North Coast Rivers Rise
The steelhead season ends on March 31st but Mother Nature and rising flows
are putting the final touch of a frustrating steelhead season to bed a bit
early. Rain on Tuesday 3-25 pushed river levels up on all North coast
streams and most are high and off color. With heavy rain forecasted this
weekend and with most rivers closing to fishing next Monday at sunset this
will end our reports for the 2014 season.
In a nutshell it was a long frustrating year dominated by low flows and
little rain all season until mid February. Once the rains arrived we did see
some great fishing when conditions were right with the Chetco, South Fork
Eel and Mad all producing good numbers of fish. Other systems like the Smith
never gained much traction due to the lack of rain while the upper Klamath
was a steady producer of smaller fish all winter. This will be our last
steelhead coastal steelie report of the season but come May we will be
covering Springer fishing on the Rogue and Klamath.
The Smith remains open to fishing through April 30th but the catch will be a
mix of bluebacks and down bound steelies. Be sure to check out our ocean
report pages as the salmon season below Cape mendo opens next weekend.
Rivers Drop Out, Rain on the Way
The Smith had dropped to 7.5 feet and is crystal clear here on
Sunday 3-23. The fishing has been tough with guides seeing 1 to 3 fish a
mix of blue back and downers. It is getting late in the season and most of
the fresh adults have already made it into our Northern rivers.
A series of smaller systems is expected to impact the North Coast beginning
late Monday and lasting into Thursday. These first three systems are
expected to bring showers and light rain. Beginning late Friday and into
Saturday a much stronger system is expected to impact the Oregon border area
with heavy rain and quickly rising main stem rivers. The forecast may change
but as of this writing the weather models are in agreement that this will
bring significant rains to far Northern Cal next weekend.
The Chetco is seeing light pressure and those still fishing are
seeing lots of runbacks in the lower river. This next push of water will
likely increase the numbers of post spawn fish but I would suspect that by
next weekend most rivers will return to high and muddy.
The Mad is green and running at 6.4 feet. Bankies are seeing a few
down-runner hatchery fish with a few bright late season natives around to
keep things interesting. Work roe and a Fish Pill in the Deeper holes and
The South Fork
Eel has dropped out as well with the Miranda gauge showing just 7.8 feet
or 520cfs. Guides have dropped down to the main stem but with Tony Sepulveda
on vacation we don't have a current report. I would expect that most are
still seeing 5+ fish per day working plugs and roe from the Forks to
The Eel, Mad, Van Duzen, Redwood Creek and Mattole close to fishing on
March 31st. The Smith is open through April and the Klamath and Trinity are
open year round.