February 2013

by greenwater on February 7, 2013


A dry week here on the North Coast brought all our steelhead streams into shape by the end of the week.  Chrome fish are pumping into all our rivers and any drainage you choose is really a good bet right now.

I spent the early part of the week up north as most of the southern rivers were still running dirty at that point.  The Smith gave up some decent scores with up to six fish a boat landed for those that were in the right place at the right time.  There were also some really big ones in the mix with fish over 20 pounds landed.
As the Chetco dropped into shape I jumped rivers and found really mixed results.  The first day was a little bit of a grind where I had to work hard for my bites, while the next two days it seemed like they wanted to jump in the boat.  In reality, I think the big difference was just timing.  The first day I couldn’t seem to find my way out of a big pack of boats while after that I was able to slip into a little gap in the pressure and work over unmolested fish.  The little switch in strategy made all the difference in the world and we hooked double digits.
By midweek the southern rivers were settling back in and fishing was really good.  The Mad was bait fishable by Thursday with a foot and a half of visibility and a greenish brown color.  There were lots of fish above the hatchery with rollers all over the first big flat but the majority were on the dark side.  Bellow the the Blue Lake bride there were scatted pods of chromers with wild fish making up the majority of the catch.  In the dingy water a spin-n-glo tipped with a piece of roe drifted on a short leader is the ticket.
The Eel continues to be the big story with more huge scores.  The South Fork never came up much from last weeks rain but it did pick up some color which made the fish approachable in the low water.  Drifting bait and plugging both racked up some big numbers. The volume of fish pouring through the system this year is staggering and we can expect it to be a great bet all the way through March.