February 15, 2015    Headlines
North Coast River Update

Dry Weather All Week / Rivers Dropping In

All rivers are dropping some more quickly than others. With no rain in the forecast for the coming week all currently high rivers should be in play by mid week. Here on Sunday 2-15 the Smith is down to 9 feet. While it is still holding some color the action has been very slow for the majority of boats the past four days. Guides have been reporting lots of nones, a few ones and the odd two count. Plunkers were picking up a few fish on the lower Smith last Wednesday through Friday so there are some but not many fish in the system.
I have not received a Chetco report for the past two days but it has been producing higher counts as compared to the Smith at least for the guides reporting in.
Looking south is where some good things are either happening or should be happening soon.
The upper Klamath is back in play. Wally Johnson reports the upper river around Seiad is at 5 feet and water temps are up. Normally they would be seeing icy temps is mid February but with temps in the high 40s and warm weather has the fish on the bite. Wally said on his latest trip he was the only boat on the river with just a few of the local yocals out enjoying the river. The catch is a mixed bag of half pounders and adults to 7 pounds. They are feisty and their numbers make up for the lack of size. Wally will be fishing the Klamath this week and other than two derbys over the next two weekends will spend the balance of his season on his "home" waters.
The ONE river I want to be on this week is the South Fork Eel. It's still a tad high but the upper river Leggett to the East Branch should be in by Monday or Tuesday. The middle South Fork from Garberville to Myers is one of my favorite drifts due to the huge amount of fishable water. Looking at the flow trend we dropped nearly 6" on Friday to Saturday but just 4" over the past 24 hours ending at 6:PM Sunday. It's currently holding at 10.2 feet so it looks to be Wednesday or Thursday before the middle / lower South fork is in.
With water releases off Lake Mendo remaining at just 28 cfs the Russian has already dropped to 1400 cfs at Healdsburg.  With the current trend line it should be green and fishing. If not today then by Monday. On this last rise the hatchery saw a huge push of fish  (this report from a neighbor who went by on Friday) that have nearly tripled the numbers of fish back into the ladder. I will try to confirm some numbers on Tuesday but the Russian around Dry Creek is a good bet from the tidbits that I have been hearing the past two days. Again nothing confirmed but I will have to take a give it a try on Monday.

River Levels:


For river status (low flow closure) updates from Fish and Game please call +1.707.442.4502 for the North coast and +1.707.944.5533 for Central coast streams. Be sure to check out the California Fish and Game regulations before you go. Regulations vary on every river and you need to pay attention to bait and hook restrictions. Due to winter closures on HWYs 5, 101 & 299 we recommend you check Caltrans road conditions as well.

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