Western Outdoor NewsFeb 02, 2018
"We got blown off the river a week ago Sunday, the 21st, and it has been blown out since," said guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. "There were quite a few fish around before it blew out."
The river hit 18,000 cfs last week, reaching the 12-foot mark on the gauge for the first time this season. The river was 5 feet the night before, but 4 inches of rain caused a rapid increase in flows.
On Sunday, the Chetco was down to 9,000 cfs and slowly dropping. It is expected to be down to 2,000 cfs this coming weekend.
During the high flows over the weekend, bank anglers plunking large Spin-N-Glos caught some fish at Social Security Bar and the gravel bar at Loeb State Park.
Martin said he expected the river to become fishable for drift boaters by Tuesday of this week. "We had some of the best fishing so far this season just before the last blow out," Martin said. "There should be a lot of fish spread throughout the system when the river drops back into shape. The lower river should be good for hatchery fish, and I would expect to see fresh steelhead as high as we can access the river."
During the higher flows in January, Martin said he was side-drifting with clusters of roe cured with Pautzke's natural BorXOFire and combining them with an orange Corkie.
"I like the Corkie instead of the Puff Ball because they are a little more visible in the higher flows and when the baby steelhead steal your bait you are still fishing if you use a Corky. There have been a lot of steelhead smolts in the river."
The long-range forecast at press time showed 10 days of sunny weather, something steelhead anglers have been waiting for all season.