Portland Oregon Salmon Fishing Charters

Portland is a spot worth taking a trip to if you want to experience world-class fishing.  The site lies between several rivers, including the Columbia River and Columbia River Gorge, Sandy River, Clackamas River, and Willamette River. With all these rivers converging, you get to enjoy all-year-round fishing where you can catch excellent quality salmon.

Why Salmon Fishing in Portland is Great

There’s a lot to love about salmon fishing in the Portland area, mainly because with that many rivers converging in one place, you have plenty of places to choose from.

Calm water flow

The rivers are small to medium, so you can dock your boat or canoe and let down your bait. The water is usually slow-moving and shallow in some areas, so you can rotate in a tight square as you wait for the salmon to bite. Overall, it makes for a scenic experience as you enjoy the landscape. If you’re not keen to get on a boat, you can also fish from the shoreline.

Everything You Need to Know about Fishing for Salmon in Portland

The Most Common Fish Found in the Portland Area

The type of salmon available in any river is the Coho/silver salmon and chinook salmon. The summer chinooks are pretty significant in size, typically ranging from 10 to 30 pounds, but the fall chinook variety weighs between 15 to 50 pounds. Coho is smaller during the fall season, only weighing between 5 and 25 pounds. How many fish you can get along with the size depends on the time of year you go. Equally,

What to Carry when Fishing in Portland

The type of equipment you carry varies. Seasoned fishes will go for a 50-pound line, along with a 6-ounce cannonball sinker rested on a slider that gets the bait down to the fish. You can also get a bead chain swivel and a mooching ring that’s about 7 to 8 feet long with 4/0 and 5/0 hooks. The equipment ought to be strong enough to real in a 30-pound salmon.

The Best Time to Fish for Salmon

Before booking your charter, check the Portland Salmon fishing charters websites to know when the best fishing dates are. The time of year also affects which of the rivers is favorable for catching a particular species. What’s great about fishing for salmon is that you don’t have to be an expert. The charter can provide you with professionals that can guide you through how to go about catching salmon.

Great Salmon Fishing Spots in Portland

Let’s look at some places you can dock your boat and fish while in Portland and the best months to do so.

Columbia River

A good fishing spot is the Columbia River, and it runs through Portland. Fish on the river will change depending on the year, but you won’t be disappointed as there are always large and healthy runs. However, aim for March right to August, where the spring and summer chinooks are the most. You can get the Fall silver and chinook salmon from August to November.

Willamette River

Another famous river is the Willamette River, which runs through downtown Portland. There’s plenty of spring chinook salmon between March and June compared to what you’d find on the Columbia River during the same period.

Sandy River

Between May and June, you can catch spring chinook from the Sandy River, east of Portland. The river starts on Mt. Hood and empties into the Columbia River.

Clackamas River

The Clackamas River only has spring chinook between April and June. Overall, it is agreed that the salmon found in the Portland area and its tributaries are the best-tasting salmon around.

Common Techniques Used to Catch Salmon


Since the current is not strong enough, most anglers opt to troll to catch the salmon. You’ll know you’ve hit the proper depth when your weight hits the ground every 15 seconds or so. If that’s not happening, you’ll want to lower the weight until it does. You want it to bounce up and down and not drag on the river floor as it will muddy the water.

Herring bait

If you have a line and hook, you can power the bait in and wait for the salmon to bite. A bait typically used is herring, which can either be whole or cut-plugs. To get a quicker rig, you may want to use an entire bait because the salmon have quite an appetite on some days. When you’re in a group, you can test what works best and have everyone switch to that. Add Smelly Jelly to entice the fish further.

Why You Should Choose Portland for Your Next Guided Salmon Fishing Trip

The salmon found on the Portland and its environs are the best in the world. Compared to other salmon, those found here tend to have 7-10 times more fat content than their counterparts in other parts of the world. Whether you’re grilling or eating it sashimi style, the salmon you catch will be something to write home about.

However, it’s not all about the fish. Enjoying the landscape with friends and family is a fantastic way to spend your day. And the best part? Getting a Portland fishing charter will make your trip more organized and worthwhile.

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Portland Oregon King Salmon Fishing Guide Services