The good news in all of this is that we now have considerably more snowpack in the Cascades then we did at this time last year with more on the way. That also means there is more rain in the forecast for the low lands this week and rivers will bump up again.
The Clackamas River dropped just below 14 feet yesterday, but if this rain on the roof I hear right now does what it's expected to the river may hit 18 feet by Friday. The long range look is not very optimistic, and it maybe Boxing Day before the Clackamas fishes again. Of course, long range forecasts can be wrong.
For anglers itching to get out for a little pre-Christmas Steelhead fishing it looks like the Sandy River could be your best bet. While it was not immune to our last deluge, it did come back into shape fairly quickly and should do the same this time if it does go out. Fresh fish have been reported throughout the system and a good number of hatchery fish have already been recycled downriver. Keep an eye on the river level and unlike your stock portfolio look forward to a downward trend.
The same holds true on the coast where smaller watersheds will drop and clear sooner after the rain moves through. Conditions can change rapidly so always have a Plan B. Clam chowder and a view of the ocean is a great option. And pie, pie is good too.
Trout fishers can find peace and tranquility plus a little snow on the Metolius if that is more to your liking. Little Black Stones, BWOs, Midges and miscellaneous small Mayflies should help you crack the code. Bull Trout provide a distraction for those carrying big sticks and big flies.
The Deschutes can also be a great winter Trout destination if the weather cooperates. While not has protected from the elements as the Metolius, the Deschutes Redsides can be less selective even in winter. Sporadic Blue Winged Olive and midge hatches will occur throughout the cooler months drawing fish to the surface. Crowds will be light.