Update: 6/23/17

Looks like the water is coming back into decent shape.  The following pic was taken around 10 am at the town boat landing.  Still a little color but it should be improving today.  We’re expecting temps into the 90’s today and increasing Sat and maybe reaching 100F on Sunday which will likely mean poor conditions beginning later Sunday and Monday.water62317

Update: 6/22/2017

The lower river is in excellent shape this morning but it looks like it won’t last more than a few hours more.  I don’t know what has happened but the water at Liedl/Stinson has colored up dramatically.  Visibility has gone from close to 3′ in the lower river to less than a foot at Liedl/Stinson.  Could have been rain last night in the upper watershed, upper meaning above the Big Muddy or above Mt. Adams.  Flows have blipped up but not by much so it surprises me to see difference in clarity.  First pic was taken at the town boat landing early afternoon today.water62217_town_bSecond pic taken at Stinson Flat around 1pm.water62217stinsonThird pic was taken from the Stinson grade and gives an overview of the color.water62217wideviewIf this color did come from rain in the upper watershed it should settle out or be moved downriver pretty quickly and conditions should be better tomorrow.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Update: 6/20/17

First off, please scroll down to the 6/14 entry and read the first paragraph.  SDS is not the land owner below Summit Creek so most certainly didn’t install the locked gates.

We hit 96F yesterday but the river is holding tough.  A little more color than yesterday but still very fishable.  This pic was taken shortly after noon at the usual spot.Water62017

Update 6/19/17

Heat the last couple days, mid 90’s today and low 90’s yesterday.  Thought the river might color up some but it hasn’t really happened, though tomorrow after today’s heat could be a different story.  Good news is it won’t last, weather forecast suggests the heat will subside for a few days.  Discharge is hanging around 2400 CFS which makes wading difficult.  I’d guess the river will begin dropping again late tomorrow and continue dropping for 3 or 4 days.  Fishing pressure remains low and so does Bonneville passage, could be a tough year.

Took a pic at the town boat landing this afternoon, you’ll see the usual rocks.  Water clarity in the 2′ range and very fishable. Water61917

Update 6/16/17

While preparing to spend a little time fishing yesterday (Thurs.) afternoon it began raining lightly.  It kept raining lightly the rest of the day so I didn’t end up going fishing.  Flows this morning have risen back up to 2500 CFS, an increase of about 300 CFS.  The river remains fishable though the clarity has been reduced to a little over a foot (my guess).  Here’s a pic of the water at the town boat landing, sorry it’s not a better pic. water61617_a

Conditions should be decent for the weekend, even for fly fishermen.  We’re not getting rain in the lower valley now but the forecast suggests we might, 50% chance.  So, no more rain and we should see the water dropping and improving over the weekend.  More rain, if substantial, the river will rise some more and conditions will deteriorate.

Update: 6/14/17 UPDATED, 6/20/17!

I’ve been informed that SDS does NOT own the gated land and therefore they likely did not install the gates.  I’ve also been informed there is a reasonably easy put in near Wonder Falls, a mile or two upstream. 6/20/2017.

The Klickitat remains in perfect shape.  Water clarity is as good as it gets though discharge remains slightly higher than normal for this time of year.

Heard the boat put-ins around Summit Creek had been gated and locked.  It’s true, both put-ins have been gated and “No Trespassing” signs have been posted.  According to my info the property is owned by SDS Lumber Company based in Bingen, WA.  I’ve no idea why they closed river access but they indeed have.  Here are pics of the 3 access points that used to exist.  First is the put-in just below the steel bridge.SummitCrclosure_aThe next two show access blockages immediately downstream, the spot people used to camp that included another boat put-in.  SummitCrclosure_bSummitCrclosure_cFishermen can still put in at the Hatchery and float through but it’s clear SDS Lumber doesn’t want us to access the river from their property.  Here’s a link to SDS lumber.  You might consider contacting them should you be disappointed about this closure.  https://sdslumber.com/

Slipped down to the river mid-day today and found the water in perfect shape, nothing but smolts for me but the conditions are excellent.  water61417



Update: 6/9/17

Rain Thursday A.M. pushed flows up to 3400 CFS again but it’s started dropping.  Can’t take pics at the usual site with the rocks because I can’t get near them due to the high water.  I’ve heard of a few fish, both steelhead and spring chinook, landed but haven’t been out myself.  Water clarity is just fine and should be improving over the weekend as it drops.  Took the following pics around 10 A.M. today (friday) and it looks like at least 1.5′ visibility if not 2’+.  Fishing pressure has been very low so far.  Water remains way higher than normal for this time of year so wading and rowing will be tough.


Fishing season is about to open!

We had a very interesting winter here on the Klickitat.  More snow by far, than I’ve seen and more cold too.  I measured the snow fall a couple times but then I quite because it became obvious I wasn’t able to capture total snow fall for many obvious reasons.  Since I moved here in 1999 we’ve rarely, almost never, had snow last more than 5 days, this year it lasted all winter and well into spring.  Mount Adams remains fully covered in the white stuff and June is about to arrive.

Now to fishing!  The Klickitat is ripping, running at close to 4000 cfs, average for this date is around 2300 cfs.  I’ve always had trouble finding wading water at 2300 cfs.  This opener will be difficult for the bank angling fly fisher person.  River discharge is likely to remain pretty high for too long. Snow melt on Mt. Adams won’t add as much fine silt as glacial melt does but it will add cold water so discharge will likely remain well above average for quite a while, maybe all season.  Over all I think that’s good for the fish so I won’t complain.  Another excellent fact is the Columbia is ripping too, that’s good for smolt outmigration so good things to come I’d assume.  Also, I just looked at NOAA’s discharge predictions and they suggest discharge will be back to about normal in 10 days, hope they’re correct but doubt it a bunch.

Those of you interested in fly fishing the early season will be challenged to find wadable water.  Pretty sure the Klickitat changed quite a good bit during our high water periods.  This may be a year to find new water where swinging into the near bank is the key, or your only option.  High and fast water is tough for the fly fishing steelheader but it offers interesting challenges.

Took the following pic at the town boat landing, the spot I use so much to provide an idea of water clarity.  The usual rock pile is 10′ or so out past the grass on the left side of the pic, about 40′ from where I took this pic.water53017_aAlso went down to the water I usually fish.  High water always impacts the way I fish this long section of water.  An old and large oak tree fell into the river over the winter and it will become a wading challenge for me.  It fell almost exactly where I normally wade into the water.  There are a few slots along the near bank that have produced steelhead for me in the past but I’m not sure I’ll be able to wade this section until way late in the season.  Two more pics, didn’t take a pic of the root wad but it looks like the soggy soil rotted the oaks roots and it sure didn’t need much of a tap root to get water.water53017_c water53017_dBest wishes to all who visit this website.  Fishing should be very interesting this year, I’m gonna be looking for new water to fish because I don’t think I’ll have much choice.

Turkey Season Opens April 15

Spring turkey season opens this Saturday, 4/15/17.  The youth weekend occurred the first weekend of April.  The youth season was difficult, partially because the winter was tough and spring didn’t warm up as quickly as usual.  Hence the toms were not ready for the date.  The toms seem to be ready now.  I’ve been hearing the gobbling early and late in the day for the last couple weeks.

The following pics were taken by Tom Fritsch.  The first pic shows a tom strutting around with his fan on display.  The second pic shows at least two seemingly unimpressed hens.TomsTurkeys_1TomsTurkeys_2