How many king salmon run the Columbia & Snake rivers and their tributaries varies each spring, but in recent years fish numbers have been robust. It's reported that 300,000 fish entered the Columbia last spring, and fish numbers are projected to approach that figure this year. Springers, as they're often called, usually run 10 to 20 pounds. They fight like crazy and many consider them to be the best eating salmon of all.
A host of top guides work various portions of these rivers, starting as early as April in some areas. The fishing lasts through June in some upriver reaches. Check state websites for specifics on fishing regulations, fish numbers, and harvest quotas. In-Fisherman Field Editor Matt Straw has fished with Capt. Austin Moser, Wenatchee, Washington, 509/668-0298, austinsnorthwestadventuresllc.com. In-Fisherman Editor In Chief Doug Stange has fished with Capt. Jason Shultz, Lewiston, Idaho, 208/791-0344, hellscanyonsportfishing.com.
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