SANDY RIVER: The trap on the Bull Run River at Dodge Park has seen over 170 hatchery spring Chinook swim in so far. Also fishing for springers and summers has continued to be fair to good in the Cedar Creek area. The mainstem Sandy has seen some decent catch rates up to Dodge Park but flows are getting very low. There are still a few hatchery and wild spring Chinook in the river along with summer steelhead below the mouth of Cedar Creek.
The Sandy River will offer good opportunity in coming weeks as long as the river does not blow out. Glacial melt could lead to excessive turbidity reducing angler chances simply due to the dark color of the water. Anglers should target early morning and late afternoon/evening (low light on the water) for the best fishing conditions.
USGS hydrological data for Sept. 4 shows Sandy flows at 304 cfs, with a gauge reading of 7.64 feet and the water temperature on the Little Sandy at Bull Run around 55° F.
North Fork - As of Sept. 11, flows have been bumped up to 1,620 cfs at the Mehama gauge. River levels best for fishing are at or below 3,000 cfs.
Most anglers are targeting summer steelhead that can be found holding on the edges of the faster current. Over 1,600 summer steelhead have already made it as high as Stayton, with more on the way. The extra water being released from upstream reservoirs should get fish moving again and stimulated to bite.
South Fork - There are plenty of summer steelhead in the river at the moment, most of these above Waterloo. Over 9,000 fish have navigated up Willamette Falls and a fair number of these have made it into the South Santiam. Just over 1,300 adult summer steelhead have entered the ladder at Foster as of Sept. 6.
Summer steelhead can be found throughout the upper basin below Foster Reservoir, especially above Waterloo Park. Extra water is being released from upstream reservoirs and so flows have increased to 1,250. Sometimes these higher flows will stimulate fish to feed so this might be a good time to target summer steelhead. There are also lots of nice trout in the river, but only hatchery fish are allowed to be kept.
The weather is expected to cool off a bit over the next week, which should help put trout and steelhead on the bite.