A winter in the Pacific Northwest is usually feast or famine! In late December of 2008 we had two feet of snow on the ground and lots of water...in fact too much water.
The rivers ran very high and muddy and fishing was an exercise in futility.
January was a mixed bag with rain at the beginning and then it's like someone pulled the plug! No significant rain since.
Late February and my favorite rivers sit at summer lows. The fish, what few there are, are static and it's miraculous when someone actually catches one. The water temperatures are very cold, as can be expected during winter, and of course very low. I can wade at all my usual summer places in the vain effort to find a willing steelhead but I must be mindful that a slip into winter water is nothing to be laughed at.
It's not like these "drought" conditions have not occurred before. Those of you that are from this area might be old enough to remember the winter of 1977. We basically went with out precipitation for almost the entire winter. People were in panic mode and calling for the governor of Oregon to order some cloud seeding. In the end, of course, it rained. The threat of not enough snow pack in the Cascades came and went and we caught our fish.
So even right now as I write this epic blog entry it's blowing outside and the forecast is for blustery winter weather. You know what I am pondering for tomorrow? You guessed it, fishing!!!!!
***** UPDATE *****
And just like that the rivers all rose about 1' and are off color. I guess I should have written about this low water before huh?