Nearly 350,000 fish. About 500 lakes. And just $33 for an annual resident angling license. The numbers don’t lie: This is going to be a great year for those who enjoy high mountain fishing. The state of Oregon stocked about 500 lakes in the Cascade Range with 345,000 fish last July, and many of those meals-on-fins are now large enough to keep. Of course, many anglers practice catch and release – it seems the chase (and the breathtaking scenery) is enough for them.
Still, there’s nothing quite like hiking into a remote area, fishing for a while, and then frying your catch over an open fire, having cleaned it with your ever-present folding knife. No wonder 25 percent of Oregon anglers prefer to fish in the state’s high-altitude lakes – there are fewer people around and no noisy jet skis or boats, making for a very relaxing, rewarding experience.