The flow forecast graph has been updated a few times but really hasn't changed much. The weather for Saturday is looking very good, but the flow with be a close call. Extrapolating the curve line, it looks like flow might be hovering around 5' by Saturday morning.
Yeah, and I'll tell ya what, the river look slike HELL right now....way up into the woods at Chain Bridge, big trees and limbs, 6' standing waves...by the looks of things, I can't imagine it'll be good by Saturday
But it's coming down like expected. Could be fishable by Saturday. I don't know if they will rent boats but if you only plan on fishing fletchers cove or down, I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem around 5'. I can assure anywhere from fletchers down is very calm. There are a few rock piles that might create some added turbulence but nothing to worry about. Yes, shad can be caught well below fletchers too.
With a little luck this high water might have pushed some fish up above the little falls rapid and maybe even up above Little Falls dam. Sebastian and I did a little exploring last year, it might be time to do that again. Maybe we went a little late last year or maybe we didn't fish late enough? Who knows but maybe there's something to find out that's still a secret to the rest of the world.
Spring will spring again this weekend and will come on like a Lion so get out there as that water rises 15 degrees F in three days. The fish are going to all spawn at once and night time at fletchers next week is going to look like an episode from Planet Earth.
I'm otherwise committed for this weekend, but I think youse guys should all still show up anyway. New days, and permission slips can always be scheduled, but there are simply not enough such group events to justify scrapping this one. If the water's too high, have a "Fly-in". You'd be better off showing up with food and beverage, and tying flys on your tailgates and testing each other's shooting lines than sacrificing a planned day that you won't get back.
That said, I'm looking forward to the reports and photos.
Good luck this weekend, whatever the conditions.
River still looks like sh*t this morning, water is 2' over the platform level and dirty brown. Graph predicts it's still well above 5' on Saturday and maybe even Sunday, so Fletcher's may not be renting boats even by Sunday....and I cannot imagine that the water quality will be any good, I mean it REALLY looks like chocolate milk still this morning.
Dennis, I'm with ya', but I'm more inclined to bail out at the river and fish for largemouth or bluegill somewhere else than not fish at all. My fishing chits are precious.
I'm thinking we can safely say, unfortunately, that ShadFest will have to wait until next year.
Hell if I won't be put there a few days next week when things look a little better, though....
On April 10, 2005, I had outstanding hickory action from shore at Fletchers when flows were 5.3' and water vis only 14"-16". By this weekend, flows should be within this range but not sure about water clarity. Unfortunately, I have to agree with others, Fletchers probably won't be renting boats this weekend. But we shall see.
Just trying to find a glimmer of hope here, but maybe these heavy flows we've been having the past few days may actually pull more big Americans to the Fletchers area.
Salmo - Seems only during the rare spring do stripers and other anadromous fish make it thru the Little Falls rapids at Center rock in fishable numbers. According to my records, 1999, my first ever year to fish the CB area, rumor had it that large numbers of stripers & herring made it thru the Little Falls rapids all the way up to the Little Falls Dam. I learned this weeks after the fact and didn't have the opportunity to chase after these rumors. But these rumors did come from very reliable sources and apparently fishing for stripers was very good in this stretch of water during May 1999. Since then, I haven't heard that this has happened again, maybe it did but I just didn't hear about it. My records also indicate that flows at this time were below normal. I wish I knew what other conditions were in place during May 1999 that permits large number of fish to get past the Little Falls rapids. I know where to research flows but don't know where to research old "real-time" tide data. Its my shoot-from-the-hip, wild arsed guess that whats needed is low flows coupled with unusually high, wind assisted tides that would tame the Little Falls rapid sufficiently to allow the passage of fish. Just a guess though. Maybe extra high flows would also allow passage of fish, but during very high flows, the Little Falls rapids is really violent looking... nasty piece of water. I might add that fishing access on foot below Little Falls dam is very difficult and hip/chesthighs are needed to negotiate risky crossings of side channels.
On a sort of related-staring at the USGS website- note, what does the graph entitled "Specific conductance, water, unfiltered, microsiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius" mean? It goes down when flow rates go up-is it somehow related to water clarity (i.e. does it affect fishing?)
Hey ihatework, it's essentially a measure of how turbid the water is. As more stuff suspends in the water it becomes a crappy (sorry, no pun intended) conductor.
So, usually when the flows are up that means it just rained a bunch and there was a lot of runoff and there are a lot of suspended particles in the water. I imagine some of the particles are from the river bed too as the high flows scour the bottom.
I was in GT tonight, the river did not look good. Looks like a real mess. Maybe 24 hours will change something, but I think it would take a serious change to make it fishable from what I saw this evening.
Po Level at LF is forecast to be 5.4 Sat and 5.1 Sunday. The above site sometimes has river level forecasts for two days, but they often get deleted later in the day. With the warmer weather on the way today and over the weekend into next week, things will break loose soon. The river is clearing slowly but surely, it was at near flood stage just a few days ago; my guess is early to middle of next week will be smoking hot shad fishing.
HJS we need to catch up and go fishig again this year. I have a little different view of LF fish passage, but who really knows? I think at high enough flows (at about 5 ft the Island disappears, at 7 ft it looks like the Grand Canyon and a lot of water is going past the sides of the main channel) the fish can easily get around the Little Falls rapid by swimming around it, but it has to be high at the right time and temps. during those conditions no one is going to be able to fish for them so we would not know they are coming through
For sure, more and more Americans are making it thru the new fishladder; a limited research collection effort using dipnets on the VA shore at the runout from Great Falls has picked up increasing numbers of adults in spring each year the past few years. The numbers of young of the year Americans has been skyrocketing in the late summer in DC waters over the past few years. The Americans in the Potomac are really coming back strong--whether or not we can catch them at a given time is another matter!
I know it's unscientific, but I've caught 7 Americans in just three outing ALREADY this year, so I'd say the data is real. I've never caught more than 2-3 per year before...and the run isn't even in full swing yet.
The new fish ladder? Is that on the MD shore? Because last year I did a trip up there in mid May and there was a fish ladder in the middle of the river that was filled in with silt and had trees growing out of it. It didn't look operational for who knows how long. No water coming through it what so ever. This was at low flow, ~3.5' and there were teenagers walking on the dam itself and they made it to the middle of the river before they had to turn around. I even stood on top of it along the MD shore where I had to port my yak. I caught one 15" striper, saw quite a few gizzard shad and a few smallmouth in 2 hours effort.
Yeah, Steve. Let us know. I was with Salmo on that trip but we couldn't find the fishway. I thought it was along the VA shore. Water was coming over more rapidly there but it didn't look any kind of fishway (or one that a fish could get up). We were there when water levels were comparitively low, definitely under 4.0. Chunks of the dam looked broken up. We saw some broken concrete chunks that were big. Hope they weren't parts of the fishway dislodged by a flood.
I think the river will fish by late tomorrow. That's at least when I'm going.
I think you were looking at the old fish ladder. There has been one in more or less in the center of the river for years but it was built in the wrong location. The majority of the current is along the VA shore so few fish used the old fish ladder. A new one was completed a couple of years ago closer to the VA shoreline. Fish started using it as soon as it was finished.