Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Winter Steelhead Fishing Explained. . .

Lots of Detailed Information about Winter Steelhead Fishing:

Wynoochee River Fishing Sleds

Fish the Wynoochee, Satsop, Chehalis, Cowlitz or Humptulips River for Winter Steehead all small rivers and small groups of 2-3.  These fishing trips are for 8-9 hours and usually meet around 6am in Montesano, Hoquiam or Toledo, depending on which river you are fishing.
You benefit from our countless years of combined experience to choose the perfect river, the perfect section of river and species to target based on local knowledge and customer preference.  If you really want to fish only 1 specific river we can make that happen.  If you really want to fish on a specific date we can also make that happen.  If you want to leave your trip up to the fishing guide to choose the best date and river we can do that for you as well.

Learn more about these excellent steelhead fisheries below and why we recommend them for your Winter Steelhead Fishing Adventures.

Wynoochee River Winter Steelhead

Now through March:

Wynochee River:  The Wynoochee River, near Montesano, WA,  originates in the Olympic Mountains of the Olympic Peninsula in Western Washington State.  Steelhead return to the rivers of the Pacific NW from the Pacific Ocean.  Hatchery steelhead leave the fish hatcheries or streams where they were deposited as smolts, travel downstream to the Pacific Ocean and stay in the Ocean 2-4 years before returning to their stream of origin.  Native steelhead similarly return to the streams where they were hatched and raised to spawn.  The Wynoochee River is also the home of Waters West Guide Service.  We are the ONLY guide service with property on the Wynoochee River. The Wynoochee River usually gets 180,000 steelhead smolts each year.
The Humptulips River is located near Hoquiam, Washington and Ocean Shores, Washington.  It is a terrific, mostly drift boat, fishery that usually receives around 100,000-140,000 steelhead smolts each winter.  This river also originates in the Olympic Mountains and is an excellent choice for both hatchery or native (native fish must be released) fishing.
The Queets River guided fishing trips are offered by special permit through the Olympic Nation Park Service.  The Queets is located north of Hoquiam,WA off of highway 101.  There is an option when booking your trip to fish the Queets for $50/person in addition to the regular daily fishing rate.  All Queets River trips are drift boat only and with fishing guide, Aaron.  Aaron has been fishing as part of Team Waters West for about 7 years now and grew up fishing the local Grays Harbor and Coastal area rivers.  These trips are all done out of a large 18ft Pavati Drift Boat.  If you really want a remote "special" fishing trip we recommend the Queets River.  Sometimes in the winter the Queets is not in good enough shape (the river get's too high) to safety fish.  On these occasions you can either reschedule to fish a different date or fish another local river that is less "wild" than the Queets.  There is almost always a good Plan B option for a fishing trip when the Queets River is too high to fish.  Also, watching the weather report and searching for a dry week is an excellent way to get a trip in on the Queets!
The Satsop and Chehalis Rivers also have an abundance of hatchery winter run steelhead.  These rivers are closer to Olympia and I-5 and sometimes fish better than the Wynoochee or Humptulips when the water gets extra low.
February through April:

Cowlitz River Winter Steelhead

The Cowlitz River
is famous and popular for it's hatchery fish programs.  There are 2 large state-run hatcheries on the Cowlitz River.  There is a salmon hatchery at the Mayfield Dam along with an excellent visitor center and fish collection facility you can view.  There is also a 'trout' hatchery at Blue Creek on the Cowlitz RIver just below the Mayfield Dam and hatchery.  Blue Creek is the most popular spot to fish for Winter Steelhead on the Cowlitz.  We usually start fishing the Cowlitz River in late February through early April for Winter Steelhead.  These trips are all done out of 'Sleds' which are fishing boats with outboard motors that can run in shallow rivers.  These Cowlitz River destinations are located near Toledo, WA.
Fishing Techniques and Boats Used:

The most popular ways of fishing for steelhead are (1) side drifting (2) pulling plugs (3) bobber and jig fishing

Side drifting can be accomplished out of a drift boat or sled.  Your fishing partners all cast in succession - casting upriver and letting your line drift down through the 'slot' where the steelhead are lying waiting to move upstream.  You continue this process over and over as your boat drifts down through the 'slot.'

Pulling plugs is the easiest for beginners and can also be the most productive method depending on conditions and section of river.  You simply let small divers called plugs sink below the water into the river where fish are waiting to move upriver.  Your guide keeps the boat in position and slowly drift down through the hole or remain stationary depending on section of river.

Bobber and jig fishing is fun and easy.  You cast a bobber with a line and jig attached below.  The steelhead jigs are various colors depending on the water clarity ranging from bright green/yellow to black.

Your fishing guides have the experience to know when and where to use what gear.  Some days they may only have 1 type of fishing technique prepared for you and other days they may have up to 3 techniques ready for you.  It all depends on water level, clarity and what section of river the fish are in.


We have a wide range of boats for use during winter steelhead season each with it's specific advantages based on the river and water conditions.

Aaron runs an 18ft Pavati Drift Boat.  Pavati drift boats are the Cadillac of all drift boats (some prefer Willie Boats which can be equipped equally well) All of our boats, including Aaron's Pavati have propane heating systems.  The Pavati has doors which makes getting in and out of the boat easy for all ages.

Casey uses Willie Drift Boats and Alumaweld Sleds.  Sleds are boats with outboard motors that are all open to make casting and fishing easier.  They have high degree hulls which makes them able to run in shallow rivers.  Casey has a 20ft and a 25ft Sled.  The 20ft sled is used on the smaller rivers such as the Wynoochee, Satsop and Chehalis and the larger sled is used mostly on the Columbia River or Cowlitz for larger groups.

Chris uses Willie Drift Boats and has a brand new Willie Sled being delivered in time for the Cowlitz River Winter Steelhead Season. He also has a 17ft Wooldridge Sled which can be used on the smaller rivers for Winter Steelhead.

Call/txt: 253-389-0359

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wynoochee River Winter Steelhead

Why is the 2017/2018 Season going to be so amazing?

The 2016/17 Wynoochee River Smolt Counts were down. WAY down compared to the following year's smolt plants.

For the 2017/2018 Wynoochee River Steelhead Season there will be a return based off of 169,150 planted hatchery steelhead smolts compared to only 88,740 from the previous year.

If you have been waiting for a good year to fish the Wynoochee River then this is it!

Fish with a Wynoochee River Fishing Guide in a small sled or drift boat.  Our Wynoochee River Fishing Guides have private river access, the best boats on the water and local knowledge that only comes after years of fishing the Wynoochee River daily in season.

We are the only guide service located directly on 
the Wynoochee River.  We fish the Wynoochee 
River for both Summer and Winter-Run
River for both Summer and Winter-Run Steelhead.  
The best time to fish the Wynoochee River is from 
June through March, with the best chance at 
trophy Wynoochee River 
The best time to fish the Wynoochee River is from June through March, with the best chance at trophy Wynoochee River Steelhead during January 
through March.

We welcome you to experience the beauty of the 
Wynoochee River and the ultimate 
through March.
We welcome you to experience the beauty of the Wynoochee River and the ultimate Wynoochee River 
Fishing Experience!

The Wynoochee River is also close to the Ocean 
Beaches and the best fishing for Wynoochee River 
Steelhead falls during normal clam-digging seas

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Satsop River Fishing Guides

The Satsop River is located near the small town of Montesano in Grays Harbor County Washington.  Our Satsop River Fishing Guides will help you catch winter steelhead like the ones pictured above fishing for Satsop River Winter Steelhead.  

Satsop River fishing guides use small drift boat and sleds to guide you to fish.  

The Satsop River is best fished for summer steelhead, winter steelhead and fall salmon.  It closes in the spring to allow native steelhead to return and spawn in the headwaters of the Satsop River.  

Satsop River Fishing Guides use several different fishing techniques to catch Satsop River Steelhead.  Satsop River fishing guides use bait such as sand shrimp and salmon roe.  Satsop River fishing guides use light tackle terminal gear and some use light weight fly gear.  Satsop River Steelhead are susceptible to side drifting and free drifting making sled fishing during the high water winter months extremely productive.

Fish the Satsop River with our Satsop River Fishing Guides and you won't be disappointed. 

Wynoochee River Fishing Guide

The Wynoochee River is located near the small town of Montesano in Grays Harbor County Washington.  Our Wynoochee River Fishing Guides will help you catch winter steelhead like the ones pictured above fishing for Wynoochee River Winter Steelhead.  

Wynoochee River fishing guides use small drift boat and sleds to guide you to fish.  

The Wynoochee River is best fished for summer steelhead, winter steelhead and fall salmon.  It closes in the spring to allow native steelhead to return and spawn in the headwaters of the Wynoochee River.  

Wynoochee River Fishing Guides use several different fishing techniques to catch Wynoochee River Steelhead.  Wynoochee River fishing guides use bait such as sand shrimp and salmon roe.  Wynoochee River fishing guides use light tackle terminal gear and some use light weight fly gear.  Wynoochee River Steelhead are susceptible to side drifting and free drifting making sled fishing during the high water winter months extremely productive.

Fish the Wynoochee River with our Wynoochee River Fishing Guides and you won't be disappointed. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Salmon Season 2017 for Seattle, Portland and Astoria, Oregon

Salmon Fishing Oregon, Salmon Fishing Seattle is made easy with our Columbia River Fishing Guides.

The 2017 Fall Chinook and Coho Salmon Season on the Columbia River and Buoy 10 is set and we are looking forward to a return of 582,000 of king salmon and 386,000 coho salmon.

Our Columbia River Fishing guides will help provide excellent service for your salmon fishing oregon trips, salmon fishing seattle trips and all Columbia River Fishing Guide trips.

Whenever a fishing enthusiast travels to the Pacific NW they have one thing on their mind - Salmon Fishing.  And rightly so. For salmon fishing oregon you have the best chances of catching fish in April through August and for salmon fishing seattle the best closest fishing is in the fall.  The Columbia River has many tributaries so when the columbia river fall salmon season is over the smaller rivers such as the cowlitz and kalama continue to have good fishing into winter for salmon.

Oregon Salmon Fishing Trips meet in Astoria at the West Mooring Basin in July, August and September.

Salmon Fishing Seattle is available year round with the smaller rivers being fish in July through March including steelhead fishing.

Columbia River Fishing Guides fish the Columbia River from the mouth of the Columbia River at Buoy 10 between the Washington and Oregon border and the Pacific Ocean.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2017 Columbia River Spring Chinook Run

Cowlitz River 2017 Spring Chinook

The 2017 Columbia River Spring Chinook run was originally estimated to be 160,400 fish which would have been in line with the 10 year average and the normal fishing seasons were set, included snake river fisheries, as fisheries managers expected escapement levels to be high enough to allow commercial, tribal and recreational fisheries.

As of May 16th, 2017 the 160,400 pre-season forecast has been slashed to only 83,000.  That is about half of the original forecast and resulted in the closing of the snake river recreational fisheries.  

There has been a lot of talk this season about why the Spring Chinook catches were low.  First the Columbia River was flooded during the most popular time to fish the Columbia Portland fishery from March 15th through the 2nd Saturday in April.  Catch rates were so low that fisheries managers re-opened the lower Columbia Spring Chinook Fishery 2 times!  They opened the river for sport fisherman to catch their quota on the lower river based on the higher 160,400 pre-season forecast.  

The fisheries managers conducted 'test fisheries' where they used nets to fish in the lower columbia river for king salmon to see if there were any spring chinook hanging out in the lower river.  The managers assured everyone that the fish were there and they just weren't moving upriver to where people were trying to catch them.

Then the water flows coming out of the Bonneville Dam got really high.  Historically high water flows, fisheries managers suggested, were keeping the 2017 Columbia River Spring Chinook from heading upstream through the fish passage gates and over Bonneville Dam.

We've been checking the Bonneville Dam Fish Counts DAILY, every morning pressing the refresh button over and over waiting for the thousands of fish we've been expecting to show up.  With over or near a thousand fish a day going over the dam as of May 16th it appears that the fish could all straggle in, but it's probably not very likely.

Lucky for us the Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers have been fair to good for the 2017 spring season so far and we are grateful that we are catching fish.

Hopefully more fish show up and fisheries managers can target the cause of the super low Columbia run and do something to fix it.

To book a fishing trip for Cowlitz Spring Chinook, Summer Sockeye or Buoy 10 King Salmon HERE IS YOUR LINK  Call/txt: 253-389-0359

Buoy 10 Fishing Guides

The Buoy 10 Fishing Season most commonly refers to the Fall King Salmon Run on the Columbia River which is held just inside the mouth of the Columbia River.  Buoy 10 Fishing Guides provide full service Columbia River Fishing Charters near Astoria, Oregon on the Lower Columbia River.

Each year when August 1st arrived the Buoy 10 King Salmon Fishery begins with thousands of people seeking to catch their 2 fish limit of 1 king salmon and 1 coho salmon.

Since Astoria, Oregon is near the Oregon Coast it is a very popular tourist destinations.  And I guess you've deduced that this place is busy even without fishing.  That means you MUST book both your fishing trip and your hotels as far in advance as possible.

Astoria Oregon is home to lots of breweries and boutique restaurants.  It is also home to the Columbia River Maritime Museum.

When you fish with a Buoy 10 Fishing Guide be sure to book with a guide who is moored at the West Mooring Basin or Hammond Marina.  Fish cleaning and packaging is available right on the dock.

All gear, bait and tackle is always provided and most boats take a maximum of 6 passengers.

The Buoy 10 King Salmon Fishery lasts from August 1st through Labor Day each year with more king salmon being caught earlier and more coho salmon being caught later each year.  The best time to take a trip with one of our Buoy 10 Fishing Guides if you want to try and catch a trophy buoy 10 king salmon is between August 1st and 25th.  If you want to take a trip with one of our Buoy 10 Fishing Guides when the best chance is to catch lots of easy limits of coho salmon is going to be between August 20th and Labor Day.

We have the best team of Buoy 10 Fishing Guides, with lots of years of experience and the newest fleet of boats you will find on the water.

Columbia River Fishing Guides
Salmon Fishing Oregon
Salmon Fishing Portland
Salmon Fishing Seattle

Book a Buoy 10 Guided King and Coho Salmon Trip Online Here:  https://fishwaterswest.rezdy.com call/txt/email: 253-389-0359

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Moses Lake Walleye Fishing Trips

NICE Walleye Moses Lake, WA

We make Moses Lake Walleye Fishing EASY and FUN For the entire family.  Fishing for Walleye at Moses Lake is easy when you are on the water every day and know the feeding habits of these fish.  The Pre-Spawn Walleye Bite at Moses Lake has been off the hook so far this season.  Expect excellent fishing now through May and into June.

Buoy 10 King Salmon Fishing

Limits of Coho Salmon September at Astoria, Oregon
It's that time of year when the 2017 Columbia River King Forecasts are in and we all start drooling over the HUGE KING SALMON we now know are headed into our reach at the Astoria Buoy 10 King Salmon Fishery.

The 2017 Buoy 10 Fall King Salmon Forecast is set and we are jumping out of our boots in excitement for August 1st to FINALLY GET HERE!

Buoy 10 King Salmon Trips meet at the West Mooring Basin in Astoria, Oregon August 1st through Labor Day each year.

This fishing area is defined by Buoy 10 and Rocky Point Tongue Point areas within the lower Columbia excluding an area for Commercial Fishing at Young's Bay.

Buoy 10 Fishing Guides
Buoy 10 Fishing Charters
Buoy 10 Fall King Salmon 
Fishing Guides Astoria, Oregon
Fishing Charters Astoria, Oregon

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Moses Lake Walleye Fishing!

Moses Lake Walleye Fishing is so much fun and easy!  Plus you get to enjoy the Sunny Side of Washington State (it's not all clouds and rain!)

Walleye Fishing on Moses Lake is a great spring and summer activity.  Our Walleye Fishing Guides are the best guides you will find anywhere.  Moses Lake Fishing Guides are ready to get you out on the water for a full day or half day fishing adventure.

The limit for Moses Lake Walleye is 8 fish per person per day with 1 of the 8 fish allowed to be over 22 inches.  We are catching big Moses Lake Walleye daily now and fishing will only get better.

Stay at Mar Don Resort for your Guided Walleye Fishing Trip.  Mar Don is located on the Potholes Resevoir a short drive from Moses Lake and also boasts lots of great sport fishing including bass, walleye and crappie.

Mardon Fishing Guides
Moses Lake Fishing Guides
Guided Walleye Fishing Moses Lake
Moses Lake Fishing Guides
Walleye Fishing Trips

Monday, April 24, 2017

Columbia River Walleye Fishing

It's time to escape the low returns of spring king salmon on the cowlitz river and head east to the sunny columbia river reservoirs to catch plentiful no limit Walleye!  Columbia River Walleye Fishing is high action, fun and enjoyed under the eastern washington sun.

Columbia River Walleye Fishing Guides
Walleye Fishing Washington State
Washington State Walleye Fishing
Washington State Fishing Guides
Fishing Charters Seattle,WA
Fishing Charters Portland,OR

Walleye (Sander vitreussynonym Stizostedion vitreum) is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the Northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European Zander, also known as the pikeperch. The walleye is sometimes called the yellow walleye to distinguish it from the blue walleye, which is a subspecies that was once found in the southern Ontario and Quebec regions, but are now presumed extinct.[2] However, recent genetic analysis of a preserved (frozen) 'blue walleye' sample suggests that the blue and yellow walleye were simply phenotypes within the same species and do not merit separate taxonomic classification.[3]
In some parts of its range, the walleye is known as the walleyed pike', colored pike, yellow pike although the fish is not related to other species of pikes which are members of the family Esocidae.[4]
Walleyes fishing show a fair amount of variation across watersheds. In general, fish within a watershed are quite similar and are genetically distinct from those of nearby watersheds. The species has been artificially propagated for over a century and has been planted on top of existing populations or introduced into waters naturally devoid of the species, sometimes reducing the overall genetic distinctiveness of populations.


Walleye, Sander vitreus
The common name, "walleye", comes from the fact that the fish's eyes point outward, as if looking at the walls. This externally facing orientation of the eyes gives anglers an advantage in the dark because there is a certain eyeshine given off by the eye of the walleye in the dark, similar to that of lions and other night dwelling animals. This "eyeshine" is the result of a light-gathering layer in the eyes called the tapetum lucidum, which allows the fish to see well in low-light conditions. In fact, many anglers look for walleyes at night since this is when major feeding patterns occur. The fish's eyes also allow them to see well in turbid waters (stained or rough, breaking waters), which gives them an advantage over their prey. Thus, walleye anglers will commonly look for locations where there is a good "walleye chop" (i.e., rough water). This excellent vision also allows the fish to populate the deeper regions in a lake, and they can often be found in deeper water, particularly during the warmest part of the summer.[citation needed]


Walleyes are largely olive and gold in color (hence the French common name: dorĂ©—golden). The dorsal side of a walleye is olive, grading into a golden hue on the flanks. The olive/gold pattern is broken up by five darker saddles that extend to the upper sides. The color shades to white on the belly. The mouth of a walleye is large and is armed with many sharp teeth. The first dorsal and anal fins are spinous, as is the Operculum. Walleyes are distinguished from their close cousin the sauger by the white coloration on the lower lobe of the caudal fin which is absent on the sauger. In addition, the two dorsals and the caudal fin of the sauger are marked with distinctive rows of black dots which are absent from or indistinct on the same fins of walleyes.[5]

Length and weight[edit]

Weight vs. length of walleyes
Walleyes grow to about 80 cm (31 in) in length, and weigh up to about 9 kg (20 lb). The maximum recorded size for the fish is 107 cm (42 in) in length and 13 kilograms (29 lb) in weight. The rate depends partly on where in their range they occur, with southern populations often growing faster and larger. In general, females grow larger than males. Walleyes may live for decades; the maximum recorded age is 29 years. In heavily fished populations, however, few walleye older than five or six years of age are encountered. In North America, where they are highly prized, their typical size when caught is on the order of 30 to 50 cm (12 to 20 in), substantially below their potential size.
As walleye grow longer, they increase in weight. The relationship between total length (L) and total weight (W) for nearly all species of fish can be expressed by an equation of the form
Invariably, b is close to 3.0 for all species, and c is a constant that varies among species. For walleye, b = 3.180 and c = 0.000228 (with units in inches and pounds).[6]
The relationship described in this section suggests a 50 cm (20 in) walleye will weigh about 1.5 kg (3.3 lb), while a 60 cm (24 in) walleye will likely weigh about 2.5 kg (5.5 lb).


Walleye larva
In most of the species' range, male walleyes mature sexually between three and four years of age. Females normally mature about a year later. Adults migrate to tributary streams in late winter or early spring to lay eggs over gravel and rock, although there are open water reef or shoal spawning strains as well. Some populations are known to spawn on sand or vegetation. Spawning occurs at water temperatures of 6 to 10 °C (43 to 50 °F). A large female can lay up to 500,000 eggs, and no care is given by the parents to the eggs or fry. The eggs are slightly adhesive and fall into spaces between rocks. The incubation period for the embryos is temperature-dependent, but generally lasts from 12 to 30 days. After hatching, the free-swimming embryo spends about a week absorbing a relatively small amount of yolk. Once the yolk has been fully absorbed, the young walleye begins to feed on invertebrates, such as fly larvæ and zooplankton. After 40 to 60 days, juvenile walleyes become piscivorous. Thenceforth, both juvenile and adult walleyes eat fish almost exclusively, frequently yellow perch or ciscoes, moving onto bars and shoals at night to feed. Walleye also feed heavily on crayfish, minnows, and leeches.

As food[edit]

The walleye is considered to be a quite palatable freshwater fish, and, consequently, is fished recreationally and commercially for food.[7] Because of its nocturnal feeding habits, it is most easily caught at night using live minnows or lures that mimic small fish. In Minnesota the walleye is often fished for in the late afternoon on windy days or in the night. Most commercial fisheries for walleye are situated in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.


Because walleyes are popular with anglers, fishing for walleyes is regulated by most natural resource agencies. Management may include the use of quotas and length limits to ensure that populations are not over-exploited. For example, in the state of Michigan, walleye shorter than 15 in (38 cm) may not be legally kept, except in Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River where fish as short as 13 in (33 cm) may be taken.
Since walleyes have excellent visual acuity under low illumination levels, they tend to feed more extensively at dawn and dusk, on cloudy or overcast days and under choppy conditions when light penetration into the water column is disrupted. Although anglers interpret this as light avoidance, it is merely an expression of the walleye's competitive advantage over its prey under those conditions. Similarly, in darkly stained or turbid waters, walleye tend to feed throughout the day. In the spring and fall walleye are located near the shallower areas due to the spawning grounds; and they are most often located in shallower areas during higher winds due to the murkier, higher oxygenated water at around six feet deep.[8] On calm spring days the walleye are more often located at the deep side of the shoreline drop-off and around shore slopes around or deeper than ten feet.[9]
As a result of their widespread presence in Canada and the northern United States walleye are frequently caught while ice fishing, a popular winter pastime throughout the regions in question.
"Walleye chop" is a term used by walleye anglers for rough water typically with winds of 10 to 25 km/h (6 to 16 mph), and is one of the indicators for good walleye fishing due to the walleye's increased feeding activity during such conditions. In addition to fishing the "Walleye chop", night fishing with live bait can be very effective.
The current all-tackle world record for a walleye is held by Mabry Harper, who caught a 11.34 kg (25 lbs.) walleye in Old Hickory Lake in Tennessee, USA on August 2, 1960.[10]

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cowlitz River King Salmon Report

Our Cowlitz River King Salmon Fishery is well under way!  Our favorite secret spot to catch lots of big king salmon is finally producing easy limits of Spring King Salmon.  The Columbia River 2017 Spring Chinook Run was a little late due to high water levels but the fish are finally coming into the rivers and into our fish boxes!

We are also catching Kalama River Spring Chinook now in good numbers as well as a few steelhead.  The Kalama River 2017 Spring Chinook Fishery is expected to be better than last year.

Cowlitz River King Salmon, Cowlitz River Springers, Cowlitz River Spring Chinook, Kalama River Springers, Kalama River Spring Chinook, fishing guides cowlitz river, fishing guides kalama river, fishing guides columbia river, columbia river fishing guides, columbia river fishing charters

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fishing Guides Columbia River

The easiest way to catch king salmon on the Columbia River is with a fishing guide.  Fishing guides are licensed by the Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife to operate fishing charters on the Columbia River.  Fishing Guides on the Columbia River are numerous and offer a wide range of skill and experience.

We recommend you always choose a guide who has been legally guiding for several years and has good reviews and good standing with the BBB.

Fishing Guides Columbia River, Fishing Trips Portland, Oregon, Fishing Guides Woodland, WA, Columbia River Fishing Guides, Columbia River Spring Chinook, Buoy 10 King Salmon Fishing

Columbia River Spring Chinook 2017 Season Under Way!

Two Chrome Bright Spring Chinook Salmon Caught on the Columbia River 

The Columbia River Spring Chinook 2017 Season is well underway.  After a slow start to the season hampered by flood stage waters on the Columbia, the water has receded and it's now time to catch lots of delicious king salmon.

The 2017 Columbia River King Salmon Season has already been extended.  The 2017 Columbia River Chinook Forecast that there would be 6,905 spring chinook that recreational anglers could keep from going above bonneville dam.  

As of April 7th, a day after the season was originally scheduled to close, less than 100 of the 6,905 fish have been caught.

This means that there will likely be another extension past this coming Monday so we will have the opportunity to catch the recreational quota.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

2017 Spring Chinook Seasons and Forecasts!

We are so excited for the Columbia River 2017 Spring Chinook Season.

The Cowlitz River, Kalama River and Columbia Rivers are our favorite spots to catch Springers each year and all have sufficient returns to allow normal fisheries!

Columbia River Spring Chinook 2017 Forecast:  160,000 upriver chinook

Kalama River Spring Chinook 2017 Forecast:  3,100 Chinook

Cowlitz River Spring Chinook 2017 Forecast:  17,900

With this many Spring King Salmon returning to the Columbia, Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers you know we will be having a nice and long spring king season this year!

For fully guided fishing trips.  Guided fishing cowlitz river.  Cowlitz River Fishing Guides.  Portland Fishing trips.  Portland King Salmon Fishing.  Columbia River fishing guides.  Kalama River king salmon fishing.  Cowlitz River king salmon.  Columbia River King Salmon.  Cowlitz River Steelhead Fishing.  Cowlitz River Fishing Trips.  Kalama River Spring Chinook.  Kalama River Guided Fishing.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fishing Charters Portland, Oregon

Fishing Charters Portland, Oregon

There is almost an overabundance of licensed fishing guides and charters in Washington and Oregon who can legally take you out on the Columbia River for King Salmon Fishing near Portland.  However, very few are experienced in professionally conducting guided fishing charters for King Salmon near Portland, Oregon.  Some items to look for in a professional guide service before booking:

  • How many years have they been business?
    • Waters West Guide Service has been in business since 2003 when they opened under the trade name Premier Guide Service.  
  • How many boats and guides do they have?
    • Team Waters West has 5-7 fishing guides who work together as a team to help you catch fish year round.  These guide have over 10 boats total many of which are brand new each year.
  • How new are their boats and equipment?
    • New boats, new fishing rods and reels are important for safety and reliability which is why we are always upgrading boats every few years and equipment each season.

Guided Fishing Trips near Portland, Oregon

The closest fishing to Portland, Oregon is the Spring King Salmon fishery where many anglers troll the mighty Columbia River around the I-5 bridge between Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington from mid-March through mid-April each spring for King Salmon at Portland.  The Spring King Salmon Season is short but also has the best tasting highest valued king salmon of the entire year.  There are other trips available year round within an easy drive of Portland, Oregon for King Salmon and Steelhead.

  • March/April King Salmon at Portland on the Columbia RIver
  • April/May/June King Salmon on the Cowlitz River 2-2.5 hours NE of Portland
  • July/August/September Fishing at Astoria, Oregon about 1.5 hours West of Portland
  • September/October Fishing at Woodland, Washington about 30 minutes North of Portland

Columbia River King Salmon Charters

King Salmon fishing is probably the most popular fishing in the Pacific NW.  King salmon are aptly named as the ultimate king of all salmon.  King Salmon are the biggest species of salmon and king salmon are caught on the Columbia River each year close to 50lbs.  Historically king salmon had been known to reach 80lbs or more.  We frequently catch king salmon close to or just over 40lbs.

  • King Salmon caught daily on the Columbia River in March, April, July, August, September and October can reach as much as 40+lbs
  • The best time to fish for the biggest King Salmon is August near Astoria, Oregon during the Buoy 10 King Salmon Fishery
  • King Salmon Fishing on the Columbia River takes place about 6 months out of the year depending on seasons regulated by the Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife

Cowlitz River King Salmon Fishing

The Cowlitz River is a main tributary of the lower Columbia River.  Spring King Salmon fishing is very popular on the Cowlitz River as it is a very easy drive from Portland, Oregon, Tacoma, Washington and Seattle, Washington.  The Cowlitz River has a large salmon hatchery run by Tacoma Power, the utility company which has hydroelectric dams in the region  The fishery program is well managed by Tacoma Power and the Department of Fish and Wildlife creating a wiz bang Spring and Fall King Salmon Fishery.

Our guides' favorite time to fish the Cowlitz River for King Salmon is in the Spring.  Spring King Salmon Fishing on the Cowlitz River is one of the most promising and happy times of year for our customers and fishing guides.  The Cowlitz River regularly received between 10-25,000 returning king salmon each Spring Season.

  • Spring King Salmon Fishing on the Cowlitz River March through June Each Season
  • King Salmon limits usually 2 per person and daily limits caught often
  • Multiple guides and boats available daily for this popular fishery

Portland Fishing Trips

If you live in or are visiting Portland, Oregon it is hard to ignore the fact that this is an epicenter of fishing activity.  Fishing trips at Portland can occur year round even though the best time is in the Spring to fish in Portland there are year round opportunities to catch salmon and steelhead within a short drive of Portland.  Portland fishing charters and Portland fishing guides are licensed by either Oregon or Washington States and can help you catch big salmon and steelhead year round.

  • Portland Fishing Trips available year round at Portland or within 2.5 hours
  • Portland Fishing Charters most popular for King Salmon in the Spring, late Summer and Fall
  • Fishing Guides and Charters are Portland, Oregon can help you successfully catch king salmon, coho salmon, sockeye salmon and steelhead each year

Kalama River King Salmon and Steelhead

The Kalama River is only 30 minutes north of Portland, Oregon and offers year round opportunities to catch salmon and steelhead on a small river with beautiful scenery.  There are many waterfalls on the Kalama River and the longest stretch of the river is limited to non-motorized boats which adds to the tranquility of this fishery.  One of the most popular times of year to fish the Kalama River is in March-May.  During this time you can catch winter steelhead, summer steelhead AND king salmon.  King Salmon fishing on the Kalama River is a great relaxing trip for all ages.

  • Kalama River King Salmon and Steelhead March-May
  • Kalama River Fishing Guides offer nice drift boats and up to date gear and techniques to help you catch fish
  • The Kalama River offers a quiet scenic drift boat fishery perfect for all ages and experience levels

We hope you learned a lot about the seasons and fisheries that the Portland area has to offer on the Lower Columbia River and look forward to seeing you on the water soon.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

King Salmon Fishing FAQa

Spring King Salmon Fishing: What's all the Hype About Anyway?

Cabin Fever after a Long Winter:  We need to get outside on the water!

King Salmon:  You live in the best place on the planet to catch Spring King Salmon - take advantage of it!

Spring King Salmon Fishing: What's all the Hype About Anyway?

Cabin Fever after a Long Winter:  We need to get outside on the water!

King Salmon:  You live in the best place on the planet to catch Spring King Salmon - take advantage of it!

Long Days!  Long days mean there are more hours in the day you need to find fun things to do and we can offer half day trip!

Delicious Fish:  Spring Chinook have the highest fat content of any Pacific Salmon Species - these rich omega 3 fatty acids are healthy promoting good cholesterol and are very delicious

Book Online While Rates are Still LOW!

Fequently Asked Questions:

When is the best time to go?

Anytime after March 20th and before June 30th is the best time to specifically target Columbia, Kalama and Cowlitz River Spring Chinook.

Where do we meet?

Common meeting locations include:
4005 Dike Rd Woodland, WA
Lower River Rd Vancouver, WA
Kalama River Rd Kalama,WA
Cowlitz Falls Day Use Park Randle,WA

How big do they get?

As you can see from this picture they vary in size from about 8-15lbs but can get as big as 20-30lbs.

What's the limit?

There is no annual bag limit but the daily limit is usually 1 fish on the main stem Columbia so they can let some fish move to the tributaries for additional sport fishing opportunities and spawning, and usually 2 on the tributaries.  These are daily limits and again their is no annual or weekly limit.

What do I have to bring?

1. Fishing license with Catch Record Card and Columbia River Endorsement
2. Dress to be outside for the day - rain gear or waders are recommended always
3. Polarized sunglasses are great if you have them!
5. Hat with visor is always good when you're outside on the water
6. Whatever you want to eat or drink for the day
7. Cooler to get your fish home

What if I have to go to the bathroom?

On the Columbia you can pee off the side of the boat or use a bucket - I know sounds wild huh?

On the Kalama you can squat in the bushes.

On the Cowlitz there is an actual restroom and lots of privacy along the edge of the fishing waters.

Do you clean the fish at the end of the day?

Yes, we always clean your fish at the end of the day.  Filleted ready to bbq, freeze or send to the smoker.

How much does it cost?

Half days are sometimes available for $150/person.

Full days are only $199 now and can go as high as $225-250/person depending on fishery.

How many people on the boat?

Drift boat trips are for 2-3 people on the Kalama River

Big sled trips on the Columbia are for up to 6 people maximum

Small sled trips on the Cowlitz are for up to 4 people maximum

Big sled trips on the Cowlitz are for up to 6 people maximum

We have lots of guides and boats available so we can take larger groups - but most prime dates for Spring are at least partially full - so let me know in advance if you need more than 1 boat so we can find you a good date.

Do I need a license?

YES.  All Columbia and Tributaries require a Washington State Fishing License and a Catch Record Card for Salmon and Steelhead and a Columbia River Endorsement.  If you're fishing on the Columbia the Oregon License with same cards and endorsements works great too.

Where should I stay the night before?

For the late March Early April fishery stay anywhere in Portland or Vancouver with north Vancouver being the easiest for travel the morning of your trip due to traffic.

For the Kalama North Vancouver is also a very easy place to stay.

For the Cowlitz River there is the Seasons Motel in Morton (a bit overpriced for what it is) and then there are several options in Packwood, WA.

Any campgrounds nearby?

For the Kalama there is Kamp Kalama.

For the Cowlitz there is the Cowlitz Falls Campground and the Taidnapum Campground is the 2nd closest.

Can I bring kids?

Please bring kids!  How else are we going to pass along this amazing culture to future generations?

What time do trips start?

Morning trips usually start just before sunrise.

Late morning trips around 10-11am.

Afternoon Trips around 3pm.

How much do I tip the guide?

The average is $20-50/person to the guide.

Leave a review on Facebook, Yelp or Trip Advisor!  That is worth a lot to me :)

Who will the guide be?

If you have a favorite guide let us know in advance so we can ensure you know what dates he/she is available.

Our guides so far for Spring are as follows:

Columbia:  Ryan and Chris
Kalama:  Aaron and Tommy
Cowlitz:  Casey, Ryan and Chris (maybe Aaron too!)

Do I need to bring waders?

If you're fishing the Kalama waders are a good idea if you have them, but not required.

If you're fishing the Columbia rain gear is better than waders.

If you're fishing the Cowlitz then either is fine.

Other Questions?  Call/txt/email anytime: 253-389-0359   Visit our website at http://www.fishwaterswest.com to learn more about King Salmon Fishing in Portland, Oregon and the Pacific NW.