Portland Oregon Salmon Fishing Guide

If you’re looking for a fishing guide in the Pacific Northwest, there’s a pretty good chance you want to catch salmon.

And if you want to catch salmon near the Portland/Vancouver area, improve your chances by giving  Portland Oregon fishing guide Marvin’s Guide Service a call.

If you’re coming from out of town, Marvin’s trips are a quick drive from Seattle or Southern Oregon, and some of his salmon trips are just 10 minutes from the Portland International Airport (PDX).

Marvin Henkel Jr. has been chartering salmon fishing trips for more than two dozen years and catching them for fun since he was a kid.

Marvin knows all the spots and techniques to get you into salmon close by on the Columbia or Willamette rivers or a short and scenic drive away on the Oregon Coast.

Marvin’s 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 Chinook Fishing

Happy woman with her spring salmon she caught on the Columbia River.

Columbia River spring salmon.

Spring salmon start returning up the Columbia River in the late winter and continue arriving through spring.

Sometime around mid-February into March, when the spring king salmon runs typically get strong enough for success, Marvin’s Guide Service is there to meet mint-bright and famously delicious springers on the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver. These 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 Marvin knows 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.

Marvin actually starts his year 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, Marvin and his customers will be right with them. Marvin knows the best salmon spots and patterns as these fish move in and out with the tides.

Three anglers hold large chinook salmon caught on the Oregon Coast.

Limits of salmon at Buoy 10.

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 cools in the estuary, Marvin will move with the fish into the Portland area and up into the Columbia River Gorge, changing up his 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, Marvin always has a backup plan.

When fall fishing is great on the coast, Marvin 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, some Tillamook Bay salmon tip the scales at 50 pounds.

For a modest fee, Marvin also drops crab pots for his Tillamook Bay clients to go to work while they 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.

 Portland Oregon fishing guide Marvin keeps close tabs on the salmon runs and regulations, so you can be sure that he’ll plan your fishing trip where you have the best odds of bringing home a big salmon.

Has offers only the best when it comes to his boat, tackle, and bait, so you’ll be ready to catch a Pacific Northwest salmon.


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