I’ve never seen the Klickitat come back into shape so quickly, it happened overnight. Looked at the water at the boat landing in town at about 5:30 this morning and it was steelhead green!! Vis had improved dramatically.
I can only assume Mt. Adams and glacial till had nothing to do with the loss in clarity we saw on Saturday. Glacial till is very fine and remains in suspension much longer than sediment runoff from heavy rains.
Weather forecasts suggest high temps in the mid 80’s for this week with Tuesday getting into the low 90’s. I’m thinking these temps won’t have much impact on the river so it should be a good week for fishing.
My guess was wrong once again. The vis in the lower river is less than a foot this morning and it looks like, based on flows at the gage above the West Fork, it’ll be getting worse during the day today (Saturday). Flows spiked above the West Fork and I assume the Big Muddy is contributing glacial till as well. Discharge hasn’t risen enough for me to anticipate such a change in conditions but it is what it is.
Looks like this might not be a good weekend for fly fishing.
Had a few questions regarding river conditions and what to expect over the weekend. Apparently the west side got a good bit of precip today, we didn’t get much in the town of Klickitat.
I visited Leidl campground around 10:30 AM today and the water looked real good, ~30″+ vis. Mt. Adams was invisible, cloud cover and likely water filled cloud cover. The gage above the West Fork (which is above the Big Muddy) began falling about mid-day today. Temps on Mt Adams look like any precip that occurred would likely have been snow or freezing rain.
Going out on a limb I’ll guess the river will stay in fishable shape, the increase in flows at the Pitt Gage look to be spreading out and will likely begin dropping shortly.
I’ll take a look at the water in town on my way to the shop so should have a firm idea in the AM. I’ll be at the shop by 6 AM, you can call the shop at (509) 369-3601 if you need more concrete info.
Tuesdays are my Fridays. Finished my duties around 4pm and hit the sofa for a bit. After a short siesta and a little TV news I grabbed my gear and went upriver from town. There’s a run that’s been good to me in the past so thought I’d give it a shot. Upon arrival I realized flows were a bit heavy for this run… fished it anyway because there was an evident seam. No grabs, not even a smolt tap. The water showed a little less vis today than what I’ve been used to. Maybe the recent warmer weather had something to do with it?
Shortly after getting out about knee deep and casting for a while I noticed a lot of fry jumping out of the water chasing bugs. Think they were Chinook fry, largest I saw was under 3″ and most were half that…but they were feeding big time, taking bugs right out of the air!! These little rascals were having a feast. I’m no entomologist but think I was watching at least 2, likely 3, different hatches going on at once. The bugs were distinctly different sizes…and fry can jump!! It was very enjoyable to watch.
Wind has been a problem on the Klicktitat for the last week, but it mostly ended yesterday. River conditions are excellent for flyfishing, flows lower than usual and clarity has been excellent, no cycling yet. Fishing pressure has also been minimal up until today.
Spring Chinook season is open but most of the springers have moved upriver. Best chances at Chinook will be upstream of Leidl and all the way to the Glenwood hatchery.
Steelhead are here and some indictors make me think there should be a lot more fish in the river than I can vouch for. Hooked my first steelhead yesterday AM but lost the fish due to a knot in my leader, I knew it was there but since I use 15# maxima I wasn’t concerned about the knot…live and learn! It was a nice fish, somewhere between 30 & 34 inches and strong enough to turn my confidence into a critical error. Came out of the water 4 times and I got a good look at it. Chrome and strong, once it felt the shallow water it went ballistic and left me with the broken leader, it kept the knot and fly. Most fisherman putting in the time and covering plenty of water are finding steelhead. Expecting water conditions to remain good for a couple weeks more, hope it’ll be a coolish summer like the last three.
Fishing hasn’t been great but everyone’s having a good time. Some steelhead for those who are familiar with the Klick. Flows are about 500 CFS lower than usual but there’s a lot of snow remaining on Mt. Adams so I’m not worried yet.
Spring/summer chinook harvest season is open and I’ve heard of a few taken. Early chinook don’t act like late/fall chinook, mostly because they don’t show themselves as much and move through the lower river quickly. Fish the deep runs down deep and you might have success.
Looked at some significant indicators and think the steelhead fishing will improve dramatically over the next 30 days. If you’re thinking about visiting the Klickitat in the next few weeks for some fishing I’d recommend going for it..
This weekend is “free” fishing in Washington, you don’t need a license to fish on Saturday & Sunday (June 7&8). We can provide a free catch record card and the special endorsements are not needed (Columbia river endorsement for salmon & steelhead). Check here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/free/
Also, the salmon retention season will open on Saturday June 7 2014. The early Salmon, springers or summers don’t hang around much in the lower river, they move pretty quickly to the upper sections, as in above Summit Creek. But, if you’re in the right place at the right time you might get into them. Since they school you’ll generally find them in large groups, either a bunch or none. Here’s the WDFW announcement: https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=1455
I fished the same water I fished last evening with no luck, can’t say I covered the run very well either evening. My heart and head are heavy and somewhat confused with the loss of Rick. I just need to switch it over a bit and start fishing in Rick’s honor…I’ll be more confident and effective then.
Steelheading opened on the Klickitat June 1. Heard of a few steelhead landed on Sunday but haven’t heard much since, probably because there’s been very little pressure…few fishermen. The Klickitat is in perfect shape, flows are lower than usual for this time of year and the water is steelhead green, a good 3′ plus vis. I fished this evening and took a couple pics of the water looking upstream and down.
My brother Rick went to heaven last Saturdayand I haven’t been very motivated to fish since. Rick was with me when I caught my first steelhead, he was with me when I caught my first steelhead on a fly…and I was with him when he caught his first steelhead on a fly. Rick was with me when I caught my first steelhead on a speyrod and I was with him when he caught his first fish on a speyrod.. Rick taught me about fishing for steelhead, Rick was an exceptional brother and I miss him so much.. Here’s a picture of Rick with a skykomish steelhead caught in January of 1981, that was before I knew what a steelhead was.