The Rainbow Trout Farm in Sandy, Oregon has become a family favorite of ours whenever we visit Portland. If you have younger kids, want to guarantee success fishing and don’t mind spending a little to make it happen, the Rainbow Trout Farm is an ideal family outing. This is especially true if you are already planning a trip to Mt. Hood, Bend, Redmond or anything in central Oregon.
How to Get there
The Rainbow Trout Farm is actually a little ways east of Sandy. To get there from Portland, you want to get on Highway 26 going east from Portland. After going past the small town of Sandy, you will start to approach Mt. Hood and get more into forests.
9-10 miles east of Sandy, you will turn left onto E. Sylvan Dr. It is really easy to miss so keep an eye out for a small sign on the side of the highway. Sylvan Dr. will wind through some trees and a few houses before reaching the Rainbow Trout Farm.
Coming from the East and Mt. Hood, you will find E. Sylvan Dr. about 8 miles west of the High Cascade Snowboard Camp.
About the Rainbow Trout Farm
The Rainbow Trout Farm is 30 acres of land consisting of forest and meadows, within which there are 10 ponds of varying sizes. The ponds are all stocked with rainbow trout, with varying sized trout assigned to each pond. This allows you to choose a pond with the approximate size of trout that you wish to catch.
The Rainbow Trout Farm is open seven days a weeks from 8:00 a.m. until dusk from March 1 to October 15. They offer free picnic areas and free use of fishing equipment. You only pay for what you catch. The price per fish is about $3.00-$6.00 depending on the size. We usually have each kid catch 2-3 fish and end up spending $12-15 per kid.
You cannot catch and release so be prepare to take the fish home with you. You can save money by bringing your own cooler and ice. Otherwise, it will cost additional money to buy a foam cooler and ice from the Rainbow Trout Farm.
Why we Love the Rainbow Trout Farm
There are a ton of reasons why we love the Rainbow Trout Farm in Sandy, Oregon!
First, it is so simple. Fishing can be a big pain if it isn’t something you do often. You have to make sure you have enough poles, that the reels are working and there isn’t fishing line tangled up, that you have bobbers and weights and hooks and lures or worms or other bait. You have to have a means to kill and clean the fish. You have to find a good place to fish and know the right time of the day to catch fish. That’s a lot, especially if you are on vacation.
At the Rainbow Trout Farm, they do everything, except the fishing, for you. You show up and they give you a rod and wheel all ready to go. All you need to do is attach a worm, which they give you a little cup full whenever you need it. They also give you a net and a bucket to store the fish and a tool to help remove the hook. When you are all done, they kill and clean the fish for you and put it on ice to take home. With all this, you just focus on the fun of fishing.
Second, you don’t have to have a fishing license. Because the Rainbow Trout Farm is on private land, there is no need for a license. While we have fishing licenses in Nevada, they don’t do us any good in Oregon, and we don’t want to go through the hassle, or expense, of getting a fishing license in Oregon to fish once a year. Even if you live in Oregon, it is great to be able to take the kids fishing a few times a year without having to maintain a license.
Third, the kids will catch fish. Most of the time I take my kids fishing in Nevada, we come away catching nothing. This can make the experience rather boring for a five year old. At the Rainbow Trout Farm, they only make money when you catch fish, so they make it easy for you. If you go spend an hour there, everyone will catch at least a few fish with no problem. The joy of catching a fish on their own is something every young kid should experience.
We highly recommend the Rainbow Trout Farm to any family with young kids. There is a reason we go there pretty much every year when we visit the grandparents in Oregon. The only downside is the fish get a bit expensive when you add them up, but it isn’t bad at all for a single visit.