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Cold and Clear
The rivers have been low, clear, and cold, making for some difficult times on the water for those looking to swing up the elusive fish of 1,000 casts. Add a cold front to the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for icy guides and frozen fingers. Some warmer temperatures and rain is predicted for the future, so keep your fingers crossed and watch those river levels!
Water temperatures have been dropping, and we all know that means slow and lethargic fish. Not only are they not in the mood to chase a fly, but the current water clarity also makes them even more uncomfortable and uninterested in a presentation that doesn't strike their fancy and gets right in their zone.
The Sandy and Clackamas rivers are waiting for a good push of fish to enter the systems, but there are still some around for those dedicated to the hunt. Coastal streams seem to be in a similar state. Keep in mind with the cold and clear conditions, you may need to adjust some of your normal tactics and flies to get in front of a fish and convince them to commit to the grab.
All-in-all things are still a little slow out there. For anyone willing to put in the time and stick to the grind that winter steelheading is, there are still opportunities to connect with one of these unicorns. Regardless of the conditions we are given, you won’t catch a fish if you aren’t on the river trying. So bundle up, keep an eye on the water, and stay positive and persistent until you shake hands with one of these amazing creatures.