I have fished with many guides throughout Northern California, Hawaii,
Mexico, Colorado etc. and rank you within the top 3 of all professionals I
have fished with. The bottom line is you know your stuff and without a doubt
are a true pro with excellent people skills which really places you in a
category of your own.
We look forward to booking with you again soon and look forward to getting
into some of those monster steelies this spring.
Todd Brouillette and Steve Crowe
A few years ago I stumbled across John Koenig more or less by accident. Some haphazard Internet research had given me his name,
identifying him as a guide who could potentially show me something about the Sauk, a river that both intrigued and exasperated me as a
steelheader. John called it one of his "home" rivers, and I was eager to absorb some local knowledge.
While my incentive was to learn about the Sauk, my first excursion with John covered far more ground, or water, as
it were. From the moment we began to drift downstream, John took on a teacher's persona. He discussed, directed and demonstrated,
all the while tactfully ignoring that perhaps I wasn't as accomplished a steelheader as I had made myself out to be.
He introduced me to techniques I had not previously used and gave prudent tips on ones that I knew, maybe even thought I had mastered. I
came to better understand the behavioral patterns of steelhead-water in which they hold and travel, why and how they react to certain
situations, what it takes to motivate even the most reluctant fish to strike.
And I laughed a hell of a lot.
I failed to bring a fish to the boat that day, though certainly not for the lack of opportunities. But in that daybreak-to-dusk float I
gleaned enlightenment and appreciation I value more than the memory of landing three or four steelhead. Those multi-fish experiences have
come, in my subsequent trips with John, as has continual insight into a sport I desperately love.
Spend a day, even an hour or two, on the river with John, and you'll be impressed by his expertise, amazed by his inexhaustible
enthusiasm and reminded why most of us initially developed a devotion to fishing, because it can, and should be, fun.
John Koenig runs a top notch guide service!
I hired John for my first time 2 years ago, after fishing for steelhead for 10 years.
I picked up many things that made me a better fisherman.
I have fished with John many times since then and he is always open to showing me things that will improve my fishing ability and
show me waters that hold fish and those that will not.
John works hard, the first time out we fished sun up to sun down and John skillfully maneuvered his drift boat into pockets that
put fish on my hook, o.k. I will admit that not all of them made it to the boat-but we were Catch and Release fishing anyways.
I have a great time fishing with John with many laughs and he is a good friend. Last year February 28th my friend Joe and I hired
John and before 10:30 a.m. we had five steelhead caught and released, with many nice, nice, nice size dollies.
I hooked into the 6th steelhead for that morning, it was a HAWG. John pulled the boat over and I fought this fish from the shore.
John and Joe raced down river and the fish tried to make it into a tailout, then something weird happened, I noticed some of the
shore broke loose on the opposite side of the river, John yelled "Jeff did you feel that?", I was like "I cant feel anything my legs are shaking",
he responds "I think we had an earthquake". I could not pay any attention to that, we managed to get the fish in and made some measurements, took a picture and released the beast, which we pulled two other broken off hooks from its mouth.
After calculations the fish weighed 23lbs, my biggest steelhead.
Thank you John for a memory that will never fade. Yes that was the day of the earthquake, sorry wife I know you did not have as
good a day.(she was in the Starbucks building and got all shook up).
Jeff Rexroat (a.k.a.-Jeffro Bodean)
John Koenig is a very experienced professional guide, he is good humored and and is always trying to teach.
I met John almost 2 years ago on his website, since then he has taught me many new things about fishing that has made me a
On my very first guided trip with John he put us into about a dozen very nice sized dollies which were lots of fun.
Shortly after I hooked into and landed what I thought was the biggest Steelhead of my life which was about 20 lbs.
About an hour later I hooked into what I thought was a log, as I set the hook and kept tension this "log" started peeling line up
river! After a 20 minute fight I got him to the bank for the second time and John reached for him to tail him, and the hog was gone
again. I got the fish to the bank for the third time and as John reached for him again, my line snapped, but John took
off down river after the fish! I thought he was going to dive in and tackle it!
He made every effort possible to tail this fish so that we could get a quick picture and release him.
John said it was one of the biggest Steelhead he had ever personally seen. He estimated it at well over 30 pounds!
Thanks again John for the great fishing experiences. You have a first class guide service that is highly recommended.
Kevin Smallwood (AKA "Timber")
Professional, fun, hardworking, knowledgeable, and teacher are just some of the terms I think of when I hear the name John Koenig.
I first met John on a bulletin board where he offered information and advice to me on a float I was thinking of doing.
Since that first encounter with John, he has made me a better fisherman and more knowledgeable of the fish that I am pursuing.
Last year we shared some of my most memorable fishing moments. Putting me in the position to catch and land some incredible fish,
not that all were landed.
I feel comfortable bringing the most novice or experience angler with me on our trips.
Last March my wife and I went with John. In talking with him I said that I just wanted her to have a great time.
Little did I know that that would include a 10 fish day, were my wife landed eight steelhead, including her first.
Later she said she had a wonderful time and that she would love to go again.
I've been out with John many times and have always had a great time. I consider him a friend and teacher.
One conversation sticks out in my mind that tells it all.
I asked John one day why he guided and he said that he loved being on the river and that the smile on the faces of his clients
was more than rewarding. As I'm sitting in my office writing this I look up at the picture of John, me, and a twenty pound hen steelhead I caught with him,...and it puts a smile on my face.
From the Smith House:
I went on my first guided fishing trip, as well as my first opportunity to go Salmon fishing, with my mom, stepdad (Ralph)
and of course John. I had started the day by not wanting to go, but later I found that I am really glad I did go.
I had an awesome time. I even out fished Ralph! I caught the first and only two fish that we were able to keep in the lower river,
which were a male and female, weighing about 6 pounds each. Then, we went up river where it was a catch-and-release area,
and I caught several pinks. my stepdad caught a huge King, but later lost it in the current.
Thank you john for a great fishing trip, laughs and boat rides.
Traci Muncy AKA "the bug"
P.S. Anyone who goes on one of John's guided fishing tours is sure to have an awesome time!!!
what a awesome day. I can truly understand why Ralph loves to fish as much as he does.
Our outing was my first time fishing and catching fish, of course, with your help and guidance.
I had a great day and want to thank you and let everyone know you run a top notch outfit. A little something for everyone,
from beginners to advanced fisherman.
At 7:00 a.m. on Feb. 2002, John Koenig met our party of three at
Howard Miller Steelhead Park on the Skagit River in Rockport Wa. Les,
Steve, and myself were in search of the elusive winter steelhead the
Skagit is famous for. As we started upstream toward Marblemount in the
early morning fog, John expertly maneuvered his custom 22' Boulton jet
sled as he explained some of the tactic's used and the types of water
steelhead would hold in.
It was a learning experience from the beginning
for our party of "experienced" fisherman. We fished a couple of spots and
moved upstream, then in the third hole a rod tip dipped hard. A few
minutes later we admired the late "silver" hen before John gently slid
her back into the clear water. The next hole produced several nice Dolly
Varden that fought as hard as most steelhead.
As we moved further
upstream, the fog began to lift exposing the snow capped peaks of the
North Cascade Range and the sun grew warm on our faces. Bald Eagles,
hawks and other wildlife were available for photo opportunities.
Steve was next to be graced by the "Fish Gods" with a acrobatic
native hen. Then Les hooked up with a native buck on the next pass. Then
another! We all laughed as John exclaimed, "We found them !"
The three of us continued to catch and release Dollies and Native
Steelhead the rest of the day. I hooked the last fish, which was a
beautiful chrome 14 lb. native hen. She took 100 feet of line off my
reel in three seconds! After a 15 minute tug of war, she was brought to
hand, photographed and released unharmed into the crystal waters of the
How do you describe one of the most memorable and productive days
you've ever experienced fishing ?
Since actions speak louder than words, I'll let the readers of
Testimonial know that Les, Steve, and I booked next years trip with
John's Guide Service before we had got out of the boat.