Gettin' nowhere...and it's gorgeous

I went to church at the river this Sunday morning. God's country on the Little North Santiam. Beautiful, crystal-clear water, and nary a fish in sight. I fished anyway, assuming I probably see less than 5% of the fish that are there anywhere I go anyway. No strikes.

One person on this forum told me there's no winter steel on North Santiam. All the books and some counts on various boards contradict that, so I gave it a shot. But I didn't see a fish.

So... where does a fella who wants to be out on small water get started? I really like that river, but if the fish just aren't there, I will try elsewhere.

What kind of indicators are there of where the fish are? I've checked water levels, Willamette Falls fish counts, message boards--but I don't know any 'hot holes' and I don't know if I'm just going to high up the river or what.

I don't mean to ask you to reveal your favorite holes, but I'm not sure how to go about finding my own, either.
The North does get a smaller run of natives. It use to be a lot bigger, but not right now. The LNF gets a few native steelhead and chinook as well but those numbers are really small compared to the North Fork. If you want to stick to the LFN hit it when the big river is up high. Fish will pull off into the LFN to rest. Target the lower couple miles if you do.

If you want to stick to small creeks but still catch fish, you can take a look at the North above the dams. They do truck some steelhead and chinook up there. But the resident rainbows are the prized fish.
Really? I thought it was all trout above Big Cliff. They plant steel above the reservoir?
Wow. This thread caught me OFF guard. I thought that the LNF would be closed. But, it is indeed open year round for fin-clipped hatchery steel.

However, maybe it's open all year because the runs are really really small?

BTW, a great suggestion to fish the lower LNF when the North Fork is rain swollen.

And I'm curious too...does ODFW actually truck fish up above the reservoirs?
i have talked with an odfw guy on the breitenbush river,,they dont truck steelhead up past the reservoir,theyre are chinook up there that they planted but its closed to fishing for them.

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