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    Fishing Reports

    How low will it go?

    Joel La Follette - Thursday, February 26, 2015
    The chatter in the shop this last week has been mostly about about the weather, which is not in itself odd for February, but the discussion is not the traditional one. We are normally consumed with the subject of rainfall or snowfall and how it will effect our Steelhead fishing opportunities. The difference this year is we are talking about number of warm sunny days we’ve received versus the number of wet ones. We look to the mountain and see that the snow is not piling up as it should and we worry if it will this year. The last snippet of rain that blew through barely bumped the rivers before they began their crash dive to the low and clear conditions we have now. A walk through the neighborhood displays all the trappings of full on spring, with blooming trees and flower beds. Did we totally miss winter?

    Even under these low water conditions anglers venturing out have found a few fresh fish. Although fishing has not been red hot, those putting in the time have been rewarded. The upside to the lack of water has been the lack of traffic on many streams. Where once a flotilla floated, now the hardcore regulars scratch out a day, finding a fish or two for their efforts. The reward in chrome and sunshine.


    As I write this morning, faint drops of rain can be heard falling on the roof. Not enough as of yet to break us out of this early spring, but a sprinkle of hope for the days ahead. Maybe even a touch of snow in the mountains to hold water drops in reserve for the drier summer months ahead.

    Rob Crandall and Gil Muhleman, of Water Time Outfitters, are also up early this morning and each sent me reports that I have blended here…. “Low and clear has been a difficult formula for anglers on the North Coast and a good shot of rain to pick things up would be most welcome.  We’ve been finding fish most days, but as the water drops it has been getting tougher.  The Trask, Wilson and Nestucca are often hitting prime time about this time of year so we are hopeful that conditions will improve. With a good shot of rain we expect fresh arriving chrome fish finning our favorite spots soon.

    While low river levels require a bit more finesse, the last few days have been an exercise in enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer us, including several hearty Steelhead. There are plenty of fish in the rivers to exercise and hone our skills. For those interested in getting away from the hustle and bustle of every day life, now is the time. Catching is not red hot or easy, but the fishing is excellent.

    The Clackamas has been a drifters paradise with nary a sled seen this week.  We are looking at a bump in water levels later this week and that should help spice up the fishing.”

    Brian Silvey called me just a few minutes ago and said basically the same thing. He sent these photos from the last few days on the river and added that fishing on the Sandy has been slow, crowds are light, but both he and Marty have been getting fish. A little rain would be very helpful in warming up the water and ramping up the fishing. The last few days have seen more fish moving in the river. They must know the weather is changing.

    Now, we just pray for rain.
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