There is still plenty of Steelhead chasing to do, but spring break anglers seem to have Trout on their minds as they prepare to head out on vacation across the state. Armed with a few extra days destinations like the Owyhee, Ana, Blitzen and Chewaucan rivers are mentioned as they tank up on new fly patterns here in the shop. Hopefully, the weather will be cooperative over the next week. Reports are typical for early season Trout fishing with varying water conditions. On the Owyhee water releases below the dam have been around 15 cfs. for the last week, but are forecast to rise a little next week. Fishing has been fair to slow depending on the day and water clarity. Skwala Stoneflies should be showing up there and on other area waters. Success on these other rivers will be dependent on flows and water condition. It is early spring after all.
Those of us staying closer to home have fair conditions to play with as we are getting a short break in the precipitation. The Sandy has remained the shining star for locals as cold temperatures dropped the freezing level during this last rain event. Chrome fish are still finding their way home and that trend should continue through April.
On the Clackamas, 14 feet on the Estacada gage is the new 12 as that river seems unable to dip any lower this winter. It's more a case that we got use to less water last season and now we're getting a normal winter flow. Willows and other stream side vegetation filled in on the edges last year, and they are now providing great line grabbers where the river is retaking the bank. Wade carefully and be safe. We'll see good winter Steelhead opportunities on the Clack into May, then our summer fish will start to make a showing.
Most coastal streams look good for the weekend and should have fresh fish in them. Big wild fish have been grabbing swung flies as levels drop.
The weekend looks great for Trout anglers on the Deschutes and Metolius with near perfect conditions for spring hatches. BWOs and March Browns should pop with the warmer temps and partly cloudy skies. You might even see a few Skwala Stones. If the weather turns damp on Sunday as forecast, that should liven up the Bulls on the Metolius.