John Day River Fishing

For serious bass fishermen, the John Day River is the perfect place to plan a fishing trip. Located in northeastern Oregon, this river is one of the best places in the world to fish for smallmouth bass. The fishing season generally runs from March through October, though the early season offers the best chances of landing 20-inch fish. If you catch a wild steelhead, you’ll need to release it; however, the fin-clipped fish that stray in from other river systems can be taken home. In the river’s South Fork, you’ll find wild redband rainbow trout, that average about 15 inches long. And if you’re lucky, you may catch a 13-inch whitefish. Though the stream is a spawning/rearing habitat for salmon and steelhead, you aren’t allowed to fish for them here.

John Day River Fish:

John Day River boat ramps:

The following boat ramps provide access to John Day River.

Cottonwood Park Boat Ramp