ALERT*** There is a tight spot at the mouth of Canyon Creek that has sunk 2 boats. If you are an inexperienced rower be prepared to rope you boat down or choose a different float.***
It’s been another strong but cooooold week on the Trinity River. Some days I couldn’t believe how freakin cold it was, but it’s funny how you can’t be bothered by the cold when you are hooking amazing steelhead. There are now good numbers of fish pretty well spread throughout the river, which has been nice since it has also spread anglers out as well. Everything is fishing well from Bucktail access down through JC. I can’t look into a crystal ball and predict anything but as long as the river remains fishable I believe the fishing should continue to be good for the near future.
Flows have dropped back down and are holding at the “new normal” which will be higher than the minimum 300cfs flowing from the dam above. Now that the ground is saturated and trib creeks are flowing a bit, any amount of rain will spike the river. How high only depends on how much it rains. On warmer, sunny days we can expect some runoff from snow at the lower mountain elevations. This too, will bump flows and color up the water some… these days can be great, “bluebird skies and green water ”.
We saw many aggressive fish this week despite the colder temps. One day we had fish eat flies on the swing (under an indicator) at the end of the drift - this happened three separate times - on egg patterns. I can only imagine if we’d done that on purpose, all day long, with proper flies for the swing. Put the T-tips on and get after it!!
The current flows are perfect for drift boat fishing, maybe tougher for walk and wade access in lower portions of the river. *Please be careful if you decide to drift the river in a boat. Be on your game and eyes ahead. I know of two drift boats that got swamped in two separate incidents this week alone. The mouth of Canyon Creek (among other spots) can be tricky and change constantly under different flows. Another hazard (especially on snowy days) has been falling trees. My buddy, Brad, and I got stuck behind a fallen tree that completely blocked our passage below Steelbridge and above Indian Creek. It would have been a no bueno situation if that tree went unnoticed before the decent through this particular tight and fast-water spot. The tree has since moved out of the way (this happened before Christmas), but on this day it caused an epic 3+hour portage session of two very heavy drift boats. Fun times!
With the coastal rivers poised to drop into shape, many hardcore steelheaders will soon turn their attention towards the west. The Trinity is fishing well and the crowds of Fall Season are behind us.
I’ve got a few dates open in January 7, 8, 28, 29,
and February 1, 2, 8, 11, 12, 16-19, 24-26