Last week, a friend of mine from Portland invited me to fish with him on the Willamette River close to where it empties into the Columbia River. We were fishing for spring chinook (king) salmon, one of my favorite fish to catch and eat. These fish can get over 20 pounds and their fatty meat is a quite a treat.
Springers, as they are called by the locals, enter fresh water from the ocean in April and May but do not spawn until the fall. Their spawning grounds are located hundreds of miles upstream from the Pacific Ocean. The Willamette is a major tributary of the Columbia River and accounts for 12 to 15 percent of the river’s flow.
On our day of fishing, we encountered periods of sunshine, rain, and wind. All day long, we only saw two fish caught by dozens of boats. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a single bite that day. Maybe next year.