Update: Columbia River Summer Steelhead Fishing

Beautiful Columbia River Steelhead fillets for the grill.

Update: Fishery Closure

ODFW just announced that Columbia River Steelhead and Sockeye Salmon fishery will close effective Thursday, June 25th. Stay tuned, there may be future announcements based on in-season projections. As for our trips Steelhead trips, we’ll be heading to the Lewis River and/or Cowlitz River to continue our season.


June and July are prime time for Columbia River Summer Steelhead fishing in the Portland area. Fish started showing up as usual at the end of May, and this past week we’ve seen a significant increase in steelhead moving through the system. To add to the catch, we can now retain Sockeye Salmon, which now gives us even more opportunity. 

Columbia River Salmon

Over 240,000 Sockeye Salmon are expected to run the Columbia River this summer. That’s a huge increase over last year’s return, and the reason why the Columbia River fishery managers have also given us a Sockeye Salmon season this summer. While not as big as Steelhead, Sockeye sure are great to eat! We’ve even caught a few summer Chinook salmon so far. It’s always fun to fight Chinook on light steelhead gear, but summer Chinook are not open for retention at the moment. They are always a thrilling ride. For big time Chinook fishing, Buoy 10 is right around the corner if you’re really wanting Chinook.

Columbia River Steelhead

Columbia River Summer Steelhead

As water temperatures start to warm and water levels drop, the Steelhead should start making their way into the tributaries. After the 4th of July we usually have a catchable amount in the Lewis River and/or Cowlitz River. This is an action-packed fishery with lots of casting, side drifting with eggs, and running the river in a jet boat as we move between holes. There’s nothing better than your rod loading up and a bright chrome steelhead flying out of the water to start your morning!

Looking to get out? Just contact us or give us a call. We’re here to help!