Monday, May 5, 2008

Drop Back Steelhead

Sorry about being a little slow with my up dates, the fishing has kept me busy. The large numbers of spawning steelhead are now starting to drop off. Despite this there still is plenty of spawning steelhead in the upper river for now. My best guess is that we may be able to find a few spawning steelhead for another week or so.

The biggest change this week has been the water flows. Water flow has been at 1800 CFS until Friday, May 2 the flow now are at 750 CFS and have been this way for last few days the water flow is now going to 500 CFS. This sharp drop in water flow has shaken a few steelheads loose, and started these fish to drop back. For now most of the drop back steelhead are in the upper river, that is from Pineville on up through the no kill zones. Drop back steelheads get a bad rap, as quality fish. This has not been my experience. Once a steelhead finish spawning, they can lose up to 30% of their body weight. This may be why fishermen have consider, these fish to be weak fighting fish.
I find these fish to be hard fighting and more than willing to not just take a fly but often to attack it. Some of the most exciting runs I have ever seen have come from drop back steelhead. Productive flies; have been pretty much the same stuff, size 4 Brown woolly buggers have been the top producer. Along with intruder style patterns, are still taking their share of steelhead

The cool weather has slowed the fishing down on Oatka Creek. There are still a few Hendrickson hatching, but most of the flies that are hatching are now blue wing olives. Look for this Hatch around mid afternoon. You may also find a few olives hatching on spring Creek, the timing of this Hatch is approximately the same time around mid afternoon. When we have a evening with the air temperature above 60 degrees there will still be Hendrickson spinners returning for at least one more week.

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