Oregon Fishing Seasons

Wild winter steelhead – has been one of Oregon’s most stable fisheries.  Drifting down a scenic north coast stream in pursuit of wild steelhead can be one of the most exciting experiences I offer.  We only book 2 people per guide boat and we’ll fish either the Necanicum, Nehalem, Kilchis, Trask or Nestucca Rivers for wild fish.  The Wilson has a mix of wild and hatchery fish available.  A variety of techniques are used depending on water conditions and 2 to 8 fish days are common!  Most of the fishing is catch and release except for a chance on the Wilson River for an occasional brute hatchery fish!  The weather is usually nicer, the fish more aggressive and the crowds are fishing somewhere else this time of year.  The entire month of March is prime time!  Target Oregon fishing season is mid-Feb through Apr.  15 with peak 4 weeks entirely in March

Spring chinook –  These early returning salmon don’t spawn until the fall so they pack their flesh with healthy Omega 3 fat which makes the flavor very unique.  The Willamette will be a strong option as a good amount of fish are forecasted back to the river making for some excellent opportunity for multiple fish days.  The Columbia River is also a strong option as I will be fishing the scenic Westport area just downstream from Longview.  340,000 spring chinook are due back to the Columbia and 70% of them are scheduled to be fin-clipped making them “take-home” fish!  Either way, you will want to be there for this Oregon fishing season from the last week in March through the month of April for peak fishing times!  Target mid-March through April (quota dependent) with peak weeks April 1st – 25th.

Tillamook Bay follows on the heals of this fishery where the fish are of even better quality and average bigger.  This fishery is more challenging to put numbers in the fish box but the scenery more than makes up for the effort.  We’ll only fish in Tillamook for about 4 weeks this Oregon fishing season, from May 1st – May 31st so book early for Tillamook.  The 2003 seasons best 4 days, we hooked 15 fish and landed 11 with the largest going 36 pounds!  Target May 1 – June 30th with peak weeks May 15th through June 15th

Columbia River Sturgeon – Oregon fishing seasons can be more restrictive depending on the year so you had better book early to get in on this bonanza!  We are expecting a great season where 15 to 30 fish days are common but some years we have had days where we landed over 50 fish!  These excellent eating fish are a nice bonus to all the action you are likely to witness on a typical day of sturgeon fishing.  May 15th – July 1st offer the best opportunities for catch and keep fishing.  Catch and release fishing for sturgeon is also an option after the 1st of July.  Although you won’t get to take one home, the river will be almost devoid of competition making for better fishing!  I also have discounted rates for these days.  Target May 15th through June 30th (quota dependent) with peak weeks June 1st through June 30th.  Catch and release fishing: July 1st – August 15th.  All peak weeks!

Garibaldi Ocean Bonanza – Garibaldi ocean salmon season in Oregon could be good this year.  At times, the ocean fishery can give up some quality chinook and coho just a few miles offshore.  If the crabbing is any good, we’ll put out the pots for the grand slam action!  The fishery will be taking place during the month of July and the first part of August.  This is peak tourist season so book these seats really soon!  Target July 1st through August 15th (quota dependent) with peak weeks July 7th through August 7th.

Ocean and Columbia River Salmon – This Oregon fishing season has some of the highest action some years!  The forecast for Columbia River coho can be around 500,000 fish along with another 500,000+ chinook at Astoria.  How can you miss with these numbers?  Action should be great throughout the month of August and the first half of September for salmon.  This is my quickest booking season so be sure to get your seats early for this hot fishery!  Target July 15th – September 1st, all being peak weeks (for ocean) Columbia River (Buoy 10 fishery): Target August 15th – September 15th with peak weeks August 20th – September 7th.

Tillamook Bay Fall Chinook – It’s not too soon to look at the Oregon fishing season in Tillamook Bay for the biggest salmon that swim Oregon.  We have had an excellent returns year to year.  Although predictions for this fishery move back and forth from year to year, it is a most enjoyable trip when the five year olds are heading home.  This, can be coupled with a good chance for a good 4 year-old return can make fishing really awesome!  The bulk of the run can be made up of 4 and 5 year old fish.  You can averaged 2 to 5 fish/trip .  Mid September – November is peak time on Tillamook Bay!  Target September 15th – November 7th with peak weeks September 20th through November 7th.

North Oregon Coast Hatchery winter steelhead and late fall chinook (driftboat) Fall chinook: November 7th – December 31st with peak weeks November 15th – December 15th Steelhead: November 25th – January 15th with peak weeks December 10th – January 7th.

Gorge sturgeon fishing
January 1st – March 31st with peak months February – March Oversized: May 15th – July 31st with peak weeks May 15th – June 7th and July 15th – July 31st

Portland Metro salmon and steelhead (Sandy and Clackamas Rivers)Wild and hatchery winter steelhead: February 15th – April 15th (all peak weeks) Summer steelhead: April 15th – June 15th (all peak weeks) Spring chinook: May 1st – July 4th with peak weeks May 15th through July 1st

N.  & S.  Santiams and McKenzie Rivers Late wild winter, summer steelhead and spring chinook: May 1st – July 31st with peak weeks May 15th – June 30th.  Trout fishing on the McKenzie: February through July Upper Willamette Trout: March through June

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