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Discussion Starter #1
OK - if you could pick one place to live for winter steel where would it be? Keep it to the lower 48.

I have a lot riding on this as this may be where I spend much of my time starting in about a year. A few places come to mind such as the OP, around the Tillamook area and the Rogue area. But I am coming at this with an open mind
 

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Oregonian born and bred. I've fished all ends of the state for all species. I've lived in Portland since day one, except for the college years in LaGrande(God's country for sure). Have a home in Central Oregon and love it there. With all that in mind, and especially considering where your profile says your from, I don't see how you could drive past the Rogue intent on the other two. I've visited Forks and the OP but I wouldn't want to live somewhere where it rains MORE than Portland. And Tillamook area...NO WAY(love those Rivers though), see above and add flooding! Even if you go spend some time in either of those areas, knowing that Southern Oregon was on your list, you'll head back that way. The weather is the number one reason I'd choose S Oregon over the others but if your decision is strictly based on winter fish, someone might be able to talk you in to one of the others. Is this a retirement move or for a new gig? If it's retirement then S. Oregon no question. All the big city needs, and great schools and healthcare, but you're in the middle of nowhere in 15 min. MUCH better socioeconomic scenario around Medford/Ashland too, especially if you're after a new gig. Maybe Oregon isn't best due to taxes and that's where Washington usually wins but there's too many other +'s to list here. PM me if you want more of my opinion. Oregon is a great place period but it's not undiscovered anymore, the state continues to grow. Sounds like an enviable situation you're in, maybe? I want to move where the fishing is best someday but I already live there-can't beat Portland for that! Good luck finding your new home town.
JMHO
CA
 

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My home state minus

Minus the dams and clear cutting. Cant imagine how nice Cali was before we cast our giant shadow. The Shasta basin, the feather, and the countless rivers west of the sierras.
There is a special place up north which has been beat down royaly. It still clinges to life when everything is right. The tears are welling up.
If I had to pick one, it'd be that magic place that rhymes with seal. Oh the seel...... what a fallen gem!!! I popped my steelhead cherry there in 89 with a 20+ lbs buck. I was instantly smitten. Still my favorite. Close your eyes and imagine it before us. Dreaming
 

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Discussion Starter #5
YUP -retirement is in the cards - I plan to sell everything and buy a truck and big 4 season trailer and follow the fish - living in trailer parks- so no property taxes to worry about - I like Oregon for low truck registration and no sales tax. the Rogue is definitely high on the list. My ex-wife's folks lived for many years in Gold Hill so know the area
 

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YUP -retirement is in the cards - I plan to sell everything and buy a truck and big 4 season trailer and follow the fish - living in trailer parks- so no property taxes to worry about - I like Oregon for low truck registration and no sales tax.
Bingo. If your on fixed income, then that's close to a 10% gain right there.
 

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The rain isn't so bad...

...when you can just flip the wipers on while you drive away from it! I want a rolling home someday. You've definitely got the best setup for chasing fish around. The Oregon coast is beautiful and the Tillamook area outs you smack dab in the middle of your other two areas mentioned. Doesn't sound like you really need to put down roots anywhere, I think you're setup to just drive in circles and fish your arse off. Stop by Portland on your way through and we'll get out on the water. Have fun and congrats!

YUP -retirement is in the cards - I plan to sell everything and buy a truck and big 4 season trailer and follow the fish - living in trailer parks- so no property taxes to worry about - I like Oregon for low truck registration and no sales tax. the Rogue is definitely high on the list. My ex-wife's folks lived for many years in Gold Hill so know the area
 

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I am considering relocating back to the PNW. Already retired w/ fixed income and had enough of 6 month winters with -30 degrees. Need access to proper medical facilities, cuisine, culture, long gardening season, fishing and hunting for the freezer. Have no need of combat fishing from shore or boat.

My search is clouded with articles regarding the constant battle over hatchery/wild fish, combat fishing, and decreasing fish return numbers. Things sure have changed since I lived in Spokane in the 80's.

Research indicates that Bend is as expensive as where I am now and southern OR appears to be too hot for me. I'm considering Port Angeles (spent time there) and Sweet Home. I don't need to be in the middle of prime fishing; my Prius will get me to the Basin & Range Province or Northport on the Columbia.

Any thoughts will be appreciated.
 

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I plan to sell everything and buy a truck and big 4 season trailer and follow the fish - living in trailer parks....
RJ
Any thought given to the truck and trailer that you're planning on buying for your adventure? Personally I'm a big fan of fifth wheels given the extra space/privacy afforded and if this is a long term living arrangement involving more than just a few months something to give serious consideration. As far as the tow vehicle.....4x4, gas/diesel, extra cab? I spent a considerable amount of time in an RV both fishing and recovering from wife 1.0, worked out great. ;) Enjoy that freedom.
 

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BC economical?

Rick, is BC out of the question?
I get the impression that the OP seems fairly crowded when prime.
Southern Oregon makes sense as you can "sag" a couple hours south with little pressure when it's right.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
sixrivers - I have a friend (previous president of our Redwood Empire TU chapter) who moved up to BC with her husband a couple of years ago. They live next to the Skeena and I do have an open invitation to visit which I hope to do. But with recent changes up there limiting fishing by non-residents to an extent, not a place I think I will want to settle for an extended time
R
 

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SteelerHeeler - not a fan of 5th wheels as I need the truck bed equipped with a shell for extra storage.

Still researching but for sure the truck will be 4wd, crew cab long bed. My whining friends insist on the crew cab option!!! Likely will be diesel and likely the Chevy (seems to have best review out of the three)

as to a trailer - looking at the Artic Foxes in the 28-30 ft. range with pop outs.

both truck and trailer will need to be used!!!
 

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Assuming 'just you' and a good dog (or two).

SteelerHeeler - not a fan of 5th wheels as I need the truck bed equipped with a shell for extra storage.

Still researching but for sure the truck will be 4wd, crew cab long bed. My whining friends insist on the crew cab option!!! Likely will be diesel and likely the Chevy (seems to have best review out of the three)

as to a trailer - looking at the Artic Foxes in the 28-30 ft. range with pop outs.

both truck and trailer will need to be used!!!
A 34'ish foot motor home with all the "toys" (most come that way anyway:rolleyes:). You just hook up your 'toad' behind. But a 4x4 is a very good choice. AtRiver'sedge RV park in Brookings, OR is a good place in November and December. You really don't need a larger unit than that.

An excellent RV board is "RV.net," think I got that right.
 

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Recently got the Silverado Duramax/Allison 2500 crew cab which is an amazing machine. Also researched and bought a Black Dog 25BKS travel trailer which is made by Outdoors RV in eastern Oregon specifically for the Northwest. All weather closed construction with 76 gallon fresh water tank and 40 gallon gray and black tanks which is great for primitive camping. Prefer the bunks model and use the top bunk for storing fishing gear and bottom bunk for our Springer Spaniel. I recommend checking it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
gcarlson - thanks for the info. That is the truck I am looking at, 2011 or newer. Will check out the trailer
 

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For winter steelhead, not Gold Hill/Upper Rogue; unless fishing for not so fresh fish in April is cool with you. Gold Beach or Brookings are better spots for winter steelhead.
 

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Hi Rick,

Your plan sounds like a fisherman's dream. If or when we were to leave Alaska Oregon would be high on the list of destinations. I've only been there one trip for ten days but already have gears turning for a return visit. I wish you the best in this endeavor and look forward to you posting here when you can.

Ard
 

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The Peninsula has become something of the "de facto" answer to winter steelheading...and as a result takes a lot of pressure when fish are in. Partly because there are very few options left for the Seattleites and partly because that's where everyone else has been told they have to go. It also has a reputation as a "big fish" locale...which it is to some degree, but it also serves up some of the most difficult swung fly steelheading you will participate in. There was a time when I would spend upwards of 80 days every winter fishing out there, but it's gotten to the point now where I begin to lose focus for numerous reasons. At this stage, I'm not sure I'd choose it as a viable spot to move to for winter steelhead opportunity.

I'd probably choose someplace around the Vancouver, WA/Portland, OR area. It puts you a couple hours from the Peninsula should you get the itch, maybe 45 minutes from stuff like the Clackamas/Sandy. Some smaller stuff on the lower Columbia, etc. You also have the option of going to the Deschutes and Klickitat in about an hour during the summer/fall time period. During the middle of the summer you're within an hour of the Cowlitz and a strong run of hatchery fish. Although, if I were in your situation I'd be headed to the Skeena region for the fall months.

The Kalama and East Fork Lewis are pretty close to you in Vancouver, but aren't but a shadow of their former selves...maybe someday. At the current time there really isn't any great fishing right out your back door (20 minutes or less) though, so that might be a deal breaker.
 

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looking at the Artic Foxes in the 28-30 ft. range with pop outs.
Good bang for the bucks. I'm in my second Arctic Fox 5th wheel and my brother opted for an Arctic Fox trailer for the same reason you mention. They do a pretty good job at insulating as well.

The Duramax is very nice indeed however I couldn't be happier with the new Ford 6.7, my '12' has been problem free and has power up the wazoo....
 

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RickJ/Sinner

If you are retired living in a trailer/RV, then "Oregon" is all you have to say. You can relocate to the appropriate river depending on your mood. Towing, the worst drive is probably 4-5 hours to be in a completely different region/terrain. Medford/Roseburg/Coast/Portland all have ample private RV or State and Federal campgrounds. I don't know much about private campgrounds on the Deschutes, but there are Federal dry camps.

Personally, Medford is a little warm in the summer. Portland could be a little warmer. Roseburg is just right for just about everything but a 5 days in August (there will be 5 100+ days, but it is dry). Medford probably has better all around medical care, but if that were a major factor I'd choose closer to Portland or Eugene. Sweet Home is a winner of a town if you are beyond kids/schools, but most variety in SH fishing will be quite a drive. I'm not sure what you would gain.

Not pimping, but generally runs are probably in the best shape of my adult life. That may not apply to every river, but everyone from community wastewater, timber to fishermen seem to be more responsible. Clearly room for improvement, but that will always be the case.

Get the 5th wheel and figure the rest of the truck storage out another way. The room you gain in living quarters will be worth it. It is going to be home.

When you get here and need to borrow a drift boat, let me know. Mine sits unused in the yard too many weeks out of the year.
 
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