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I'm not from Oregon, but I may be relocating to the Roseburg area soon. I here the currant is very strong, and the wading can be quite treacherous along the fly fishing only section of the North Umpqua River. I'm 63 years old, does anyone know how difficult it is. Maybe there is an easier section I should try first. I haven't fished any really swift water in 35 years. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Also is there a fly fishing only section on the South Umpqua River.
 

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Pupil of the river.
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Nu

PM sent David
 

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Discussion Starter #3
David1123

Does anyone know if there are any fly fishing only sections on the South Umpqua River, and how treacherous the wading would be there.
 

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Wading the fly only section of the NU seperates the 'Men from the Boys.'

I'm not from Oregon, but I may be relocating to the Roseburg area soon. I here the currant is very strong, and the wading can be quite treacherous along the fly fishing only section of the North Umpqua River. I'm 63 years old, does anyone know how difficult it is. Maybe there is an easier section I should try first. I haven't fished any really swift water in 35 years. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Also is there a fly fishing only section on the South Umpqua River.
South Umpqua I can't tell you much save for the majority of the fishing I've read about occurs around/up stream from the Casino's (mile post 99 on I-5).

As for the North Fork this is a place "Us Old Timer's Wade With Extreme Caution." :saeek: (Context: I'm 72) Much of the bottom of the river is flat highly polished diamond hard lava rock. Regular cleated boot will just not 'grab and hold.' Here you need Aluminum studs (an easy DIY) or soft Allie bars (Patagonia now sells these as full boot or you can just buy the bars.) Other one hour 'option' is just go to a 'big box' hardware store and get a short bit of Allie bar (1/4 inch if you can get same) and again a 'diy.'

If you want to do a DIY PM me and I'll shoot the 'how' as that's been posted up here on several occasions so I won't clutter up this thread. But you DO WANT to use a wading staff that's at least chest high (58'ish inches is a good number). Water optics in this river are unlike anything I've ever seen elsewhere. You have NO IDEA how deep the water (next step) is going to be unless you 'probe ahead' with that long wading staff.

Two very easy places for us 'Old Guys' to wade/fish is the 'Campground' water up by Steamboat Creek. The other, and seldom fished that I can tell, is the LONG run in the Susan Creek Day Park (about a 1/4 mile down stream from the campground. This is one of the few true 'gravel bar' bottoms in the entire upper river and classic spey rod water.

For a single hander rod my 'fav. place' is just below the fly only water. Most of the 'gear chuckers' will walk across the bridge and fish from the south side of the river. The north bank, with a heavy sink tip/fly, is where we 'fluff chuckers' want to be. Very short cast and high stick nymphing against the far bank where the 'slot' is for fish travel.

Obviously more places you can fish but many of these are a 'one man show' when it comes to 'room.' You can easily tell these as 'The Rock' that people stand on (like they have a second choice:rolleyes:?) will have the hell scuffed out of the top.

fae
 

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as Fred indicated - you will want some sort of cleats - I have used korkers there for years - the problem is the granite is very smooth and extremely slippery plus it has weathered so there are cuts throughout the ledge rock that will go from very shallow to over your head in one step.

If you are in good shape you will likely be ok if you just are careful but a good wading staff in some of these area will help a lot. It requires a lot of walking down steep slopes to get to some of the runs. Just look for the many turnouts on the highway and get out and explore. Typically on that river if there is a car in the run folks move on as opposed to trying to come in above the guy fishing.

Do be careful in the camp water that Fred talks about as it also consists of a lot of ledge rock and can be tricky but his idea of the Susan Creek Rest Area - just below the camp ground is a good one for relatively easy wading.

I do not think there is fly only water on the South Fork - get a copy of the regulations. But I would not hesitate to fish water that is open to all kinds of fishing

Good luck and be safe
 

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The North Umpqua has a wide variety of water types to fish. Some of the wading is very easy some extremely difficult. Getting from the road to the river is almost universally difficult. There are people much older than you who fish the river regularly. If you are in good health and are stable on your feet you'll be able to find places that are safe to fish. I would however recommend some things.

1. start your fishing in the summer and fall when the water is lower.
2. if a spot makes you feel uncomfortable just get out and find another
3. talk to the locals. Joe Howell's shop is no longer open but other people fishing the river are generally friendly and are open to giving advise. Pat Lee at steamboat in knows the river well and can sent you in the right direction if you need easier spots to wade.
4. Lots of runs do not even need to be waded you can fish them from shore. You could literally fish three runs on a Sunday morning on your way to church in a suit and tie... well and a pair of hikers.
know what you are comfortable with and you'll find easy spots to wade and fish on the most beautiful steelhead river on the planet.
 

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I would hesitate to call wading on the North Umpqua "treacherous"; if you feel that what you're doing could be considered "treacherous" I would find another way to fish it, or another place to fish. There are lots of options there, although I think for the unsteady or ill equipped the options are fairly limited. I manage a dunking on that river more frequently than I care to admit, though typically it's in slower water often near to shore when not paying quite as much attention as I should. No big deal in the summer months, a bit of an issue later in the fall... pretty serious problem in the cold winter months. There are a lot of places on that river where I just don't consider wading, and some places where i will only wade at low flows of late summer and early fall. Be especially aware in the bedrock areas as there are some pretty distinct drop offs, though these are easily spotted when the water is low as the water is usually quite clear.

The South Umpqua pretty much shares nothing in common with the North Umpqua other than name. Just looking on a map would give you a few hints: one's in a pretty flat open low elevation valley alongside I-5, the other is in a canyon up in the mountains. There is a winter run in the South Umpqua, pretty much a hatchery run from what I have heard. Summer has great smallmouth bass fishing in the south fork, though again, the aesthetics lack. Haven't yet bothered fishing it personally, though if I lived in Roseburg I would likely have more interest in exploring it some.

If you have access to a boat, there is a lot more fishing to be done on both the North fork, and the main stem of the Umpqua as well...
JB
 

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There's a ton of water of all types on this river. Some areas are very difficult to wade, some areas are like taking a morning walk out on your lawn. Its really the same on all rivers right? Know your limits and find spots that suit you. There are at least 10 pullouts along the NU that will allow the average to below average wader easy access to fishable water.

Hire a guide the first 3 times out and study, don't just try to catch a fish. to me thats the biggest waste of a guide unless you only fish one trip per year. Fish with the guide to learn how to fish the water, not to stick a fish. Otherwise you cripple yourself because when you go out solo you don't know why you caught that fish, you then need the crutch of a guide forever. Hire the guide and pick his brain. Tell him straight off, I want to learn to fish, catching is secondary. He will appreciate the communication and the fish will come in time.
 

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the Umpqua mainstem runs 111 miles from the ocean to the N-S fork confluence. From there, both forks continue initially through fairly broad valleys before heading up into the mountains. Guess which fork?



as noted above, the fisheries differ N vs S, and the winter photo above obscures the main feature distinguishing N vs S - snow melt - which causes a 20-fold difference in summer low flows that affects juvenile fish and ultimately adult runs

Rob and others have given you great advice, just surprised that Rob didn't mention sour cream roll ups!
 

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I also agree with what Rob and others have said above. I fish the North a fair amount, mostly in summer/fall and have to agree, there is plenty of water to choose from. It is good to have waders with cleats, but if one is careful, using uncleated wading boots work too, just pick your spots and know your limits. It is true that there are pools that are dangerous to wade and the highway embankment can also be dangerous in certain spots, but using common sense in picking your fishing holes and taking your time while wading and getting up and around the river and always watching your step is important to prevent unwanted interruptions in your fishing time in the form of injuries or other mishaps.
 

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No worries

David:

I don't find the NU any more treacherous than any other Oregon summer run river. I've went swimming more often on the D than on the NU. We are only a couple of years apart so your age is not an issue. Just pay attention, use a staff and invest in a personal floatation device (I don't use one but probably should.) One of the things that I've always hated about spey rods is that they allow even mediocre casters to reach most of the holding water on this river so use that to your advantage. Pay attention to the poison oak as it is everywhere and the killer bees, Grizz and loup-garou like to hide in it and attack at the least opportune moment.

Have fun and don't worry about the drowning thing. Dying is over rated.

Mark
 

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Pay attention to the poison oak as it is everywhere and the killer bees, Grizz and loup-garou like to hide in it and attack at the least opportune moment.
Mark
Were Wolves! That is concerning :eek: First warning Ive ever noted for Poison Oak.. A VERY valid RED flag for me.. Thanks
 

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SSPey is absolutely right you should avoid fishing the North river entirely! You'll never make it past the smell of breakfast at the Inn. If you fish the river you'll end up broke and fat.
 

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I've never heard of killer bees and grizzly bears in Southern Oregon.
David: They wear Real Tree Camouflage-Poison Oak Pattern, so you can't see them. They are notorious for sticking a branch between your feet when walking down the high bank to the river. Very sneaky but survivable if you are careful.

Mark
 

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Bees and Poison Oak

I can attest to the poison oak being present on the NU. In the fall it turns and adds to the fall colors on the river. Regardless of the temps, I always wear long sleeves and I am careful where I place my hands.

One year at Susan creek there was a bunch of surveyor's tape hanging in some trees along a path leading to a popular fishing stop. It said, "Warning! Bees!" and a arrow pointing in the direction of a very large paper wasp hive. The hive was as large as a beer keg and could be easily hit by a long spey rod on a trail walk. Last year I stumbled onto another paper wasp next that was a big as a basket ball. If you are allergic to their sting, carry an epi pen.

Mark

David:

I don't find the NU any more treacherous than any other Oregon summer run river. I've went swimming more often on the D than on the NU. We are only a couple of years apart so your age is not an issue. Just pay attention, use a staff and invest in a personal floatation device (I don't use one but probably should.) One of the things that I've always hated about spey rods is that they allow even mediocre casters to reach most of the holding water on this river so use that to your advantage. Pay attention to the poison oak as it is everywhere and the killer bees, Grizz and loup-garou like to hide in it and attack at the least opportune moment.

Have fun and don't worry about the drowning thing. Dying is over rated.

Mark
 
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