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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I have never posted here, but have regsitered a long time ago. I personly know a few of you folks, more of you I dont. I had shared this with other of my fly fishing friends, now I am sharing it here as a means of intrroducing myself to the rest of you.

Its a bit of a journal entry of my recent honeymon.

Cheers fellow anglers,
I had a great time on the North Umpqua River September 5th-7th 2005, glad you weren't there! :)

As part of our honeymoon activities, I have been granted a couple of days to fish the fabled camp water along the North Umpqua River and a 2 night stay at the Steamboat Inn.

In the midst of all the fly tying activities, the Metolius-Deschutes trip and wedding planning, I have not had a chance to stock up on the flies that I wanted to bring with me. I surveyed my Wheatly box and found that I should have enough flies to get me through, perhaps I should ”gasp” purchase a few. I should only need to have three patterns with me, a Green Butt Skunk – spey, Purple Steelhead Muddler and a purple rabbit leech. I do have a few other pet patterns in the box that should get me through.

Tuesday September 6th 2005:
After checking into the Steamboat inn I had a few hours that I could devote to an evening of casting. I discovered that the Station hole was vacant. After a few swings through Station, I snagged up on the bottom near shore, worked my fly free and executed a double spey to the head of the pool. I felt I nice tug on the next swing, set the hook and a fish leaped upstream to escape the Station and my sharp hook. I inspected the fly and discovered that I had broken off the hook, perhaps in the fishes jaws or maybe on the snag. I hope that was not my only chance at a fish I was going to have during the first 15 minutes of fishing the north Ump. Darkness set in and I was alone. I walked through the blackened Forrest to return to camp which felt very eerie to me...the ghosts of fly fishing legends past lurking in the shadows.

Wednesday September 7th 2005:
5:30 am, alarm clock notifying me that I must prepare for a day of fly fishing the famous North Umpqua river. King Sized bed and sleeping spouse argue the alarm clock intentions. This is not fair thinking to myself, I come all the way here to do some fishing and the bed is too comfortable compared to my bed at home, there is no way that I am going to be getting out of this bed, besides its still dark outside. I hit the snooze button.
5:35 am, see 5:00 am entry.
6:00 am, see 5:35 entry.
6:45 am, I could be out fishing, I could be out catching the only fish I might have a chance at.
7:00 am, wife hides alarm clock.
8:32 am, get up and make some coffee, evacuate the previous nights consumption and warm up this cold lazy body.

After a cup or two of coffee and a few morning cigarettes, I finally head off to the camp water. There are a few other anglers occupying some water that I might have started out casting in, but I see a vacancy in Upper Glory pool. I work my way downstream from there, making use of each cast and swing in each piece of fishy looking water. I am casting nicely and enjoy watching tight loops roll of the spey rod.

I return to camp in time for some lunch and a nap before I will head out for the evening session.

2:45 pm: Returned to the river with Kirsten so she could hike as she was getting “antsy” at the lodge. I had a brief nap and was still feeling groggy from the early morning false alarms while she was rearing to go. I had not planned to return to the water until 4 pm.
Most of the camp water was vacant except for the Confluence pool. I positioned myself in an area above Station. I started at Sweetheart which looked fishy enough for me to begin loosening up my casting arm before I moved down to the Station pool.

Kirsten had taken off downstream for a hike as I positioned myself into the small run. She had not made it very far down the path when on my third cast I had snagged a rock. I made a downstream roll cast to try to unpin it, still snagged I attempted another downstream roll cast, no use, I’ll just have to pull hard and see if I can unpin the fly with some upstream pressure. I asserted some pressure when I felt the snag begin to swim a bit, I applied more pressure as the snag began to shake back and forth and then attempt a rapid swim back to the ocean. Within moments of realizing I had hooked a fish I had one hand applying pressure with my doubled-over 14’ spey rod on the fish and the other hand reaching for the walkie-talkie attached to the bib of my waders to alert Kirsten that I had hooked up. By the time that I had alerted Kirsten of the hook-up, I had came unpinned and the fish went free. I yelled a few obscenities as loud as I could, loud enough for my late father to hear I am sure from the heavenly river in which he fished. After that slap, Kirsten decided to stay within a short distance of me in case that it should happen again. Now there is a way to make sure you DON’T catch anything – have your wife watch, but I actually catch more when she does, she is good luck that way – its why I married her!

I had one more brief hook up an hour later ay the top of the Lower Glory Pool, just enough to pull the line free of my hand and Kirsten was witness to the obscenities that I am capable of after losing a 3rd steelhead in an estimated 5 hours fishing time.

7:56 pm: we are headed to the library for horse doovers and dinner.

September 7, 2005
I finally managed to wake up early this morning and head down to the camp water once again at 6:30 am. Upon arriving I am dismayed at the occupancy of the whole mile long stretch of the famed water. I was lucky before having so many pools at my disposal the previous day. I walked downstream to find a good pool that had a no vacancy sign posted in bright red neon; as promised of such great water, there where none to be found. Frustrated that I should have been out an hour earlier to claim first dibs on anything. I walked back up to my car in preparation to driving down to Elavation, the pool in which so many photographs have been taken of and a photo of Jimmy Carter hooking into a steelhead that graces Deke Meyer’s Advanced Steelhead Fly Fishing book by an old friend Bill McMillan( Jimmy was actually standing next to Bill when the photo was taken). I spotted a vacancy in Upper Glory as an angler had moved on to Lower Glory since I walked past. I was second through the run but you take what you get, I had hooked three fish already, I had my fill. I was not able to cast worth ****, I was off, spent beat and as my wife put it, ”You are not about to get spanked by this river” but I admit I was slapped. I muttered a few words of thanks to the river gods for letting me know what those Umpqua Steelhead feel like at the end of my line and left the water. When I got back to camp, my wife was wondering what I was talking about, turns out that the talk button had been pressed to the ON position of the 2 way radio while I was fishing and she heard me curse at my casting faults, admit defeat and a spey rod salute to my father. Glad I didn’t say anything that could have been used against me during my conversations with the river.
...as a side note, I will be re-thinking my choice of hooks.

Cheers and tight lines,
John Newbury

loco alto!
3,109 Posts
John, welcome aboard. My wife and I spend each anniversary at Steamboat to start the summer season, and were camped on the river Sept 3rd - 5th (6th), with more to come. Usually the closest I'll get to camp water is to enjoy a sour cream roll up, could explain why we didn't cross paths. I would've gladly tossed a few flies your way as thanks for the diverted summer crush, the one that never made it into the NWFF article.
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