Timothy Lake Fishing

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Timothy Lake (a.k.a. Timothy Meadows) is a fairly large reservoir on the upper Clackamas River drainage in the beautiful Cascade Mountains south of Mount Hood.

It has a lot of camping facilities and is generously stocked during the busy season with hatchery rainbow trout and also has self-sustaining populations of kokanee (land-locked sockeye salmon) and non-native brook trout.

Timothy Lake Trout Fishing

Some cutthroat trout also are present, and we’d like to suggest these would be good ones to release because they are natives, and the other fish species here are all excellent eating.

The rainbows get most of the angling attention and are often the easiest to catch, especially in the spring and early summer soon after they are stocked.

In recent years, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has included some larger “trophy” trout among the plantings.

Look at the accompanying ODFW trout stocking link for the annual schedule. Plantings usually begin around mid-spring.

You’ll find lots of PowerBait soaking going on here for those chasing stocked rainbows, but other baits and lures will often work very well. (More detail: Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.)

Bank and boat access are excellent here.

Day-use anglers can launch a boat or fish from the bank.

Timothy Lake Brook Trout

There are excellent facilities for both in the southwest corner of the lake, near the dam, including a boat launch and fishing docks that allow shore-bound anglers to reach some productive water, including facilities appropriate for people with disabilities.

Brook trout are not native in Oregon and are largely considered a nuisance fish in many waters, which is why ODFW puts no limit on the number or size you can keep at Timothy.

Brookies grow to fair size and will be well dispersed in the lake. They are likely an incidental catch for many.

However, brookies staging to spawn can sometimes be targeted close to the mouths tributary streams late in the season.

Timothy Lake Kokanee Fishing

Kokanee here tend to run small and only get modest attention, but these are tasty fish and the limit at Timothy is 25 of any size on top of the regular trout limit (applying to rainbow and cutthroat trout).

Once the warm summer weather sets in, kokanee tend to retreat to the deepest parts of the lake, such as the old creek channels where the water is around 80 feet deep.

Trolling small spoons such as Dick Nites and spinners such as Mack’s Wedding Rings can be effective, using weight or down riggers to reach the fish when the schools are holding in deep water.

A fish finder will be extremely useful, at least to locate deeper water.

Learn more about where to catch these small landlocked salmon in Oregon Kokanee Fishing.

Timothy Lake Crayfish

Timothy Lake also has a long-time reputation for crayfish fishing.

Crayfish, also known as crawdads, mudbugs and other names, are a freshwater crustacean resembling a junior lobster. They are tasty boiled or in a variety of recipes.

In Oregon, you can keep 100 crayfish per day, and some Timothy anglers report catching limits at times.

Traps are the most effective way to catch crayfish in numbers. Bait the traps with pieces of fish or a pierced can of fishy cat food.

Anglers often set the traps just where the bottom becomes invisible during daylight hours, but crayfish often move into shallower water to feed at night.

You can catch modest numbers of crayfish with a baited line, but you can’t use hooks for crayfish. You also might catch and handful of them with your hands or a net.

Where is Timothy Lake?

Timothy Lake is about a two-hour drive from Portland.

You can take Highway 26 past Mount Hood and turn south on Forest Road 42 near Clear Lake, then take Forest Road 57 for the last leg to Timothy.

A similar length drive is taking Highway 224 up the Clackamas River and then turning off near the Ripplebrook Ranger Station to follow the Oak Grove Fork past Harriet Lake up to Timothy Lake.

Find more nearby trout fishing: Trillium Lake Trout Fishing, Clear Lake Fishing, Frog Lake FishingHarriet Lake Fishing, Clackamas River Fishing, North Fork Reservoir Fishing, Faraday Lake Trout Fishing, Estacada Lake FishingSmall Fry Lake Fishing.


ODFW trout stocking schedule
ODFW weekly recreation report and regulation updates
ODFW annual fishing regulations
National Weather Service forecasts

Find more fishing spots in Clackamas County