March 01, 2018    Headlines
Winter Steelies

Rainfall totals across the North Coast have ranged from 1.3 to 3" over the past 24 hours. All rivers are on the rise and most look to be close to blowing out if they are not already done so. The Smith is currently Thursday 3-1 at 11 feet and is forecasted to rise to 12 feet tonight. The good news is the guidance plot calls for the Smith to crest tonight and drop through the weekend.
The South Fork Eel is seeing a far faster rise jumping from 7.5 feet this morning to 10 feet this afternoon. The guidance plot calls for the river to crest late Friday at nearly 13 feet and will need a minimum of fiver days to drop back in.
The Mad has jumped from 7.5 to 9 feet and is muddy. The Mad has been a big producer this year and these March rains will bring in the late run wild fish.
The Russian has seen some of the heavier rainfall totals with 2.7" falling in the past 24 hours. That said with near zero releases off either Lake Mendocino or Warm Springs dams (and lack of rain in the area for 6 plus weeks) the river is currently just up from 200cfs to 600cfs. It's likely muddy but with the low flows could drop in very quickly.
The bottom line is that the Smith or Chetco should be a good bet this weekend but don't overlook the Russian as the low lake releases should allow it to quickly clear.

Light rain is falling on the far north coast on Sunday afternoon 2-15. Rainfall totals from tonight's system is expected to bring light rain and several inches of snow in the passes. The forecast calls for a far more significant system late Wednesday through Friday with heavy coastal rain.
The Smith rose just a few inches on Saturday to 7' where it continues to hold tonight. The action on the Smith has been slow due to recent low water but a good "flush" should turn things on later this week.
Dave Jacobs reports still decent action of 3 to 5 chances with 1 to 3 fish landed on the Chetco. Rain should push the last of the adults in and allow those now staging to move up into spawning grounds.
If we see more than a 1/2" overnight in the Eel watershed it could be game on. Guides have been working the main stem picking a few fish off mostly on plugs. If the flows come up even a few inches overnight the South Fork could perk up. The steelies that have been holding awaiting higher flows will be on the move and pushing up quickly. The higher flows forecasted late this week will set the stage for good action as the river drops in.

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For readers looking for an Alaska adventure we still have ONE WEEK available at our Kenai peninsula vacation cabin in 2017
Our fully equipped, coastal home sits on three wilderness acres on the "middle Kenai peninsula".  Being centrally located we are within 30 minutes of five rivers including the Kenai, Kasilof and Anchor and just 20 minutes north of the saltwater tractor launches in Ninilchik and Deep Creek.
Most of our guests do a combination of fishing on their own and a day or three of guided river, fly-out or saltwater trips between trips. With our centrally base location your options are unlimited.
For all our guest's we include a three hour tutorial (at our Sebastopol home) covering tackle, tactics, best locations. We can also hook you up with some of the best guide, charter and fly-out contacts in the area.

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If you have any questions please give us a call at 707 479-099

Rules for the Smith River
 New rules have been adopted by the Cal F&G commission for the Smith River. Only barbless hooks will be allowed in all reaches of the Smith River. The  Klamath-Trinity Salmon Report Card has been renamed North Coast Salmon Report card and will now be required on the Smith River also. The annual bag limit for  wild trout or steelhead was reduced to zero and no more than five wild Chinook may be kept per year.

The North Coast river low flow closure hotline is 707-822-3164.

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.
Prime steelhead flows on the Smith river are between 12 and 9 feet. Fish are caught in higher flows by those plucking and even in the low and clear waters below 8.5 feet but prime fishing is always found with a dropping river in the 9 to 12 foot range. No one can predict the best day or conditions but put in a few days in and you will be rewarded. All of our sponsors have room available for the prime January - mid March period. Please call the DFG flow information hotline at 707 822-3164 for additional information.

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