Agree with that. But for most of my time in OR, I lived across the state from salmon/steelhead waters. Hard to learn them on intermittent trips when you really don't know when or where to go. Just operating on luck. I had hoped that F&H news would give me some kind of an education, but it really didn't. If you're not local, and don't have any local contacts, you just don't know the water conditions and when the runs are 'typically" there, unless you talk to people. I used to visit tackle stores wherever I traveled and got some info that way. Over time I could build a picture of run timing, dependent of course on rain, etc. So it was variable.No reports are truly accurate....by the time YOU/WE get there! You put in your time, (Wow, that sounds like another thread going now having to do with joining a firearm forum/group!), and after awhile you don't need reports. That was part of the great fun of fishing salmon/steelhead! Learning the nuances of water height and color, weather, lure colors and sizes. Using the old noggin in deciding where to go, when to go where and what to use.
I sure miss it.
When I moved to Brookings, I lived right there near the rivers and always knew what was happening from friends, and for water conditions I could just drive 5 min and go look.
When I started fishing for bass here, I joined a fishing club and rx'd a lot of expertise/knowledge that way, plus I kept a written log of water conditions, air temp, sunshine, fish caught, lures used, presentation water color, water temp, etc. Over the years I built an internal database to the point where I just knew the wheres/whens/techniques etc. Something I was able to do because I live close and was able to spend a LOT of time fishing. One weekend the wife and I would go fishing/camping, the next we would go dancing. All spring/summer/fall.
Local steelhead on the Wallowa and Grande Ronde was pretty much the same. Watch the weather, and talk to fishing friends, and the fool in know at the gun store that is a steelhead nut. He'd be the person to ask, if you could find him when he's not on the river.