January 2011

by greenwater on January 31, 2011

Other than a little shot of rain last night, we’ve had another dry week here on the North Coast. All our southern rivers have come into play and we’ve had fantastic fishing with blue skies and sunshine. It doesn’t get much better. We’ve had steady action just about every day with a few of the best pushing into double digit hookups. The 3/4 inch of rain we got last night bumped the flows a bit but not drastically. Considering the dry forecast for the next week it’ll end up being a good thing.

The picture is of Jenn Grover of garden grove with a 36 inch steelhead that taped out at 18 pounds that she caught on her 2nd cast of the morning. She added two more to her tally by the end of the day including a 34 inch fish. The last time she fished with me was on the Smith in November when she had her kwickfish in the water for less than 3 minutes before she was on a big king. Apparently Jenn’s lobbying to have the name of our sport changed from fishing to catching.


by greenwater on January 27, 2011

The great steelhead fishing has continued and numbers continue to climb. Today I was fishing around a few other boats and nets were flying everywhere I looked. Drifting roe and a fish pill was accounting for most of the fish but I saw a few guys get results on plugs as well. The weather forecast is calling for things to stay dry through next week which should keep the bite rolling along on our southern rivers.


by greenwater on January 21, 2011

With the dry weather the past few days all our rivers are dropping into shape and chrome steelhead are pushing in. The Smith River has had mixed scores with some days kicking out huge numbers with some boats hooking into the low teens, while other days you have to grind hard for a couple bites. The quality has been great though and I already know of quite a few over 20 pounds landed in this young season.

I’ve spent the past few days on the Eel where we had 2 great days and one tough one. The fish seem to really be piled up in short stretches with big gaps in between. On Tuesday we got into them good about a mile below the put in and hooked multiple fish in every hole for about a mile. The last 8 miles of the day we only hooked one more which surprised me but wasn’t so bad since we had already put together a solid trip. Wednesday we never found a big batch of them and only ended up hooking a couple. Today started out slow but the last few miles we floated was loaded with bright fish.

With the dry weather in the forecast more rivers will come into play as they drop and clear. The fact that it’s coinciding with the heart of the winter steelhead season has me really optimistic about what’s to come. My fingers are crossed

The picture is of Charlie Brittain of Weaverville with typical Eel river fish caught drifting roe and a fish pill.


by greenwater on January 13, 2011

Winter steelhead season is underway here on the North Coast and after an exceptionally wet beginning all our rivers have dropped into beautiful shape. The Eel River has had steady fishing down it’s entire length with ocean fresh fish slamming both plugs and bait. While this one is a no kill fishery, it’s hard to beat the consistent action, spectacular scenery and gorgeous wild fish.

To the north, the Smith started off a little slow but has kicked into gear the past week or so. Despite the low, clear conditions there have been some great scores with boats landing up to 9 fish yesterday. As those of you who are familiar with this river know, she’s one of the most fickle systems on the coast. While the rewards can be great with 20 pound steelhead landed every season, they don’t come easy on this river. Every fish is an accomplishment and you won’t find nicer ones anywhere in the state.

The Trinity and Klamath have been getting in on the act as well now with a mix of halfpounders and adults. The exceptionally cold weather the past few days has slowed the bite but with these next few days warming up I’m sure it will be right back on. These rivers are a great bet for lots of action.

Thanks to all of you who got out with me during this spectacular salmon season. While getting paid to go fishing clearly has many perks, one of my favorite is the people I get to meet along the way. There are so many of you that have become familiar faces in my boat, transcending client status and becoming friends. I know a lot of you are already on the books for January, February or March steelhead trips and I look forward to fishing with you. For those who don’t have dates pinned down yet and would like to get in on the action I still have opening scattered through the season.

Tight lines