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Steelhead fishing improves as rains hit Trinity River

BY ANDY MARTIN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 30, 2018

LEWISTON — Steelhead and schools of fall salmon are on the move throughout the Trinity River after last week’s rain increased flows and improved conditions for anglers.

Guide Steve Huber of Steve Huber’s Guide Service said he saw big schools of salmon head upstream after rain fell Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week. The rain put the steelhead on the bite, Huber said.

trinitysteelTRINITY STEEL — Cody Baker hefts the big double-digit steelhead caught out of the Trinity River near Lewiston while bouncing medium gold Cleo’s downstream into deep holes.

Tim Brady of Trinity Outdoors in Weaverville agreed the rain helped fishing. The river is expected to get hit with another big storm this week, which could muddy the water for a day or two. “The rain didn’t hurt anything. It put some more water in the river, it brought some more fish in and some bigger fish,” Brady said of last week’s storms. “We got 3 inches over the course of three days. I was afraid it was going to turn the thing into liquid dirt but it didn’t.”

Brady said big numbers of salmon are spawning in the upper river, and there are still a fair amount of kings in the lower river. Most salmon are not good to eat this time of year and should be left along to spawn, Brady said.

Steelhead fishing, meanwhile, has been good river wide, with driftboaters using MagLip plugs or drifting roe, as well as fly fishing. Bank anglers are drifting nightcrawlers under floats, or jigs under floats, Brady said. For flies, egg patterns are working, as well as nymphs. “Some of the fly guys are still using bigger stuff like rubber legs and stoneflies,” Brady said. “Black and gold. Fairly decent size stuff, size 8 and 6.”

Retired guide E.B. Duggan said long-awaited repairs have been made to the South Fork-Sandy Bar Road, improving access for anglers. “The different guide associations and guides have been trying to get the Forest Service and the Lower Trinity Ranger District to fix the South Fork Sandy Bar Road for at least 10 years,” Duggan said. “Last week I had been asked who graded the road, so I went up and drove the road down to Sandy Bar. Low and behold, the road had not only been graded, but all of the holes and water ponds had been filled in and graded. It has been over 10 years since I have seen the road in this drivable condition. The new Six Rivers forest supervisor and roads supervisor agreed to fix the road right of away because it was the only river access between Hawkins Bar and Willow Creek. What a great surprise and greatly needed repair.”

Flows last week at Douglas City hit 430 cfs before dropped to 340 cfs for the weekend. Flows at Junction City hit 440 cfs before dropping to 349 cfs. Flows at Lewiston remained stable just below 300 cfs.

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