Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer Steelhead Numbers Are There!

The summer steelhead counts for the Willamette Valley are happening right now. Many people ask me often, "when is is time to go for steelhead?" Well now is the time! Water levels are a bit high, but with the trends we have this year so far; you just have to get out there and go fishing. The counts was last updated on the 18th of May is it was 5,134 summer steelhead over the fall fish counter. There are a number of fish that pass over the falls and do not get counted, and there are the same indicated numbers going up the Clackamas River too. You can use the counts as an indicator for what the trends are, and not there is heavy anadramous fish passage going over each day (including spring chinook, summer steelhead, and winter steelhead). Also the water temperature at Oregon at Willamette Falls is in the perfect zone where it is running in the low 50s. Once the temperature hits about 52-53 degrees the fish start really coming over in good numbers; so the trend should stay similar until about the 4th of July. Then the counts can slow up due to warmer temperatures.

Hopefully water levels will drop, but I would still recommend going fishing for these summer steelhead. As the time passes while you are waiting for water levels to drop, you are missing out on the fishing possibilities. Fish are fish, and they live in water; so they do not really care about higher water levels. We anglers need to adapt in years like this; when the water levels are up and seemingly not going to lower down anytime fast. You just have to fish with heavier lines, and adjust your tactics to be more like winter steelheading. The hitch is that summer steelhead are super aggressive and they will move far for a swung fly. So you are going to have to adapt to more winter steelhead like techniques, but you are fishing for aggressive summer fish. It will pay off with big rewards!

As of late the water levels are dropping slowly, but gradually.....Lets hope that trend continues....... 
Some seriously good fly fishing opportunities exist all around Oregon now!

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