SUMMER CHINOOK AND SOCKEYE
Come mid 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.
We start our Summer Chinook fishery June 16th on the Mid Columbia around John Day Dam. This area offers us a great crack at these awesome fish as they migrate toward the upper Columbia. These trips can also be combined with walleye fishing to make for a great mixed bag.
Most of our Chinook fishing in this area is anchor fishing. We like to set up on travel lanes and put our gear in the face of these migrating salmon. If you have never witnessed a summer Chinook trying to head back to the ocean dragging your kwickfish then we invite you to give this fishery a shot.
We start fishing in the Brewster, Washington area the 1st of July. When fishing here we target both the Brewster Pool, the area just below Wells Dam, and the Chelan Falls/ Beebe Bridge Fisheries. We will put you on the best location to get you on a bunch of Chinook or Sockeye. All 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 other dam sites through out the Columbia River Basin, with lots of current and fish stacked up trying to get through the fish ladders. One difference here is that unlike other locations is 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, and Beebe Bridge fisheries are very different from the Wells Dam area resembles a big reservoir. Here the current is slowed and the fishing is a little more laid back. At Beebe Bridge these mostly hatchery Chinook are held up waiting to go up the short section of the Chelan River to the Fish hatchery. These fish show up in late June and ealry July and continue to move into the fishery through August, making this a great consistent fishery that always seem to hold good numbers of hatchery Summer Chinook. The Brewster Pool is great holding area for migrating Summer Chinook and Sockeye 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. This has become one of our favorite fisheries of the year!
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