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Winter Steelhead Season nearing the End on Many Coastal Streams

Winter Steelhead Season nearing the End on Many Coastal Streams

We have entered the final stretch for winter steelhead fishing on many of our coastal streams. A few select rivers offer prolonged opportunity for some continued steelhead fishing beyond the general March 31st cutoff. Numerous rivers and sections of some rivers remain open to steelhead fishing year-round. The Rogue, the Umpqua, and the Siletz, the Trask, Wilson, & Nestucca all fall into this category. The Whitaker Run on the Siuslaw remains open through April 15, while the South Fork of the Coquille stays open through April 30. When river levels cooperated this season, so did the fish in most systems. Strong runs of winter steelhead are usually echoed by good summer runs. To date, well over 5000 winter fish have migrated into the Willamette system and summer steelhead are now moving over the Falls at Oregon City between 30-50 per day. As water temperatures increase in the coming weeks, so should the number of Summer Steelhead and Spring Chinook migrating upriver increase dramatically. These fish will provide great sport for us this spring and summer on our local waters including the Middle Fork Willamette, South Santiam and McKenzie. Already a few summer fish have been caught. Meanwhile, fly fishermen on the Lower McKenzie have been enjoying some exciting Redside & Cutthroat Trout fishing. While nymphing has provided most of the action, rare warmer periods of afternoon sun have produced sporadic flurries of excellent dry fly fishing. During these short periods, fish are responding to a variety of dries including March Browns, Green Drakes and Parachute Adams.