How to Fish for Nestucca Salmon

How to Fish for Nestucca Salmon
Oregon's Nestucca River flows for about 50 miles through timber forests, west of Portland, into the Pacific Ocean. Renowned for excellent fishing, the Nestucca offers prime water for catching wild and hatchery-raised chinook (king) salmon during the April to mid-June season. Salmon fishing reopens in the fall, when the chinook tend to run 25 percent larger -- growth they've enjoyed primarily from the mid-year closing. Follow these steps to catch yours.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly fishing rod and reel and/or spincasting rod and reel spooled with 40-pound line
  • Bait, tackle, artificial flies
  • Oregon fishing license
  • Oregon salmon fishing permit
Step 1
Hire a guide with a boat to get out on the river. Drift fishing (flipping) from the stern of a boat is a popular method for taking salmon on the Nestucca River late in the spring-summer season when the fish hold to deeper, cooler water.
Step 2
Flip spinner lures and spoons or 4/0 hooks baited with salmon roe behind the boat and allow the line to drift with the current about 50 to 75 feet back. The baited hook or lure will flow naturally over pools, eddies and structure, such as half-submerged boulders, where salmon lurk in the Nestucca.
Step 3
Use pink or chartreuse jigs for bouncing along the bottom. Cast toward slow-moving water and behind exposed rocks, allowing the jig to sink to the riverbed. Dance the jig by pulling up on your rod tip, then allow the lure to settle to the bottom once more.
Step 4
Go plinking (bottom fishing) from the riverbanks with a hook baited with salmon roe or a jig. There is no need to cast far into the river; 10 to 15 feet from shore is a good distance for tempting salmon in the Nestucca during the early and late season when the fish move into shallow water.

Article Written By James Clark

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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