When dry weather stalls the run

Elk Creek on any given day can be "bank-full" or bone dry depending on the weather.  Keep that in mind as you plan another steelhead trip because crystal clear tributaries make fishing difficult.

1615778659204Advice – stay home until the water levels rise. That will never fly for some anglers. 

If you are determined to fish regardless of low flow, have at it, and as the next water event takes place prepare for “rising-water” conditions. Adjust where you fish and how you fish to make the most of your time on the water.

For instance, a soaking rain on the Elk Creek watershed will take hours before it affects lower parts of the creek.  The slow flow increase and changing water color usually trigger a decent bite.  Of course as the level gets fast and off-color, you need to abandon the lower sections and seek improving upstream water conditions.


The wind is another variable to consider. Low flow with south wind makes lake shore fishing inviting.  Steelhead are near shore and waiting for a decent water flow to draw them into the tributaries.

An off-shore wind will push water upstream when there is a low flow.  This will add water depth to the lower sections of creeks and encourage a better bite.

If this post creates more questions in your mind, drop a note to info@fishsteelheadalley.com.  I can provide my spin on your chances for success.

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Good luck.