By Mary Owen
A wet spring will not dampen fishing or river trips on the North Santiam, river guide Bill Sanderson said.
“The spring greenery and the birthing of new birds and animals along the riverbanks is the most delightful news of the season,” said Sanderson, who operates North Santiam River Trips. “It is obvious that spring is here!”
For those who want to venture down the North Santiam, spring weather requires good planning, raingear or both, he said.
Sanderson said good numbers of steelhead are already coming up the river, and salmon are just starting.
“The forecast is for very good runs of fish this year,” he said. In April Sanderson blogged, “Fish numbers have started to come up the Willamette and into the Santiam systems. So far 3,114 steelhead have come across the Falls at Oregon City.”
Sanderson said the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff are counting summer steelhead, several of which have been recently caught in the Mehama area.
Whether out to catch fish or just to float leisurely down the river, good planning results in good river trips, Sanderson said. “Many variables can be dealt with by arranging trips in advance.”
For Detroit Lake enthusiasts, the very wet winter months provided an abundant snowpack.
Although Detroit Lake is lower than expected because much of the recent percipitation is still frozen on the ground, Sanderson said that he expects lots of water to flow into the lake in time to help fill it by the first week of May.
“The trout in Detroit are concentrated in a smaller area,” he said. “It is easier to find them now than when the lake is full. The bite is different when the lake is cold and when the fish are in different areas. Challenges are often rewarding!”
Several areas, especially between Shelburn and Jefferson and all runs upstream from Mehama, present navigation difficulties around tree trunks and narrow channels. Sanderson advises following an experienced leader the first trip through these areas.
“River activity was minimal during the floods, and we will really enjoy the good conditions as they surely will arrive soon,” he predicted.
For information contact Sanderson at 503-897-3301 or e-mail email@example.com.