2010 Sturgeon Fishing Trip On the Columbia River

We had been anticipating our trip fishing for the past year, since we had so much fun the previous year we decided to book the trip annually.  I checked the weather report and it showed snow over the pass and rain on the Columbia.  We all layered up in warm gear, I think I slightly over did it in my four layers of clothing.  I felt like the Michelin man all rolled up in clothing, but at least I was able to humor the crew.

Our Crew

We headed up and over the pass at 3:30am, we relied on Red Bull to get us to our fishing grounds.  We figured it would take awhile getting over the pass, at least since there was a late snow that fell, but we ended up making it in good time and got a 1/2 hour nap in before our guide arrived.

After loading our gear, our boat was off and making it’s way to our fishing hole.  Fishing had been good in the past few weeks, so we were in high hopes 0f catching a bountiful bunch of fish.  As we headed out the rains came down, and I wondered how good this day was going to be.  It was windy and cold and I was having my doubts.  We set anchor and immediately got our rods baited and cast.

The falls from the river

One by one we were instantly getting bites and our moods we beginning to show some excitement.  Left and right we were reeling the sturgeon in, although they were all shakers, we still had a blast just getting bites.  It seemed each of took turns getting our fish, except Darren (my husband).  I think he took the booby prize seat, he wasn’t catching any, we all offered him our chairs, but he refused to leave his spot.  He was not going to be defeated, and the only fish he caught was for our friend how had to take a bathroom break.

First catch of the day

Ben got the next one

Jason brings one in

David's 1st Sturgeon

Darren reels in his only catch of the day

Soon the fun improved ten fold when Kenny managed to hook a true fighter.  He was putting up the fight of a caged animal ready to get loose.  He worked for 20 minutes playing tug-of -war with the beast.  We didn’t have any idea how big the fish was, but judging by its powerful strength, we had a feeling it would be a prize.

As the fish began to concede, we jumped into the air revealing itself to be about 6 ft long.  It was simply amazing to see such a sight.  The wind, rain and roughness of the river all went away in that moment and we were memorized by the behemoth fish.  The thrill of the action overtook the boat and we were all rallying around Kenny to pull that fish in.

Kenny fighting the fish

The fish put up a fight

...And he finally brings it in!

When he finally got it to the boat, Duane unhooked it, we got our trophy pictures in and then he let it go.  For as long as it took to bring it in, it only took and instant to let it go.  Everyone on the boat was pumped up after that point and even though the fish numbers were slow to come in, we had a great story to embellish on.  After a good lunch, and a lot of homemade cookies to keep us awake, the sun finally showed itself.

Almost a keeper, but not quite

It was a perfect ending to another excellent fishing trip. As we made our trip home, we relived the moments of the day, and we all realized how special it was to be out on the river and enjoying the time we had together. Until next year, I am sure the giant sturgeon will become a river monster in all the elaborate stories that will be told. It was all worth it though!

Heather with our guide, Duane

About the Author

Heather Moore

Heather Moore

Heather Moore is a field staff shooter for The Bow Rack in Springfield, Oregon, a field staff member for PursueTheOutdoors.com, a member of the local archery club, Oregon Hunters Association, Women in the Outdoors, Mule Deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Farmers and Hunters Feeding The Hungry.