North and South Santiam River: North - Summer steelhead continue to be present throughout the river, mostly between Mehama and Packsaddle Park. Winter steelhead are also starting to trickle into the basin, although numbers are still fairly low. Recent rains have swelled the river making for challenging fishing conditions.
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 hatchery steelhead. Trout harvest season begins May 22.
River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (the Mehama gauge was at 6,300 cfs as of Jan. 25). Current conditions
South - Flows have increased again due to recent rains with a corresponding increase in turbidity making fishing conditions difficult. Current flows (as of Jan. 25) are around 7,600 cfs as measured at Waterloo. When flows do return to normal anglers can target summer steelhead, which can still be found in fair numbers in the upper sections. A few newly arrived winter steelhead may also be available. 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.