A Columbia River Smorgasbord

by | Mar 21, 2023 | fly fishing the Columbia River | 1 comment

Columbia-RiverMike LaSota and I skipped fishing yesterday because of a hard rain and strong wind.  But today we had window.  We still had some clouds but wind was nearly nonexistent and temperatures topped off at a welcome 53°.  Off we went around 9 AM to the Columbia River from Mikes White Salmon, WA house.


walleyeWe ran straight upstream in Mikes big boat to where we stuck a few walleyes on Sunday.  Our goal was a couple more because Sundays tasted delicious.  Mike dropped his nightcrawler tipped jig on a spin rod, I went to work with the heaviest fly in my box on a sinking line.  The bottom was exactly 19 feet down.


sturgeon-fishingIt didn’t take long for action.  I landed two quick smallmouth bass.  Both were smaller than any of the ones Sunday.  Then Mike set the hook and his fish didn’t move.  In fact, from my point of view, it looked like a snag.  That is until his rod made a couple violent pumps.


white-sturgeonMike had a sturgeon.  At first, we thought it might be a big one.  This fish wouldn’t budge from bottom.  But Mike kept the pressure on and the fish gave in.  After a few minutes Mike brought a beautiful white sturgeon to the net.  These prehistoric fish are one of the coolest fish on the planet.


CarpIt wasn’t long after and Mike lassoed another sturgeon.  And after that one, he landed a common carp.  The Columbia River is known for its huge numbers of carp but their primetime is summer.  This one was frisky though and ate some type of spoon that Mike was jigging off bottom.


Currier-walleyeThe fish kept coming.  Mike jigged up another baby sturgeon.  Then I landed a walleye.  Anywhere in the Midwest this would be a nice walleye, but here on the Columbia, this one is average.  We tossed him in the cooler nonetheless as he is perfect size for eating.


pikeminnowThe last fish we caught today was the pesky northern pikeminnow.  These guys are natives yet considered pests because of their voracious appetite for other fish – usually salmon and steelhead smolts.  After I dislodged my jig fly Mike cracked a couple pics and I released it.


Columbia-River-GorgeWe originally planned a short day of fishing but it was good and we went till late afternoon.  We not only got a good day of action but we landed five species as well.  You know that any multispecies day is a great one to me.  Bad weather is heading up the Columbia Gorge for the next week so tonight we left White Salmon for Mikes place in Portland.  We’ll base out of there the next few days and plan some more fishing from there.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

1 Comment

  1. Howie

    Dang, I definitely need to get some sinking lines in my repertoire!

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!