Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Judging by the way the conditions are looking in the Oak Orchard River. My prediction is that the steelhead fishing will last about two more weeks. Right now the water temperature is holding around the 50 degrees. Water temperatures this warm it will not take long for the steelhead to finish spawning and then leave. The Oak does not hold what we call drop back steelhead for long. Once the steelheads spawn they will quickly leave. Until then, do not worry about the murky water color, these warm water temperatures make the steelhead very aggressive and they can see the fly good enough despite the water clarity. The best way to deal with the conditions on the Oak right now is to fish very systematically. The steelhead are trying to finish up their spawning, this means the most aggressive fish are in the fast water. The method I have been using last few days is to start at the top of a run and slowly work my way through. The technique that I have been using is a swinging fly. What I do is use just enough weight to periodically touch the bottom and a fairly large fly, such as a size 4 black woolly bugger. I will make a cast across the water and then make an immediate up-stream mend. What I am trying to do is to let the fly swim a crossed the bottom, without being pulled by the current.

It is time for me to move to the Salmon River. I will continue to make updates on the Oak Orchard River for the next couple weeks.

The Salmon River is fishing about three weeks behind the Oak Orchard River. There is still considerable amount of snow melt coming through. Today the water flow at the Pineville gauge is 1680 CFS. Water temperatures are still very cold. Today the water temperature was 37 degrees, compared to the Oak Orchard which is 52 degrees. What all of this means is that there is a lot of steelhead waiting for the water temperatures to warm up enough for spawning. There have been reports lately of drop back or spawned out steelheads being caught. These are fish from the fish hatchery. The hatchery has collected all their eggs and the steelhead are free to leave. The best steelhead fishing of the year has not yet started on the Salmon River.

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