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North Coast: , by Drew Griffith: Eel blows out/Smith stays in play: 3 stars

Last week I got to fish with Hayden, Josh and Jerrett; three buddies from the Sacramento area. We just squeeked by on having the lower Eel river stay a few shades away from being blown out on the day we fished, it held on by a thread giving us some of the most ideal conditions one could ask for when it comes to swinging big nasty flies for a bright winter fish. In the morning we worked on casting and by the time we had gotten through with the second run of the day everyone was dialed in. After lunch we lucked into a good run that was open and I had my guys spread from top to bottom hoping between the three of them a fish would take a liking to one of their flies. It was Jerrett in the bottom of the run who got the grab. It held on long enough to give us one good jump out in the heavy water to show us how chrome it was before it came unpinned. It was a nice fish. A real one. The boys stuck around to fish the next day on their own and from their report all the action came in those brief moments when Jerrett was connected to the one that got away. 

The Eel held on through the weekend and was fishing well for guys in the right spots on the Main and especially for guys on the S. Fork. A few exceptional winter specimens were brought to hand before it all blew out on Tuesday. Right now it looks like there could be the potential for a brief window to open up by Sunday and into Monday for a shot at the S. Fork before the next storm blows in on Tuesday to take it offline again. The flows are projected to be ideal but what the color will be is another story. The Smith River looks to be in good shape as of this writing and should remain within fishable conditions through the weekend and into next week. All said, this last round of rain was the storm we needed and have been waiting for. If your'e looking to get out on the coast in pursuit of winter steelhead, this is it. They're in. 

Colton Schwenning brought this specimen to hand before the river blew out on Tuesday
Colton Schwenning brought this specimen to hand before the river blew out on Tuesday
The boys: Hayden, Josh, and hotrod Jerrett.
The boys: Hayden, Josh, and hotrod Jerrett.
Next 10 open days for Drew Griffith: Jan 28, 29, 30, 31, Feb 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11
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