The Pacific Northwest’s iconic fish, the salmon, also is one of the favorite pursuits of Oregon’s resident and visiting anglers.
Use these links for the best salmon fishing in Oregon.
For offshore fishing for both chinook and coho salmon:
Major Ocean Fishing Ports in Oregon
Perhaps the most prized of all is the chinook salmon, also known as a king, and they are running somewhere in the state during every month. However, Oregon runs are by far the largest in the fall, when fish are widespread and can top 40, 50, or (rarely) 60 pounds. Spring is another great time to chase chinook, when “springers” (one of the tastiest salmon found anywhere) migrate up a select number of rivers. Chinook are caught from deep in the ocean to mountain streams far inland.
Spring Chinook Salmon Fishing on the Oregon Coast
Includes Rogue, Umpqua, Trask and Nestucca Rivers
- Wilson River (fall and spring chinook)
- Trask River (fall and spring chinook)
- Nestucca River and Bay (fall and spring chinook)
Spring Chinook Salmon Fishing Near Portland
Includes Lower Columbia, Willamette, Clackamas and Sandy Rivers
Spring Chinook Salmon Fishing in the Willamette Valley
Includes Santiam, McKenzie and Middle Fork Willamette Rivers
Spring Chinook Fishing in Central and Northeast Oregon
Includes Deschutes, Hood and Imnaha Rivers
Fall Chinook Salmon in Oregon’s Columbia River Basin
Fall Chinook Salmon Fishing on Oregon’s North Coast
Includes Wilson, Trask and Nestucca Rivers and Tillamook Bay
- Wilson River Fall and Spring Chinook Salmon Fishing
- Trask River Fall and Spring Chinook Salmon Fishing
- Nestucca River and Bay Fall and Spring Chinook Salmon Fishing
Fall Chinook Salmon Fishing on Oregon’s Central Coast
Includes Salmon, Siletz, Alsea and Siuslaw Bays and Rivers
- Salmon River and Bay Fall Chinook Salmon Fishing
- Siletz River and Bay Fall Chinook Salmon Fishing
- Alsea River and Bay Fall Chinook Salmon Fishing
- Siuslaw River and Bay Fall Chinook Salmon Fishing
Fall Chinook Salmon Fishing in Southern Oregon
Includes Rogue, Chetco and Umpqua Rivers
Coho salmon also run into rivers across western Oregon and up the Columbia Basin, and they are an excellent game and table fish. Coho, also known as silvers, are beloved because they bite with almost suicidal enthusiasm in ocean and bays and give a spirited fight that often includes jumps. They can be more frustrating in fresh water, but there still are some fine fisheries in quite a few rivers and a handful of coastal lakes.
- Buzz Ramsey’s Buoy 10 Basics
- Buoy 10 Expert Tips: Trolling with Herring
- Coho Salmon Fishing Near Portland
Of the other Pacific salmon species, Oregon has very limited fisheries for chum salmon on the north coast and modest runs of sockeye and pink salmon on the Columbia River. However, Oregon has some of the world’s best fishing lakes and reservoirs for kokanee, a land-locked sockeye salmon. Also, over the years a small number of lakes have been planted with land-locked chinook, coho or Atlantic salmon.
Find more Best Fishing in Oregon
For month-by-month ideas of when and where salmon and other types of fishing are best, see our Oregon Fishing Calendar.
For regulation information, consult the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s annual regulations booklet or website.