February 05, 2017    Headlines
Russian Steelies Arrive

North Coast Rain Wrap
The forecast calls for the rains to continue in the coming week frustrating Metalheaders statewide. Here on Super Bowl Sunday the Smith has dropped to 16 feet after cresting around 18' of Saturday. The forecast calls for rain, heavy at times late Sunday into Monday with two more systems sweeping through the follow few days. It appears we may see a return to dry weather by next weekend. If so the Smith will be the first to drop in.
All others from the Mad, Eel to the Russian  and high and muddy and need several days to one week of dry weather before they clear. Water releases from fill to capacity reservoirs will delay rivers from coming back in as well. The one bright report this week was on the Trinity where Dave Jacobs posted up a good report.
Hopefully we all can get some river time in soon.

North Coast River Wrap
On Thursday 2-2 the bulk of the rainfall fell south of the Mendo / Humboldt county line.  While rivers to the south are rising and muddy the Smith and Chetco rivers are still in play. The rains will return to the far North coast on Friday 2-3 and the Smith looks to jump from a current level of low and clear of 7.6 feet to 12.6 by Friday evening. A second smaller rise to 14 feet is expected on Monday. We have included the guidance plot below. Please keep in mind that the guidance plot is only as good as the rain forecast and can rapidly change.
The top action this past week has been on the Chetco where guides are seeing on average 2 to 5 hookups and 2 to 4 fish per boat. The Chetco will likely blow out late Friday as the rains push in with the next system 
The Smith has been skinny and clear but there are been a few mostly bigger fish coming out of this writer's favorite California river this past week. I saw one of 18 pounds caught by a plunkers last weekend and other pictures of other big fish over 20 pounds caught the past few days. The Smith will fish on Friday but looks to be marginal at best this weekend. It will be a top bet as the rains pass by the middle of next week.
The Mad is muddy and will remain so for a week or more. Through last weekend returns to the hatchery have been very below average.
The South Fork Eel is on the rise and with rain on the way through the weekend will be out until at least Saturday 2-10.
The Russian has seen a huge push of fish into the hatchery the past two weeks but has been high and muddy. When it does clear back up the Russian will be a top bet but that will be a week or more away.
For the coming week the Smith will be the first back in play followed by the Chetco, South Fork Eel and then the Russian. We will post updates as we watch the flows and get reports from local guides.

River Levels:


For river status (low flow closure) updates from Fish and Game please call +1.707.442.4502 for the North coast and +1.707.944.5533 for Central coast streams. Be sure to check out the California Fish and Game regulations before you go. Regulations vary on every river and you need to pay attention to bait and hook restrictions. Due to winter closures on HWYs 5, 101 & 299 we recommend you check Caltrans road conditions as well.

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