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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
July 21, 2003

North Santiam River Report

Moon position is a complicated variable in fishing. The fullness on the day of the fishing is important, and the fullness varies during the day. The moon rises, shines, and sets at different times just like the sun does. Anglers can pick a day to fish when the moon position is optimal (dark), and it is also important to pick the time of day when the moon is dark or waning. Sometimes the other variables involved over-ride the moon position, so this alone is not the only factor to consider. When looking at the weather charts, we should not only see what the moon position for the day is. We also should note the time of the moon rise and set. Every little bit of information can add to our understanding of the fish bite.

The fairly new, fairly low water conditions have been delightful. It is getting easier to find the fish. We found one half mile section of river with about 200 summer steelhead in it. We tried half a dozen different jig colors with no bites. They were not spooked, since they did not swim away from the jigs. They would let a sand shrimp just swim by. Brass spoons and spinners caused them to look and move sideways a little. They did hit a blue Steelie, however. We tried approximately a dozen different offerings before we found the right one for that group of fish.

Bobbers moving sideways in the current are exciting. We did get a steelhead in a lower river section to take a light green and cream colored small jig, and the bobber did not sink. It just started swimming sideways. The steelhead take jigs differently many times. On occasion, they will come up for the jig and then dive with it. On other occasions, they will just move sideways with it. We have to be ready and set the hook regardless of their strike style.

Steelheaders had a barbecue, fishing clinic, and meeting at Minto Park last Wednesday. Dennis Richey showed us his new materials for making jigs, and we made some before going fishing. Denny also showed us some of his spinner making gear, and gave us pointers about the components. After the tackle demo, we went down to the Mad Creek Riffle and tried out our new tackle and techniques. Milt Loppnow also brought some of his gear, so we had an excellent opportunity to observe some good anglers casting to different types of water. Many of us fish there regularly, so we enjoyed watching how someone else would do it. The lessons were great. The fishing drift is great. The moon position must have been off, since our best efforts did not result in any fish that evening. Denny also told us about the lawsuit filed against ODFW to improve or close hatcheries. There is a problem with chemicals and fish effluent in the discharges from several hatcheries, and that problem needs to be corrected. The cost of correction is difficult to bear with reduced budgets, so improved funding for ODFW is needed. More news about this will be forthcoming from both the Steelheaders and Oregon Anglers.

Fishermen’s Bend is an ideal fishing location right now because of both fish numbers and water temperature. The boat ramp access is a little shallow with the new river level, and some of the park users have made little pools with big rocks around the ramp. It’s hard to dodge the rocks while loading and unloading boats. The fish are certainly worth the effort. The run down to Mehama is excellent, and has at least 70 good fishing holes and drifts. Some of the rapids are challenging, but all are driftable even with the lower water levels.

Packsaddle Park has outstanding fishing water. The high water last winter nearly filled in the approach to the boat ramp, and we have had to wade the boat out into the river so we can start floating downstream. The wade is a nuisance, but the fishing water is so good that it is a minor inconvenience. The rapids are very substantial in the upper river, and the fish numbers are increasing this time of year.

North Santiam River Guides will meet at North Santiam State Park on Wednesday, July 23, at 6:00 p.m. with a pot luck dinner and fishing clinic. The park waters are excellent and varied with numerous steelhead and salmon. The meeting should be excellent, and visitors are welcome. Several good anglers will demonstrate their techniques at this meeting. This would be an especially good place for small pontoon boats. Perhaps someone will demonstrate them.

Mehama to Stayton drift is getting shallow in half a dozen places where boats have to be drug over gravel bars. Salmon are in the good holes, and steelhead are laying in shallow riffles this week. Spoons, spinners, flies, and jigs may be used to get them. River temperature is cold at night, but warms up quickly during the day below Mehama. Fish position varies according to the temperature.

Numbers of steelhead in the Santiam rivers is good. We’ve had lots of fish visible on all the drifts above Stayton recently, and there are fresh fish swimming through the lower sections as well.

North Santiam river levels will be stable (at around 900 cubic feet per second at Big Cliff) well into September. Detroit Lake is a little lower than full, so the river will be kept at a low level. The South Santiam is at a very fishable low level, and most of the fish will be above Lebanon. Drifting from Wiley Creek to Pleasant Valley is the best chance for the South river. Trout and kokanee fishing at Detroit and Big Cliff is good.

Bill Sanderson
 

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billsan, thanks for the N.
Santiam report. Please let me know who could do a shuttle between Fishermen's Bend and Mehama. Thanks, Old dog
 

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All that moon stuff is a bunch of crap in regards to steelhead that have been in the river for a while. Just my opinion of course.
 

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Hey fool, How much could somebody know about fishin' if he doesn't even know how to spell it. Just my opinion.

[ 07-21-2003, 04:58 PM: Message edited by: Woody ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Originally posted by Fishen Fool:
All that moon stuff is a bunch of crap in regards to steelhead that have been in the river for a while. Just my opinion of course.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">There is both art and science in fishing. Luck is also involved. Moon position does indeed play a part, although many other factors also do. The rejection of science is common by those who focus on art and luck. An open mind is a great vehicle for growth and improvment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Originally posted by Woody:
Hey fool, How much could somebody know about fishin' if he doesn't even know how to spell it. Just my opinion.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Fishing technique and spelling are not necessarily related. Content is more important than style, if you are interested in results.
 

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Hey Fool.

Regardless of what you think may or may not factor into fishing, try giving a little more respect to someone who has probably been fishing for steelhead longer than you've known how to suck your thumb.

Bill is doing everyone who likes to fish the valley a great service by sharing information like this report with ifish. Comments like yours do not show any appreciation for that.

Thanks Bill, i was wondering what happened to your reports on the other site.

-Dom
 

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Billsan, the spelling comment was not aimed at you sorry, if you took it that way. Very informative report, thanks!!
 

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Hey NWaddict, I'm not going to get involved in a P....... contest here but I would almost bet that I have been involved in Steelhead fishing as long as Bill.You guys can have your art and scientific fishing, me I just go fishing, catch a few and be done with it, it isn't really that hard. Again just my opinion.
 

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Bill,

As always, your report is top notch. I've been reading them for years and still learn something with each one.

Thanks a bunch!
 

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Bill,
Thanks for the hard work putting all that info on ifish. You have done everything except telling us which rock to stand on. Thanks again, Mikeymoto
 

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Thank you for the fantastic report Bill. :bowdown:
I learned alot, ...again. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Originally posted by FishOrDie:
Thanks for all of the info Bill,
What would you recommend using on the lower river I am kind of running out of options in my tacklebox and money in my wallet. I have seen plenty of bright fish below stayton still but they are most definitely not interested in my gear.

Thanks Again FOD

Uhhh! Which rock was that again.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">I would use medium sized lures in the morning and small lures in the afternoon because of the warming of the water during the day. Size 4 spinners in a.m. and 3 in p.m. Little Cleos size 1/3 oz. in a.m. and 2/5 oz. in afternoon. If drift fishing, small corkies and baits with 2/0 or 1/0 hooks. In this low warm water, flies will work, and a bobber and jig is a good bet. 1/8 oz. jigs are about right now. You may enjoy stopping at the barber shop in Jefferson and visiting with Derek about fishing the lower river in these conditions. His shop is on the main street, close to the City Hall. Derek fishes exclusively with jigs, and caught about 80 summer steelhead last summer. A couple of the riffles near the Stayton bridge are very good, but you have to go upriver a ways to find the right rock to stand on.
 

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Thank You Bill, All that info is greatly appreciated I will do my best to put it to good use.

Good luck to you,

Thanks,

FOD
 

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Thanks for all of the info Bill,
What would you recommend using on the lower river I am kind of running out of options in my tacklebox and money in my wallet. I have seen plenty of bright fish below stayton still but they are most definitely not interested in my gear.

Thanks Again FOD

Uhhh! Which rock was that again.
 
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