Smith & Chetco
Flows Remain Steady, Rivers South Rise
All the recent rains that have hit the Central coast have had little effect
on rivers to the North. While the Eel has seen a rise and is muddy the Smith
and Chetco have been holding steady or seeing a small drop the past few
Here on Sunday 3-2 at 11:AM the Smith is flat lined at 8 feet. Light
rain is forecasted this afternoon and the river could see a slight rise
which would be a good thing. Guides are reporting 2 to 5 fish mostly adults
and a mix of 1/3 runbacks to 2/3 bright fish.
The Chetco has been the place to drift the past week or two. Dave
Jacobs reports he is putting clients into 5 to 10 hookups and an average of
4 to 6 fish to the net. Dave says they are starting to see some downers but
over half of their fish are dime bright 5 to 12 pound fish. Tony Sepulveda
had a very similar report of 6 to 10+ hookups per day and says they are
seeing 5 to 8 fish through Saturday. Tony said the bite was slower on Sunday
and he felt that the fish in the lower river made a big push up. Tony is on
vacation through April 3rd and his next trips run will be ocean out of
Eureka on his six pack. The river is in
great shape and looks to remains so into early next week.
The South Fork Eel is on a slow drop currently a tad high at 9.3 feet
at Miranda. One flows drop to 8 feet at Miranda come Tuesday the bite will
be on if the forecast holds true. The Eel is a huge producer in March and
anglers should find a mix of mostly runbacks with some bright fish in the
mix to keep things interesting. While this river is often colored and or out
when it's "in and fishing" produces some of the highest scores in the state.
North Coast River
This current storm system is mainly bring rain to the area south of Pt
Arena. 24 hour rainfall totals through 5:PM Wednesday 2-26 are: The
Smith river has seen less than .04 an inch and the river has dropped to 8
feet. Guides are reporting 2 to 4 fish scores a mix of fresh run adults and
a few run back fish that have recently spawned. The guidance forecast calls
for just one foot increase in flow on Friday and the river looks to stay in
through the weekend.
The Chetco has been putting out solid counts for the past several
days. Guides are reporting 5 to 8 fish landed with some hooking double
digits. Dave Jacobs reports that over the past few days their counts have
been 6 to 7 fish landed running from 5 to 14 pounds. There have been lots of
big fish landed the past two weeks and here too the river is in great shape
and looks to remain so through early next week. One sad story from this past
weekend is a reminder to drift boaters to ALWAYS were your life jacket.
Tragedy on the Chetco Claims One Angler's Life Others Saved by Quick
The Mad river is green and fishing well reports Gary Blassi at Mad
river Tackle. Anglers tossing roe and others lining are seeing 2 to 5 fish
per day a mix of 60% runbacks and 40% bright fresh fish just moving in. Gary
says that knowledgeable anglers are working through the dark fish and many
are seeing limits of hatchery fish running 6 to 12 pounds.
Moving south rainfall at Garberville on the South Fork Eel has only
totaled .20 and the river is flat lined. The entire south fork is fishing to
the main stem with guides seeing 3 to 7 fish per boat. The guidance plot
calls for a steep four foot rise tonight and if the guidance plot is correct
the Eel will be out on Thursday and will remain so through early next week.
The Russian is closed now to fishing through it should not have this
late in the season. Lake Sonoma has reported 1.40" in just the past 12 hours
and the much need rain is in the forecast for Mendocino County south through
early Saturday. My top bets for the coming days are the Mad, Smith, Chetco
and upper Klamath. All rivers south of Cape Mendocino look to be high &
muddy through early next week.