During this spring and early summer, I was very disappointed while I waited on water temperatures to rise high enough to allow good pre-spawn bassfishing. The abnormally cool water temperatures combined with more than usual amount of wind managed to convince me to cancel almost all of my bass and panfishing trips – as I love shallow water sightfishing.
Sometimes, my “Plan B” fishing trip, while waiting for Oregon’s coastal waters to warm up, is to go to central Oregon and trout fish, but those lakes and reservoirs were cool and marginally productive and the rivers and streams were flowing high enough to limit fishing success and definitely fishing pleasure.
The high water levels definitely bode well for fishing in the future, but it seemed like only a couple of weeks after the cool weather stopped when it became quite hot on most inland waters. While I am not fond of fishing in torrid temperatues, my biggest complaint is that I do not feel good about the fish I catch and release – especially coldwater fish such as trout.
While ideal fishing conditions have been few and far between throughout Oregon and especially along the Oregon coast, we have it relatively good compared to the rest of the nation. Water levels and temperatures in the Pacfic Northwest have been good compared to the rest of the country.
In the lower 48 states, more than 1,000 counties and more than half the land area is undergoing a very severe drought. Many lakes and reservoirs are either bone dry or headed that way and the Mississippi River is running at a level 50 vertical feet below the level it ran last year. While it most likely will not affect us in the Pacific Northwest, the cost of goods normally transported via barges on the Mississippi will almost certainly go up as barges cannot operate at full load capacity while running the river.
While our fishing conditions have been less than ideal, a short time spent fishing in the eastern two-thirds of our country would undoubtedly make most northwest anglers appreciate what we have. I know that I can no longer complain without feeling guilty and hypocritical.