Available Guide

Available Fishing Guide:
Website: Upper Columbia Guide Service

Phone: (509) 470-9255

Quick Links

11 - Vernita Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam Report
Washington

Photos

Details

10/01/2017
76° - 80°
Downriggers
Chinook Salmon
Attractor
Chartreuse
Mostly Sunny
Flasher/Lure
Morning
61° - 65°
10/01/2017
3
2396

This report is for Friday 9/29/17. I headed down to Vernita Bridge with my buddy for the first time hoping my research on fishing this area would pay off with some salmon. We had a flat tire on the boat and got lost once but we finally made it to the launch by 7:00am. There were lots of campers in the field but only one boat in front of us at the launch and we were in the water fishing by 7:30am. I decided to head up the river towards Priest Rapids and we started fishing in the hole below the dam. We counted 18 boats in our area and everyone had their gear down and were trolling upstream or staying stationary in the current. We joined the group and put down 11inch Pro Troll chrome flashers with hot Tamale super bait on one pole and chartreuse/yellow cut plug on the other pole. I stuffed my baits with tuna and garlic sent. We saw several other boats with fish on but we didn't have a bite. After an hour or so we reached the top of the hole and we turned around and went down through the hole with our gear out. Just as we reached the end of our drift one of the rods goes of and we have our first fish on! After a couple of strong runs it was off but we were ready to try for another one. We spent another hour in this area trolling upstream with no results and decided to head down to the hole near right above Vernita Bridge. Again we joined the convoy of boats and trolled up current. After 2 hours in the "hog hole" with no bites we decided to try trolling downstream through the hole. Almost immediately the Hot Tamale super bait rod goes off and it was fish on. As my buddy went to real in the other rod it also goes off and we have a double. I got my fish to the side of the boat and somehow managed to net it while my buddy fought the second fish. Sadly the second fish gets off but we finally had a 12 pound salmon in the boat. It was one o 'clock we decided to stick with trolling down stream. Over the next 45 minutes trolling down through that hole we landed 2 more and had another one get off. I am not sure if it was trolling downstream or the bite turning on but something changed. We used downriggers and fished 3-4 feet off the bottom. This required adjusting the depth of the downrigger balls multiple times during the troll but it worked. It was now 2 o'clock and with three fish in the boat we decided to call it a day and head home. I am sure I will be going back and explore the Handford Reach more in the future.


Comments

DanH
10/2/2017 9:04:59 AM
Are you running a jet in this area? Would prop boat be ok?
kokocrazy83
10/2/2017 9:27:43 AM
We were using a jet but you would be fine with a prop boat. From what I here further down the river near White Bluffs there are some gravel bars that get shallow but there were lots of prop boats where we where fishing near Vernita.
Leave a Comment:

Available Guide

Available Fishing Guide:
Website: Upper Columbia Guide Service

Phone: (509) 470-9255