Chetco, Smith, Rogue, Umpqua, Elk, Sixes, Coos and Coquille Rivers at their Best! phone_iphone541.813.1082  /  206.388.8988

River salmon season well above average

King salmon are continuing to trickle into coastal rivers even as Christmas approaches, as one of the best fall salmon seasons in recent memory winds down. The numbers of kings returning to the Chetco and Smith rivers were well above average this year, while the Elk and Sixes rivers also had solid runs.

Customers hold limits of kings caught with Capt. Andy on the Elk River in November 2022.

Salmon fishing was very good on the Chetco estuary in September and October. By late October, the Wild Rivers Fishing guides found big schools of salmon in the tidewater, and further upriver, and enjoyed good catch rates using bobbers, roe and sand shrimp. After fall rains increased flows, fishing was good throughout the river. November produced solid fishing for kings until low flows again made fishing tough, although there was no shortage of fish.

Capt. Rye holds a lunker fall salmon.

Another shot of rain arrived in early December. The Chetco fished well, while the Elk and Sixes rivers produced great fishing for a week. Just before Christmas, guides fishing the Chetco continued to catch salmon, although most were dark and ready to spawn.

Spawning surveys by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife showed an above-average spawning run. Large numbers of salmon spawned in tributaries throughout the river, while salmon also spawned in the main part of the river. Lots of jacks, which are 2-year-old salmon, indicate next year’s run also should be large.

Brookings Fishing Charters deckhand Eric holds a nice king caught with Capt. Michael on the Chetco.

Steelhead also made an early showing in the river. January and February are peak season, and good fishing is expected this season. To book a drift boat trip, visit or call (541) 813-1082.

Capt. Sam nets a Chetco River chromer while bobber fishing in October.

Our Signature Trips

•   Chetco River   •

The Chetco is one of Oregon’s premier salmon and steelhead rivers, and our most popular fishery. It produces more kings over 50 pounds.

•   Smith River   •

The Smith River is known for its large run of giant king salmon, as well as numerous steelhead of over 20 pounds.

•   Rogue River   •

The Rogue River is one of the few rivers in the world that has salmon and steelhead fishing twelve months a year!

•   Coquille Bay   •

The Coquille and Coos Bays have most prolific early fall salmon fishing on Oregon Coast!

•   Elk and Sixes   •

For sheer numbers of king salmon, the Elk River is hard to beat. The Elk and Sixes both have late fall runs, peaking in December.

•   Brookings Ocean Charters   •

Capt. Andy Martin spent 10 years guiding in Alaska but now guides and runs charter boats year round in Brookings, Oregon.

Call Captain Andy Martin   •   541.813.1082 / 206.388.8988 Wild Rivers Fishing, P.O. Box 1646, Brookings, OR 97415