Reel Deal: Rain puts anglers on the shores, waiting for river levels to drop

By Adam Spencer, The Triplicate March 13, 2014 04:25 pm

Many anglers took advantage of a dropping Smith River to fish for steelhead Wednesday morning, including several near the Hiouchi Bridge.
Many anglers took advantage of a dropping Smith River to fish for steelhead Wednesday morning, including several near the Hiouchi Bridge. Del Norte Triplicate / Adam Spencer
After torrential rains spiked the levels of regional rivers, anglers were mostly still waiting for their favorite steelhead streams to drop into shape.

The always fast-to-clear Smith River, however, came into shape Wednesday with many anglers finding fresh chromers on the other end of the line.

Smith River

With the Smith River dropping below 12 feet on the Jed Smith river gauge early Wednesday, several anglers took to targeting steelhead, but it was unclear how the rain affected the amount of fresh steelhead versus spawned out fish.

Elk and Sixes rivers

Since spiking high like the rest of the region’s rivers, the Elk and Sixes rivers were expected to provide fantastic steelhead fishing starting today through the weekend, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.

After fishing the Elk on Wednesday, David Castellanos of Cast Guide Service said his group landed three steelhead, albeit all of the fish were down-runners.

“But what can you expect in mid-March?” Castellanos said.

Chetco River

The Chetco River is expected to drop to a fishable level today and remain in play for steelhead action through the weekend.

“I think the weekend is looking really good,” said Martin.

The Chetco was predicted to keep dropping through the weekend, but it was too early to tell how many — if any — fresh steelhead came in from the ocean during last weekend’s rains.

Brookings ocean fishing

The fantastically warm, sunny  weather this week encouraged some people to go out onto the ocean for lingcod and rockfish out of the Port of Brookings-Harbor.

The Chetco River was pumping out so much fresh water at high flows that anglers found it was necessary to go out quite some distance to escape the influence of the fresh water.

But anglers who boated out far enough were rewarded with limits of rockfish, although the lingcod bite was reported to be much slower than anticipated.

Salmon on the Rogue River

Many guides are heading north to try their hand at the first pods of spring salmon making their way in from the ocean.

Fishing guide contacts:

Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 541-813-1082 and Wildriversfishing.com; David Castellanos of Cast Guide Service at 541-698-7029 and castguideservice.com.

 

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