Columbia River Fishing Guide

Fall Salmon

Tillamook 2022 Fall Salmon

Tillamook Bay

SPRING SALMON

Columbia River Spring salmon 2022

Columbia River

Buoy 10 King Fishing

Buoy 10 salmon fishing trip 2022

Columbia

OCEAN SALMON

Off The Columbia

STEELHEAD

winter steelhead fishing 2023

Wilson River

WINTER STEELHEAD

Winter steelhead picture 2023

 

Nestucca

TILLAMOOK FALL KINGS

Fall Tillamook salmon fishing trip 2022

Tillamook Bay

Book Now Call (503) 440-5188

St. Laurent Columbia River Guide Service

Hello, my name is Daniel St. Laurent and I am a Columbia River Fishing Guide.  I look forward to fishing with you for Salmon, Steelhead ir Sturgeon. I’ve been fishing in the most popular rivers in the Northwest all my life and many of my friends, family and people I met on the rivers talked me into being a full-time fishing guide. I’ve officially been a Washington and Oregon Salmon and Steelhead fishing guide for 15 years now.  In addition to Columbia River Fishing we also fish the following waters:

NOW BOOKING All 2023 oregon Fishing Trips

 

Oregon Winter Steelhead

January – March 2023

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Oregon Winter Steelhead 2024

Oregon Winter Steelhead 2024

steelhead limit

We are looking forward to another fun and exciting winter steelhead season here on the rivers in Tillamook county.  We will be fishing these hard fighting ocean fresh winter steelhead Jan thru Mar.  We saw another fantastic run of fall coho this year which is always a great sign we will have a great winter steelhead run. Winter steelhead and fall coho are the same age class fish so when one has great returns the other normally follows the suit.    We fish the winter steelhead on all the Tillamook county rivers including the Nehalem River, Kilchis River, Wilson River, Trask River and Nestucca River

Winter Steelhead fishing

The Wilson and the Nestucca have fantastic hatchery programs on them.  But we also have great native runs on those rivers as well as the other Tillamook area rivers. We fish all hands on bobber fishing and side drifting and we cover a lot of water every day with those techniques.  A normal day is 10 to 15 miles of river.  As always all the boats have heated seats!  Come on out and enjoy a fun filled day on the river this winter.

Steelhead fishing

Columbia River Spring Salmon

Mar 26th – Early April 2023

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Columbia River Spring Salmon 2024

columbia spring salmon April 3rd

We will start our COLUMBIA RIVER SPRING SALMON season on April 1st for 2024.  We should get through April 5th.  But we will not know that for positive until late Feb some time. I am going to book April 1st thru 5th until i know we get more days.  The last week of the season is always best. We as Columbia river spring salmon guides look forward to another fun year chasing these prized pacific northwest salmon.

columbia April 12th

These Columbia spring salmon are some of the best eating salmon in all of the pacific northwest due to their high oil content. These fish spend up to 6 months in fresh water before they spawn and we catch them in the first few days to a few weeks of them being in freshwater and that is what makes them such fantastic eating fish.  Many of these fish are bound for Idaho and that makes them some of the highest oil content around.

These fish average from 8 to 15 pounds but see fish into the 20 pound class every year. We fish for Columbia river spring salmon run in the St. Helen’s area and above. The 2024 187,000 Columbia river spring salmon are forecasted. But that does not count the Willamette river and sandy river fish that is around 50 k more so looks to be another decent run this year.  We saw some amazing fishing last year and this year even looks better.  We will be fishing out of Westport off hwy 30.

columbia April 4th

Willamette River Spring Salmon

April – Early May  2023

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Willamette River Spring Salmon 2024

WILLAMETTE RIVER fishing March 27th

We will start our WILLAMETTE RIVER SPRING SALMON SEASON after the Columbia season ends which is normally some time around the second of April. We normally fish through the first week of May before we move back to Tillamook to start the spring season there.

The Willamette river spring salmon forecast is just under 50 k for 2024 which is more than last year’s return of under 40k. We will be fishing the Multnomah Channel out of Scappoose Bay which is off hwy 30 near the town of St. Helen’s.  We saw some very good fishing last year in this area.

The  Willamette river fishing guides are really looking forward to another fun year on the Willamette.  Fishing in this area is very laid back,  trolling,  no sea lions around, and very very calm waters.  We also catch many Columbia river fish in this area due to it being so close to the Columbia river.

If you’re looking for a full time Portland area fishing guide look no further,  we spend almost every day on the water and we found fish almost every day for the 2023 season and with higher numbers for 2024 we are looking forward to a very successful season SPRING SALMON FISHING SEASON!!!

Tillamook Bay Spring Salmon and Ocean Bottom Fishing

May 7th – June 19,  2023

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Tillamook Bay Spring Salmon 2024

Tillamook Spring Salmon
We will start our TILLAMOOK  BAY SPRING SALMON seasons the second week of May thru the end of June. ODFW doesn’t do a run prediction for Tillamook bay spring salmon but with last year’s amazing run of fish and all runs forecasted to be larger this year I think we are in for an amazing run in Tillamook like the other fisheries.   Tillamook bay fishing guides look forward to this fun time of year chasing the biggest spring salmon of the year!
2024 looks to be a year you will not want to miss out on!!! The average on these coastal springers are 15 to 20 pounds and we see a few over 30 every year.  We also saw one of the biggest jack salmon returns last year that we have seen in the last 10 to 15 years which is a very good indicator of a very good run the following year!
We also do combo bottom fishing spring salmon trips out of Tillamook when the ocean allows us to get out. The bottom fishing is very hands on and the success is very high with sea bass and lingcod every time we go out.  The limit for rockfish is also 5 fish per person per day  and still a 2 lingcod limit per person for 2024. Also if you have kids the bottom fishing is great lots of action and you never know what you mite reel in. We even see a halibut or two caught every spring. Don’t miss out on these fine eating fish we have in the spring seasons! Book now!

Summer Chinook Ocean Salmon

July 25th – Mid August  2023

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2023 Ocean Salmon

We will be fishing summer kings and ocean salmon starting July 25th thru mid Aug. We will be fishing in Nehalem Bay for summer kings and on calm days we fish out in the ocean off the Columbia River or Tillamook Bay chasing acrobatic Coho and line peeling kings! This is normally a fun action packed fishery.  We have a run over 1.2 million coho for the northwest Oregon coast this summer and fall along with a very strong king run. We should see some more great salmon fishing along the northwest Oregon coast just like last year!!

Limits in the ocean for 2023 will be 2 salmon per person per day.  1 king and one hatchery coho or 2 hatchery coho and no king.

Summer Chinook Ocean Salmon 2024

Ocean Salmon Fishing

We will be fishing summer kings and ocean salmon starting July 4th thru mid Aug. We will be fishing in Nehalem Bay for summer kings and on calm days we fish out in the ocean off the Columbia River or Tillamook Bay chasing acrobatic Coho and line peeling kings! This is normally a fun action packed fishery.  We have a great run of coho and kings for 2024 for the northwest Oregon coast this summer and fall. We should see some more great salmon fishing along the northwest Oregon coast just like last year!!

World Famous Columbia Buoy 10

Aug 1st  – Sept 7th

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Columbia Buoy 10 2023

Columbia river Buoy 10 salmon

August 1st kicks off the WORLD FAMOUS BUOY 10 salmon fishery this year out of the Astoria area and I will be fishing thru the end of Aug.  This year it will be open for kings and coho 7 days a week thru Sept 3rd. 

I will be running 2 TRIPS PER DAY the morning all day trip 8 hour and an afternoon 4 hour trip.  We should see another lights out year for 2024 with the normal crazy action that we have become used too.  The limit for the 2024 season is 1 hatchery king and 1  hatchery coho a day or 2 coho and no king.

Our forecast for 2024 is over 500,000 kings and another 500k coho. So we should see close to 1 million fish for 2024 for the  Buoy 10 season which is a flat out amazing run of fish.  Don’t miss out on one of the most action packed fun fisheries of the year!!

I will be fishing out of Rainer the last week of Aug where we can keep any king and the weather is nice and no rain gear is needed.

Columbia Buoy 10

August 1st kicks off the WORLD FAMOUS BUOY 10 salmon fishery this year out of the Astoria area and will last thru September 7th for kings and coho.  After the 7th it will be coho only.  Aug 1st thru the 24th is hatchery kings and hatchery coho.  The 25th thru the 7th is any king and hatchery coho.

I will be running 2 TRIPS PER DAY the morning all day trip 8 hour and an afternoon 4 hour trip.  We should see another lights out year for 2022 with the normal crazy action that we have become used too.  The limit for the 2022 season is 1 king and 1 coho a day or 2 coho and no king.

Our forecast for 2022 is nearly 500,000 kings and almost 1 million coho. So we should see close to 1.5 million fish for 2022 for the  Buoy 10 season which is a flat out amazing run of fish.  Don’t miss out on one of the most action packed fun fisheries of the year!!

Fall Kings Nehalem & Tillamook Bay

Sept – Oct 2023

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2023 Fall Kings Tillamook Bay

After buoy 10 we head home to start our Tillamook and Nehalem Bay fall king salmon fishery and coho fishery. For Tillamook this season we get a wild coho season in the ocean for Sept.  Starting Sept 1st thru the end of Sept or until quota is reached.

So when in the ocean you will be able to kill any salmon starting Sept 1st. Fishing in the ocean also allows us to drop crab pots. The crabbing this time of year is great with most days seeing 30 to 50 keepers which makes a great feed with your ocean fresh salmon.

As TILLAMOOK BAY FISHING GUIDES AND NEHALEM BAY FISHING GUIDES we look forward to these huge kings every year! These fall kings are the biggest salmon of the year with kings that reach the 40 pound class and the average being 20-30 pounds. We also see many coho in the high teens. Don’t miss out on the hardest fighting fish of the entire year. We fish the bays through mid October for these giant kings.

We will be able to kill wild kings both in the ocean and in the bays for 2024.  We will also get select days in the bay like last year for wild coho, as well as the 2nd year we get adult coho off a broodstock coho run that was started 4 years ago!!

Fall Kings Tillamook Bay

After buoy 10 we head home to start our TILLAMOOK AND NEHALEM BAY fall king salmon fishery and coho fishery. For Tillamook this season we get a wild coho season in the ocean for Sept.  Starting Sept 3rd thru the end of Sept or until quota is reached.

So when in the ocean you will be able to kill any salmon starting Sept 3rd. Fishing in the ocean also allows us to drop crab pots. The crabbing this time of year is great with most days seeing 30 to 50 keepers which makes a great feed with your ocean fresh salmon.

As TILLAMOOK BAY FISHING GUIDES AND NEHALEM BAY FISHING GUIDES we look forward to these huge kings every year! These fall kings are the biggest salmon of the year with kings that reach the 40 pound class and the average being 20-30 pounds. We also see many coho in the high teens. Don’t miss out on the hardest fighting fish of the entire year. We fish the bays through mid October for these giant kings.

Fall Kings | Rivers & Tide Water

Mid Oct – Early Dec2023

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Fall Kings Rivers and Tide Water

Fall Tillamook river Salmon Fishing guide

Starting in mid October we will be starting drift boat season and small sled tidewater trips thru Dec for these same large king salmon coming in fresh from the ocean. I am getting a 21 foot Willies sled built this summer to fish the lower Wilson river, Kilches river, Trask river, and Nestucca river for the Fall and winter seasons.

Depending on conditions we will be in the sled or drift boats all still will have the HEATED SEATS for those cold fall days. These are very fun hands on trips that we are back bouncing and bobber fishing with eggs sandshrimp and a verity of other baits. We spend the day with the rod in your hand and your very involved. Also when you hook one of these fish with the rod in your hand there is no better feeling and one fantastic rush as the fish takes off line screaming off the reel.

See The Action

Summer Kings Fishing, 2015

See The Action

Oregon Has Amazing Fishing

Don't Wait Till The Last Minute To Book Your Trip!

THE BOATS’

Comfortable & Spacious

28′ Willie Nemisis Sled

This boat is absolutely HUGE. It’s large width provides extra room to move around and makes fishing more enjoyable.

If you would like to book a quality fishing trip with one of the best fish-catching guides on the Oregon Coast call today. If you end up booking with someone else, but see us out fishing, please wave hello. We’re easy to find in our brand new boat. It’s a 2022 Custom 28 foot Willie Nemesis sled with SUSPENSIONS seats that will be very nice when it gets bumpy out in the ocean and on the Columbia and the bays. The boat is powered by 250 Yamaha 4 stroke and 9.9 Yamaha kicker.

When fishing the rivers around the Tillamook Bay area we will be fishing out of a 2018 21 foot Willies Fuzion sled or a 2020 20 by 72 drift boat in the winter we also use a 14 foot Headwater marine cataraft to get to areas other boats cant get too.  We have a boat for every area where salmon and steelhead swim!!!

Please wave or honk if you see us on the river. It’s likely we’ll be in the process of landing a fish so if we’re not able to wave right back I’m sure you’ll understand. I’ve spent as many if not more hours on the water here than any other guide you’ll find, as I fish almost everyday of the year and I truly doubt if you’ll see any other fishing guide who works as hard as I do or puts as many hours in as me. Catching Salmon and Steelhead in the most popular rivers of the Northwest is my passion and my life. It’s a sport that I’d love to share with you.

2018 21 FOOT WILLIES FUZION TUNNEL HULL SLED

This is the best shallow running boat on the market today.This will run up in inches of water while on step with the 200 horsepower yamaha jet.  It has a 9.9 kicker motor that we use while side drifting and bobber dogging while winter steelhead fishing.
We also use it while back bouncing for fall kings as well as bobber fishing and back trolling plugs.  This boat has HEATED SEATS just as my other willie boats do.  We can fish up to 4 people out of this boat.  This boat has a full level floor just as the other willie boats we fish out of.  This boat is just another great boat to have for all the ever changing water conditions we have here in the great pacific northwest.  We use this boat in all the Tillamook county tidewater sections and lower rivers that allow gas motors.

14 FOOT 2016 HEADWATER MARINE CATARAFT 

This boat will open up more water during the winter steelhead season here in Tillamook county.  We will be able to get to sections we were not able to get within.  This is a very stable boat for its little size.  We will be able to fish 2 clients at a time out of this and we will be able to drag it into the water in many areas where there is not even a put in.  We will be fishing in some very remote sections of the north coast with this new fine raft.  tHIS boat has a full walk thru design so moving around in the boat will be very easy for me and 2 clients.  We look forward to being able to get away on some very scenic productive sections here on the north Oregon coast for winter steelhead! 

20 FOOT 2020 Willies Driftboat

Fishing for Oregon Steelhead from a professional guides driftboat is something you need to experience at least once in your life.   Driftboats are known to be able to navagate in very shallow waters allowing the oarsman to manuver the boat into the perfect position to reach fishing spots that are hard to reach.   
Driftboats are the perfect craft to fish for Oregons Winter Steelhead in the Northern coasts waterways.   
This Willies driftboat is top of the line and it is a very comfortable boat to spend a day in.  I has a lot of room to fish 2-3 fishermen and it even has heated seats for the colder days.
Get A Guide

Get a Columbia River guided experience by reaching out to us at: Daniel@StLaurentGuideService.com or Call: (503) 440-5188

Columbia River Fishing: A Comprehensive Guide

The Columbia River is a fantastic destination for anglers of all skill levels, boasting a diverse range of fish species and breathtaking scenery. In this article, we’ll cover the fish you can expect to catch, the best times to go, the most effective techniques, top fishing spots, essential gear, and rules you should be aware of. So, let’s dive in and discover what the Columbia River has to offer!

Species

The Columbia River is home to an array of fish species. Some of the most sought-after ones include salmon, sturgeon, steelhead, bass, walleye, and shad.

Best Time to Fish

Each species has its peak season, but the good news is that you can find something to fish for year-round. Here’s a brief overview of the best times to target each species:

Salmon

Spring Chinook: April – June Fall Chinook: August – October Coho Salmon: September – December

Sturgeon

White Sturgeon: Year-round (catch and release only) Keeper Sturgeon: Check local regulations for specific retention seasons

Steelhead

Summer Steelhead: June – August Winter Steelhead: December – March

Bass

Smallmouth Bass: April – October Largemouth Bass: May – September

Walleye

February – November

Shad

May – July

Techniques

There are a variety of techniques you can use to catch fish on the Columbia River, including trolling, back-trolling, bottom bouncing, jigging, and fly-fishing. The best technique often depends on the species you’re targeting and the time of year.

Fishing Spots

There are numerous fishing spots along the Columbia River. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Bonneville Dam

Located near Cascade Locks, Oregon, the Bonneville Dam is an excellent spot for salmon and steelhead fishing, particularly during the spring and fall runs.

Drano Lake

Situated in Washington, Drano Lake is a famous spot for spring Chinook and summer steelhead.

John Day River

The confluence of the John Day River and the Columbia River is an excellent location for smallmouth bass and walleye.

Wind River

The Wind River, near Carson, Washington, offers exceptional spring Chinook fishing opportunities.

The Dalles Pool

Found near The Dalles, Oregon, this pool is known for its abundant walleye and smallmouth bass populations.

Gear

To make the most of your Columbia River fishing experience, it’s important to have the right gear. Here are some essentials:

Rods and Reels

Selecting the right rod and reel depends on the species you’re targeting. For salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon, opt for medium to heavy-action rods and baitcasting or spinning reels with a high line capacity. For bass and walleye, lighter rods and reels are suitable.

Lures and Baits

Popular lures for salmon and steelhead include plugs, spinners, and spoons. Soft plastic baits, crankbaits, and jigs are effective for bass and walleye. Sturgeon anglers often use smelt, squid, or sand shrimp as bait.

Clothing and Accessories

Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing, and don’t forget essentials like polarized sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, and a reliable life jacket.

Fishing Rules

Before casting your line, make sure you’re familiar with the local fishing regulations.

Licenses

Both Oregon and Washington require fishing licenses for anglers aged 12 and older. You can purchase a license online or at a local vendor.

Catch Limits and Regulations

Each species has specific catch limits and regulations, which may vary depending on the location and time of year. Make sure to consult the latest regulations for the area you plan to fish in.

Conclusion

Columbia River fishing offers an incredible array of opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. With a diverse range of species, stunning scenery, and a wealth of fishing spots to explore, it’s no wonder the Columbia River is a top destination for fishing enthusiasts. So grab your gear, brush up on the rules, and get ready for an unforgettable angling adventure!

 

FAQ's

FAQs

1. Can I fish for sturgeon on the Columbia River year-round?

Yes, you can fish for white sturgeon year-round. However, retention seasons vary, and some areas may be catch-and-release only. Always check the latest regulations before heading out.

2. Do I need a separate fishing license for Oregon and Washington?

Yes, each state requires its own fishing license. Make sure you have the appropriate license for the state you’re fishing in.

3. What’s the best time of year for salmon fishing on the Columbia River?

Spring Chinook salmon are most abundant from April to June, while fall Chinook salmon are plentiful from August to October. Coho salmon can be caught from September to December.

4. Are there any boat launches or marinas along the Columbia River for easy access?

Yes, there are numerous boat launches and marinas along the Columbia River. Many fishing spots, such as the Bonneville Dam and Drano Lake, have nearby launch facilities.

5. Can I hire a fishing guide to help me navigate the Columbia River?

Absolutely! Many experienced fishing guides specialize in Columbia River fishing and can help you find the best spots, choose the right gear, and teach you effective techniques for catching your target species.