Does anyone know what affect the wind storm has had on the rivers and streams out there? I would suspect that there may be a few more trees down in the waters.
Are there clubs or organizations who will/can go in a clean up?
01-19-2000, 02:47 PM
The streams in the Puget Sound area seem to have weathered the storm just fine. They all get serious flooding in fall-winter-spring that flushes (and deposits) new debris continually through and out of their riverbeds. The erosion problems suffered by many of these streams provide for a continual parade of trees being washed down banks and into the rivers.
When too much gets deposited and salmon/steelhead are blocked from ascending, the local groups (Washington Trout, the TU chapters, and FFF clubs) organize volunteer efforts to clean them up.
This makes me reflect about the dynamic nature of truly wild streams... rivers in Puget Sound never needed that kind of human intervention because nature blows out root snags with regularity.
Even when really bad log jams occur, they are not cleared by the hand of man. First of all, there are so many rivers out there that even people with driftboats just go elsewhere. Second of all, these create interesting pools. Brian and I found willing takers on the Elwha one fall evening. I hooked and lost a solid ten pound chromer and Brain rose two to a waking fly - all along a submerged tree laying along the far bank by the apple orchard hole.
That is not to say that erosion and thus washouts do not occur more now than in biblical times, I am sure they do. I am just realizing that anglers out in the PNW do not intervene in felled trees and log jams in rivers for whatever reason, the most of which I believe is availability of alternatives.
Leaving them there does make a lot of sense if they do not impact the migration. They do provide and create great current breaks and cover. We had the same affect on the high mountain streams in Colorado. Run off would wash most of the junk away leaving behind just enough to hide some nice large brown trout for those willing to take a long hike along a small mountain stream armed with only a 3 weight and a box of dry flies.
I have yet to experience the thrill of catching a wild steel head from the rivers in the PNW. But battling a 18" wild brown on a 7' 3 weight with 7x tippet on a remote high altitude stream does not suck either.