Tips for PNW family trip next summer(late Julyearly Aug 2019) - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Tips for PNW family trip next summer(late Julyearly Aug 2019)

Greetings. I found lots of useful information on the salmonfishing forum for family my trip last summer to England and Scotland and figured I’d give speypages a shot for our next adventure. I am planning on heading to Washington, Oregon, perhaps Vancouver Island late July. This is primarily a family trip where we move around a bit, do some hiking, maybe a day horseback riding, and see new country. Dad gets a couple of days on the river. I’d love to hear your experiences if you have had a similar trip. This will not be camping. My fishing interest is in spending time swinging for wild fish in the limited time I will have. Everything is possible at this point and I’m open to suggestions.

I have contacted the Flyshop in Port Angeles and got a book on Washington flyfishing. I need to do the same for BC and Oregon. A few places on my hit list may be:

1. Olympic peninsula...need to check out the NP and hot spring resort, as well as the Elwha recovery. I understand there could be some sea run cuts in the summer, not sure about the timing of summer run fish near the coast.
2. I’d love to see some of the country Roderick Haig Brown described in “A River Never Sleeps”...Vancouver Island and Campbell River?
3. Bend, OR and Deschutes vicinity..might be cool to do a family float for a day in that country....I plan on checking this area out for certain.
4. Coastal OR....maybe Rogue River?

Love to hear your thoughts. Much gratitude to you all.

Mark
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 09:37 PM
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Your stream fishing options in late July are limited in this area. I live in western WA. I wouldn't advise allocating any time to swinging flies for wild steelhead in WA during that time frame. The number of wild summer steelhead on the OP is so few and sporadic that it cannot be planned upon. If you want to swing flies for hatchery steelhead for a day or two, I'll be happy to show you around the most productive water hereabouts. You might consider some time on the North Umpqua in OR if it's not too early. I don't fish there, and friends that do, fish it in late August and September.

Visiting Vancouver Island is always a good idea for the sight-seeing, if not the steelhead fishing. The runs are small and spread out far and wide among rivers, and may be closed if stream flows drop too low and become warm.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much. I figured my chances were slim to get on wild fish at that time.. I will look into the n Umpqua for sure and consider the hatchery option, though TBH that would not be my preferred choice. I truly appreciate your input salmo...
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 12:18 AM
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The ONP is a truly spectacular place and would be a fantastic place to take your kids too! Some key attractions, Hurricane Ridge out of PA(view the Elwah basin), the drive around Crescent lake, Sol Duc Falls, Hoh river trail(to look at some of the largest trees in the world) and the beaches at La Push(cabins and hotel there) beach 3 is worth the hike down to it. I spent 2 weeks with the family there and wasn't enough time(my kids where done though).

Like Salmo said not much chance of wild steelhead at that time, but there is a few around, the searun cutthroat don't really show up till fall with the rains, there would be some bull trout around though. Waters West would be your contact for up to date conditions.

Vancouver Island is just as spectacular and a trip to Roderick Haig brown house in Camble River is worth the pilgrimage(its a museum now)! Fishing there would be would be slow as well but contact Nile Creek fly shop there.

The North Fork Umpqua is a place every steelheader needs to fish once in there lifetime and is truly a special place. Side trips to Crater lake would be funny too!
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 04:05 PM
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Everything Riffle Hitch just said. If you come into Oregon from the south, you cross one famous river after another as you traverse north on I-5. The first time I made that drive, I couldn't believe it. The Rogue, the South, followed by the North Umpqua, the South Santiam, the McKenzie. The Scenic loop that follows the Rogue up to Crater lake & back down along the N. Umpqua is well worth the trip. The highway 1 loop around the Olympic Peninsula, the Bald Eagles, the big trees, the rivers, is like nowhere else. Vancouver Island has First Nation museums & totem poles as well as a few rivers. And then, of course, there is the Haig Brown house on the Campbell River.

The Oregon coast, as nice as it is, IMHO cannot hold a candle to the OP. The Deschutes Canyon is kind of out of the way, off the beaten path. But that's what preserves the Deschutes. Not to completely rule out fishing, certainly pack a rod & take advantage of whenever time presents the opportunity but, were it me, knowing what I know now, rather than a fishing trip, (which I would do later as a dedicated fishing trip) I would try to book a white water day trip. The family will probably enjoy that more than sitting in a boat, not catching fish, all day.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 05:31 PM
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Southern Oregon, starting in Roseburg (or go in reverse). 3 hours drive south of Portland.
1. Drive up the North Umpqua Highway. This is one of the most stunning, beautiful drives I know. 2. Even if it is too early, spend a half day fishing on the North just to say you did. Have your wife take a picture of you unfurling a perfect cast over the emerald waters with some basalt and old growth in the background. Frame the picture when you get home.
3. Then drive up to Diamond Lake or the Crater Lake Lodge for the night. Diamond Lake lodge is "rustic"...Crater Lake lodge is a treasure perched on the rim of the lake. Crater Lake is a natural wonder. You've seen lots of mountains...there are mountains everywhere. This is unique...a mountain that blew itself up. Perfect blue water. cindercone island to one side.
4. Drive around the lake stopping at every vista. Hike down to the lake at Cleetwood Cove and do a family jump off the "Jumping Rock". Don't worry, the water is warm...tropical really. Take pictures of your kids in the air with nothing behind them but the rim of the lake. Drip dry on the hike back to the rim. Frame pictures when you get home.
5. Drive to Bend. Drink beer...because...well...that is what people do in Bend. Stay the night.
6. Fish the Deschutes around Maupin...there should be trout around, maybe some early steelhead. Do a whitewater raft trip. You can probably fish in the morning and then take the raft trip in the heat of the day. Touristy, but you are a tourist and you have family to please.
7. Drive to Timberline Lodge...eat in the restaurant, stay the night in the lodge. Watch the sun set and the valleys below darken while at timberline you are still bathed in evening sunlight. Watch the sun rise. Watch "The Shining" before you leave home for the trip.
8. Drive to Hood River and down to Portland. Stop at Multnomah Falls. Be a tourist...
9. On to Washington. Not much to see in Washington. Maybe stop at Mt St Helens, it too blew itself up, just not as perfectly as Mt Mazama (Crater Lake). Drive up to Mt. Rainer (has yet to blow itself up). All disappointing after your jaunt through Oregon.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much folks...all pointers jotted in my notebook. Do any of you have a fly shop/guide on the North Umpqua you might recommend? I will contact waters west and Nile creek when I put this alltogether. Have a great winter season
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 10:50 AM
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Thanks so much folks...all pointers jotted in my notebook. Do any of you have a fly shop/guide on the North Umpqua you might recommend? I will contact waters west and Nile creek when I put this alltogether. Have a great winter season

I agree with the above that The North Umpqua would be a good part of that trip. but i think if you ask the right people nicely and search the archives you'll find that you don't need a guide.
The best person I know in terms of information from a fly shop is Tim at The Caddis Fly in Eugene. Also for the families sake I'd plan on staying at Susan Creek Campground, they take reservations and fills up fast so make reservations early. you won't need waders or sink tips just good studded boots and maybe a staff. The road follows the highway the turn outs are typically at good runs so if you have any steelhead swinging experience I really don't think a guide is needed.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 11:21 AM
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I think it's a pink year next year on the rivers around Vancouver BC. If the kids are old enough, it can be a blast for the kids to catch and release a bunch of fish. It's a good way to get them hooked. Plus you get to get out on the river, so it's a like bonus day.... and it can be pretty amazing to see a river so full of fish.

Could be the same in the rivers around WA, and OR also, but I can't speak to those places.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 11:39 AM
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Sounds like you've got some great possibilities. I didn't see how much time you have available- the only thing I'd ad is you are potentially covering a lot of ground. I grew up in a family that did an epic annual vacation, driving all over the country, and more often than not, the time was spent driving from one destination to the next, rather than really stopping to enjoy any of them. I'd make it the next couple, or three years, and give your family a little more time to really see/experience each place a little more closely. The OP could be a week in itself, Vancouver another, and OR, well..... forever.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 12:03 PM
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I've got to jump on the train and say North Umpqua!. My wife and our two sons did a road trip last year and we spent 3 nights at Susan Creek Campground. It was possibly the prettiest campground I've ever been to and it is right on the river. Toilets and showers and it is clean! From there you have a two beautiful water fall hikes you can take(Susan Creek Falls and Toketee Falls- I think are a must see!). The river speaks for itself and you have to at least stop by Steamboat Inn for a lunch/dinner or even a glass of wine!
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by J.K. Bailey View Post
I've got to jump on the train and say North Umpqua!. My wife and our two sons did a road trip last year and we spent 3 nights at Susan Creek Campground. It was possibly the prettiest campground I've ever been to and it is right on the river. Toilets and showers and it is clean! From there you have a two beautiful water fall hikes you can take(Susan Creek Falls and Toketee Falls- I think are a must see!). The river speaks for itself and you have to at least stop by Steamboat Inn for a lunch/dinner or even a glass of wine!
Good point. Slow down down & smell the roses, dip your toes in the water. Susan Creek campground is just that, a campground, not a day use park. Make reservations & stay at the Steamboat Inn. You could easily spend a week, or more, just doing the Rogue/Crater Lake/N. Umpqua loop, over to Bend & the Deschutes. Better allow two. It's that good.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Funny I just watched a video about wild steelhead conservation efforts on Steamboat Creek. I will go there to see that place. Was the land for that drainage ever set aside and named after Frank and Jeanne Moore?
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Based on all the wonderful tips I will be heading out to the Steamboat Inn with family early next week. We are then spending a few days around Bend. I have a guide booked for a day on the NU. On other days I’m lucky to get out for a bit early and late before family activities begin.

A few questions for those in the know:

1. Wading boots: I have rubber bottom “grippy boots” or the “Foot tractor” type. I ditched felt some time ago. Will the foot tractor cleats work best in the North Umpqua?

2. Summer flies: based on Shewey and Combs here is a list of what I have tied:

Cummings Special
Black Gordon
Silver Hilton
Skunk
Grease Liner
Muddler
Sunray Shadow(my own idea lol)

Any additional thoughts? I plan on finding some locally tied stuff as I always do.

3. Tackle: my choices are an 8 wt single handed with float and sinking lines and or a 7 weight 11’9 Scierra HMS with Scandi shooting heads...as this is a family trip I really need to limit my gear and keep it simple. I was considering bringing a trout rod for when we go to Bend.

4. How is the water level and temp this summer?

Thanks folks. Can’t wait to visit .

Mark
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 05:23 PM
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The NF Umpqua is the slickest river in the world, you will fall in so just accept it, felt and studs or crampons! Those flies will work, single hander 8wt is fine but either rod will work. Take the kids up to crater lake, enjoy its a wonderful place!

Tight lines! B K Paige
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Wishin I was fishin the Sauk!!!
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