Columbia River fishing provides many fishing opportunities throughout the year. It is the largest west of the Mississippi River.
Boat: 26’ Willie Nemesis: 4-6 people
Spring Salmon: March-April
Summer Salmon: May-June
Summer Steelhead: June-July
Fall Salmon: September-October
Sturgeon: Year Round for catch and release. (a few retention days are given per year).
Rates: $225 per person
Meet up locations:
- Elochoman Marina, 500 Second St. Cathlamet, WA. 98612
- Port of Kalama, 380 W Marine Dr. Kalama, WA. 98625
- BB’s Campground, 4005 Dike Rd. Woodland, WA. 98674
- Portco, Marine Park SE Marine Park Way. Vancouver, WA 98661
- Beacon Rock, 852 Skamania Landing Rd. Stevenson, WA 98648
Needed items for Columbia River trips vary depending on season.
For a complete list of recommended items to bring on fishing trips please see our “What to Bring” page.
The Columbia River offers many fishing opportunities. The fish we target here are Salmon, Steelhead and Sturgeon.
By the end of March spring chinook, also known as “Springers” have entered the river. Most would say that Springers are one of the best tasting fish on the planet.
This trip departs from Woodland, WA. This is located at the mouth of the Lewis River.
Slow trolling herring in 15 to 30 feet of water is our method for targeting these fish.
In May we have trips that depart out of Cathlamet, WA for summer chinook, also known as “June Hogs.”
At the end of May, summer steelhead show up and add to the action. The Columbia is a large piece of water, making it difficult to know exactly where the fish are. On these trips, we target salmon and steelhead on the edges of the bank anchored in shallow water.
The current of the river is strong, so the fish use the soft water on the inside edges to travel. The current gives us the movement we need to run hardware like plugs as well as spin and glows with bait. There is nothing like hooking a powerful fish in shallow water, they put up a great fight.
The fall run of Chinook on the Columbia River draws crowds from all over the State.
Our Buoy 10 season wraps up around Labor Day and we follow the fish up river. The first place we stop is Cathlamet, we spend the day trolling pro troll flashers and spinners.
This is one of my favorite ways to troll for salmon because the “take down” on the gear. There is no question that there is a fish on there. In mid to late September, we relocate up river to the Kalama and Woodland area. Our method for fishing is the same.
As we move into October the fish continue to migrate up river and we follow them. Our location during this time of year varies. We follow the fish.
We ask people to be flexible in where we meet depending on where the fish are. Depending on the seasons and location of the fish, we follow the fish to just below or above the Bonneville Dam.
The Bonneville Dam is East of Vancouver, WA by 45 minutes. Coho salmon are part of the action by late September. The Columbia River offers great fishing for several months.
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America.
The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. It flows northwest and then south into the State of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state of Oregon before emptying into the Pacific Ocean.
The river is 1,243 miles long, and its largest tributary is the Snake River. Its drainage basin is roughly the size of France and extends into seven US states and a Canadian province.
The fourth-largest river in the United States by volume, the Columbia has the greatest flow of any river entering the Pacific and the 36th greatest of any river in the world.
Need a fishing license? Visit WDFW and purchase your license online.