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June 2005

Top 3: Fishing-Hole Hikes

Classic hike-in spots in Wyoming, South Carolina, and Oregon let you ditch the trail mix for pan-fried fish.

©Brian O’Keefe

Wenaha River, OR

Cast for huge salmon and steelhead

The Hike

One of the few drawbacks to high-country wilderness: The fish are often small, having spent months beneath ice. But the Wenaha is a tributary of the Grande Ronde, which is a tributary of the Snake, which feeds into the Columbia, which means the steelhead and salmon average 8 to 12 pounds. The Troy Trail accesses the Wenaha at the Grande Ronde confluence. Walk upstream through ponderosa and lodgepole pine in the 177,465-acre Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness and choose from many enticing spots along a 20-mile stretch. Drop flies below the surface for steelhead, swinging them downstream. You can often spot fish from basalt outcroppings overlooking the river. Just beware of a healthy rattler population.

The Hook

No luck? No worries. Head to Terminal Gravity Brewing in nearby Enterprise for pecan-encrusted salmon and an Extra Special Golden.

©Map by IMA

The Way

From Elgin, several Forest Service roads lead to the town of Troy (watch for signs spray-painted on trees).

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