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Just a note to thank everyone for the advice and recommendations vis the N. Umpqua. Went down last week for 3 days and fished all of the Camp Water down to the Maple Ridge pool.

On the last day I started on the upper boat (at 4:45 AM) - Nothing. Moved to the Lower Boat and fished thru the top half - Nothing, except lots of fish started to roll at a little after 6:00 AM on the far bank under the overhanging. I think they might have been Kings because they were heavy and dark.

When the sun hit the water I moved to long glassy pool below the Mott Bridge because the water there stays shaded till about 9:00 AM. Just as I reached the end of the pool I hooked up to my first ever wild steelhead and brought it to hand. Not big, maybe 4 or 5 lbs. I was fishing my 14' sage outfitted with a RIO windcutter and swinging a black leech pattern when the fish bit. Couldn't get a picture because immediately on taking the hook from his mouth he flipped violently and was gone.

Actually, that's not quite true. I got a picture of the splash and boil where the fish is swirling at the end of my line.

Saw two other fish caught (and released) over the three days I was there. One was on the first day and I was fishing the upper boat when a guy fishing the Station (immediately above me) hooked. I saw the fish come out of the water (good size) and watched as it stripped all of the fisherman's fly line and well into the backing. He got the fish to hand after about 15' - A rather long fight and probably worrisome for the fisherman given the relatively warm waters.

The other fish I saw was in the evening of the last day. My wife and I were standing on the Mott bridge and watched a fisherman bring to hand a huge steelhead - I bet the fish went 10 lbs if it was a lb. Of course, the Mott bridge is pretty high up, but he was right under us. What a magnificent fish.

Finally, about spey casting on the Camp Water. When the water is higher, this must be a gorgeous river for spey casting - Boulders and channels, pools and riffles everywhere. As it was, the river was pretty low. For example, on the Lower Boat (arguably the widest part of the fishable camp water), I put my fly into the trees on the far side twice. I mostly fished the Lower Boat for that reason.

As an aside, I brought my 6 wt single-hander, but didn't use it because the water was so warm. No one I talked to was using anything less than an 8 wt for fear of stressing the fish.

Again, thanks for the advice, everyone. Beautiful river, beautiful fish, weather was great for my wife, but horrible for fishing (hot, sunny, and windy).

Cheers,

Michael
 
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