Monthly Archives: July 2015

Rivers still dropping

I reported last week when the rivers were low, now they are getting really low and warming up to boot.  I was out the last two days on different sections of the Middle Fork and the river was no longer cold, even at 8 a.m.   Here are the current flows:

Middle Fork         159    18% of normal
South Fork           97    30% of normal
North Fork           40    15% of normal
Tolt                124    50% of normal
Cedar               377    89% of normal

Still the Tolt and Cedar with reservoirs are doing the best of the local rivers and still feel cold.  Both are even up a bit from last weekend.  The South Fork amazingly is up from last week too by quite a bit, it went from 53 to 97 so this must be the last of the snow melt up the pass.  The Middle Fork and North Fork are down from last week.

I read this week that our warm trend is expected to last through September of 2016!  Yes, you read that right, 15 months from now.  We are also expected to be drier than normal for most of this time.   Going to be rough for the fish in the area for sure.



Finding the sweet spot

small_holeYesterday I fished the Tolt briefly in the morning before an appointment.  I hit a few favorite runs and caught some fish but not the numbers I had on my last outing, probably due to the bright sun that has been scorching our landscape here.   Finally,  I was coming down a short stretch where the river has a few channels that come together.  I was swinging through and hooked a fish on the first swing just before the second channel comes in.   This spot was magic, I must have landed or hooked two dozen trout in this little triangle.   All the fish in the first channel seemed to have just stacked up in this area and you can kind of see why.  This little spot has a lot of oxygenated water coming in from the second channel, it is shaded, and it is just a tough deeper than the surrounding areas.

As this record summer continues to drop our streams the fish are just going to concentrate more in little sweet spots like this where they can get all their needs met.   Speaking of dropping, here are the current levels compared to normal:

  • Tolt:                120 cfs, 33% of normal
  • Middle Fork: 196 cfs, 18% of normal
  • South Fork:   53 cfs,  20% of normal
  • North Fork:   43 cfs,  12% of normal
  • Cedar:           418 cfs, 86% of normal

Hmmm, the Cedar and Tolt have reservoirs and are the only ones in decent shape but how long will the water last in those lakes?   The Middle Fork is getting so low you can wade across almost anywhere.  I’ve stopped fishing the North Fork entirely at this point and the South Fork will fall off my list soon.  I haven’t even gone into the Raging this year in my yard since it is barely moving at 9.9 cfs and is too warm to stress the small fish in there.