Thanksgiving marks another change in seasons here as the area anglers really start looking for early winter steelhead. While it is mostly wishful thinking, there have been a few very bright, possibly winter steelhead reported in the Gorge and the coast.
The coastal hatchery runs are generally the best bet right now for winter steelhead, as the strain of winter steelhead that are used in most systems are known for their tendency to return between Thanksgiving and the New Year. I wouldn’t hesitate to hit up the North Fork Nehalem, West Fork Greys, and Wilson Rivers,
Cowlitz or East Fork Lewis this
week. However, with low and clear water
and no significant rain in the forecast, I would put my money on fishing the John Day for
late summer steelhead if I really had to go steelheading. Truly, I am more excited to swing streamers
Trout on the Deschutes when the rivers
haven’t seen a spike in water level in a while.
The Klickitat closes November 30 (today), so it is time to wrap it up for the year. Another great season with plenty of fish on the swing is in the books. June 1 is really just around the corner, although I always get so excited early season only to be reminded that fishing doesn’t get good until the fall.
Rainbow trout fishing on the
has been fabulous recently. Pulling
streamers has been very productive (egg-sucking sculpin), as well as nymphing
BWOs, egg patterns, midges and small pheasant tails. Trout fishing is going to be great throughout
the winter as long as the rivers are low and clear. Trout love a steady flow and insects hatch
best when river levels and temperatures are consistent.