If you’re looking for a chartered salmon fishing trip in the Pacific Northwest, give me a call.
My name is Marvin Henkel, and I’ve been a Portland-based fishing guide for more than two dozen years. I have been catching salmon since I was a kid, and as a professional I spend more days fishing for salmon than any other fish. That experience has taught me when, where and how to deliver a great day of salmon fishing for you.
If you’re coming from out of town, my trips are a quick drive from Seattle or Southern Oregon. Depending on the season, some of my trips start just 10 minutes from the Portland International Airport (PDX).
I know all the spots and techniques to get you into salmon close to Portland on the Columbia or Willamette rivers or a short and scenic drive away on the Oregon Coast.
My 27-foot Alumaweld Intruder is covered and heated and will get you to the fish safely and in comfort.
Here are a few of Marvin’s Guide Service customers’ favorite salmon fishing adventures:
Spring Salmon Fishing
Spring salmon start returning up the Columbia River in the late winter and continue arriving throughout spring.
Sometime around mid-February into March, when the spring king salmon runs typically get strong enough for success, you’ll find my Marvin’s Guide Service boat on the water chasing these mint-bright and famously delicious springers on the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver. These spring salmon typically weigh 10 to 25 pounds.
While fishing seasons on the Columbia can sometimes be fickle, that’s no problem because the lower Willamette River in the heart of Downtown Portland has one of the best spring runs in the world. And I know just where to find them.
Columbia River Fall Salmon Fishing
The Columbia River offers some of the highest-percentage catch rates for both types of salmon that return in the late summer and early fall – massive fall chinook salmon (a.k.a. kings) and abundant and feisty coho salmon (a.k.a. silvers).
In a good year (and we’ve had some great ones lately), over a million salmon head up the Columbia River.
I actually start this season out on the Pacific Ocean in July, when hordes of coho and the occasional chinook are fattening up before making their way into the river. These fish are hungry and aggressive and can’t resist the bait on your hook.
In August, as the kings and silvers move into the famous Buoy 10 fishery at the mouth of the Columbia, I will have my customers right there with them. I know the best salmon spots as these fish move in and out with the tides.
While you’ll want to book early to get the top August dates for chinook salmon, many years the coho fishing can be lights out well after Labor Day.
When the fishing finally cools in the estuary, I often will move with the fish into the Portland area and up into the Columbia River Gorge, changing up freshwater tactics aimed primarily at the big kings, which are larger than spring fish and often weigh in the 20- to 30-pound range.
Read More About Columbia River Salmon Fishing
Oregon Coast Salmon Fishing
While the Columbia River’s famous salmon runs are all you’ll need most years, I always has a backup plan.
When fall fishing is great on the coast, I may also offer trips in October to Tillamook Bay, famous for having some of the Northwest’s largest chinook salmon. While a 25-pounder is pretty typical here as well, Tillamook Bay salmon occasionally tip the scales at 50 pounds.
For a modest fee, I also can drop crab pots for my Tillamook Bay clients to go to work catching these tasty crustaceans while you fish for salmon, so coming home with delicious seafood is practically a given. We also offer full crabbing trips in November and December.
Book Your Trip
You can go with confidence.
As a professional, Portland-based fishing guide, I keep close tabs on the Pacific Northwest’s salmon runs and regulations. You can be sure that I’ll plan your fishing trip where you have the best odds of bringing home a big salmon. On top of fishing in the best spots, I offer only the best when it comes to my boat, tackle, and bait.
Give me a call today. I love talking about fishing and finding just the right salmon-catching trip to meet your needs.