CHETCO RIVER




Captain Dave Jacobs 530 646-9110

February 28, 2016    Headlines
Winter Steelies

Rivers All Dropping In
The Smith river saw a brief and needed rise on Thursday and is currently holding in the mid 9' range here on Sunday 2-28.
The action this past week on the Smith has been slowly reports Wally Johnson of Seiad Valley Guide service. Wally said "The numbers of fish in January and early February were some of the best we have seen in years but things are much slower the past two weeks. I've been spending most of my time on the Chetco as it has been much more consistent the past couple of weeks. In fact the Chetco has been putting out some big numbers especially on those days when it's in shape and pressure is low".
In a nutshell the Smith is slow and the Chetco is still giving up 3 to 6 fish scores. We are starting to see more downers in the catches and fewer bright fish on both rivers but there is still some good fishing left. It is nearly March and the peak is behind us but the fat lady is not yet singing.
The South Fork Eel has been grudging giving up some steelhead. The drought and pot growers draining what water is left in many side streams are all having and effect. Tony Sepulveda with Green Water Fishing Adventures and who also owns the six-pack Shellback in Eureka reports "it's been tough. We are hooking 2 to 5 and landing 2 or 4 each day but the action is nowhere near as what we have seen the 5 plus seasons. In past years hooking 8, 10 or even 15 fish on day's float was not unusual. This season if you can find five fish to bite you are on your guide game. Flows this winter have been very favorable for spawning steelhead and salmon but it will be a few years before those fish return.


 Rivers Rise With Needed Rain
The Smith has jumped from 8 to nearly 12 feet in the past 12 hours as of Thursday 2-18 at 6:PM. The highest rainfall totals today were concentrated along the far North Coast. On the Smith river Gasquet saw 2.28" over the past 24 hours. To the south Honeydew on the Mattole saw just .92" while Ft Seward on the Main Stem Eel reported .80.
The guidance plot calls for the Smith river to jump a few more inches on Friday and drop through the weekend. This rise will set the stage for great fishing through the coming days. The Smith has been low and clear this past week and scores will improve with this latest pulse of water.
The Chetco looks be out on Friday due to the rain but looks to drop back in no later than Sunday. Both the Smith and the Chetco have been giving up solid action this entire season when conditions are right. This rise will set the stage of more good action in the days ahead.
The guidance plot on the South Fork Eel calls for the river to rise from a current level of 9 feet or 1300cfs to 13 feet or roughly 7000cfs at Miranda. This will keep the South Fork out of "play" for the next several days. Over the past few days guides have been seeing 2 to 5 fish scores of fish to 15 pounds taken on side drifted roe and plugs.  This river is a favorite of this writers with it's big native steelies and just three hours from my North Bay "home base".


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River Levels:     Chetco River Flow Data


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