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Pautzke Nectar the best scent for herring for the Columbia River

NW Wild Country P.M. Briefing, Buzz's Spin-N-Glo herring rig
Buss Ramsey's Spin-N-Glo herring rig
SPRINGER FEVER: Buzz Ramsey's new Spin-N-Glo herring rig detailed
POSTED April 12, 2010 / 5:30 p.m.

Buzz Column MugKLICKITAT - Salmon fishing knows no state boundaries. Consequently, a nifty gear tweak created by our bank-fishing brothers down on southern Oregon's Rogue River made its way to Buzz Ramsey's boat on the Columbia River last week.

Check out the photo above. That's two pieces of essential salmon gear - a Spin-N-Glo and a herring - connected by simple tubing, rigged on a three-hook Columbia River trolling setup.

Simple. Genius.

8CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT how Buzz rigs his new Columbia River springer bait, courtesy of a step-by-step explanation by Bill Monroe of the Oregonian.

NW Wild Country A.M. Briefing for April 12
Andy "Coho" Schneider goes on Spring(er) Break
WILD BLOG: Schneider kicks off his Columbia River Spring(er) Break
POSTED April 12, 2010 / 10:30 a.m.

Buzz Column MugPORTLAND - Since finding a couple of weeks off this summer proved to be impossible for me this year, I decided to take two weeks off in the peak of springer season.

It was tough to wait until my weekend arrived, especially with good reports coming from the Columbia all week, but my vacation arrived and I started out bright and early Friday with a soldier just out of basic, his dad John LeCarno and my good Friend Tom VanderPlaat. 

Within the first 100 yards of our first pass, Tom hooks up with his second springer of 2010. Then it's the soldier's turn, and Joel lands his first springer of 2010 in a light rain before heading back to a dry and warm Southern California.

Saturday arrived and I had the pleasure of fishing with my wife and son and two friends for work, Mike Fung and Shawn Seals. After fishing Friday and finding everyone in the Portland Metro area that owned a boat on the water, I figured it couldn't get anymore crowded for Saturday, so off we headed to the river.

Andy Schneider and son hook up on the Columbia RiverAt 4 a.m.


But I was wrong: there were more boats than ever! Oh well, it was a sight to see, even if fishing proved to be poor (which it didn't).

On our first pass, Missy hooked up and hopes were high. On our way to the top of the run, I attempted to count boats ... I quickly lost count just after 100, but I estimated right around a thousand boats in the lower run we were making (Caterpillar Island to Frenchman's Bar). On our second pass, Mike Fung and Shawn Seals hooked up with nice springers and on our third and last run of the day, my son Ayden and I found our fish. 

Five fish with five bites, all before noon. Catching can't get too much better, even in such crowded conditions.  

Green label herring, plug cut and spinning 20 inches off the bottom did the trick for all five fish. 

Now off to actually start my fishing vacation.


NW Wild Country P.M. Briefing, bite's on on the Columbia River
Lee Freeman of Triple S Guide Service smokes 'em on the Columbia River today
Columbia springers on the chew this afternoon

POSTED April 8, 2010 / 1:50 p.m.

ARLINGTON - Text message from my buddy Nate Fenton just came in: "12 hookups today, it's good!" Similar news from Wild Country blogger David Johnson, and Facebook friends like Mark Freeman of Triple S Guide Service, whose fish box is pictured above: "One pass, five keepers, it was only 7:45. TIME FOR BREAKFAST."

We're all over it Saturday morning, with live on-the-water reports from Springer Central.


nCATCH IT STREAMING ONLINE at www.950kjr.com!


NW Wild Country A.M. Briefing for April 4NWWC FishPhone Gabe Miller springer
Cell phone report hits NWWC studio during April 3 show

POSTED April 4, 2010 / 10:50 a.m.

SEATTLE - Northwest Wild Country co-host Mike Perusse's cell phone went off at about 7:15 a.m. yesterday. Gabe Miller from Sportco was checking in from the Columbia River. The report: see the above picture.

It was a tough day all around the big river on Saturday, but Gabe and Bill Swann of Swanny's Fishing started the morning off right, whacking this big, bright springer on the first pass of the morning.

Keep those cell phone photos coming, folks!


Wild Country P.M. Briefing, April 1 FishPhoneDavid Johnson FishPhone report, 4-1
D.J. with a little cell-phone Springer Fever success report

POSTED April 1, 2010 / 2:20 p.m.

SOMEHWERE ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER - This is probably blasphemy, considering the James Overstreet photo art at the top of the page, but, well, it turns out that we have use for those darn cell-phone cameras after all.

Like, for instance, we can see when one of our NW Wild Country bloggers - in this case David Johnson of David Johnson's Guide Service - has whacked a spring Chinook on the Columbia River. The fish above is probably still quivering, thanks to the magic of digital telephonics.

Send in your cell FishPhone shots: I never thought I'd say this, but, I want to see your best cell-phone fish photos. Drop 'em on me at joel@nwwildcountry.com. Best shots get swagged up from the Prize Cave.


Wild Country P.M. Briefing 3-30, Overstreet's photosNW Wild Country Springer Fever Rogue River style
Springer Fever spreading in southern Oregon's Rogue River

UPDATED March 30, 2010 / 5:30 p.m.

Paul LeFebvre Blog MugGOLD BEACH, Or. - It's hard to understand what overtakes one when the first report of spring-run salmon hits the rumor mill, internet, and the Rogue Outdoor Store. In my case, it caused me to drop all steelhead gear immediately and focus on jet boat safety checks, maintenance, and springer rigs.

These football-shaped Chinook are the prize of the West Coast. They're mean fighting machines that can scream out yards of line on an initial run. Spingers will test gear to the end of its limit. They run the river in brutal conditions that some can’t believe anyone would be involved with.

This is the beginning of Spinger Madness on Oregon's South Coast.

8READ THE REST OF PAUL LEFEBVRE'S ROGUE RIVER REPORT and about the great springer bite happening now on the Southern Oregon Coast.

NW Wild Country P.M. Report, spring Chinook bite starts to percolate on Lower Columbia RiverNW Wild Country Springer Fever 2010 The Bite is heating up
Springer Chinook bite starting to percolate on Columbia?
POSTED March 23, 2010 / 5:10 p.m.

KALAMA - Starting (finally!) to get a better trickle of positive reports from the lower Columbia. We've seen the odd onesy-twosy multi-fish day over the early season, but guides like Jim Stahl of J & J Guide Service and Mark Coleman of All Rivers Guide Service have started to post photos on their Guides Home Port pages on Gamefishin.com. In addition, I got an e-mail and photo from Buzz Ramsey of a bright springer caught last week on his first trip of the year (on a Mag Lip, of course), and dam counts at Bonneville have finally, mercifully, crawled out of the deep freeze.

8ANDY WALGAMOTT AT NORTHWEST SPORTSMAN IS ALL OVER IT with his latest Editor's Blog. Go check it out.

NW Wild Country A.M. Briefing Graphic, Columbia River Chinook slowdown
Columbia River spring Chinook migration behind schedule
Columbia springer runs getting later and later ... and later
POSTED March 9, 2010 / 9:00 a.m.

Joel Shangle Blog MugSEATTLE - So here we are, with a spiffy 470,000-plus-huge-effin'-GRANDE forecast number in our heads, patiently awaiting the explosive start of Springer Fever 2010.

As the Fish Passage Center so bluntly tells us, the guests of honor might've gotten the wrong invitation.

At the very least, they like to arrive fasionably late, it seems. As Andy Walgamott and the crew at Northwest Sportsman point out, the Columbia River's spring Chinook timing is getting later and later and later each year. How late? According to Walgy's calculations, we're stumbling along at roughly 6 percent of the 10-year average as of last week!

8CHECK OUT WALGAMOTT'S "EDITOR'S BLOG" for the straight scoop on the sluggish spring Chinook run.

8CHECK OUT SHANGLE'S LIST of early-season locations for Columbia River springers.

Needless to say, this will be a top of conversation this Saturday on NW Wild Country:


nCATCH IT STREAMING ONLINE at www.950kjr.com!


NW Wild Country A.M. Briefing, 3-8
Nectar 101 from the Pautzke Traveling Classroom
POSTED March 8, 2010 / 9:00 a.m.

SEATTLE - All 500,000 of those spring Chinook forecasted for the Columbia River are going to share one trait when the hit the lower river: they'll be H-U-N-G-R-Y. Check out the video from the Pautzke Traveling Classroom on Nectar, Fire Power and Kokanee Fuel. We all know that Chinook are highly reactive to smell, and this trio of products could make the difference between a day of scratch fishing and a limit of springers.


NW Wild Country P.M. Briefing for March 1, 2010
SPRINGER FEVER: Springer reports trickling in as Portland area waters open
POSTED March 1, 2010 / 12:45 p.m.

SEATTLE - Pretty quiet today on the Columbia River spring Chinook front. And, in general, it's been pretty quiet all the way around. We're seeing some fleeting, onesy-twosy reports of fish being caught in the lower river and a handful here and there in various tributaries, but, they're scattered.

Here are a few of the latest reports from the Springer Zone:



NW Wild Country kicks off Springer Fever 2010 with several excellent WildCast podcasts
Building up the WildCast resources for SF 2010!
POSTED Feb. 22, 2010 / 10:45 a.m.

SEATTLE - We're not wasting any time with prep-work for Springer Fever 2010, and you shouldn't be either. Over the next two months, we'll connect our faithful Wild Country listeners with the "Who's Who of Columbia River spring Chinook": guides, fisheries managers, tackle manufacturers, biologists, etc. If you're looking for information on the great springer fishery of 2010, THIS IS THE PLACE TO GET IT!

The following are our first Springer Fever '10 WildCasts. Check back here often as we post EXCLUSIVE web-only Q&As with the best spring Chinook sources in the Pacific Northwest.

NW Wild Country P.M. Briefing, lower Columbia River hot spots
Lower Columbia March springers: GO H-E-R-E!

NEW Feb. 22, 2010 / 1:30 p.m.

Buzz Column MugCATHLAMET, Wash. - So, finally, we're back to some familiar lower Columbia River stomping grounds.

After three years of below-average (some would even say poor) production around Cathlamet, water conditions appear to be favorable for a leading-edge bite at some traditional lower-river favorites. Warmer-than-usual late-February water temperatures have a lot of us looking ahead to a strong early-March bite, so, let's take a look at some go-to spots for you springer rats who simply can't wait any longer.

8CHECK OUT SHANGLE'S LIST of early-season locations for Columbia River springers.

NW Wild Country Springer Fever 2010 WildCasts graphic

Buzz Column mug
8OUR COLUMBIA RIVER SENSEI gives the Wild Country crew an overview of the upriver fisheries for 2010. Starting with the 4,500-fish projection in his home river, the Klickitat, Buzz spools us through the possibilities for upriver opportunities.

Buzz Column mug
8VETERAN GUIDE JACK GLASS shares some of his hard-earned knowledge about the Portland-area springer fishery, with observations on water temperature, season timing and the differences in the fisheries below I-5 and around I-205.

Carmen Column Mug
8TAPPING INTO THE RESOURCE DYNAMO that is Northwest Sportsman editor Andy Walgamott, who logged the research hours for a couple of excellent pieces in the March issue of NWS. Disecting the run forecasts!

Carmen Column Mug
8UNBELIEVABLY DETAILED HERRING INFO from one of the most detail-oriented, creative anglers on the West Coast. Val lets loose some previously hush-hush information about brines, scents and cures, including the "Hot Tail" herring mix. KILLER!

Buzz Column mug
8THE LEGEND HIMSELF, CLANCY HOLT holds court on the most likely locations to bang out an early-season spring Chinook. Put these spots on your to-do list this month: Multnomah Channel, Cathlamet.

8KEEP UP WITH ALL OF OUR WILDCASTS at the NW Wild Country On Demand Center.

NW Wild Country A.M. Briefing, 2-19, Northwest Sportsman Springer Resources map
NW Wild Country Springer Fever 2010, Northwest Sportsman Springer Resources map
SPRINGER FEVER '10: March NWS blows out springer mappage, charts, etc.
POSTED Feb. 19, 2009 / 11:45 a.m.

Joel Shangle Blog MugSEATTLE - Whatever it is they're brewing over at the Pyramid Alehouse across from Safeco Field, it's making for some mighty smooth flavah coming from the office located just upstairs of Haywire Hefeweizen Heaven.

That, of course, is where Andy Walgamott and the crew at Northwest Sportsman headquarters, and, after spending much of last week standing in front of Walgamott's "dummy board" for the March issue, I'm finally able to let the cat out of the bag: the "All Hail Spring Kings" issue of NWS is ridiculously, absurdly loaded with so much handy-dandy springer info, it makes the head swim.

See the "Springer Resources" graphic above? That's a sneaky peek at the cool map that Walgy put together highlighting all the little nook-and-cranny springer hot spots that you hear whispered about throughout the season. It's part of a 27-page springer barrage that, frankly, will be off the newsstands of your local magazine outlet in a heartbeat. Get your copy E-A-R-L-Y, my friends.

8CHECK OUT WALGAMOTT'S "EDITOR'S BLOG" for his spin on the Columbia springer seasons, and scroll down to the bottom of the page for yet another map (this one a handy little number that highlights in graphic form the seasons as they were set at yesterday's Compact meeting). Walgamott will join us on the air tomorrow, March 20, as we blow the doors off the first week of the 2010 spring Chinook season:


nCATCH IT STREAMING ONLINE at www.950kjr.com!


NW Wild Country P.M. Briefing, Columbia River spring Chinook seasons set
It's Go Time as Columbia River spring Chinook seasons are set
Columbia River's 2010 spring Chinook seasons set
POSTED Feb. 18, 2009 / 5:45 a.m.

Joel Shangle Blog MugVANCOUVER - The message sent to the sport anglers of Washington and Oregon today by the Columbia River Compact: Learn how to fish upriver.

The much-anticipated 2010 Columbia River spring Chinook season will come and go in a flash for Portland/Vancouver-based anglers, thanks to a season structure that allows 42 days of fishing below I-5 – most of it well before the traditional peak of the run – and 22 days between I-205 and I-5. The upriver seasons, though, are the most wide-open they’ve been in decades, with a 7-days-per-week from mid-March through May.

The spring seasons, as approved this afternoon, are:

Below I-5
Open 6 days a week from Buoy 10 to I-5 from March 1 through April 18 (closed on the following Tuesdays for commercial fishing: March 9, 16, 23, 30)

I-5 to I-205
Open 7 days a week from I-5 to I-205 March 1-14 (except March 9). That same stretch of water re-opens 3 days a week (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) March 18 through April 3

I-205 to Bonneville
Bank angling only will be allowed from I-205 to Bonneville dam under the same season structure as above.

Bonneville to McNary
Open 7 days a week from Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam from March 16 through May 31, but bank fishing only from Bonneville upstream to the Tower Island power lines below The Dalles Dam.

The approved season structure was lauded by the Washington and Oregon Department’s of Fish & Wildlife as providing “plenty of fishing opportunity throughout the river”, while awarding “a full range of fishing opportunities above and below Bonneville Dam in March and April”, but lower Columbia veterans and fishing industry watchdogs feel otherwise.

“It’s going to be very difficult for us to explain to the angling public why there’s a half million fish in the river and their fishing options are so constrained,” says Liz Hamilton of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, pointing out the 470,000-fish upriver forecast.

8CHECK OUT ANDY WALGAMOTT'S EDITOR'S BLOG over at Northwest Sportsman's website. Also, get it while it's hot: The March issue of NWS is LOOOOOADED with great springer stuff.

8SEE THE ODFW/WDFW's OFFICIAL RELEASE detailing the 2010 spring Chinook and sturgeon seasons.

More on this later tonight.


NW Wild Country A.M. Briefing for Feb. 18, San Francisco Chronicle
WILD BLOG: How they see us: Columbia runs featured in WSJ, SF Chronicle
POSTED Feb. 18, 2009 / 10:45 a.m.

Joel Shangle Blog MugSEATTLE - Seems as though the rest of the world has taken notice of the Columbia River lately. As we await the results of today's Columbia River Compact meeting, and the first whispers of the 2010 spring Chinook season structure, I thought it'd be interesting to find out what everybody outside the I-5 corridor is saying about us. Here's what I hear:

8THE WALL STREET JOURNAL'S recent story on "Fish Boom Makes Splash"

8THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE'S view of the "towering rise of salmon and steelhead in the state right above us"

8THE COLUMBIA BASIN BULLETIN'S all-star reporting of the allocation of lower-river springers

8J.D. RICHEY'S BLOG ENTRY on the 2010 spring Chinook projections

NW Wild Country P.M. Briefing, 2-2
First springer photo of 2010 Columbia River, on Ifish
The IFish crowd ponies up with first springer photo of '10
POSTED Feb. 2, 2009 / 12:45 p.m.

PORTLAND - I've been meaning to post this since yesterday, but, finally, here it is: photographic proof that Springer Fever, 2010 has begun.

As Jack Glass of Hook Up Guide Service told us Saturday on the air, there have already been a handful of spring Chinook reported in the past five days. The above photo is from Ifish.net member Blue Water 23, who whacked a 16-pound spring Chinook Monday morning trolling herring. That's Monday's Oregonian, to serve as proof.

8CHECK OUT THE IFish THREAD ON THIS FISH and start stocking up on herring. It's gonna be one of THOSE kinds of years, kids.


Columbia River 470,000 Numbers Game Begins
US v. Oregon TAC's 470,000-fish forecast explained

POSTED Dec. 12, 2009 / 8:10 a.m.

SEATTLE - The first words out of Stuart Ellis' mouth Saturday morning spoke volumes about the angst behind releasing the official 2010 forecast for Columbia River spring Chinook : "There was a little bit of sweating going on in the room."

Joel Blog MugEllis, the chairman of the US v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee - the group charged with forecasting the 2010 springer run - followed up with a chuckle, indicating that he was only partly serious about the sweating. His message was clear, though: The gravity of a number that approaches a half million - the 470,000 upriver springers forecasted for the Columbia - was not lost on him.

"If it comes to pass, it’ll be the largest run of spring Chinook to ever enter the Columbia River since the construction of Bonneville Dam," Ellis told us last Saturday in an exclusive interview on Northwest Wild Country.

8LISTEN TO THE PODCAST OF OUR EXCLUSIVE 20-MINUTE Q&A with Stuart Ellis, chairman of the US v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee.

8CHECK OUT ANDY WALGAMOTT'S COLUMBIA BLOG on the Northwest Sportsman website about the forecasting process. Some really good behind-the-scenes/back-story reporting here.

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