The area has been in a bit of a warmup since the end of the past weekend. Forecast is continued warm thru today and tonight with rain likely today/tonight. Rainfall could amount to 0.5 inch or more. After that for end of week and weekend, the forecast is back to cold temps and another round of measurable snow. There is still plenty of snow to melt like in the woods and protected spots and some ice and flooded fields.
Thanks to this forecast, flows in the Oak and other area smaller tribs will be (again) on the way to high, blown and dirty. Flows in the Oak are already on the rise today thanks to increasing overflow water. Any rainfall is really going to get things cranking and water color this time is likely to get dirty.
Thanks to the flash freeze after end of last week’s high water, even with the overflow cranking, flows did retreat quickly and never really got too dirty to fish in the Oak. Guys kept fishing, especially in the turbine channel (flows can only get so high). The rest of the Oak, like after the confluence, were high water fishable by at least this past Sunday thru about yesterday as the overflow levels diminished.
There would have been a similar few day high/stained fishable water window in the smaller area tribs too. So if you’re following this the moral of the story is that the weather is up and down and therefore so are the water levels and fishable conditions.
For now in the near term low and clear flows are not in the cards. So when even a reasonable high and stained water window presents itself, that may be the best time to fish. All the water, at least in the fishable mile or so stretch below the dam on the Oak, is open and ice free.
Other area smaller tribs should be open and ice free in the upstream reaches with some lower river ice cover or jams. That may well all blow out after this latest round of precipitation. Its not likely to freeze back up significantly even with cold temps. On the Oak thru the so far not too dirty turbine flows of today, guys have been scoring some fresher steelhead mostly nearer the dam. There could be some fresh fish migrations in the rest of the downstream river course and the other area smaller tribs anytime now thru the spring on these high water events. Try to anticipate dropping and clearing flows and be on the water when reasonable conditions come together.