The great Columbia River snakes it’s way from the Canadian border south into Washington State where it meets one of it’s well known and largest tributaries called the Snake River. At that point the Columbia River makes a turn towards the Pacific Ocean where it meanders between Washington and Oregon all the way to the salty waters of the chilly Pacific. Columbia River fishing and more specifically a Columbia River fishing charter is probably the biggest tourist draw along the river for some of the best salmon fishing in the entire USA. In addition to great salmon fishing or sturgeon fishing there are spectacular scenic views of steep canyon walls, mountains that line the horizon, and other wonders of nature like Multnomah Falls, a 620 foot spectacular cascading waterfall.

The Columbia River is rich in aquatic species like the million salmon that arrive each year from the saltwater of the Pacific Ocean and head up river to spawn. Salmon live and swim in both saltwater and freshwater environments and will begin their journey at the mouth of the Columbia River which is mostly all saltwater and make their way up the Columbia River. At that point they head into and then make way into the many tributaries that flow into the Columbia.
Some of the other tributaries and rivers feeding the Columbia River that also offer great salmon fishing would be:

  • Willamette River
  • Sandy River
  • Cowlitz River
  • The Wind River
  • The North Fork of the Lewis River
  • Snake River
  • Wood River
  • Lewis & Clark River
  • Youngs River
  • Drano River

Just as the salmon make their way up the Columbia River and into the aforementioned smaller rivers and tributaries the same is true for many of the Columbia River fishing guides as they will start in saltwater at a well known fishing hotspot called Buoy 10 where they fish in the middle of giant schools of salmon. Eventually the Oregon and Washington fishing guides will point their boats eastward and head up river hot on the tails of large schools of salmon. Many of the Oregon fishing guides that were offering charter fishing trips at Buoy 10 will end up fishing around the Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon region of the Columbia River.

Where you do your Columbia River fishing is usually determined by the season as the season usually determines where the fish are so when you make that Oregon or Washington fishing trip you will have to ask your guide what region of the Columbia River currently has the hottest fishing action. Once you experience this salmon fishing for yourself you may join the many anglers that visit the western section of the River every year for a Columbia River charter fishing trip so you too can experience the thrill of catching one of the many species of salmon again and again.

Columbia River Fishing Guide

The Columbia River offers many local anglers their livlihood working as Columbia River fishing guides or by offering Columbia River charter fishing trips to local and visiting anglers to local regions of Oregon and SW Washington. Captain Loren Bybee is one of these Columbia River fishing guides that offers charters for salmon, sturgeon, and steelhead. Captain Loren is a Coast Guard licensed Oregon fishing guide and is also licensed as a Washing fishing guide too and can offer charter trips on the Columbia River year round.

Anglers make their way to this neck of the woods from all around the globe to experience the thrill of fishing in a massive school of salmon or to get hooked up to a giant or trophy sized sturgeon. An experienced Columbia River fishing guide like Captain Loren will use his skills to put his anglers on schools of salmon that can sometimes offer fish up to 40 or 50 pounds and sometimes with multiple hookups which is when the real excitement begins.

Coho, Chinook Salmon Fishing on Columbia River

Fall salmon fishing: Columbia River salmon fishing has two main seasons, a spring season and a fall season which offers up Coho Salmon and big Chinook Salmon which just happens to be the Oregon State fish. The biggest run of salmon occurs in late summer or early fall in the saltwater of the Pacific Ocean near the mouth of the Coulbia River at one of the hottest salmon holes of all, a spot called buoy 10. The main city close to this area would be Astoria, Oregon which is right at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Spring salmon fishing: The spring salmon season like the fall salmon season is also an anglers dream with an abundance of salmon that is not seen anywhere else in the world except for maybe Alaska. The guides and charters flock to the Portland and Vancouver region of the Columbia River where they do battle with Oregon’s and Washington’s most popular fish, the mighty Chinook Salmon. Not only is the Chinook a fierce fighter and a test of any anglers skills they are also considered good eating. Most seafood lover’s agree that the Chinook Salmon is by far the best eating salmon of all the species of salmon.

Columbia River Facts & Information

There are thousands of great facts you can list about the great Columbia River. Because we couldn’t fit thousands of facts on the page we elected to just offer up a few of the good ones.

  • Columbia River holds Chinook salmon which is Oregon’s official state fish.
  • The Columbia River and its tributaries form the dominant water system in the Pacific Northwest Region.
  • The Columbia River pours more water into the Pacific Ocean than any other river in North or South America.
  • Its largest tributary, the Snake, travels 1,038 miles from its source in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming before joining the Columbia.
  • The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest and, with a length of 1,953 kilometers (1,214 miles), is the 15th longest in North America.
  • The Columbia River forms most of the northern border between Oregon and Washington. The Snake River forms over half of the eastern boundary with Idaho.
  • The Columbia River sports at least a dozen magnificent waterfalls with the most visited being Multnomah Falls, a 620 foot spectacular cascading waterfall.

Columbia River Charter Boat Fishing and Other Fun Activities

If fishing in Columbia River isn’t your favorite thing to do then there are many other sites to see and activities to experience along the Columbia River. Never heard of Chinook Salmon fishing in the Columbia River? Don’t want to go fishing with your husband on a smelly charter fishing trip for sturgeon? That’s OK, because while your husband is fishing there are plenty of things for the lady of the family to enjoy. If just being out in nature appeals to you then there are many scenic views you can enjoy like seeing the world famous Mt St Helen’s in the distance or Mt Hood, or Mt Ranier that are all snow covered peaks that all make great breathtaking views. Now if neither Columbia River charter fishing or being in the great outdoors appeals to you then there are still more typical tourist attractions for the indoor folks. There are great places to eat and many places to shop along the Columbia River that you can enjoy. The point is that in addition to some spectacular Columbia River charter boat fishing there are many other activities that the whole family can enjoy.