They say nothing in life is free, but they are wrong.

The fishing advice I give out on this blog is free, for starters.

You’re also free to walk off with your fishing partner’s copy of Northwest Sportsman.

And this weekend, you can angle all the hell over the Northwest for free.

Yeah, fish all day Saturday for free, then turn around and do it again all day Sunday.

Go, catch salmon, slay steelhead, fight sturgeon, troll trout, dig clams, bother bass, whack walleye, it won’t cost you a plug nickel, red cent or your last dime.

Well, outside of the price of gas, bait, tackle, boats, motors, rods, reels, line, scents, etc., etc., etc.

But those are just details, my friend, because this weekend is Free Fishing Weekend in Washington and Oregon.

Both states’ Departments of Fish and Wildlife have set aside a weekend in June to get more people out fishing. True, daily limits and all other regular rules apply, but you don’t need a license to take part in the festivities.

In Oregon, they’ve lined up a host of fishing events around the state.

Price of admission? That would be free.

There are 13 events in Southern Oregon, four in Central and Eastern Oregon, one at the Leaburg Hatchery, plus 14 lakes around the greater Portland area are receiving fresh doses of stocker trout.

Then there’s the big event, at Bonneville Hatchery, the 17th annual “Passport to Fishing” day for kids 12 and younger. To make it even freer, ODFW is supplying all the rods, reels, tackle and bait, plus bags and ice to carry home the 3,600 trout kiddos can catch.

All totaled, there are 35 organized events, which ODFW has summarized online.

For even more ideas, check out the weekly recreation reports for the Northwest, Southwest, Willamette, Central, Southeast, Northeast, Marine and Columbia zones.

Washington fishery managers point out that this weekend coincides with the offshore hatchery Chinook opener, lingcod fishing on the coast and Puget Sound, good warmwater fishing on the Eastside, shad and sturgeon in the Columbia, among other ops.

And guess what — you can also fish with two rods at all Washington waters open for such too.

For free.

For more ideas — for free — may we suggest WDFW’s Weekender report?

You will, however, need a catch card on the Washington side, but those are available for, yep, free at license vendors.

It’s not just the Internet where you can get everything for free, there’s a whole (real) world awaiting Northwest anglers this weekend.


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