I haven't heard any recent reports, but as far as I know, the EFL doesn't ever "pick up" any more. Those days are gone. Summer steelhead smolt plants have decreased from more than 70,000 to around 15,000. Take that and couple it with a reduction in smolt to adult return rates and you have, well, you have a river that I don't get many fishing reports about any more.
our local Bio suggests that the river has around 1000 wild summer steelhead which is far better than it was just a short time ago ( while the massive stocking regime was in place) funny thing is that the wild fish are returning more adults than the hatchery plants did... less hatchery fish = better fishing.. the problem? the entire portion of the river that is open to public access has had it's habitat destroyed and no longer holds the fish.. bad habitat = bad fishing.. so where are all these wild fish??? above the destroyed habitat in the upper watershed waiting for fall rains at which time they will move farther still up into the creeks to do their thing.. if you want to catch one of them you need to put in your time. fish several times a week and one of those times you'll find them as they are passing through. you cannot however go out a couple times a season and expect to have a chance.
what's a better option for you? hmm there are none we have thoroughly screwed the pooch with our local rivers.. maybe try the South Toutle they still plant it with run destroying smolts..
I can confirm that this is 100% true But there are some very nice stretches to not catch a fish on. Also, if you do go out in the next couple of months watch out for smolts as they are aggressive as hell and will attack pretty much any fly you put near them.
if you want to catch one of them you need to put in your time. fish several times a week and one of those times you'll find them as they are passing through. you cannot however go out a couple times a season and expect to have a chance.
So true. I fish a close-by river the same way. Fish it a few times a week, in the same 3 or 4 spots and you'll occasionally get a fish that passing through. People often ask why I'm there instead one of the popular destinations. I quickly find out they tried once or twice and when nothing happened, they give up. The upshot is, the river is mostly empty except for a few stubborn locals in the know.