Brandon McGavran is a full time, year round Washington fishing guide in SW Washington and Oregon fishing guide in NW Oregon. Most of our fishing trips are just minutes from Portland, Oregon.

   
   

Some Information About Our Salmon Fishing Trips

Chinook Salmon Fishing: The biggest of the five species is the Chinook, or King salmon. Normal migrating Chinook spend from three to seven years in the sea before returning to their native river to spawn. Chinook have been reported to grow as big as 100lbs, but the majority of returning fish are under 30lbs. Returning migratory Chinook are normally caught close to structure, that is, underwater ledges, shelves and pockets that hold baitfish.

Coho Salmon Fishing: The Coho or Silver salmon look similar to Chinook, except they are normally smaller. An important distinction is that Coho have white gums at the base of their teeth, while a Chinook's gums are black. Coho usually live about three years and grow exceptionally fast in the third year. They range in size from four to about 20lbs. Returning Coho are not as structure-oriented as Chinook and are normally found in more open water than Chinook.

 

Editor's Note From NWGR: Last year my wife and I stayed at the Columbia Riverfront RV Park and had a site right on the river. There were several fishing boats in full view right out in front of us and they were fishing for Salmon. We sat daily either in our RV or catching some sun on the beach. We happened to notice that some of the boats were fishing guide boats about 5 or 6 of them) and some were just sports fishermen. Some were there every day and some just tried it for a day and did not come back. What really caught our attention was a boat with "Brandon's Guide Service" on the side. This boat was just flat out amazing! They caught one fish after another after another and they continued to do this day after day after day. We were there for 10 days and I think Brandon's boat was there every day. All the other fishing boats and the fishing guide boats might occasionally catch a fish but I really don't remember seeing ANY boat catch more than one fish a day and there were 4 to 6 people in each of these boats. When a boat would finally get a fish on it was really a big deal.
 

It was easy to see if they had a fish on as when the fish struck and the hook was set, the boat would release from their anchor rope and float back slowly to get the maximum play out of the Salmon. The thing one couldn't possibly miss was that Brandon's boat caught more fish than anyone and it was just hugely obvious. His boat would not go more than a half hour or an hour without getting a fish. I mean it had to be embarrassing for the other boats. Especially for the guide boats who were fishing right next to him. They might get one fish a day (some got none) and Brandon's boat kept letting loose of the anchor rope every half hour or every hour. And this is no exaggeration and this was impressive, maybe amazing. After watching this for several days and NEVER seeing any boat have anywhere near the success that Brandon was having I decided to call him. Asked what he was doing so different. Well, he was kind enough to tell me quite a bit about what he was doing that might have been different than the others. But the one thing he said that contrary to popular opinion, there is no single "fishing lure" or "fishing secret" that will get you lots of fish. He said the he specialized in just a few areas of SW Washington and Northwest Oregon and that he didn't try to be everything to everybody. He said "I don't fish for Walleye and I don't don't fish in areas that I'm not extremely familiar with. I fish areas every year that I know like the back of my hand. Areas that I've fished in for over 20 years. I fish the same basic areas every year and I've been lucky enough to learn that there are a lot of variables. What worked yesterday may not work today.
 

 

     The factors differ from one day to the next and water levels, water temperature, water clarity, strength of stream flow, tide times, could cover, rain, sunny skies and several other factors dictate what I will use and how deep of water I will anchor in and what color of lure or what type of bait I'll use and what type of scent I'll use. Just for one example, if the water is clear I'll use one color of lure and one type of scent but when the water is not so clear I may use a different scent or a stronger dose of scent (sometimes combination of 2 scents) and a different color and or size of lure. Sometimes when water stream flows change I will tweak the lures. And other times I will keep the lure exactly the same but put on lighter or heavier hooks. And finally he told me "yes, I can catch fish but I it's really difficult to tell others what to do in order to constantly catch limits of Salmon because I have to employ so many variables. Conditions dictate what I do and if I tell you exactly what I used today, 9 times out of 10 it won't work the next day. If you've ever been on a guided fishing trip you have likely heard the phrase "Gee, it's just dead today but you should have been here yesterday! Well, there's a lot of truth to that statement so I try to never use exactly what I used yesterday unless the conditions are EXACTLY the same. And they are almost never EXACTLY the same."
Dan MacNeil
Editor NWGR (Northwest Guides & Resorts)

   
   
   
   

Pro-Guide Brandon McGavran
PO Box 2106
Kalama, WA 98625
Phone: 360-607-1327
budmcgavran@gmail.com
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