Astoria / Buoy 10 Fall Chinook and Coho

Buoy 10 Fall Chinook

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.


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



Spring Chinook

Columbia River 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.

Continue reading “Spring Chinook”

Heller Bar Report for November 8th

Snake River Steelhead

Heller bar on the Snake River in Washington continues to fish absolutely fantastic for steelhead. Today we had two boats out, a total of 6 anglers, and we boated 23 great fighting steelhead. The water is in perfect shape and the recent cool day and night temperatures have really helped out the fishing!  We will continue to see great fishing in this area all the way through February.

Our main technique used in this area is side drifting from our jet sleds. We have been having most of our success fishing small yarn balls in pink and orange. Also we have been tipping these yarn balls with some cured coon shrimp died pink.

We have plenty of openings after the 8th of November and with multiple boats we can get you out on the water most days.   This is a very exciting fishery that should not be missed out on. If interested I’m fishing with us please give us a call at 208-861-0654 or shoot us an email at




Hanford Reach Wrap up

Hanford Reach Fall Chinook

We just finished another great season on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River.  This is the last free flowing section of the Columbia River and is located between the Tri-Cities, WA and Priest Rapids Dam.  This section is the salmon factory of the Columbia and is the spawning habitat for the Columbia River’s Most prized fall Chinook.  We mostly fish out of the Vernita Bridge access area and our main technique is back trolling divers and cured eggs or bait wrapped plugs such as the Yakima Bait Maglip and the T-55 and T-60 Flat Fish.  We fish this section of river from the 15th of September through the 15th of October.  This is a great consistent fishery that should be enjoyed by all.  Check out a few of our pictures below and see just how we did.






Astoria/ Buoy 10 fishing is on fire

Astoria Oregon chinook samon

The Astoria/Buoy 10 fishery has continued to fish amazing. Yesterday I ended up with just one customer in my boat due to some unforseen issues with his group, but we put a whack on the fish. We landed a total of 11 Chinook and 3 Coho.  It was a fabulous day especially considering we were only fishing 2 rods.

We had most of our success fishing fresh cut plug herring and whole anchovies trolled behind a red and chartreuse fish flash flasher with lead near the bottom. We started our morning above the bridge on the Washington side at around 6am. We immediately found ourselves in the middle of a wide open king bite that lasted about an hour. We then followed the fish down through the church hole and picked up a few more out toward Chinook. We fished the incoming tide starting way down at the bottom of the sands almost directly out from the entrance to Baker Bay. This is where we found our Coho. As the tide really started to flood in we found ourselves in another wide open king bite. We fished our way back up to the bridge and called it a day at around 2:30 pm.

If you have ever wanted to come down and this amazing fishery now is the time I have the following dates open: 8/23, 8/24,  2 seats on 8/25, 8/26, three seats on 8/28, 8/30, 8/31.

The fishing should be nothing short of fantastic the next two weeks.


Sockeye fishing in the Brewster area of the Columbia River has been absolutely fantastic. We have had limits everyday within a few hours. This fishery will stay good as long as the weather stays hot, which should at least be through the end of this month. Give me a call if you want in on the action. I have openings!

Brewster Pool Sockeye is on Fire!!!

Brewster pool Sockeye fishing is on fire!  I had two great customers out yesterday and we landed their limit of  12 tasty sockeye in less than two hours.  We landed numerous doubles and even had a quadruple.  This is one of the most action packed fisheries in the entire Columbia River system and the fishing is just getting started.  We will continue to have fantastic Sockeye and Summer Chinook Fishing over the next month.  I have openings through out the next 3 weeks.  This fishery is nothing short of amazing.  With a total limit of 8 salmon (6 sockeye and 2 hatchery summer Chinook) the potential to fill multiple coolers is a real possibility.  Limits of Sockeye are the norm and we also usually catch plenty of big summer Chinook.

Our keys to success are trolling 8 inch chrome dodgers with short 12 inch leaders to either a Mack’s Lure Smile Blade and a coon shrimp or a Smile Blade and 2″ pink hoochie tipped with a small coon shrimp.  We troll without down riggers and target water from 12-30 feet deep depending on time of day and what depth the fish are holding at for the day.