Fall Chinook are the largest of all our Columbia River Salmon, they start entering the river at the beginning of August and the peak of the run occurs during the middle to end of August.
Many of these fish are destined for lower Columbia River tributaries such as the Cowlitz, Kalama and Lewis Rivers. Others are headed to Idaho streams or to the section of the Columbia River known as the Hanford Reach.
Columbia River Fall Chinook can be separated into two general sub-species of Chinook; the Tule Chinook and the Upriver Bright Chinook.
The Tule Chinook
The above picture is a perfect example of a Tule Chinook. This fish is a male (also known as a buck) and is fresh from the Pacific Ocean. Notice the bronze color and light pink belly? These fish are spawning in rivers that flow into the lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam. Since they don't have far to swim, their bodies start to enter spawning mode and change color quickly after entering fresh water and sometimes start to change even while they are in the ocean. These fish are aggressive biters and put up a powerful fight!
The Upriver Bright Chinook
Here is a large Upriver Bright also fresh from the ocean. These fish get their name from where they are headed to spawn, which is "Up River" of Bonneville Dam. The majority of these fish are destined for the Hanford Reach section of the Columbia River but many will head up the Snake River to Idaho as well as Oregon's Deschutes River. Because these fish have so far to travel before they spawn, their bodies retain their bright silver color for a much longer period than the Tule Chinook.
EST.Total Fisherman Philosophy2000
We believe that:
- Spending your life doing something you love is the secret to happiness.
- Attention to detail and being absolutely driven, catches fish and creates success.
- A focused effort catches more fish and bigger fish. Just going through the motions is for other people.
- Spending extra time and effort toward making your day successful is important and makes a difference.
- We believe that cutting corners on expenses and effort isn't something you do, even if nobody else will know.
- We believe we should expect the most from every day on the water and hold ourselves to a higher standard.
- We should give back as much and as often as we possibly can.
- It's our job to act as stewards of the resource and as consummate professionals who know that our actions speak louder then words.
Giving 100% every day is the norm, because Buoy 10 or Estuary sturgeon or whatever season we happen to be in only comes around once a year, and in a few weeks it will be over. Let's be realistic ... every one of us has to have a last day on the water. We never know when that day will come, so we are absolutely going to make every day our best day.
We don't have gimmicks like "Fish Catch Guarantees". We won't tell you that we're catching 50 pound salmon every week, or tell you the fishing is red hot when it's not, or any of the other assorted things that guides tell prospective clients to get them on their boats. We're honest and we have integrity.
We provide high quality fishing trips at the median price for guides in the NW. We could charge more or we could charge less, but we don't want you to come fishing with us because your decision is based on price. We want you to come fishing with us because you think we run a first class operation, that we are going to treat you well, and because we catch fish.
We're not the Dollar Store of fishing guides and we certainly aren't the Four Seasons. Our pricing is middle of the road. We believe in charging enough so that we can use high quality equipment, maintain this equipment, and not have to cut corners. We also believe that charging the average price will hopefully allow you to come back more often.
We really take fishing seriously, it's our passion and we certainly want to catch fish just as much as you do; that's why we go during the best times to the best locations and spend extra time, effort, and money to make your trip the best that it can be. We want you to have a successful trip so you come back fishing with us, we also want to be successful so we maintain our reputation as top notch guides.
We take a lot of pride in our fish catching ability and we do everything in our power to put fish in the box, while at the same time having fun, and keeping you safe.
Our approach to life and to fishing isn't standard, and it would certainly be "easier" for us if we weren't worried about these things, but the easy route and the safe bet aren't what we're after. We care about you and we care about your experience on our boats.
We believe our customers, peers and fellow fishermen know that we hold this philosophy close to our hearts and that they know we are out there every day living it. We believe it's important to not let them down.
Kevin, Lacey, Chris & the whole Total Fisherman crew!
Kevin Newell & Lacey DeWeert - Team Total Fisherman