For the serious angler, the Columbia River is the artery that feeds Pacific Northwest fishing interests; it teems with some of the most sought after fish in the world – steelhead, sturgeon, salmon, shad and bass. As the fish populations are vital to the economy and ecology of the area, they are monitored more closely than anywhere else.
Over 1 million salmon enter the Columbia from the Pacific Ocean each year. In fact, just this summer the sockeye numbers were the largest the river has seen in fifty years. Sturgeon fishing has also been very productive this year, especially near Bonneville Dam and the waterfront residences of Lone Pine Village, where anglers have been landing sturgeon the length of surfboards. It is such opportunities that draw anglers from around the world to this fishery each year.
Just as exciting as the Columbia itself are the rivers that feed it. The Deschutes River is an easy 25-minute drive from The Dalles, and presents a wide array of highly sought after fly fishing opportunities throughout the year. Summer and fall bring big steelhead to this Oregon river, particularly to the lower sections near Maupin and The Dalles. And in late May and early June, a tremendous salmonfly hatch blankets the river from its mouth to its upper sections in Central Oregon. This hatch is unlike anything else on Earth, which is why fly-fishermen from around the world travel to Oregon to throw imitations of these big bugs.