North and South Santiam River: North - River conditions are very good at the moment and should remain so for the next week. Steelhead are entering the basin in good numbers. Over 427 winter steelhead as well as the first summer steelhead have navigated Upper Bennett dam as of March 21. Best bets for these fish are in the lower river, from Greens Bridge down to Jefferson, along the mainstem around the I5 Rest Stop boat ramp, and from Mehama down to Stayton.
More fish are on the way. Counts at Willamette Falls stand at 74 summer steelhead, 30 spring Chinook, and 3,204 winter steelhead as of March 19.
When the bite is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below Packsaddle Park (near the Minto Fish Facility) is open year-round to adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Trout fishing is closed until May 23, 2015.
Flows in the South Santiam below Foster dam have increased to 1,400 cfs at Waterloo as of March 23. Water releases out of Green Peter reservoir are being reduced for the next few weeks to ensure adequate filling before the summer, which should make for excellent fishing conditions in the interim below Foster dam. New summer steelhead and spring Chinook have begun to arrive at Willamette Falls but it will take a few weeks before they arrive in the basin. Winter steelhead are in the basin now and can be found throughout the river. So far, 32 winter steelhead and three summer steelhead have entered the trap below Foster. Best sections to fish are from Wiley Creek to Pleasant Valley boat ramps, around Waterloo County Park, and from Lebanon down to the confluence with the North Santiam.