The Northwest's Premier Outfitter offering guided fishing trips on Idaho's Clearwater and Snake Rivers, American Falls Reservoir, CJ Strike Reservoir, Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir, and the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon.
It’s been a strange year to say the least on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. As I’m writing this we are in the midst of a pretty darn good Fall Chinook Run, and while fishing was absolutely on fire here early in the season, it has since cooled off, and been downright tough on some days.
We too have had our struggle days, and Barry and I have been very frustrated a few times this season. For the past few years the downhill trolling program has been absolutely on fire here, and we entered this season thinking that we would see more of the same, and while early in September was great, it didn’t take long for that bite to absolutely hit the skids. So, instead of just pounding away and hoping each morning would be better then the last we decided that there had to be a better way. We made some adjustments.
A little over a week ago we made the full on switch from downriver trolling 360 flashers to what is now considered an old school technique, we went backtrolling. We dusted off the plugs, shined our divers, grabbed the eggs, and went to work. We haven’t looked back since. For some reason this year backtrolling divers and eggs, and plugs has just been the best way for us to catch fish. Now that doesn’t mean other methods are not working, it just means that we have finally found consistent action after making the switch.
Backtrolling is how I cut my teeth on this fishery and it has been such a blessing to be able to fully commit to one of my absolute favorite methods for catching salmon. We are now more relaxed, our gear is in the “slots” longer, and we are catching more fish than we would if we had stayed the course. Now, I’m fully aware that the only thing consistent on the reach is that things change, and after writing this it may just be that we see an incredible downhill trolling bite, but for me, I have a little over a week left in this fishery before I head home for the Clearwater, and I’m going to spend my days relaxed and running my favorite plugs through some of the best water on the river. don’t be afraid to do the same.
We started our 2020 walleye season last week on the Columbia River. To say that fishing started out hot was an understatement. Fishing was on fire! The beautiful spring weather has pre spawn Columbia River Walleye on the bite, and the box of fish we brought back to the landing last Thursday was one of the best we have seen in years. The fish this year are averaging a little bigger than the past few, and although we may be catching a few less the overall size is fantastic. If you are looking to break the magic 30 inch mark you need to do yourself a favor and give us a call.
All our fish were caught last week trolling crankbaits in 16-24 feet of water. Currently the large deep diving plugs such as the Bandit Walleye Deep, and the long extra deep Bay Rats are fishing well. We also did very well on Berkley Flicker minnows in the #11 size. For a detailed article on how we fish crankbaits early in the season click on the following link.
Fishing will continue to be very good for big fish over the next few weeks. The water temperature last Saturday was 41.5 degrees, so we still have a little ways to go before active spawning starts, at least in the mainstream Columbia. The Walleye spawn will kick off when water temps are between 45 and 50 degrees.
Our main focus will be on chasing Columbia River Walleye now through June, and into July. These are a great, excellent eating, and plentiful fish that are great for the entire family. If you are looking to learn this fishery booking a trip with us is a great way to shorten your learning curve, and we love helping people learn how to target these cool fish.
We continue to do very well on the Hanford Reach near the Tri Cities, Washington fishing for Fall Chinook Salmon. Our hot ticket has been downstream trolling both Brads Super baits, and VIP Spinners. By covering lots of water we are able to put our gear in front of the maximum numbers of fish. The fishing here will remain very good well into October. We have 2 seats open the 3rd of October and open boats the 7th-15th of October. Give our office a call at 208-669-1569 or Book Online by clicking on the link at the top of the page.
We had a fantastic day today on the Hanford Reach near the Tri cites, WA. We did well downstream trolling both superbaits and Spinners. I really think the key to success this year is covering a bunch of water looking for aggressive fish.
The basic premise behind our downstream trolling game is to fish our gear in the bottom 5 feet of the water column. The setup that works well for us is to run lead dropper rigs instead of downriggers, we like 12 ounces all the way around the boat, and we typically run our gear with the depth reading and our line counters being the same, or +5. So, if we are fishing 40 feet of water we would run our depth using our line counter reels at 40 or 45 feet.
Hopefully this gives a little bit of help to someone just starting out fishing this way, and if you would like to spend a day on our boats getting some on the water training Kyle has an open boat the 3rd of October and open boats the 7th-15th of October. Give our office a call at 208-669-1569 to book your adventure.