Feb 4, 2012

Oregon Winter Steelhead Report 02-02-2012

The personality of the Oregon River is certainly a dynamic one, and at no other time of year is this quality more evident than during the meat of winter. I guess our rivers, especially those on the western flank of the state, exhibit a sort of bi-polar disease – excessive highs and excessive lows. As much as the river may try to maintain some sort of stability, weather yanks the ebb string and weather yanks the flow string. I have friends that, due to no fault of their own, have to take a drug called Lithium to remain steady. Our rivers are afforded no such medication when dealing with issues so dominant such as the ever-flowing Jet Stream.
Steve: Back in the saddle again!

So how is her mood today? Well, she is feeling steady, let’s say. Prior to this week her bi-polar charm has dominated for much of the winter. Our watersheds have seemingly been plagued by raging waters that are quickly replaced by cool, low trickles – Warm, wet systems followed by cold, high pressure systems. When this is the case, anglers should pounce on the falling flow, because levels and ideal coloration will not stick around for long.
Disclaimer*** Steelhead can be hooked in all weather and river conditions! It will always remain tough to hook one when your fly is not in the water…

Got to love that tube fly purchase!

This week our rivers are flowing in that steady, “sweet spot”. If they were medicated for the sake of our own personal whims, this is what their personality would resemble. Levels have been dropping gradually and a fairly stable pressure system is forecasted for the following week. Over the past few days, anglers have been hooking up to sprinkled pods of willing steel on the Hood, Sandy and Clackamas Rivers. Take advantage of present conditions out there. For winters like the one we are experiencing this year, days like this are a luxury.

These shots come courtesy of Steve Turner and guide, Jeff Hickman, from earlier this week on the Clackamas River.

Rich Kornbrath getting bent

On the trout end of the spectrum, guide, Tom Larimer, was able to get out for a float on the Lower Deschutes. Check out Tom’s Report to see how the day unfolded…

Have a good time out there,


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