The rains have come in large amounts here in Northern California. The rivers are swollen, high and off color, battered by the recent snow and rainfall, blown out by most accounts. A steelhead fisherman, an optimist by origin, holds a different outlook. Where one warms by the fire with frozen toes and fingers deflated, cold, and cracked, waders frozen or even worse off, hanging in the corner, a new air of life is breathed into ones soul in stormy times. They are coming, an army of silver apparitions riding waves of muddy, leaf and debris speckled water in search of their natal birthplace.
El Niño is here and the “little boy” has brought friends. Storms have been a frequent occurrence on the west coast and there are more currently on the way, but the question is, will they be enough to get us out of the drought? The truth of the matter is that we stand at just over half of our normal precipitation for the wet season. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in their California Climate Station Precipitation Summary for Redding, there has been a total of 4.75 inches of precipitation since September 1st, unfortunately a mere 56.4% of the 8.42 inch norm. Mount Shasta City sits in a similar situation where 6 inches of rain and snow in the same time period represents 61.9% of the 9.69 inch average. We are behind the curve, but experts still think that the bulk of our water will fall come January. The exception, Crescent City, near the Oregon border where the Smith River enters the Pacific Ocean, shows a total of 17.01 inches which is 100.65% of average, and the volume of water in the river reflects such truth.
The waterways of the region and mostly blown out marked by high, off-color water, but that’s not all that is angry. The biggest pond of all, the Pacific Ocean, has been expressing it own drought frustrations and has been making it’s own attempt to douse the coast of California with another form a water. Surf to 30 feet has been predicted to hit the North Coast of California on December 10th and 11th. The surfing community must be rejoicing. Stay on the look out if your beach bound.
The rivers are out, but when the water drops in our rivers, upstream progress will slow or halt. The steelhead will be angry about it. Will you be ready? We have a couple days open in that time frame over the next couple weeks that we would love to fill and spend on the water, so if you have the time, do yourself a favor and get in on the action before it’s too late. Drop us a line and let’s get after it.
One more thing that you might enjoy…”I am El Niño”
Fish Kennedy Brothers
Professional Fly Fishing Guides
Northern California- Trout and Steelhead
Trinity River – Klamath River – Redwood Coast – Lower Sacramento River