It feels like we’ve been encased in ice for an eternity. I love snow days and crazy weather, but this was a little ridiculous. Finally, we are thawing out and warming up, and we can get back to chasing steelhead!
I have a limited amount of days for steelhead fishing, and each and every one of them is precious. So losing these last two to the snow and ice is annoying, to say the least. But the good news is this next weekend should be perfect. The rivers are going to be a little high, but hopefully fishable. The forecast for the Sandy River is optimistic and for the Clackamas, not so much. But a lot can change between now and then.
I fished a few days last week, before the storm, and found fish. If the rivers are fishable, there will be fish around. And with the warmer water, they should be in the soft edges, ready to eat flies.
This time of year I go armed with a number of different tackle options so I can cover every situation. 10’ and 12’ T-11 and T-14 and a floating Skagit and the new RIO Pickpocket F/I/3. (If you have or haven’t tried a sinking Skagit, this one is the best yet. It’s shorter, so it lifts out of the water easier and has more mass to move bigger flies and heavier tips.) That way, I can fish the soft edge of the water is high, the low gradient gravel bars, and the deeper buckets. I round my kit off with a handful of flies, black and blue and red and orange. I carry those two colors, weighted and unweighted, to fish deep or shallow. Put it all together with 12lb Maxima, and you’re ready to go.
Hopefully, you spent your snow days tying fresh flies, and the rivers are in shape for you to go get them wet! I'll see you in the shop to compare notes...