The recent storms that slammed into the Northwest gave us a constant flux in the water levels of our steelhead rivers. We had our best days when the river was on the drop after a front moved through. However, we also had days where the river was coming up and going out of shape. Although the fishing wasn’t as good during the rise, we did find fish. Here’s a few things to remember the next time you're on the water and the CFS is climbing.
1. Fish the “Fish Traps”
When the water is on the rise, fish will be on the move. Focus your approach on areas like riffles and tail-outs where fish will slow down.
2. Don’t over cast the fish
Usually a rising river means dirty water… The combination of both will allow steelhead to migrate close to the bank. If you’re wading up to your waist and casting as far as you can, the fish are more than likely behind you –Between you and the beach. Wade shallow, cast short and good things will happen.
3. Fish short heavy tips
One indispensible tool in a rising river situation is a Rio MOW sink-tip in 7.5’ of T-14, 2.5’ of floating. It’s the perfect tip for fishing soft shallow edge water.
4. Big flies are key
5. Keep your confidence
You are you’re biggest enemy in rising water. It’s critical to keep your head in the game when the river starts to rise. You CAN catch steelhead as long as you believe.