Oregon Here I Come...(Help!) - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-16-2013, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Oregon Here I Come...(Help!)

So my wife and I sat through one of those gawd awful vacation travel sales pitches to get our free airline tickets. We now have two free passes to anywhere in the continental US to be used in the next 12 months. My lovely bride - God bless her - without prompting said, "Let's go have a look at Oregon." Whoop whoop, cue the fireworks! She wants me to have a crack at experiencing my dream of fishing for steelhead with the two hander and a swung fly. Now comes the fun part of planning.

Since we have next to no disposable income, the trip is going to be run on a shoe string budget. Or more accurately, half a shoe string. We're going to UPS the camping gear to a relative's house in Newport, OR, rent the cheapest set of wheels we can find, and camp for a week or so. As teachers, we are confined to July or a short window around the third week of August.

We both love to camp and don't mind campgrounds lacking amenities. Pit toilets are fine. (Our favorite spot in the world is Slough Creek in Yellowstone NP, if that helps put things in perspective.) We don't mind driving across the state, if necessary.

Any suggestions on rivers to hit, places to camp, or any non-fishing things we really must see or do? I'd love to hire a guide for a day, but that will have to wait for another trip. Of course, if anybody needs an excuse to go fishing for a day, I'm happy to provide one.

Thanks to all in advance!

"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"
- Duke Ellington
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-16-2013, 01:15 PM
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Your 3week in August window.

Hands Down; the lower Deschutes river (North/Cent of Oregon). Tons of BLM on river camp sites, most with clean toilet facilities.** Google BLM+Deschutes River (or some variant of that) and you'll find their mile by mile map of the river. You can also buy this thing for about ten bucks.

Another (obvious) option is the fly only section of the North Umpqua. Several BLM CG's, the THE ONE you want is Susan Creek. Period, end of statement.

Couple of other thoughts here. Wading is a total WOOZER on either river due the the lava rock bottom, you will need a good wading staff. Fish number/places to fish (fishing competition) the "D" is the far better bet for 'Peace and Quite.' Only 'down' on the 'D' can be the afternoon winds; they can be brutal.

** Bad choice of words Fred, very bad. BLM takes good care of all of these, but many don't have 'facilities.'




Fred Evans - White City, Oregon

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:32 AM
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What about November?

Fred: Does your advice apply to other times of year as well (i.e. first week of Novermber)?
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 10:27 AM
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November is just about the worst month if the year for steelhead in Oregon.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 11:11 AM
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John Day is a good choice in November...
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandPlanedCane View Post
November is just about the worst month if the year for steelhead in Oregon.
Pretty much the case save for the Coastal rivers. With adequate rain fall mid-November - January end is your time frame.

Fred




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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Alosa View Post
Fred: Does your advice apply to other times of year as well (i.e. first week of Novermber)?
Follow up answer here. In November the only game in town will be the Oregon Coastal streams. Later in the month, the better.
fae




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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldo View Post
Any suggestions on rivers to hit, places to camp, or any non-fishing things we really must see or do? I'd love to hire a guide for a day, but that will have to wait for another trip. Of course, if anybody needs an excuse to go fishing for a day, I'm happy to provide one.

Thanks to all in advance!
There are probably tons of options out there, it really depends on what you want to do. I would focus on maximizing my time on seeing as much as I could with a minimal amount of driving time, that's just me though...

For research, you might try to find a copy of "Fishing in Oregon". It's a pretty good book that covers about every type of water and fish species available in the state. If you are considering the Deschutes, then Scott Richmond's book "Fishing Oregon's Deschutes River" is an awesome companion which covers trout, steelhead, tactics and camping.

I'm going to plug my neck of the woods again, the Columbia River gorge. Only an hour from PDX. Fishing possibilities include the Columbia, White Salmon, Klickitat and the big D all within an hour. Sightseeing possiblities include Bonneville dam and it's fish hatchery, the waterfalls along the gorge, Mt. Hood and Timberline lodge and the beautiful transition from forest to high desert as you head East. Camping sites are abundant.

If you decide to head out here, let me know. I've also sent you a PM.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 02:21 PM
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Hope I got all of the link below.

http://dfw.state.or.us/rss_odfw_rec_report.xml

This the link to the Oregon Fish and Games around the State fishing report(s). Done by Region so just click on the one you want to read. These are updated weekly so the info is pretty darned good.

The other section you want to check are the changes in Fishing Regs. For the columbia river area there are several! (Barbless hoooks, etc).

600Grain's comment about 'pick an area' is dead on. Oregon is big, not as big as Montana, but big enough. As an example, from downtown Medford to down town Portland its a longer trip than London to Paris (about 90 miles longer if memory serves). Or to put it another way, from Medford to Portland it will take you about 6 hours even at freeway speed.




Fred Evans - White City, Oregon
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 05:51 PM
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If you're going to have to head to Newport to get your camping gear you might consider one of the coast streams that have runs of Summer steelhead, like the Siletz which actually enters the ocean just north of Newport. Problem is most of these streams will be very low and clear, the fish will often be stale, and they're not all that easy to hook on the swing. A shot of rain can change all that though, but don't count on rain.
There are lots of rivers that have Summer steelhead in Oregon, but many of them are hatchery fish. If I was coming all that way to hook a steelhead on the swing I'd want it to be a wild fish, so if it was me I'd head for the North Umpqua. The Summer fish arrive there in decent numbers by the beginning of July, and August can be pretty good. Lots of nice camp grounds (I like horseshoe bend)right along the river. The real problem is the heat and sun. Oregon in July and August has pretty much the same weather every day, sunny and warm. We often don't see rain or even clouds from July 4th till late October. With temps in the 90 and even 100's many days, most of the fishing is done early and late with midday hours spent relaxing or sightseeing. In the N Umpqua canyon you can visit waterfalls, hot springs, go swimming, trout fish in lakes or small streams, hike through incredible forests, or drive up to Crater Lake N.P. for the day. Lots of things to do when you're not swinging a fly.
For a real change of scenery the lower Deschutes is a great place to hook a wild steelhead on the swing. It's a desert river, so it's nothing like the east coast, full of sunshine, heat, wind, rattlesnakes, and steelhead. Problem is July and August most of the fish will be in the lower 25 miles of river and you'll have to float, mountain bike, or hike in. The sun is brutal at this time of year, you fish early and late when shade is on the water, then spend the rest of the day looking for shade. It's also extremely crowded, with jet boats and drift boats running the river is big numbers. The competition for prime runs is pretty intense, although it might be nothing like what you experience in the East. I love the lower D, but I stay away in August.
Summer is a great season here in Oregon, I hope you enjoy your trip, and really hope you can hook that steelhead on the swing.

"Perhaps fishing is, for me, only an excuse to be near rivers." - Roderick Haig-Brown
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 05:58 PM
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Thumbs up Dear God, in ...

One long post John's got it nailed.

Welcome to Oregon!
:>)




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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 08:17 PM
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Regarding Alosa's question about early November, I agree that it's a crappy time for steelhead in Oregon, if you're talking about the west side of the state. Early November, however, is great on the east (dry) side of the Cascades. On the lower Deschutes the crowds are gone, the hatchery fish have moved upstream or on to Idaho, bright aggressive natives are still slipping into the river, and the cooler weather makes for good fishing from dawn to dusk. The John Day (my home river) is at it's best, and the Grand Ronde is pretty good as well. I feel lucky to live in a state where I can chase wild steelhead 12 months a year.

Pete Olson

"Perhaps fishing is, for me, only an excuse to be near rivers." - Roderick Haig-Brown
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 08:59 PM
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Why all the talk of November?? November is one of the best months for steelhead in Oregon.

Deschutes, John Day,Grand Ronde anyway that's all beside the point.

We need to be talking abut July..

As stated by someone earlier July and Oregon and steelhead means one thing! The North Umpqua. Tie up a dozen 1/0 skunks a dozen muddlers and a dozen purple perils and you'll be good for a week. Susan creek is certainly the most comfortable camp ground on the river but it's not the only one and there are some free sites.. I believe Susan creek is 14 bucks a night hmm or is it 11?? I can never remember.
July is pretty early for the Deschutes unless you camp at or near the mouth of the river I for one would pick the North Umpqua 10 times out of 10 over the Deschutes especially considering the trip to Newport. There are no real secrets to the North Umpqua other than to go, enjoy and make friends with other anglers.

"Never be afraid to show love" Frank Moore
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 11:07 PM
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I agree with the N U in July. The Deschutes will have some fish. However, the water temp is the big issue in July. The river will be running warm so ethical fishing is limited to the early morning hours, as I related to Aldo in a pm. Also, the big number of strays are not coming in early like they used to when temps were cooler. It's best to fish the Deschutes in the fall. As I understand it, the water temperature pattern is not going to change.
http://www.deschutespassage.com/news/?p=80
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 11:36 PM
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Great read Dillion; not seen that info before. Similar situation here on the Rogue with the Wm. Jess Dam at river mile 157 (Same thing with the Applegate dam/water out flow).

It gets hot, like really hot in So. Oregon during the summer so we can have some of our highest water flows in August/September to cool down the river. High water temps on the Kalamath were a major factor a couple of years back. Killed thousands of returning Salmon.




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