Don't Loose Heart!
It wasn't but a few years ago that I was in your place out here in Oregon. Back home in Nebraska, I had the central flyway at my back door and hunting permission was as simple as an introduction, the promise close the gate, and maybe a bottle as a thank you at the end of the season. In Oregon as it is in much of Texas, California, etc. it's all "Pay to Play!" For young guys like you (and myself) we need to think outside of the box while we're getting our scratch together for the dream piece of property down the road.
Unlike like the guys that have the green to buy some established water or a seat in a blue ribbon duck club, you're going to have to do some work to make your dollars stretch (and from the sound of it you're ready to do just that!).
Don't look at the obvious - Start looking at land without existing ponds, streams, wetland etc. but has the potential to hold water. Is there a windmill, a well, water rights? What type of soil is on the site (this is a little deeper than most people go, but with a pretty basic online survey, we can judge the potential of the site to hold water - I can help you with that if you need)? Almost every soil can be made to hold water. I've helped to turn cow pastures into blue ribbon trout water and make irrigation ditches look like gently braided streams - with the knowledge and right technique you can grow and transform a degraded dusty pasture into a lush pothole that grows mallards and pintails!
See the potential and share it - Without having to own the land, there is still the opportunity to develop it, hunt it, and potentially profit from it. I found a ranch in NW Oregon that had 1000 acres backed up against the Columbia river and bordered on the other side by extensive tidal marshes. I had a relationship with the landowner and had some moderate success hunting it for several seasons. I then built a duck club proposal that outlined the channel modifications, potential construction and blind costs, and probable price per gun that could be yielded upon the habitat upgrades. If you word it in such a way that if you put in the footwork and muscle to bring it about while they front the expenses (be it a little at a time for a gradual build) you can get yourself a solid seat or two in the new club as well as a management position keeping it going and caring for the land. In a scenario like this, the more pros you can present to the landowner with as few costs (be it time or money) to them, them more likely you can make this happen.
I hope this helped and encouraged you in your search. Keep us posted with what you find and shoot the forum more questions if you have any!
Peter in Portland