We enjoyed another fine week of steelhead fishing on the Trinity
River. Quite a few super-hot, brighter, wild fish showed this week and
there really are no comparisons between these fish and their
hatchery cousins. While the “clipped fins” of Fall Season do offer up
numbers and provide a lot of opportunities for anglers to hook up
(hatchery fish move a lot slower through the system) once you
connect and experience the pull and energy of a wild steelhead, you
will not soon forget it. Winter fish are the real deal and we had many
epic moments this week!
It rained hard Tuesday night and by Wednesday morning Weaver
Creek and Indian Creek (among others) were pretty much blowing
out the DC section of river (see photos). The rain let up in the
afternoon yesterday and today shows the river already on the (slight)
drop. A reminder how fast this river can recover.
What does this mean for later this week? I have no idea. The
expected rainfall amounts look impressive. We’ll just have to wait and
see. The winter season brings unpredictability and variable
conditions. The river will rise and drop with every weather event from
here on out. But, great things happen in the slightest of windows!
Remember, it’s not the high flows so much… it’s the clarity of the
water you want to look at. 2 feet or more of visibility with green water
= Go Time!
Some other notes…
Northern California has received a good shellacking of rain these past
few weeks and even more importantly, impressive snowfall
accumulations in the higher elevations. Keep it coming!!!
Precip stats are scattered all over California – but here’s something I
found interesting this week in the local Redding Searchlight paper:
As of 1/14/16, for the Redding area, despite being 3” above normal
precipitation, month-to-date, (normal = 2.61” — actual 5.41”) we are
still 1” below last year’s precipitation totals at this point in the season
(2015 = 16.25” — 2016 = 15.27”) Remember that ONE BIG storm in
December of last year that accounted for ¾ of the season’s water?
These stats will probably be moot after the next few days of rain, but it’s good to keep things in perspective – Despite all the rain and weather we have been experiencing lately we are still -.19” below normal precipitation for the Redding Area.
Further, Shasta Lake depth-at-dam water level is currently 376.48ft
last year-to-date levels were 403.34ft. So we are -26.86ft below last
Trinity Lake is currently sitting at 281.59ft and last year it was
331.10ft. That’s -49.51ft from last year to date. We have a long way
to go. MA Nature and El Nino need to hook it up and do the wild thing
and get busy…
I should mention, snowfall totals and water percentage in the region’s snowpack is looking very good and running above season-to-date averages. While Lake Shasta may depend more on rainfall to fill the reservoir, Trinity Lake relies more on snowpack in the Trinity Alps and surrounding mountains. We do have a lot more snow in the mountains than we did at this point last year. At some point, that “water in the bank” will make a big deposit. Keep those rain dances going!!