Rivers still high, when will they fish?

As I write this the McKenzie at Vida is around 8500 CFS that is just over 4 as a gauge reading. 8500 is really high, not very fish-able, and not real safe on many stretches. The next 24-48 hours are critical in assessing when to fish the river. It has finally turned the corner and is dropping, hopefully fast. When the gauge height reading at Vida gets to three the river will be fish-able. Of course this is a rough baseline and the river won’t stay at that level for long, hopefully it will just keep dropping. We’ve had warm nights of late and insect activity should be excellent. Green McKenzie Caddis, Pale Morning Duns, Golden Stones, Little Yellow Stones and Tan Caddis are good surface patterns this time of year. For subsurface patterns try golden stone nymphs, Possie Buggers, Mega Prince, Standard Prince, Hares Ear Soft Hackles, Moab Stones and Green Flash Soft Hackles. The fish should be ready to eat with fervor with the river comes back into shape.

Other fishing opportunities around the state include.

The Middle Fork below Dexter Dam, only 2700 cubic feet per second. Most likely this won’t last for to much longer but at 2700 it is perfect for early summer steelhead fishing.

It looks like the weather will be perfect in the Cascades and fishing for Bass at Davis Lake should be great.

Early fishing at Crane Prairie can yield some monster rainbows, we haven’t had many reports but it’s that time of year.–CD

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One Response to Rivers still high, when will they fish?

  1. James Mann says:

    I know what you mean by the water being high.

    A fishing buddy and I headed out to a few spots that we usually see a bit of action but while we were driving towards the spots we could see that water was still pretty high, but it didn’t look as high as I had seen it other years. Well until we got where we were going and then I saw water I had never seen before.

    The spot we normally park the vehicle sits about 15 feet above the water mid summer but this day it was right up to the wheels of the car. That spot was a good 5 feet higher than either of us had seen.

    I was talking to another fisher and his son. He was saying he had never seen the water this high and usually they would be catching a lot of Chain Pickerel but no one was seeing any signs of fish at all.

    There are two huge culverts that cross under the road at the place we part. I have seen it half way up the six foot culverts but this day the culverts were full with about 6 inches at the top.

    I was standing on top of one and every time wind blew or a wave hit the opening it roared like Godzilla. It made me laugh every time it did.

    I am hoping that the water will be down to a fishable level this week end.

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