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Hi All,

Looks like I'll be spending 3 days on the N. Umpqua (at the Steamboat Inn). Now, I've never fished this river and the only information I have is that which I've been able to glean from the various web sites, and John Shewey's N. Umpqua River Journal.

Needless to say, I'm very excited. So, here are my questions:

+ Does the river lend itself to spey casting? From what I've read, my guess is that to make the most of the trip, one should be prepared with both single-hander and 2-hander systems. My preference, tho', is to fish 100% of the time using my 2 hander.

+ Evidently, this stretch has a lot of accessible water, i.e., not requiring a drift boat. However, would there be a significant advantage to using a drift boat to float between the holes?

+ Never having fished this water, I would like to hire a guide for one of the three days. Would anyone care to recommend someone - Especially a guide who has experience spey fishing for steelhead on the N. Umpqua?

+ Finally, I arrive on the 16th and depart on the 19th. The 17th I plan to devote to a guided trip. However, the afternoon of the 16th and all day of the 18th are open. If someone would like to join me I'd very much enjoy the company.

Cheers,

Michael
 

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(1) A great spey river. I never use a single hand rod there anymore.

(2) Don't even think about a drift boat in the fly water. The famous water is off-limits to boats during summer steehead season anyway...not sure when that starts. The less famous but still potential steelhead water doesn't allow boats in the morning and evening prime times. Bottom line, forget the boat.

(3) I don't have suggestions--ask the Inn or call Joe Howell at the Blue Heron fly shop for recommendations, since he no longer guides. Be sure and explain how you want to fish...spey rod, dry flies, etc.

(4) Are you talking June? You'll be pretty darn early for the summer fishing, although there should be some steelhead around. The season is generally considered to start around the 4th of July.

Check the regs...you won't need/can't use weighted flies.

The Inn is awesome. We used to stay there for our anniversary every year, but with growing kids it's a bit expensive for us presently. We still get lunch there frequently.

You may get some responses from others more knowledgeable than me, since there are clearly some of those on this board, but the N.Umpqua is one of my regular destinations from Portland. I mostly fish the N. Umpqua later in the summer and fall, so any advice I have would have to be tempered with the season and water levels, but feel free to e-mail me.

--Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #3
>(1) A great spey river. I never use
>a single hand rod there anymore.

That's very good news!

>(2) Don't even think about a drift boat
>in the fly water.

Cool.

>(3) I don't have suggestions--ask the Inn or
>call Joe Howell

Thanks, I'll do just that.

>(4) Are you talking June?

No. July 16th, 17th, and 18th.

>The Inn is awesome. We used to
>stay there for our anniversary every
>year

Yup. It's our anniversary also. We intend to make this an annual event.


Thanks, again
 

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N. Umpqua

Don't go with out spikes on your boots. Very, very long ones. This is a bedrock river with a lot of algae. It is the slippiest place that I have ever fished.

Also I beleive that the new regs forbid any kind of weight in the summer. They are trying to stop the dregging of the deep resting holes.

One of the most beautiful rivers in America, or world for that matter
 

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Luv2Spey,

Pay heed to nevada caster's advice. I was remiss in not mentioning that. I have never felt a big need for studded footwear anyplace else, and I don't use studs anyplace else, but they are a huge benefit on the N. Umpqua, and using them is autmatic for me there.

There are places on the river where felts are fine, but you will have to greatly edit the water if you use only felts. There are some famous holes, such as Kitchen, you would probably not even attempt to fish without spikes--you'd start across, and quickly say, "No way!" There are places where a dunking is not only possible, but probable, and dangerous.

That said, for many years most anglers just used Korkers sandals over their boots, and many anglers (including myself) still use Korkers instead of studded boots. Joe Howell usually has the older style--better, according to him-- Korkers sandals in stock, although he was out of the right size last fall when I needed a new pair. I subsequently ordered a pair when he got them back in. I certainly recommend the Korkers sandals if you don't have studded boots already.

--Bill
 

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1 Yes it's an excellent river for a spey..
2. don't even think about the drift boat
3. thr guide?? that could go either way if you have steelhead fished much before I'd recommend skipping the guide. All the road side turnouts lead to good holes and though some are hard to fish they are easy to read. If you get one I recommend getting Joe Howells advise on who to hire.

4. Thats an excellent idea. split it cost of a guided day with someone..:)
 

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N Umpqua guide

There's something distinctly magical about the N Umpqua - make sure you return for a trip in September/October - fishing that river in the fall is just about the most glorious fishing to be had this side of British Columbia in my opinion (and I haven't been to BC yet...).

Dave Hall of Umpqua Feather Merchants guides the river and is as pleasant, talented and forthcoming a guide as you will find - he also paints most of the illustrations in Fish and Fly - I imagine Joe Howell has his number.

As Shewey points out many times in his book, the camp water gets really busy, there's plenty of great water either side of it ..
 

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I fished the N. Umpqua for the first time believe it was April/02. Ate dinner at the Steamboat but stayed in a motel to save $. Used my brown Sage 15' 8wt and my studded shoes worked just fine. Was guided for two days by Dave Hall. He oversees Umpqua fly production world-wide. Don't believe i've been guided by a graduate of an art school before! Dave knows the river, can help with your spey casting and was just first rate! The third day was guided by Dave's buddy, Larry Levine who was just fine. You are in for a real treat. Has to be one of the prettiest places in the PNW and remember, you will be fishing waters first made famous by Zane Grey---indeed, many of the holes/pools were named by Grey or his staff when he/they were there back in the 20's. Happy to give you more info if needed. [email protected]
 

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You mean int infamous Zane Grey :). Apparently he wasn't too well liked by the locals and that is the reason no pools are named after him.
Luv to spey

shoot me an e-mail since I most likely wont be there that week I can give you some more specific advice.
 

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A couple of pointers. The entire fly fishing strech is pretty accessable along the highway but can at times be pretty crowded. There is a trail on the other side for much of the length if you do not mind walking and you can get away from crowds some doing this. Just more difficult to cover as much water as from a car.

A note on etiquette on this river - folks rarely will fish a run if someone else is there unlike some rivers where this is not an issue and folks just rotate through. Also it is frowned on to camp on a run - fish it through, then move on. In Camp Water where the runs sorta run together it is safest to go in above someone who is fishing - don't assume just because you go in several casting distances downstream you are not going to be frowned at - certainly ask before you hop in anywhere there is a fisherman already present.

The whole issue of weighted flies and indicators really started because some of the indicator guys would just camp on a run and hammer fish they could see. I don't think any of this would have come up if fishermen respected the special etiquette that has evolved on this river over the years!!

Don't forget you polaroids - road spotting can be very effective. Bring a pair of binoculars to help spot fish.
 

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Definitely a great spey river. Even during the crowded days in July you can still find great water that is unfished, especially if you hike the bank across from the road. During July you can find the water to be warm, then it's best to fish early and late in the day and if you fish during the day concentrate on shaded areas. Also, don't be afraid to fish big flies, size 2 and up to 2/0. Flies have to be unweighted, but you can use sinktips to get deep. A changeable head line comes in handy because of all the different types, speeds, and depths of holding water you'll find in any stretch of the river. Have fun, it's the maybe the most beautiful steelhead river in the world and even when I go fishless I still enjoy just being there.
 

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Timing

Hello,
I would say your timing is actually o.k. I have fished the river for years. I typically start to fish it when I know that there is 150-300 fish over Winchester. Later, the fish are greater in numbers, but the pressure is also greater. I have had some of my best days in early June. The fish are super aggressive and have not seen tremendous pressure.
Spey rods are great on the Umpqua, however, be sure that you are fishing the water that is close to you as well. On runs such as Famous, Deadline, Sawtooth, Boundary....well, all over actually, the fish can be within 10-15' of you. I watch people fishing two-handers and missing all of this water. Make sure you cover it... It can be well worth your time and effort to bring along a 10' rod.
E
 

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My year is defined by where the fish are or how long until they are in the North Umpqua. I know others Rick and Rob probably fish it more but I sitll consider it my home river even though I live in Seattle. You are in for a treat. The people at the the Inn are nice too. Don't bye Jim's tough guy appearance he is a nice guy and Do yourself a favor at least one evening do the fisherman's dinner. It is a treat.

This will be good time to be there. It could be really warm but it could be just right too. One thing that people get hung up on is that they only stay in campwater. Do some exploring. Take mental notes about where you see rigs pulled off the road or heck just fish any water that looks good. You can definately spot fish on the river but don't spend your whole day doing that.

I love the NFU. I can't wait to make my trip down there.

JJ
 

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ohh and another thing in the heat of the day drive up steamboat creek and watch the fish jump the falls..
 

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Peteo and sink tips

Peteo,
I have not seen the regs for this year, but I was under the impression that weighted flies, sinking lines and sink tips were all banned during summer fishing. Can you straighten me out on this?
Thanks
 

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sinking lines OK this year (no lead core allowed, though). Unweighted flies only.
 

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Steve is correct. The NU regs require an Atty by your side.

Last year it was dry lines/unwted flys only. This year you can use a sinking line/head but only unwted flys.
fae

Now there's a job Hal Eckert (PMflyguy) could jump on!:D
 

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Actually last year you could use tips too but no weight on your flies. You can fish any way you want from down deep with a tip to skating dries. That is truely what makes it a great place.

JJ
 

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I just checked again to be shure and the regs are the same as last year. Unweighted fly (one), no metal core lines, and no indicators. I like the change as I'd rather cast a sinktip than a weighted fly any day.
 

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some people disagree with me but the new regs are awsome. There is a lot les competition on the rivr and the atmosphere is a lot more friendly and cordial.. This has been a great thing for the river and for the sport in general
 
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