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North Umpqua or Grand Rhonde

4117 Views 29 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  goochm
With a 6 and 2 year old, it is hard getting away for anything but a day trip. Once a Summer, my wife has given me a multi-day pass. But, because of work, I wasn't able to go in August, and I'm now thinking when/where.

Usually head to the North Umpqua, but was wondering if I should try the Grand Rhonde (never been) in Washington. Is it too early for the GR? If you were to pick between these two rivers in mid September, what would be your choice? I'm anxious to try it, but it may be too early judging by what little I know of it.

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There will be fish in the GR at that time (especially the lower reaches) but the won't be too numerous. I know guys who fish it every year at that time, but it can be very hit or miss. If this is your one trip for the year I would definitely head to the NU over the GR at that time. A few weeks later, though....
Thanks Peteo. Sounds like what your saying and what I've gotten in PMs confirms what I thought. Too early. I'll probably go to the NU as even if I get skunk'd, it is a great time. Maybe I'll be able to talk my wife into GR in Oct/Nov.

Thanks! :)
GR is too early

the Grand Ronde is a Sept/ October fishery, down low.In fact ,late October doesn't get fishy in th canyon below Minam until later than that.
I agree. Last trip was on the 20th of Oct and by then there where plenty of fish as far up as state-line.

North Ump, fly only water. A life experience if you haven't been there. Also a great place to camp/fish/for the kids swim.

Yeah, Fred, I definitely agree. Something about the NU that feels magical. Rolling into the area, I almost get the chills and I always come away feeling great. Even if I don't get a grab. Although landing a fish certainly makes it better.

As far as the GR, I'm going to try and talk my wife into letting me go in October. We'll see. I've heard great things, but have never taken the drive as I've always opted for the NU on an overnight trip.

Thanks everyone. :)
If camping.

Susan Creek BLM camp ground right on the bank of the river. Place is immaculate. Had one trip where the 'campers' a few slots over were 'over indulging.' OSP took them away in hand cuffs. As the squad cars were driving away all the rest of us were standing by the side of the road applauding.

No shxt.
the regs in the fly water on the n umpqua are another reason. if only the g.r. had the same. oh, and the klick, and every other river with wild steelhead !
I'll be mostly in the camp water on Mon/Tue/Wed. If anyone is around and sees a guy (probably) wearing an old/dirty St Louis Blues hat, be sure to say "hi". :)
I'll be at Susan creek for a week starting the 13 or the 14
I'll be at Susan creek for a week starting the 13 or the 14
Looks like we will miss each other. PM me before you leave (so I dont forget) and I'll share whatever I found out while there.
@roballen - we ll be there the 16-20. Brown tundra w/idaho plates, a yellow lab, there will be beer, a guitar, and possibly a fiddle. Some steelheading will be done too. Feel free to stop by
I was there this past weekend. Fishing was tough, the total opposite of the last time I was there a month ago. I rose two fish but didn't hook either. It was in the 90's during the day and around 50 at sunrise. We need some cooler weather, a little rain, or at least some clouds to shake up those fish that have been sitting in their holding lies for the last month or two watching flies swing over their heads. On the plus side the fly water was deserted. I only saw a handful of cars on the river and only ran into two guys on the water. One evening I decided to fish camp water and had it totally to myself and fished every run I wanted to from Mott bridge to gordon and never saw a soul. A total pleasure even though I didn't raise a fish that night. I hope you guys have as enjoyable a time as I did, and maybe you can hook a fish or two.
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Just got back... Talked to many locals, all said the same thing. Slow. Fish seem to be late (or not coming). (FWIW, spoke to around a dozen people and only one had caught anything or hooked up.) However, I saw several active steelhead in various places- more than I've seen the last few times I've been there. Ended up with one tug, one hookup, and caught one fish. Although, based on what others were saying, I spent less time in camp water than I would of otherwise.

The temps were good and no crowds.
I don't think they are late, in fact I'm pretty sure there are plenty of fish in the fly water now. There were quite a lot of them jumping the falls back in early July. These hot sunny days just aren't helping matters much I would guess. I was just up there a week ago for a couple of blissful, challenging, humbling days. Went up with all kinds of fishy mojo in my mind, or so I thought, only to struggle two and a half days without a bite. Just enough to put me back to square one as an eternal student.

I did chat quite a bit with another fellow who had been fishing the river for quite some time and seemed to really know a thing or two. He was most helpful in putting ideas together for me, and he was having some pretty good action himself. Either way, quite a wonderful place to be, and I had come up pretty committed to skating flies regardless of "success". I was just about to head home, when I stopped to check out one more spot on the trail back to the car. I found a feeding fish in a run I have (had) zero confidence in. Took quite a bit of time to work out the presentation then managed to have my first steelhead on a skater absolutely rock my world.

To me the NU kind of emphasizes my thoughts and ideas about steelheading in general: that it's never a numbers game, and that there is never any way to know just when and where those most memorable fish will come. Most importantly, standing in swift flowing waters in beautiful places with curiosity and hope in the heart is good for the soul.
Tight lines,
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Long periods of stable warm conditions seem to make things difficult. it is at those times when i look for spots that are rarely fished. if one or two fish is going to make your week you gotta pull out all the stops... Surprisingly there are quite a few spots that see very few flies. In fact I know a spot that I am the only one who fishes it, at least i have never seen anyone else fishing it and it's a spot that is about 50/50 which is good for the NU.
if you see a red ford focus parked in some obscure pull out next week just ignore that spot it never holds fish...
Hi Jason. I can only go by what the locals tell me as I don't fish the river enough to know one way or another. One of the guys said he visits the Winchester Dam almost daily to check in and based his thoughts on that and fishing experiences this summer.

I hooked up in the camp water and the only other guy that I talked with that caught a fish did it in the camp water as well. So they are definitely around the area. How that compares to previous years.... That is for someone else to say. But, personally, I saw much more activity far downstream and caught my fish down there as well.

The river is a great place to fish. Regardless if anything is caught. Wish it wasn't four hours away from me.
The river is a great place to fish. Regardless if anything is caught. Wish it wasn't four hours away from me.
Better than the 9 hours it takes me :( Still I find myself taking the drive more and more...
So far have fished 2 mornings and one evening. Hooked 3 lost them all so far. One on a skunk 2 on steelhead caddis all above bogus creek
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