Thursday, January 6, 2011

January Warm Rain and Rising Rivers

Thursday night the river was on the rise but flirting with cresting right around perfect. I woke up around 6:30 to find that rain overnight had the river spiking again, but a forecast of a falling snowlevel had me hopeful that the river might just be perfect. Warm rain after a week of hard cold always gets cold blooded creatures like myself moving.This time of year conditions are so tempermental and a few degrees, a quarter of an inch of rain or a thousand feet of difference in the snow level can be the difference between the best day of the season and a blown out river. Rising water means fresh, bright fish and on the relatively unconfined rivers of puget sound the range of flows at which fish can be taken on the swing is tremendous. There are certainly a few fish in the river now, although you wouldn't know it from my fishing yesterday. That said, with about a foot of visibility and the occasional log floating by my expectations were pretty low but it was definitely good to get out. Over the holidays I was experimenting with some real crittery flies, trying out some new flash material and straight eyed shanks I bought. Char seem to like them so I'm guessing odds are, a fresh steelhead will also find them appealing.


  1. Good points about weather this time of year. Late afternoon is my favorite time of day for winter steelheading. The water temp is at its highest; as little as a 1 degree shift can turn on a fish.
    I'm a Michigan guy and was curious if the west coast fish behave similiarly?

  2. I'd say so. Given the slightly more mild temperatures here in the PNW we probably enjoy a little more aggressive fish on average throughout the winter. Regardless though, temperature plays a big role in angler's success throughout their range.