North and South Santiam River: North - As of Feb. 21 flows are at 8,200 at the Mehama gauge. The river is expected to remain above normal all week. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs.
At the moment there are very few fish available for anglers to catch. A few late remaining summer steelhead are still around, but the winter steelhead run is just getting started and the spring Chinook run is still two months away.
A few winter steelhead have entered the Willamette, but decent numbers will probably not be in the Santiam River until later this month. When the bite is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred fishing 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 hatchery steelhead.
The river is now closed to trout harvest and any trout caught must be released. Trout harvest will re-open in May.
South Fork - High flows this week will make for difficult fishing conditions. River flows are currently around 6,600 cfs (as of Feb. 21). Few late summer steelhead are still in the river and winter steelhead will begin to arrive into the basin by late February.