splits the sum evenly. Kindly remember…cash is king.
Booking Your Trip
If you’re interested in booking a trip or a class with us, please call or email to inquire about availability.
Once your date is confirmed, a 50% deposit is due immediately to hold your date. IMPORTANT: If you are booking a Lower Deschutes Trip, secure your BLM boater pass at this time. Failure to secure your boater pass will result in a non-refundable cancellation.
Trip balance is due 2 weeks prior to your trip date. Payments may be made by check, cash or card. Card payments will be charged an additional 3%.