The Wallowa River begins in the Eagle Cap Wilderness and flows into Wallowa Lake. The river above Wallowa Lake is fun to fly fish for Rainbow and Eastern Brook Trout. The West Fork mostly contains Rainbow Trout, while the East Fork contains Eastern Brook Trout.
The river below the lake flows through farmland until it enters a canyon just a few miles before the town of Wallowa. This area has limited public access with a notable exception being a small public parking area 1.5 miles upstream from the town of Wallowa. This public access point is on the left just south of the town of Wallowa on an S-Turn (it can be difficult to find). Please be considerate of private property when fishing this area of the Wallowa River. There are very large Rainbow Trout and Steelhead in this section of the river. Rainbows in the range of 16 to 20 inches are common.
After the farmland portion of the river we enter the canyon portion. The canyon portion of the Wallowa river has approximately 10 miles of easy access points along State Route 82 before the river meets the Minim River confluence. If you fish this section it is worthwhile to walk the railroad tracks to fish areas not reachable from the road (opposite the road). The steelhead fishing can be excellent during October and March.
There are two areas to fish the Wallowa River below the Wallowa/Minim confluence. The first is to walk a very primitive trail down river from Minim park. The second and better approach is to park at the Minim/Wallowa confluence and the hike a railroad track along the river. During February and March the Wallowa River provides good Steelhead fishing especially from Big Canyon Fish Hatchery to the Grand Ronde confluence. We recommend going to the Joseph Fly Shop for supplies and advice on fishing the Wallowa River.