Here is my Willamette River Salmon report for 4/21/23. Today I had two clients from Eastern Washington. I had them meet me on the Columbia River at the James Gleason Boat Ramp on 42nd and Marine Drive at 6:45 a.m.

I also had my son, Austin, joining us today to help with the adventure. We arrived at the boat ramp and put the boat in the water. And then some bad luck struck me. I wasn’t there for 5 minutes, and I made the mistake all fishermen fear. Yeah, I put a hook right through the palm of my hand.

I told my son Austin to try to pull it out. He was a little scared he might hurt me. So, he went over and got another fishing guide, Mike, and asked him if he could come over and help me remove the hook.

Mike told Austin to stand behind me, just in case I passed out, which fortunately I didn’t. Mike grabbed the pliers and said, hold on, and he removed the hook from my hand. Let me tell you, this definitely turned my stomach and made me hot and sweaty for about 10 minutes. Not a good way to start the day.

When the clients arrived, I told them the story. We decided maybe a little bad luck in the morning might turn into good luck when we started fishing.

We headed down to the Columbia River and made the turn into the Willamette River. We headed up the Willamette about three or four miles to what we call the head of the channel. Immediately, I was kind of excited, as I noticed two fish on before we even deployed our lines.

Even though these clients have fished with me before, I wanted to give them a refresher course, so I explained to them how the spring salmon would bite and what to expect during the battle.

We got our lines out and started trolling around. It was about an hour before our first bite, and it was Fish On! The angler battled the fish for about 5 minutes before I put it in the net. And when I told the clients it was fin-clipped, which means it’s a keeper, the high fives started, and they were all smiles. The client said that, no matter what, that four-hour drive was worth it.

We deployed our lines again and continued the troll about an hour later. We got another bite, but unfortunately, this one didn’t hook up. It’s what we call a drive-by.

Unfortunately, we didn’t catch any more salmon, But I probably saw 14 or 15 caught among the boats on the river. So, all in all, it wasn’t a bad day.

My prediction for the Willamette River fishing is going to get better and better, especially with the nice weather predicted to come up.

I do have a few open days for salmon fishing on the Willamette River in May.

Or maybe you’re in walleye fishing, when we start those trips near the end of May. I have a few days available, These trips also are on the Columbia River.

Feel free to call, email or text me, and let’s talk fishing and get you hooked up with a Willamette River spring chinook salmon.



Client standing with his salmon caught on the Willamette River.


Last Updated on by Marvin




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