Fish the Willamette from Portland Oregon

The Willamette river offers world class fishing right in the Portland metro area. The Willamette is a very special place to fish. Not many places in the world offer a chance to catch a huge Sturgeon or a chrome bright Chinook Salmon in an urban setting like the Willamette provides. It truly is a gem of a river that is stacked with huge Sturgeon and gets multiple runs of Salmon and Steelhead each year. Willamette river Fishing guides offer fishing trips for Salmon and Sturgeon year round for up to 6 customers per day. Portland is known for its many breweries and great places to eat it also has great lodging opportunities that are just minutes from the boat ramps that we meet at!

Spring Chinook Fishing

The Willamette river is known for its fantastic Spring Chinook Salmon fishing. These fish will start showing in early February and fishing will peak in mid to late March. Spring Chinook are known for having the best tasting meat out of all the Salmon that return to the Columbia River Basin. Although not known for their size these fish are aggressive and fight until they have nothing left. The limit for “Springers” on the Willamette is 2 per person per day but they have to be a hatchery (fin clipped) Salmon. We typically target these Willamette river Salmon while trolling. Trolling prawn spinners or cut plug herring are the most effective ways to entice one of these awesome fish to bite. We are lucky to have such an amazing fishery just minutes from the Portland Airport.

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Summer Salmon on the Willamette River

Late in May is a special time on the lower Willamette river. This time of year the Willamette river begins to see Columbia river Summer salmon that make their way into the lower Willamette river. The river has lots of Willamette river Spring chinook left in it this time of year as well. With water temps starting to rise the fish begin to go on more of a lure bite. We transition into fishing 360 flashers with spinners behind them. This method works better as we get warmer water temps, its a lot more flashy and “in their face” that’s what you need when they are more active. The summer fishery on the Willamette will last into late July on a good salmon run. The weather is great this time of year and the fishing is very good. We also offer trips where we Salmon fish and Sturgeon fish on the same day.

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Catch and Release Sturgeon

The Willamette river offers one of Oregon’s best catch and release Sturgeon fisheries. Willamette River sturgeon fishing guides will tell you that the Willamette is by far their favorite catch and release Sturgeon Fishery. This fishery lasts a long time, while Sturgeon can be caught in the Willamette river year round November through March is the best time to catch them. The Willamette river has lots of deep holes and deep pockets up and down the whole river. These are the areas these giant Sturgeon call home! Catching upwards of 30 fish a day on the Willamette is not uncommon, if you find a good school and they are hungry the fishing is nothing short of amazing. It is a day of fishing that is fun for anyone who enjoys fishing or even just enjoys the outdoors! I would love to take you out and share this awesome fishery with you and your group!

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Salmon Fishing Season Notes