Columbia River Rainbows specializes in fly fishing for hard fighting rainbow trout. They cater to all skill levels and children are always welcome. Often clientele are return ocean fishing customers that have never fly fished. Matt provides all the equipment and coaching needed to get initiated and catch fish. Even avid fly fishers usually choose to use Matt’s over their own as they are top of the line setups and are already rigged for the mighty Columbia River.
A typical trip is 6-8 hours and usually begins around 9:00. Clients may meet Matt at the Genelle or Trail boat launch, or choose to be picked up at their hotel. The main vessel is an 18-foot center console jet-boat with a quiet 80 horse outboard jet and a 36-volt electric motor with GPS anchor positioning. The boat can accommodate two fly fishers and the guide. The great fishing spots are nearly everywhere, and all equipment is on-board so you will be fishing in minutes; all you need is your sunglasses and favorite fishing hat. Once you’ve fished an area the jet boat will zip you to the next hot spot and the GPS anchor will hold your position steady while you fish.
Mostly you will target the abundant rainbow trout, but if you let your fly sink there are plenty of walleye to be caught. Matt has a special spot on a big back eddy with a sandy bottom that he likes to call “the aquarium”. It’s a special place with crystal clear water that offers excellent fish viewing. At the start of the aquarium Matt turns off the motor and begins the drift. As you drift through the 100 yard long aquarium you will see walleye, rainbow trout and spectacular white sturgeon in water that is usually only 2-6 feet deep.
Columbia River white sturgeon are a protected species that dates back to the Triassic period some 245 million years ago. They are the largest freshwater fish in North America and may exceed 19 feet in length and 1,700 pounds. They can live for over 100 years, but most sturgeon you will see in the aquarium are young teenagers about 6 feet long. Matt said it is difficult not try to cast for a trout or walleye as they are “right there”, but it is pointless to even try in the aquarium as the water is so clear the fish also see you and will just scoot off as soon as the water is disturbed.
Of course there are also ospreys, eagles, and other birds and wildlife to see, but the most abundant wildlife is the fish by a long shot. You see the trout on the surface rising all year long, and you see them in the shallows all the time. Columbia River fishing is an amazing thing to experience. Most trips last 6-8 hours depending on the time of day you leave and the season. Usually you arrive back at the launch site around 4 or 5 pm just in time for dinner.
Columbia River Rainbows has tens of thousands of hours of guiding experience and a long history of customer service in the sport fishing industry. They have been the featured guide for nearly 20 sport fishing television shows and have hosted trips for many authors as well as fly fishing equipment engineers and manufacturers.