Columbia River fishing guides, Kevin Newell welcomes you to join him for a Columbia River fishing adventure like no other! Incredible salmon fishing and sturgeon fishing trips!

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Columbia River Fishing Guide


Kevin Newell fishing guide

Kevin with Buoy 10 Salmon!

Full time, professional, Columbia River fishing guide - Kevin Newell


Hi! I'm Kevin Newell owner and operator of Total Fisherman Guide Service! I have been a professional Columbia River fishing guides for 11 years now, and I have been fishing the Columbia and the waters of Oregon and Washington my entire life.


I've spent thousands and thousands of hours guiding clients to successful Columbia River fishing trips! Fishing the Columbia and sharing my knowledge of the river and it's fish is something I truly enjoy, for me it's a passion!


A lot of things have changed over the years ... I remember when I was a kid, very few people fished for sturgeon, salmon runs were getting weaker and weaker every year, and the web was a place you looked for spiders! Boy are things different now. Sturgeon is one of the most populare fisheries we have, salmon runs on the Columbia are very strong, and the internet has changed the way we live and do business.

kevin & lacey halibut

Kevin & Lacey with Halibut!


Nowadays folks have easy access to information regarding fishing trips. Destinations and fishing guides are just a click of the mouse away. There are a lot of fishing guides out there and a lot of customers too, and the real key is getting customers and fishing guides who share similar expectations into the same boat. When everyone involved has the same expectations then success happens! I believe it's important to set the correct expectations so that I hopefully attract the customers that want the same things I want and that is to have a great fishing trip and to have you come back!


Thats what this page is about, setting expectations and letting you know a little about me so that hopefully you can make an informed decision about your Columbia River guided fishing trip.






We have talked a little about me, let's talk a little about you.


What do you want out of a guided fishing trip?


If you have a specific goal for your trip please let me know. Sometimes folks want to learn a certain section of river or learn different methods for rigging bait etc, make sure you let me know if there is something specific you want to learn or do. I generally assume folks want to catch a bunch of fish and have as much fun doing it as possible and that is the way I approach each trip.


What do you want your fishing guide to be like?


I think you should want someone that is friendly, accomodating, professional, patient, and absolutely driven to make your trip a success.


You should want to go with a high quality guide. Your time has value and you should want to get the best return on your investment of time and money. Please remember high quality guides that use high quality equipment are like any service or product that is worth a darn, they don't come cheap.


More about Kevin ...


Let me give you some more insight into how I do things, specifically what I will and won't do. That way we can make sure this is a good match!


1. I won't spend all day talking on the cell phone and ignoring you.


Sometimes I may have to answer calls from interested customers and also talk briefly with other fishing guides about where the fish are biting and what they are biting on, but I try to limit the amount of time I spend on the phone.


Why? Because you didn't pay to here me gab on the phone all day.


2. I won't do anything that will jeopardize your safety.


Safety is my highest priority. I have never had a person get hurt in my boat. My safety record is perfect.


Why? Because you wont come back fishing with me if I hurt you or scare you.


3. I won't talk your ear off all day long.


Some folks like fishing guides that will tell them story after story and lots of jokes. I'm not that kind of fishing guide. I'm good for an occasional funny story but I can hardly ever remember any of the hundreds of great jokes I hear.


Why? I would much rather hear about your experiences get to know you better and answer any questions that you might have. If I'm doing all the talking it's hard to do this. Don't get me wrong I'm not quiet in the boat, I can carry on a pretty good conversation but the trip isn't about me ... it's about you.


4. The fish you catch is going to be handled with care, put on ice while it is on the boat, and cleaned before you take it home.


Why? The fish we catch are amazing creatures and they deserve to be treated properly so that they taste great when you put them on the dinner table. Icing down and bleeding your fish allows it to retain the great taste that you expect.


5. I wont use cheap or inadequate gear.


I use only the highest quality equipment. You won't find any cheap "off brand" or "good enough" poles, reels or tackle in my boat.

I don't buy cheap rods because cheap rods break, and they break on YOUR big fish and that is unacceptable. The only brand of rod in my boat is G. Loomis. G. Loomis rods are known world wide for their quality, reliability and time tested performance.

I also don't buy cheap reels because big fish will destroy anything but the highest quality reel. I've seen it happen, big sturgeon and hot salmon or steelhead leaving an angler with a handful of parts or a "smoked" drag.


My 24' custom made jet boat is one of the largest and nicest boats on the water.


Here is a list of some of it's features.

  • The boat is 9 feet wide so you have lots of room to stretch out and to fight fish!

  • High back swivel seats with armrests.

  • Hot water sink to wash your hands.

  • Dry storage.

  • 2 wash down hoses to keep blood and slime off the floor so you won't slip.

  • Onboard fish cleaning station inside the fish box.

  • Heater to keep you warm on the really nasty days.

  • Autopilot for the trolling motor to keep us going straight when I'm baiting your rod. I also use this when we are anchored on very windy days to keep the boat from swinging back and forth, this allows us to fish longer after other boats have been "blown off" the water.

  • Garmin electronics, GPS and fish finder.

  • VHF Radio to contact the Coast Guard, other fisherman, or to get up to date weather reports.

  • Powerful, quite, environmentally friendly Yamaha 4 stroke outboard motors. My 225 horsepower main engine has a removable jet pump so I can run shallow, or I put the prop on to run out on the ocean and Columbia River, this allows me to take you where the fish are.

  • Two 2000 gallon per hour bilge pumps, just in case.

  • 2 batteries, just in case.

  • Life jackets and all required safety equipment. High quality safety equipment, I didn't go cheap here either.

    Why do I put such a focus on high quality equipment? I get to go fishing all the time, so I always get another chance at the big one that got away. Many of my customers only get out fishing a few times a year. I'm not going to risk your first fish or your trophy fish of a lifetime to save a few bucks scrimping on gear. When you hire me your going to go on one of the best guided fishing trips in the Northwest and one of the reasons is the great equipment you will use.


    I hope you notice a pattern with the boat and the equipment. I don't go cheap. I'm not trying to save money by skimping on this stuff. This attitude carries over into the less visible areas of my business as well, like bait and fuel. I always have more than enough bait, I'm usually throwing bait away at the end of the day. I don't ever want to be caught in a situation where I don't have enough bait or where I'm forced to ration bait. Fresh bait and keeping it fresh is one of the keys to my success! Oh and the gasoline ... I don't try to save on gas in the boat, I'm more than willing to run here and run there looking for the fish and go the extra five or ten miles to put you on the fish. I don't even blink an eye on this stuff. It's the cost of doing business and a priority for me because I take pride in doing things the "right" way.



    6. I'm in the loop.


    I talk with other guides and expert fisherman about where the fishing is great. When you go fishing with me, we are going to be headed for a spot on the river that has been producing fish. I take you to fishing locations where you have the best opportunity to have a great fishing experience. We go where the fish are!


    7. Service after the sale.


    I enjoy it when my customers call me back months after a fishing trip to ask my opinion about a product they are buying or want some tips on where the fishing is hot. Some times they are outfitting their own boat and are going on their first trip for a certain species and have a question on technique. I'm going to be there to answer your questions. My goal is to make you a better fisherman and that doesn't stop when you leave my boat, so call me and fire away with those questions! I never get tired of answering them!


    8. I work hard to get you into fish.


    I've noticed through the years that the harder I work in the boat the luckier we get! Hard work and attention to detail equals consistently catching fish, and can mean the difference between an average day and a great one.


    9. I love being a fishing guide!


    I love being on the water with new friends and enjoying the many beautiful areas we fish. I sometimes talk with my customers about their previous experiences with other fishing guides, and they tell me about the guide being frustrated or impatient or acting like he didn't really want to be there. My take on this is that there are some (not many) guides out there for whatever reason who are stuck being a guide, they cant move onto another career choice even if they wanted to. I'm not one of those guides. I have a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Washington State University, and the day that the fishing guide business turns into a "job" for me is the day I will go find something else to do. I'm not stuck doing this, therefore you won't be stuck in a boat with some guy that's just doing this for the money.


    10. This is where my heart is at.


    You can always tell a mile away when someone loves what they do. I'm one of those people.


    Thanks and take care!
    Kevin M. Newell




    What does it take to be a fishing guide?


    • Merchant Mariner's Credentials, also called a Coast Guard License. This is required when running a power boat with paying passengers anywhere on a navigable waterway. The Columbia River and most rivers in the NW are considered to be navigable.

    • If your guide holds a guide or charter license in Oregon then the state requires the guide to carry liability insurance.

    • CPR & First Aid Certified

    • In good standing with the Oregon State Marine board. If a guide has wildlife violations or a history of complaints against him then OSMB will revoke the license.

    • Does Kevin have these things?


    • Yes I do! I am a United States Coast Guard licensed Merchant Marine holding a 25 Ton Masters of Inland Waters License with a OUPV Near Coastal Waters endorsement. Renewal every 5 years is required. Merchant Mariner #1020462.


    • My business is insured.

    • CPR & First aid certified.

    • I am in good standing with the Oregon State Marine Board and Better Business Bureau with no complaints and a perfect safety record.


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