North and South Santiam River: North - Recent rains have brought river levels up again, making for challenging conditions. Some summer steelhead are still being caught, mostly in the upper sections above Stayton. Winter steelhead numbers are still low at Willamette Falls, but are beginning to ramp up. Numbers of winter steelhead passing above Willamette Falls stand at 839 as of Jan. 24 when 96 fish were counted. They should arrive in good numbers in the Santiam basin by February.
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.
River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 5,230 cfs as of Jan. 26).
Flows in the South Santiam below Foster dam are at 4,760 cfs as of Jan. 26. The flows are dropping a bit and fishing conditions will continue to improve. Summer steelhead can be found primarily in the upper river. 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. There are still quite a few summer steelhead in the upper reaches. Closed to trout fishing until May 23, 2015.