Marvin’s Guide Service has been a Columbia River fishing guide for more than two dozen years now. Depending on where the fishing is the best, we may fish in either the Portland or Astoria areas in Oregon.

I’m Marvin Henkel Jr., and I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, have been chasing salmon on the Columbia River since I was a little kid out on the water with my dad. I know this salmon fishery like the back of my hand, and I’ll share my knowledge with you.

Columbia River Spring Chinook Fishing

In the spring, I will pilot you on my 27-foot Alumaweld Intruder to my favorite spring chinook spots on the Columbia River near Portland and Vancouver, Washington.

By the way, spring in the Northwest can be wet and windy, but that’s no problem if you’ve booked your trip with me. The Marvin’s Guide Service boat is covered and heated, so you can wait for that next rod to double over in comfort.

You’ll fish with the highest-quality rods, reels, and tackle, not to mention only the freshest bait available.

If the Columbia River closes to fishing, or even if it slows down, you still can catch one of the tastiest fish that swims. That’s because the lower Willamette River is nearby in Portland and has equally excellent spring salmon fishing.

Most spring chinook salmon weigh between 10 and 25 pounds whether caught in the Columbia or Willamette rivers.

Fall Salmon Fishing

Guide Marvin Henkel with a larger Columbia River Salmon.

Your Columbia River Salmon Fishing Guide, Marvin Henkel Jr.

In the fall, anglers have a great opportunity to catch two types of salmon, big coho salmon (also known as silvers) and even bigger chinook salmon (a.k.a. fall kings).

The Columbia, River run of chinook include plenty of 20- to 30-pound fish, with some even larger. Coho salmon aren’t typically as large, often weighing 5 to 15 pounds. Both types often return in the hundreds of thousands, and good years like we’ve seen lately can bring more than a million salmon into the river.

I start this season in the Astoria area, where I usually reserve a slip at the Hammond Marina, a short walk from your car and a quick boat ride to salmon arriving by the hundreds of thousands.

My boat is safely outfitted for ocean trips, as conditions allow, and my earliest trips start in July to take advantage of the massive schools of hungry coho salmon that assemble just offshore.

As both chinook and coho salmon make their way into the Columbia River’s wide estuary, I am one of the most experienced guides you’ll find in the immensely popular Buoy 10 fleet.

The Buoy 10 fishery in the Astoria and Ilwaco areas between Oregon and Washington is the best salmon fishing spot in either state in August. I know just where to find the fish and how to tempt them to bite.

As the season progresses into September and into the fall, I will be able to put you on the best opportunities to catch Columbia River salmon.

At times that will mean taking advantage of the big pods of coho salmon that linger around Astoria until the first big rains. At other times, that will mean chasing giant chinook salmon upriver to Portland and to Bonneville Dam and beyond in the stunning Columbia River Gorge.

No worries, though, I always know where to find the best salmon fishing spots anywhere on the Columbia River.

See our Salmon Page for all of our salmon fishing trips.

Call me today at 503-314-5087 and Let’s talk Salmon Fishing!




Happy clients with limits all around from a hot morning bite on the Pacific Ocean west of Astoria, aboard the Marvin's Guide Service boat.

Happy clients with limits all around from a hot morning bite on the Columbia River.


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