Saturday, January 12, 2008

More Water

Made a run to the Salmon River and fished last Thursday and Friday. The warm weather over the past week and the rainfall Thursday night caused the Salmon River to rise. It started out at 500 CFS and by Thursday was flowing at 1800 CFS. By Friday morning we were trying to fish in water flows that were 2000 CFS plus runoff. The Pineville gauge was reading 2700 CFS!!! The only real bright spot in all this the water temperature was fluctuating between 34 to 36°. Still damn cold.

We have been experiencing the best winter steelhead fishing that we have seen in a decade on the Salmon River. Trying to hook a steelhead in 2700 CFS and 36° water can be a very tough challenge. However once the river drops down to about 750 CFS the fishing will return back to normal.

If your interest is swinging flies, concentrate your fishing efforts on the lower river. The steelhead will be fresher there and have experienced less fishing pressure. As a result they will be more likely to respond to a fly presented on a swing. Productive flies will be: white bunny flies and white/pink marble flies (you can also try these patterns in various color combinations of orange, chartreuse, black and brown). Keep the fly size no larger than about 3 inches.

From Pineville on up to the lower fly fishing only zone receives the majority of the fishing pressure. As a result the fish are not as likely to chase down a swinging fly. The best presentation here is to dead drift the flies along the river bottom. Productive flies in this part of the river are, stone flies, size 10 to 6, black and brown woolly buggers size 10 and 8, medium-sized nymphs size 10 and 12 and egg flies size 12 to 8. I have had my best success fishing these flies under an indicator and using 6 and 8 pound test tippets.

What's going on with Oak Orchard and Sandy Creek? Starting with Oak Orchard River, the wet weather the last few days has not had much of effect on the Oak. Not much here has changed. There are a few Browns and steelhead hanging around the damn and the turbine channel and a few more fish down river in the slow water. Stay with the old streamer standby when fishing in the slow deeper water. As for the rest of the river, light tippets and small flies in size 10 to 12 are the way to go.

Sandy Creek was affected with the last rainfall. The water flow at Sandy should settle out and be back to fishing early in the week as long as the weather doesn't get too cold and cause Sandy to ice up. There should continue to be a good mix of Rainbows, Browns and Steelhead. Productive flies: nothing here has really changed much. For those of you who are not familiar with the routine, here it is. We have been fishing the pools with a two part approach. The first pass through the pool is with streamers, a size 6 with a white wing and pink body has been working well for the Brown trout. The second pass is with egg flies fished under a strike indicator for the steelhead and rainbows.

Jeff is a great fly tyer, here is some of his work.

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