Willamette high and muddy

With the Willamette high and muddy, and the Columbia still months away from any hope of spring salmon, these large mainstem metro systems will go untapped this week. With the news of quick limits of sturgeon from the Bonneville and The Dalles Pools, coupled up with abrupt closures, anglers have few options, except for an outside one of a hatchery winter steelhead, likely destined for the Clackamas or Sandy River systems. It’s about time for those to start swimming by the beaches this time of year.

The Clackamas has been predictably quiet although Salmon Trout Steelheader editor Nick Amato reports hearing of a few bright winter fish coming from the system recently. Not so much in recent days, but when water conditions were more conducive to biters. It’ll be a see-saw hydrograph for the upcoming week, but anglers versed in high water tactics may want to try their luck.

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHN reports from the Sandy River, “I hope that everyone had a great New Year’s Eve and New Years Day. I hope that everyone was able to get your 2021 license before hitting the river. The current river conditions has the river on drop for the next day or so, and then it shows a small rise then drops down to 10.5 ft. by next Monday. The river has been coming into shape, green with about foot visibility and will clear over the next four days. The water temp is running around 41 or 42 degrees and will stay that way until we get colder weather or we have a fast snow melt. There have been good numbers of fish caught in the lower river on plugs and bobber doggin. The plugs have been Mag lips 3.0 or 3.5 in various colors and beads BnR in size 10 to 14. You will see more sleds on the lower river because the river is running ideal height. Drift boats and rafts are running the upper river from Dodge Park to Dabney Park. There is some great bank access at Oxbow and upper river around the hatchery.

Don’t overlook winter trout opportunities locally, especially when we get a break in the weather and temperatures experience a slight rising, often triggering a bite. Your favorite lake may have some nice hold-over trout in it.
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