Even with a sprinkling of rain this week, fishermen continue to lament the plague of a dry autumn's effects on local fishing opportunities.
Recreational crabbers continue to report meaty crab, but in low numbers.
Anglers who are putting in an all-day fishing effort will be rewarded with fish, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.
Recent rains brought a few new salmon into the system, and the fish are moving around fairly significantly, Martin said.
Martin has been bobber-fishing in the mornings and then pulling over in the pockets of river that have current to drift fish from the boat during the rest of the day, casting upstream and letting the bait drift down. Flows are too low for side-drifting, Martin said.
Martin's clients caught two hatchery fish and two wild fish Wednesday, but overall there has been more wild fish caught.
On Monday, Bruce Beck of Redding caught and released a 47.5-inch chinook salmon while fishing with Martin. The salmon, which earlier escaped a seal, bit a cluster of eggs cured in Pautzke Fire Cure fished with a Yakima Bait Corky and Lazer Sharp size 1 octopus hook.
Because of the low, clear conditions, Martin recommended using steelhead gear: 12-pound leader, 12-pound mainline, and size 1 hooks.
"If you use anything heavier, you're not getting bites, he said.
A few pockets of fish have been reported moving into the Smith River with recent rains, but anglers are not doing well.
The Smith is closed above Rowdy Creek, due to the low-flow closure.
Call the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's low-flow river closure hotline at 707-822-3164 to get current information on the Smith's closure.
Fishing guide contacts: Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 541-813-1082.
Reach Adam Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org .