Posts Tagged ‘floods


Rapid Thaws & Flooding: Think Preparedness

Photography-Tyler Malay-Alexandra Erickson-SwittersB-Sandy River-2011-flood

Tyler Malay and Alexandra Erickson, Sandy River flood, January 2011 (SwittersB)

A fair amount of snow has fallen around the country this Winter and in several instances is still coming down heavily today. Also, in some instances, there is a forecasted rapid warmup predicted for the next several days. That may well lead to runoff problems of large proportions, so if you would be influenced by such rapid runoffs prepare your strategy sooner than too late.

Photography-Tyler Malay-Alexandra Erickson-Flares-Sandy Flood-SwittersB

I write this common sense, “duh” post after watching some recent floods of a river close to my front door…not that close, but close enough to effect friends of ours. (2011 Sandy R. Flood)

photoraphy-sandy river-flood-2006-skykeen3-swittersb

Sandy River flood, 2006 by SkyKeen3 (SwittersB)


Nature: Levels of Change

The ebb and flow of rivers is always a visible reminder to a fisherman walking the river banks or drifting the currents. Etched into the banks are indications of water levels, swift currents and the aftermath of what must have been frightening power. Snapped trees, giant boulders displaced, brush piles of debris high in the tree limbs all suggest river levels many feet higher than the current levels.

Levels of Change TM SwittersB

The lower Sandy River (Oregon) after flood stage levels & snapped trees. Soon the trunks of the damaged trees will be undercut, dislodged and wash down river to be snagged up or eventually be pushed out into the mighty Columbia River.

Speaking of flood, I thought this quote by Walt Whitman about his flood of thoughts while writing was intriguing:

“The secret of it all, is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the moment – to put things down without deliberation – without worrying about their style – without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote – wrote, wrote…By writing at the instant the very heartbeat of life is caught.”


Start Plotting River Levels via Gages (Safety & Planning)

With recent heavy rains, you can see the river has risen several feet into a not so fishable stage. For this river, the bank angler is best served in the 9.0′ to 11.0′ range.

I remark about this each year as something to do to help you in making a decision whether to drive to the river….or not. That drive might only be 30 minutes or several hours. Knowing what is optimal conditions for safe, potentially productive fishing will save you wasted effort and avoid dangerous conditions.

Now this usually doesn’t just happen. It requires research and observation. I know the above river is nice to fish at a certain level because I have wasted time going without checking in advance the water height after a hard rain. Trial and error at times. Eventually, you just know what is fishable and worth your time.

Also, I have taken 3 sons on numerous outings to Fall and Winter rivers and that makes you really pay attention. Keep notes, remember what the river looks like. Go home and check the level and note it “too low” “blown out” “muddy, but dropping” “perfect” then also note the river level. There are numerous river gage reporting stations around the country although not every river has a gage. Learn if any are in your area and take advantage of the data. Important for wading and boating and even property ownership. Some sites will forecast the river’s trend in the hours ahead given the weather looming.

Here is the same gage a few days later as the river dropped into shape.


Every Day in May: Shoreline…The Vantage Point



The ‘Shoreline’, the Sea Shore, the changing edge by the water…the water that rises and falls, scours, churns, smothers then recedes to reveal the new look….the new shoreline, like above (post hurricane).

But, the above shoreline is not as familiar to me as the river’s edge, the lake’s edge. These are the places I stand to assess the where, the if, the how….the maybe’s. The rocks, boulders, tall grass, the sand, the ice, the insects, the trees. Poison Oak, snakes, thistles, log jams, reeds and cat tails…all along the lapping water. Woody debris, twigs, mossy rocks, leaves collected in the trees and bushes at eye level from past freshets. The launch point, the take out. The shore lunch, the nap.

The shoreline…the ‘bank’. It is sometimes the place of comings and goings, where those pesky slips, trips and falls take place. I’d rather intentionally sit on my terms and smoke my briar or a fine cigar. Sometimes it is the best vantage point to study what is going on out there.

In this instance, I was at a perfect place. Close to the water’s edge, but sitting on a selcouth find….a bench.



Vermont Covered Bridge Washed Away

Historic Bridge Washed Away

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