Tag Archives: River Levels

NOT Steelhead Green

“Steelhead Green” is a term used by NW anglers to describe a river that is dropping and clearing after a winter storm.  When that happens, the river takes on a greenish look.  It’s generally when fishing gets good for steelhead.  The fish are on the move and in a mood to bite. Here in the Willamette Valley, we haven’t seen those conditions very often this year.

We finally have some rain in Oregon!  After an extremely dry winter, we’re getting some good old liquid sunshine here in Pacific Northwest.  The Little North Santiam, a river with a good run of Wild Winter Steelhead, has begun to rise.

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For over a month, the Little North Santiam (aka North Fork) has been low and clear, running at under 200 cfs, reaching a low of 152 cfs earlier this week.  Those are summer time levels. Normally we see flows between 800 – 2500 cfs this time of year with the 83 year average right at 1,200 cfs.  When the flow is under 200 cfs, the gravel beds are dry and only the deep pools and troughs have water. The water temperature has also been impacted by the unusually dry weather.  Temps spiked on the Little North Santiam to 53 degrees this week, where the norm this time of year is in the low 40’s.  The same situation exists all over the Willamette Valley. As luck would have it, we’re having a pretty decent run of fish this year with nearly 2,800 winter steelhead over Willamette Falls so far. Continue reading