Description for the Sandy RiverThe Sandy flows roughly 50 miles from the Mount Hood area to its confluence with the Columbia River at Troutdale. The river has a winter and summer steelhead run, a spring and fall Chinook salmon run, and a fall coho salmon run. A fish hatchery is located on the river near the town of Sandy and there are several state parks along the river for those looking to stay for an extended time. The Sandy is properly named given the sand flow during portions of the year can fill the river turning it off-color and make the most common fishing holes boil with silt. This drives the fish from those locations and into the slower moving water or riffles where the sand is less pervasive.
The winter steelhead run starts in late fall and peaks in the December and January months. The steelhead here average 10-12 pounds but 20 pounders are not surprising. The spring Chinook season peaks in May and June. These fish will hold out in the deeper holes and are commonly sought after using eggs or shrimp suspended under a bobber. Spinner fishing from the bank can also be effective especially during the fall Chinook run when the river is running at lower levels.
There river is very accessible to bank anglers and bobber fishing is a good technique since the river bed is rocky and prone to snags.