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Water flow: 10700 cfs at the Mehama Station09
Visibility: 20 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 42 Degrees F
Water condition: Slightly Turbid
Best time of day to fish: All Day
Best stretch: Stayton to Shellburn
Best access point: Stayton Bridge
Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:
Caddis (Speckled, Tan, Brown, McKenzie and October) Stoneflies(Skwala, Golden, Giant Salmonfly) Mayflies (March Brown, BWO, PMD) Terrestrials (Hoppers, Ants, Beatles)
Fish species: Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Steelhead, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout
Fishing season: Year Round
Nearest airport: Portland, Oregon (PDX) - Euguene, Oregon (EUG)
Recommended fly fishing leader: 9 Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 1X Tippet
Best fly fishing rod: 10' 7 Weight Fly Rod
Best floating fly line: Salmon/Steelhead WF Fly Line
Best sinking fly line: Class V Sink Tip Fly Line
The North Santiam is a very diverse and rich system with a variety of fishing options. Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout (resident), Summer and Winter Steelhead, Spring Chinook Salmon and Fall Coho Salmon are present in the system at various times of year making the North Santiam a year round fishery.
The North Santiam River is a tributary of the Santiam River approximately 90 miles long. It drains ...
an area of the Cascade Range on the eastern side of the Willamette Valley east of Salem. It rises in the high Cascades in eastern Linn county, northwest of Three Fingered Jack in the Willamette National Forest. It flows north through the mountains past Marion Forks, receiving the drainage from the western slope of Mt. Jefferson. Near Mt. Jefferson it turns sharply west, descending through a canyon past Idanha, Detroit and fills Detroit and Big Cliff Reservoirs.
Just downstream of Big Cliff is the uppermost put in for drift boat and raft navigation near the Minto Fish Trap. It is also the end of the journey for anadromous fish species - Chinook, Steelhead and Coho.
For the next 12 miles if flows through a forested canyon past the towns of Gates, Mill City, Lyons and Mehama. It emerges through the foothills into the Willamette Valley near Stayton, then flows southwest through farmlands where it joins the South Santiam River near the town and Jefferson.
January through April marks the return of Wild Winter Run Steelhead, followed by Hatchery raised Spring Chinook and Summer Steelhead from May - August. Wild Coho Salmon are found in the system from October - November. Native Rainbows and Cutthroat, along with Cutthroat-Rainbow Hybrids (Cuttbows) are found in the river year round.
There's never a bad time to fish the North Santiam!
Steelhead: Classic Wet Fly Swing in runs and tailouts, Indicator Nymphing through boulder fields. Trout: Indicator Nymphing through current seams and riffles.Spontaneous dry fly action at times. Hedge your bets by running a Yak Caddis up top with a basic nymph underneath.
Flows are currently around 10900 cfs (at Mehama) but are expected to drop to 7500 during the week. Winter Steelhead (wild) are above Stayton and there are still some holdover summer steelhead (hatchery) spread throughout the system.