Monthly Archives: December 2015

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Hanford Reach Fall Chinook

Hanford Reach Fall Chinook

Often referred to as “The Reach,” this area of the Columbia River is the last “Free Flowing” section of the Columbia River and is home to some of the absolute best spawning habitat left in the main stem Columbia River.  This is where many of the fish we were targeting at Astoria are heading.  The Hanford Reach is where these fish will finally stop moving and hold up before they start to spawn.  We target “The Reach” starting the second week of September and fish here through the second week of October.  We often catch some of our biggest fish of the year here as the big males start to get aggressive in anticipation of spawning.  This is an action packed fishery targeting big Chinook in the desert of Eastern Washington.

We fish a number of different ways and have found that being diverse in our strategies has helped us to continually put good numbers of Fall Chinook in the boat for our customers.  We could be downstream trolling Super Baits in the morning and back trolling plugs and eggs in the afternoon.  The biggest key to success here is knowing where to fish depending on the flow coming out of Priest Rapids Dam.  This is also the most difficult thing about this fishery.  Where and how we fish can vary greatly depending on what flows are coming out of the Dam.  Our two favorite techniques here are trolling flashers and Super Baits, and back trolling bait wrapped plugs and eggs.  “The Reach” fishes like a real river with dynamic changes in holes and flows and anglers have to be willing to adapt to be successful.

We start most of our trips out of Vernita bridge, but if the fishing dictates we will drop down and fish out of Ringold.  We like the Vernita area as we feel it gives us the best access to a wide variety of water to consistently put our customers on fish.  We truly enjoy this fishery and we are excited to be able to share it with you.

Fishing the Hanford Reach is truly an amazing experience.  It is very normal for us to see lots of Mule Deer, including some really nice bucks, coyotes, waterfowl, and on occasion some of the Elk from the large herds that cross the nuclear site.

For a Google Map of our meeting locations click here.


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Buoy 10 Fall Chinook

Astoria / Buoy 10 Fall Chinook and Coho

Starting August 1st, and continuing until the end of the month, we turn our attention to the mouth of the Columbia River near Astoria. Oregon.  This is the famed Buoy 10 fishery!  There is nothing quite like the pull of a 20+ pound Chinook ripping line out on a hell bent run back to the Pacific Ocean.  To say that these fish are fresh is an understatement!  The fish you hook up with most likely just came into the river from the big pond on the last incoming tide.  This is an exciting fishery that is on many people’s bucket list, and is one of our most favorite fisheries of the entire year.  Bring the family out for a vacation on the coast, while you sneak out for some of the finest salmon fishing in the world.

This is without a doubt the most publicized fishery in the Northwest, and arguably the single most anticipated fishery of the year.  When you spend an August day chasing fresh from the previous tide Upriver Bright Fall Chinook, and Coho at the mouth of the Columbia River there is no doubt you are in a special place.  The buzz and feeling you get just being in this historic area makes a trip worth it.

We start our days out of the East Mooring Basin in Astoria, Oregon. From here we set out on the river to the best location for the days particular tides.  This is a dynamic fishery as we are always changing locations to put you on the best locations for the specific periods of the tides.  This is also a troll oriented fishery and we love to fish bait.  Fresh herring and anchovies pulled behind a flasher is our number one rig.

We suggest that you book early for this fishery as our available space tends to fill quickly.  Also this is a prime time for other tourist attractions on the coast and securing a hotel room can be a little difficult with short notice.   When booking we can offer suggestions on where to stay for a variety of different budgets and lodging needs.

To view a Google Map of our meeting locations click here.

 


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Summer Chinook and Sockeye

SUMMER CHINOOK AND SOCKEYE

Come Late June, July and early August we can be found fishing the Upper Columbia between Tri-Cities, Washington and the town of Brewster, Washington.  Summer Chinook are commonly called June hogs and are known for their size and incredible strength.  During this time of year we often have great numbers of Sockeye available. What these fish lack in size they more than make up for as table fare.   We often catch both Chinook and Sockeye on the same trip.  This is a fantastic fishery and we can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day than fishing the Columbia River for Summer Chinook and Sockeye Salmon.

 Hanford Reach

We target the Hanford Reach fishing out of Vernita Bridge and Ringold for summer Chinook and Sockeye starting the end of June.  We also offer catch and keep sturgeon fishing at this time and often do combination trips.  This is mostly an anchor fishery as we like to sit on travel lanes and wait for the waves of migrating Chinook and Sockeye to meet our gear.  The flows of the Columbia River at this time are often very high due to the early summer run off, it is this high water that makes these fish available and aggressive.  When fishing here we are looking for points and bars, or any structure that disrupts the flow of the water and creates an easier place for the fish to migrate.  These fish are constantly moving and are looking for the slower inside bends to help them conserve energy for their long migration.  It is at these congestion points that we often anchor up and deploy our gear.  This style of fishing is both very relaxing and exciting.  The Hanford Reach is a huge place and we often have large areas of river almost all to our self’s.

To see a Google Map of our meeting locations click here.

 

Wanapum Dam

Starting July 1st the Columbia River above Priest Rapids Dam opens.  Our first stop for these fish is the tail race of Wanapum Dam, it’s here that the heavy currents caused by the Dam congregates migrating Summer Chinook and Sockeye Salmon.  This is a very popular troll fishery.  When targeting Chinook we like to troll flashers and Brad’s Super Baits, Flashers and herring, and spinners.  When targeting Sockeye we fish 8 inch chrome dodgers followed by a small hoochie squid tipped with a coon shrimp.  This can be a very busy fishery, but the fishing here can be absolutely fantastic!  We typically will fish Wanapum through the 10th or so of July before moving up river.  The Sockeye and Chinook caught here during early July are some of the best table fare around!

To see a Google Map of our meeting locations click here.

 

Brewster/Wells Dam

We start fishing in the Brewster, Washington area about the 10th of July.  When fishing here we target both the Brewster Pool and the area just below Wells Dam.  We will put you on the best location to get you on a bunch of Chinook or Sockeye.  Both locations are primarily troll fisheries.  For Sockeye we like to troll 8 inch dodgers followed by a small coon shrimp, and when targeting Chinook we like to fish Super Bait’s, Herring, spinners, or plugs.  Wells Dam is much like the fishery we see at Wanapum Dam.  Lots of current and fish stacked up trying to get through the fish ladders.  One difference here is that unlike Wanapum there is a Chinook Hatchery at Wells Dam and for many fish this is the end of the line.  This means there are always fish holding here waiting to head up into the hatchery.

The Brewster Pool is very different from both Wells and Wanapum and resembles a big reservoir.  Here the current is slowed and the fishing is a little more laid back.  This is a holding area created by the warm water temperatures of the Okanogan River.  Most of the Upper Columbia River Sockeye and lots of Summer Chinook are headed up the Okanogan River to Spawning grounds in Canada and the Okanagan River Valley.  Once the water temperature hits the 70 degree mark its creates a temperature barrier for migrating Salmon.  It is once this barrier is set that the Brewster Pool becomes a salmon fishing paradise.  Tens of thousands of Chinook and Sockeye hold here waiting for the temperature in the Okanagan River to cool enough to allow safe passage.  Quick limits of Sockeye and multiple hookups on great fighting Summer Chinook are the norm.  We offer both full and half day trips in this area and often run a full day followed by a half day afternoon trip.

To see a Google Map of our meeting locations click here

 

 


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Columbia River Spring Chinook

Spring Chinook

Category : Salmon Fishing

SPRING CHINOOK

March through early June we target Spring Chinook,  starting on the Columbia River near Portland in late March and early April then following the fish up river to the Columbia Gorge, John Day Dam and finally ending up on the Snake River sometime early to mid may. These are the Kobe Beef of the Salmon world.  In our opinion no other salmon species are as good on the table as Columbia River Spring Chinook.  Most Spring Chinook average between 10-15 pounds with fish over 20 pounds considered large.

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