A man fishing in an inflatable raft

The Wallowa Mountains are filled with spectacular places to cast your line, from about 60 lakes that are home to brook, rainbow and lake trout to four wild and scenic rivers, including the Minam River that flows past the Lodge to its confluence with the Wallowa.

Fishermen in the area often focus on larger rivers such as the Wallowa, which has prolific winter and spring steelhead runs and large rainbow trout. The Minam can feel more like a high mountain stream, with seasonal flow variation that can be challenging, but wild fish are lurking in its holes for the patient angler. And as one of only two rivers in Oregon that are considered nearly pristine, the Minam is one of the most beautiful places in the state to explore with your rod and reel.

Around the Lodge, fishing is generally catch-and-release. We often see nice high mountain Rainbows and whitefish, as well as bull trout (which are closed to angling and must be quickly and gently released). We have caught fish on everything from wooly buggers to big dry flies to nymphs — we recommend bringing a wide assortment of flies because you never know what will work best on a given day.

Some of the deeper holes are found a short hike downstream from the Lodge. The corner below Horse Heaven Creek, about a mile downstream, is a particular favorite. You can just start wading and fishing your way down from the lodge. About a mile upstream from the Lodge, we also enjoy the hard horseshoe corner above Red’s Horse Ranch. To get there, just hike over to Red’s Horse Ranch and access the river from the south end of the runway. This also is a great swimming hole, with water 10-15' deep.

If you are interested in small stream fishing, a great option for a day trip is to hike over Backbone Ridge and fish the Little Minam.

For current regulations, trout stocking, weekly angling reports and more, find links on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fishing Resources page.

Below are links to some recent angling blogs and articles that may be useful if you would like to do some fishing during your visit. If we can help, just let us know!

Top photograph by Isaac Trout