January 29, 2015
Time to Think
All North Coast rivers are dropping and getting "skinny" here on Thursday
1-29. The Smith is down to 7.3 or just 1900cfs. Flows this low are
not what any steelhead angler wants. Yes there are fish in the system but
approaching them much less hooking one in these ultra low clear flows is tough
to impossible. Rain is needed on the Smith before we see the action improve.
The Mad has greened up and is flowing at 6.6 feet or under 500cfs. This
means that anglers bouncing roe in the holes or under a bobber are going to out
fish the flossers and liners by a wide margin. Fishing here was solid all this
past week but will be more challenging each day that we don't see rain.
Now is a good time to think big or at least big water. The South Fork Eel
is in to the main stem and has lost most of it's color. Many guides like Tony
Sepulveda are now working the main stem and being a bit quiet on what they are
finding. I can't blame any guide who is staying mum when there are only so many
good floats available. Earlier this week Tony reported 6 fish hooked each day on
the south Fork. I would bet he will be on the main stem Eel until the rains
Wally Johnson has been scratching out a few fish on the Chetco says he may be
breaking out the jet sled to fish the lower Klamath by this weekend. Two
weeks ago under similar low flows he was reporting up to 5 adults and a dozen
half pounders each day. They were drifting roe from Blue Creek to the Glen. This
is a good bet until the rains return.
I have not received a Chetco guide report sine the weekend but private
anglers are seeing good action and some big fish working the lower river. The
fishing is not wide open but some toads are in the mix.
On the Russian with the lack of rain and ultra low releases off the dams flows are
down to 260cfs at Healdsburg. I have received only a handful of mostly dead slow type reports
the past two weeks but second captain Jared Davis on the Salty Lady sent in a
get video of a bright fish hooked in a "frog water" hole on Tuesday.
It appearded to be hooked on a bobber and bait setup.
Pray for rain as if we don't see some soon many rivers could close due to low
The bottom line is that if you are fishing with a top guide they have both the
knowledge and skill to put their clients onto the best fishing available. That
said there are fewer options as the rivers drop out.