COLUMBIA RIVER FISHING
The Columbia River, named for Captain Robert Gray’s ship the Columbia Rediviva, is the fourth largest river in the US, flowing over 1,200 miles, It is one of the most essential rivers in the world, draining more than 259,100 square miles. It drains portions of seven states and British Columbia including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah. The Columbia River is also a transportation route, along with a source for drinking water, irrigation, and fishing.
The Columbia River’s major tributaries include the Kootenai, Okanogan, Umatilla, John Day, Klickitat, Deschutes, White Salmon & Little White Salmon (Drano Lake), Wind, Sandy, Willamette, Lewis, Cowlitz, and Snake River being the largest.
Columbia River Fall Chinook Salmon are the most sought after and biggest attraction for Columbia River Fishing. Being the largest Pacific Salmon, Chinook Salmon average 33-36 inches and can weigh up to 30 pounds. Chinook are fish eaters, so when fishing the fresher the bait the better. Adult Chinook are found just about entirely in Pacific Ocean and Columbia River. Chinook migrate between 600-1200 miles upriver between mid-August and into late November.
The Columbia River gets a summer run of Columbia River Summer Chinook Salmon, also known as “June Hogs” or Columbia River Up River Brights. The June Hogs are also thought of as “Super Salmon” because they are able to swim over 1,000 miles up the Columbia River into Canada, using enormous amounts of stored energy (fat).
Coho Salmon spend most of their life in the Pacific Ocean, averaging 20 – 26 inches in length and weigh 6-12 pounds. Coho salmon run around the same time as the Columbia River Fall Chinook Salmon between September into late-November.
The Columbia River provides passage to Summer Steelhead and Winter Steelhead. Steelhead live in the ocean, but are able to make several trips in their lifetime to spawn in their home waters. Columbia River Fishing for Steelhead is usually during June and July, although Steelhead can be found in the Columbia River system nearly year around.