As a Portland-based fishing guide, fishing on the Columbia River is my bread and butter. I’ve been fishing this river since I was a kid and guiding it now for well over two decades.

This Columbia River Fishing Report will keep you up to date on what’s biting on the big river. I run guided trips year-round on the Columbia River, from beyond the Columbia River Gorge downriver to the estuary. Many of my trips are right in the Portland area or a short drive away, so you’ll find lots of good Portland fishing reports in this post.

The majority of my guided trips here will be after salmon (both spring and fall runs), sturgeon and walleye, the top three of my clients’ favorite fishing opportunities. I also keep close tabs on the fishing for other species, including steelhead, smallmouth bass and American shad.

Be sure to check this report often for updates so you’ll have the latest and greatest information.

Better yet, call or text me at 503-314-5087, and let’s find a time for you to experience the trip of a lifetime.

My Latest Fishing Report

Saturday, October 21

Today’s customers wanted a late start, but we still managed to get two salmon to the net. Unfortunately, one was a wild coho we had to release. The other was a Chinook we kept.

These upriver Chinook are starting to show a bit of color here in the second half of October, but this run just keeps on going and going with lots of fish still being caught. There will still be high numbers of fish of good eating quality for a bit longer.

I also know of a few fish caught in the St. Helens area today, so more salmon continue to work their way upriver.

Previous Fishing Reports

Tuesday, October 17

We were fishing back in the Hood River area again today. It was a bit slower than yesterday but we got one nice keeper Chinook salmon and lost two others. There were fewer anglers out as well.

We’re still seeing lots of jumping fish as the salmon are holding off the mouth of the White Salmon River across from Hood River.

A young man holds a large Chinook salmon caught in the Columbia River near Hood River, with guide Marvin Henkel giving a thumbs-up sign.

A smiling customer holds up a nice Chinook salmon caught fishing with Marvin’s Guide Service on the Columbia River near Hood River.

Monday, October 16

Today, we fished up by Hood River. We put two Chinook in the fish box and lost another.

We also saw other boats having some success, although there were only about ten boats in the area I fished today.

We saw lots of salmon jumping, and I believe this upper Columbia River area will fish well for a couple more weeks unless we get a lot of rain.

Friday, October 13

I fished in the Hood River area today and can report there are lots of coho being caught. And they are in great shape. Anglers up there also are seeing some Chinook in the catches.

Guys that I know who fished below Bonneville Dam today also got a mix of coho and Chinook, at least before the wind got too bad.

This run just keeps going. It’s not too late to get in on another day of catching, but don’t wait too long.

Tuesday, October 10

Although the fishery is shifting upriver as time goes by, anglers are definitely still landing salmon below Bonneville Dam. And coho are still being caught down by St. Helens in the lower river.

That said, Hood River up in the Gorge has been fishing very well. That’s where I’ll be doing much of my fishing this month. If you still want to get in on some prime October salmon fishing, give me a call or shoot me a text, and I’ll do my best to find an open day for you.

By November, salmon fishing will be mostly a memory of a really good season, and my clients and I will be down at the coast, pulling up crab pots stuffed with Dungeness. (Be sure to check out my crabbing reports as that fishery ramps up.)

Thursday, October 5

Today was one of those perfect days on the Columbia River. We only needed three bites, and my three clients each had their salmon in the box, and we were done fishing at 9 a.m.

Of course, not every day is so red hot. We’ve had to work a bit more for our fish on trips earlier this week. We’re seeing more Chinook than coho for trips in this area, but there’s some of both in the river.

SpinFish and spinners have been bringing the strikes lately as we’ve put in at Chinook Landing and fished upstream in the Columbia River Gorge below Bonneville Dam.

Three smiling anglers on the Marvin's Guide Service boat hold up chinook salmon they caught fishing in the Columbia River Gorge.

Happy clients holding salmon they caught on the Columbia River with Marvin’s Guide Service.

Friday, September 29

Fishing below Bonneville Dam was very productive today for Chinook and jacks. It seems like there’s still lots of fish around.

I also expect there to be plenty more to come, at least for silvers, because I also talked to a couple of guys that fished down at Buoy 10 today. There was quite a few coho for very few boats. Crabbing down there is also excellent, by the way, and I’ll be doing plenty of those trips this fall.

Thursday, September 28

Anglers who fished below Bonneville Dam today found very, very good fishing. There are still lots of Chinook around and also quite a few coho. Most guys I talked to had their limits early.

The Hood River area above the bridge, where you can keep wild coho, also was very productive today, but primarily for Chinook salmon.

Wednesday, September 27

The fishing remains good in the Columbia River, with the Gorge being one of the better spots.

There is a mix of salmon being caught, including Chinook but also definitely some coho in the mix. And there are quite a few jacks around.

I have also heard of fish caught in the St. Helens area. I believe coho are still coming up the river in good numbers, and it’s gonna go for a while.

Monday, September 25

I had the day off from guiding, so what’s a guide to do? Go fishing with some good buddies!

We ended up landing three salmon, two of which were coho and one Chinook. We had a few other take-downs that didn’t stick and called it a day by 10:30 a.m.

Sunday, September 24

Today we decided to fish upriver from the Gleeson Boat Ramp toward the Interstate 205 bridge.

Using Pro Trolls and Brad’s Super Baits, we got our first takedown within 5 to 10 minutes. We got several more takedowns, although it took a handful of hits to get a fish to stick.

At about 10:30, one of my clients got that first fish in the boat, which was a 10-pound Chinook. A little bit later, we hooked up with a 10- to 12-pound coho, but it was a wild fish that had to be released.

The bite slacked off for the last couple of hours before we headed back to the ramp as a storm came in.

Last Updated on by Marv




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