Fall Harvest from the Mid-Columbia

As the hot part of August passes and the golden days of September and October fall on the Columbia, the real trophy fishery begins. Twenty (20!) pound steelhead are no exception and 40-pound "Upriver Bright" salmon are common enough to hardly raise an eyebrow among the locals. The "B" run steelhead start arriving in late August, carrying through the mid-Columbia to the latter days of December. The premier run of hatchery fish, these steelhead commonly tip the scale at 14-16 pounds, with 20-25 pound fish taken periodically in the boats trolling various parts of the mid-Columbia.

A B-run steelhead, as big as an Upriver Bright at 28.5 pounds -- weighed on three certified scales!

PHOTO: GLENN SUMMERS

Fall also brings the world renowned "Up-River Brights." These explosive salmon are as bright as a silver dollar, big as an Iowa pig and wilder than imagination when hooked on sporting gear. Small upriver brights weigh-in at around 25 pounds and the truly big hogs run to 50 pounds, plus. In the mid-Columbia, these fighting fish are fresh, bright and excellent eating well into October.

A lifetime trophy Upriver Bright Chinook that weighed 53.5 pounds.

PHOTO: GLENN SUMMERS

Both of these trophy class fish, the steelhead and the salmon, fall for trolled spinners of various denominations, crankbaits of almost any and all descriptions, and, in some cases, jigs that range from thumb-sized "Swedish pimples" to hand-sized spoons. Hot locations on the mid-Columbia are found immediately below The Dalles Dam, off the mouth of the Deschutes River and just below the John Day Dam.

Rivers Bend Bar