Forecasts and Reality
As mentioned last week, we are at the whims of the weather guessers and what precipitation does fall from the winter sky. Current conditions are favorable, but things can change quickly as storms flow off the Pacific. Looking ahead to the week of Christmas, it seems like a big coal delivery is on tap from the big guy, but when has the forecast ever been 100% correct? Make your holiday angling plans and get outside.
Winter fish are increasing the population in the Clackamas River, their trip from the ocean a rapid one as witnessed by the sea-lice clinging to their dime-bright finish. Recycled summer fish still are the majority, but their bell has rung for this season. There is little need for floating lines at this stage of the game unless tied to a fly of significant weight. Sink-tips are the rule for those of us less optimistic, matched to a fly balanced to the conditions and day. I would refer you to a piece written by our own Nick Wheeler as we kicked off 2020, unaware of what the year would bring. His insightful tutorial on sink-tips and flies for winter Steelheading is a beautiful refresher as we begin to get serious about our cold-weather game.
Coastal streams are seeing a few fish returning, making a day at the beach an option if you want to stretch your leash a bit. With watersheds of various temperaments within driving distance of each other, you should find somewhere to cast a fly until the rivers are flowing over Hwy 101.
Heading east, you'll find snow in the passes, with a winter weather advisory through this evening. Nasty driving conditions should cut down the weekend crowds on the Deschutes and Metolius for those more adventurous. Trout fishing remains, well, chilly, with a Euro nymphing killing it. Anglers braving the conditions report the best success of their angling careers once they crack the code on the Euro game. You Dry fly purists need to wait for something to hatch so sleep in an extra hour or two until things warm up and BWOs take flight.
Whatever you decide to do this weekend, be safe and be prepared for the conditions, remembering that they can change rapidly.