Jon Ball: Your Columbia River Gorge Fishing Guide
Jon has fished in Oregon and southwest Washington for over 35 years. Since 1998, he been a full-time fishing guide, especially for sturgeon, salmon, steelhead and shad in the Columbia River Gorge, just minutes from Portland, Oregon. He has been featured on programs such as World Wide Fishing, Inside Sports Fishing and North West Back Roads. He has given many seminars on sturgeon fishing at sportsman shows, and at sporting good stores such as Sportsmans Warehouse, G I Joes and Fishermans Marine.
I grew up on the world-famous Cowlitz River, known for putting out some big steelhead, in a little town called Toledo, in Washington State. When I was growing up on the Cowlitz River, a person didn't see too many fishing guides; however, I do remember this one guide, Corkie Smith. Even when I was about 11-12 years old, I remember seeing Corkie working the river with his customers, while I was fishing along the bank. I remember thinking to myself just how lucky that man was. I would wave at him, as if he even knew me, and he would wave back to amuse me. I would think to myself that there couldn't be a better job on this earth than being a fishing guide.
Well, many years later, here I am, a fishing guide. To tell you the truth, I still have to pinch myself to see if it is just a dream. Yes, I am a very lucky man. I love what I do, and most people who have fished with me realize real fast that it is genuine. I am a very blessed man. I don't think there is a greater way to enjoy God's creation then to be on the water and get hooked into a trophy sturgeon or a big salmon or an acrobatic steelhead. Any of those will still get my heart pumping. In the past 35 plus years, I have learned a thing or two about the sturgeon, salmon and steelhead in this area. And now I would like to share all my experiences and knowledge with you. I have had some great times on the water, catching a lot of fishing and just enjoying the outdoors. Another way I am blessed is the wife and 6 kids I have. We all like the outdoors and it is a very big part of our lives. If you ever see me at a sportsman show, you will probably meet most of them since they are a very big help with the guide service.
On my guided trips, I have made it a commitment to always be honest with my customers. I will not tell people that fishing is great when I know it isn't, just to book a trip. When I book a customer, I am looking for a long-lasting relationship with that group. When someone hires me, my desire is to fish with you for the next 20 years, not just a one-time trip. If right now the salmon are biting more than the sturgeon, I'll tell you that. Or if I think you'd have better luck with steelhead, I'll take you where they are. That is not to say we haven't had slow days of fishing. But it isn't because I wasn't truthful about the peak time of the year. I tell people that it takes two parts for catching fish. If we have good bait in the water, then we are doing our part. Now the fish have to do theirs. People get enough pressure in this world, just from life itself. You don't need more pressure on a fishing trip. When I am hired for a fishing trip, I feel that my job is to offer a safe, relaxing day on the water. It's a time where you can maybe learn a little about the fish and the area that we are fishing. It is your day away and I will do everything I can to make it a pleasurable, relaxing and successful day for you.
Thanks and keep a tight line,
Jon and Stacy Ball
Email us at: JonsOutdoors@aol.comback to top