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.Also 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. Best 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.