Posts Tagged ‘river levels


River In Transition

I would like to show two spots along an Oregon coastal river I was fishing this week. October has been dry, hence the Chinook Salmon have been kegged up in tidewater waiting for a freshet to move up into freshwater to spawn. This week the rain came enough to raise this river about 18″ in about 36 hours. During this time the holding lies changed, the fish were on the move and the water turned from clear to mocha and then to what is known in the Pacific NW as ‘steelhead green’. The fish came and meaningful connections were made.

The two spots, I am showing, were excellent for swinging a Comet and also for watching the Salmon muscle up through the rapids. They show the transition over about twenty four hours time. 




This shelf was an excellent spot for watching the Chinook nose up through the waters at various heights. I know it is a lot of images to wade through, but they give a nice sequence of the changes.

rapids broken topIMG_6021raw

lower shelf-SwittersB

River lower shelf 2-SwittersB

River lower shelf 4-SwittersB

The Chartreuse Comet was a consistent producer. Of the seven fish I hooked into, six nailed the Green Comet and one to a Pink Comet.

green comet-SwittersB-salmon-comet-photography-fly pattern


Nature: The Up & Down of the River

Highs & Lows SwittersB

It rained hard the last few days. The warnings were coming of a small freshet and then the weather turning cold across the Northern tier. The rivers rose and now they will drop and clear. The damage from drastic rises in the rivers, even if not at flood stages, leaves behind telltale signs of levels once the waters drop below ‘normal’ levels.

Sandy R.

Here the graph shows the two day spike as the river rose about 9 feet and is now dropping.


Prelims vs. Plump Love

The weather has turned colder and wet. The evenings are turning darker sooner. The work load has increased with a greater sense of urgency and those pesky prelims matched against the budget aren’t jiving. I would much rather be out finding that plump love. Maybe it is time to pay more attention to the gage stations, find the Scandi/Skagit heads and those tube flies. Time to reacquaint myself with that much longer rod.


River Levels: Where it Was…Where it Is..Where it will be

If you can access river levels for your favorite, open streams, then chart optimum levels for safe wading. Call the shop or go on line and check out which gage provides indications of the river going up or dropping into shape. Watch the weather and soon you will have a better sense of when to go.

Sandy River Water Levels (Now & Then) TM/SB


Water Into the Trees (Hmm…Now What?)

Ah, the anticipation. Traditional trips taken each year. Memories extending back many years. A storm is coming, but it probably will be ok, given how low the river has been through the Fall. Up early, as a two hour drive lies ahead and we want to be on the water at first light. There early, gearing up in the dark. Down we go through old briars, alders and mud.

Silent recognition amongst us. Nothing needs to be said; we’ve been here enough times to know where the water line needs to be for safe wading and productive presentations. The river is up a good two feet  too high at the bank…back up into the tall grass and briars. The speed is too fast and the mind starts to work on where could we go to gain ok access. We cannot turn around now.  We each tried according to our own individual patience levels. Some sat out early, fed up. All eventually gave up.Too unsafe to wade and fish.

River levels, prognostications and weather systems were checked, but it poured forth oblivious to the forecast. Next few months maybe….time is so scarce these days….but we all need the fix, the pull, the moment.

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

May 2020

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