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This is my first year out on the PS rivers (Stilly, Sky, and Skagit so far) so I apologize if this is a rehashed topic. The recent rains have made me wonder about low, ideal, and too high river levels for wade fishing. I found the USGS site and as an example, I see the Sky (at Goldbar) is running around 4400 CFS. I fished there a few weeks ago when it was around 700. I would say the low water made for tough fishing conditions but I'm guessing that 4400 is probably too much for safe and productive wading for chums and steelhead. Anyone care to share what river levels are good for the Stilly (nf and main), Sky, and Sauk? I know the Skagit is mostly influenced by the dam.

Thanks!!
Rod :DUNNO
 

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Although the Skagit is influenced by the dams as evident with the level being maintained during the recent drought. The river is influenced more by the Sauk, Cascade rivers and the many smaller tribs below the dams.
 

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I've always looked at the gauge height rather than the flow rates. There is no gauge on the main Stillaguamish but when the North Fork gauge (listed as "near Arlington") is at five feet or below, at least the upper part of the North Fork is fishable. The North Fork is rather a special case and can be fishable above Oso when Deer Creek has dirtied up the river below its mouth to an unfishable degree. Unfortunately, the clay slide at Steelhead Haven can also dirty the river badly from there down to Oso. Generally speaking, the river stays fishably clear upstream of Steelhead Haven except in the heaviest rains.
 

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Safe wading and good fishing can be had at virtually all flow rates and heights. It may just mean fishing different water and closer to the bank. I pay more attention to water visibility and whether the river is rising or falling (falling is better). For example, the other day the lower Sauk was running fairly muddy but the Skagit looked like emerald green heaven above its confluence with the Sauk. Even when all the rivers look bleak, you can often find a clear running tributary and fish the mouth of it successfully.

Randy
 
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