Springer Fishing is off to a good start

March 13, 2022

Every year we have a big storm in late February or early March that brings a nice batch of Spring Chinook to the Portland Area. A pattern emerges where the Willamette and Columbia rivers rise several feet and the turbidity levels increase to the point where the Willamette river looks like chocolate. As most experienced fishermen know, a rising river prompts fish to move up river and this “turns off the bite”. Additionally, with so much sediment in the river systems, the lack of water clarity reduces the chances that a salmon can see your bait. The initial conditions after a big storm are not good for fishing but once the rivers drop and clear there are new fish in the system and they tend to hold. We refer to this process as the river “coming into shape”. This played out in the Willamette and Columbia this past week and we are seeing a fair number of salmon caught for the early spring season. In the picture above, Dirk Peterson caught a nice 18 lb. spring chinook on a cut plug herring in the Multnomah Channel on Thursday. Fish were caught throughout the Willamette and some fish were reported in the Columbia river as well. It’s still early in the spring chinook but it might be a good idea to chase salmon before the next big storm arrives. Tight lines.

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