Oregon’s first designated wild and scenic river, the Sandy originates on Mt. Hood and flows directly into the Columbia River 20 miles east of Portland. Flowing through a lush rain forest guarded by a rugged canyon, the Sandy has healthy returns of hatchery, and wild winter steelhead that average 6 – 9 lbs., with some fish weighing well into the teens. A fair size run of summer steelhead also show up here and the first arrivals can be in the river as early as March. The average fish is chrome bright, and fresh from the ocean. Sandy river steelhead respond well to the swung fly, and in our opinion the river is most effectively fly fished with a spey rod. We use a 16 ft. cataraft to access our favorite fly water on the Sandy, a section where fishing from the boat is prohibited, so all fishing is done while wading.