Re: Meramec River at Cardiac Hill
630cfs is definitely a bit high for the Cardiac/Suicide area of the river -- 700cfs is my absolute maximum for taking clients out down there. Yeah, the crazy amount of rain we've had the last couple of years (6 feet in 2008 and almost 5 feet in 2009 -- no kidding) has definitely changed things, but the fish are still there. AND there's been an unexpected perk. Here's the quick rundown, though.
Migratory fish (like trout) swim generally upstream in response to an increase in flow, and then feed actively when the current maxes out and starts dropping. BUT, if the current gets REALLY fast, they stop the migration and look for sheltered spots to hunker down. And if it gets really silty and super duper fast, they'll begin to drift back downstream and spread out. So, extreme rains like the last two years definitely screws up the progressive migration and pre-spawn feeding patterns, and you'll end up finding the fish in strange locations -- like too far upstream or downstream.
And the perk? We're catching some mature wild trout for the first time in many years -- apparently they've migrated into the area from spring creeks that enter the river WAY upstream or downstream of the traditional trout-holding areas of the Meramec. No little 3-inch wild fish, though. Mainly 10-13 inches, which are probably 4 or 5 years old.