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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad wants to take a fishing trip with me before hes not able to anymore. He's never fly fished, knees are pretty shot, rest of body pretty beat from 30 years as a firefighter, So no walk and wade trips.

He asked where I would want to go and we could get a guide for a float trip.

Where would you recommend taking someone with no experience but myself being a swing only (when it comes to Steelhead) kind of guy that we could both have a good time on the water? and who would you recommend as a guide? Obviously the experience is more important than the catch. I was thinking Deschutes, North Umpqua, Rogue, or the OP.

or we could take the trout route and go somewhere for a good dry fly trip. Also open to suggestions for that.

Looking at the Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana area. BC if we begin to open up more. Maybe April/May or the end of this year.

Thanks!
 

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if i was going to take my pops on his first fly trip, it would not be Belize, 馃ぃ, BTDT. i would probably do a warm up trip on the lower Sac, with either ACflyfishing or Fish Kennedys, then work from there. i would probably then head to the A section of the Green for some dry fly action and then would jump up to the steelhead rivers since he would have his fill of catching fish by then so he would be ready for the long wait for the steel, probably first starting with the Rogue and then graduating to the NU, all in all no matter where, i know we would be having a good time, fish or no fish. Days on the river and nights in camp with a few brews around the campfire and the long talks on the drives to and from the different destinations, its what is about anyways, spending those last adventures with him, cameron
 

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By 鈥渘o walk and wade鈥 I assume you mean 鈥渂oat in to a spot and wade鈥 is OK?

There is a Salmon fly hatch on the rogue in May - been trying to hit that one with some friend for a couple of years. The rogue area also has lots of fairly easy access for DIY, and many great guides - quite a few of which are adept at and enjoy introducing newbs to Spey with on the job training. You might even be able to do both dries and swinging on the same outing. If not the optimal place it could potentially be a very fun one in May.

Much of the Deschutes - while gorgeous - is full of hard wading due to the jagged volcanic rocks. Still, I have heard the guides there talking about finding 鈥渙ld man sand鈥 when desired. Finding a spot like that on you own might be a challenge. Umpqua is not ideal for the vertically challenged either, and is all walk and wade in the fly fishing area.

There are some epic hatches in Idaho and Montana a little later, and wherever trout are you can swing too. The line of hatches moves north as the year progress, so I assume many are somewhere south of mid Montana in late may.

Hope you have a great experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
By 鈥渘o walk and wade鈥 I assume you mean 鈥渂oat in to a spot and wade鈥 is OK?

There is a Salmon fly hatch on the rogue in May - been trying to hit that one with some friend for a couple of years. The rogue area also has lots of fairly easy access for DIY, and many great guides - quite a few of which are adept at and enjoy introducing newbs to Spey with on the job training. You might even be able to do both dries and swinging on the same outing. If not the optimal place it could potentially be a very fun one in May.

Much of the Deschutes - while gorgeous - is full of hard wading due to the jagged volcanic rocks. Still, I have heard the guides there talking about finding 鈥渙ld man sand鈥 when desired. Finding a spot like that on you own might be a challenge. Umpqua is not ideal for the vertically challenged either, and is all walk and wade in the fly fishing area.

There are some epic hatches in Idaho and Montana a little later, and wherever trout are you can swing too. The line of hatches moves north as the year progress, so I assume many are somewhere south of mid Montana in late may.

Hope you have a great experience.

Ya, He mostly just cant do miles of walking or a day of to-and-from each pull out down to the river. So a trip that he can fish from the boat or at least get to each spot a little easier is what we'd shoot for.

Im thinking a trout trip might be better suited, and i'm not apposed to fishing dries. I just really want to avoid an indicator. I think it would give him more of a fly fishing experience
 

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I was going to chime in and say if his knees are shot then I wouldn鈥檛 take him to the North Umpqua unless he likes swimming.
My suggestion would be the Rogue if you want steelhead, he can fish from the boat there with nymphs. Would be tricky for a guide to manage a swing angler as well though I imagine, perhaps get in touch with an outfitter and ask the question? Ashland fly shop were excellent for me when I had a trip out there
The D is no fishing from boats so he鈥檇 have to wade to fish there but a float trip would be nice if that鈥檚 an option.
Tough one to balance but a great idea.
 

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I would take him trout fishing. I know you said fish don't matter but you are way more likely to find success and create some memories for you two. If he has never fished the odds of him catching a steelhead aren't great. I'm sure the time together would be memorable but catching some fish will make it all the better. I'd go to Montana during the summer. Pick a couple of the famous rivers (Madison, Yellowstone, Big Hole) and float them all. The dry fly fishing will be great and he should be able to catch a few. If this really is one of the last trips you will take together get a couple of nice pictures to keep.
 

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I鈥檓 with the recommendation for the lower Sacramento. Float fishing. Minimal casting skills required. Likelihood of landing big trout very high. Great scenery. Easy access. Many competent guides.
 

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April/May time frame, I'd be thinking trout, not steelhead. Trout fishing in montucky can be EXTREMELY good, hungry fish that have not seen feed or flies for most of the winter are going to be very angler friendly. The variety and density of hatches will build starting in March and peak in early June when runoff gets going. The Madison and Gallatin are great options with huge hatches and lots of water to choose from, all of which will be productive. The Missouri and Big Horn make for awesome back ups should conditions not be favorable on the aforementioned rivers. Additionally, a day in the upper mo(The land of the giants) should not be missed. Fish in the two foot class are pretty common in that stretch of water and trout spey program is getting real traction.
Hope this helps.
 

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being your dads first time, a trout tailwater where he can side drift a bobber rig from a drift boat, or easy wading and indicator nymphing is what will likely get him the most action. lucky for him, the majority of guides will prefer to side drift all day. problem for you is it might be as fun as watching grass grow. if you do ALOT of research and ask VERY specifically, you can find the right place and the right guide where you can both be happy. most people never spend the time or do the research, and it is a crapshoot as to the kind of trip they have. if you are considering montana, feel free to send me a message.
 

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Fall River in Northern CA can be great dry fly fishing especially with the Hex hatch early summer. You can only fish it from a boat as it鈥檚 a big spring creek. From there, the upper sac has a few campgrounds right on the river with fairly easy wading that can be great in the evenings for Golden stones and caddis.
 

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Ya, He mostly just cant do miles of walking or a day of to-and-from each pull out down to the river. So a trip that he can fish from the boat or at least get to each spot a little easier is what we'd shoot for.

Im thinking a trout trip might be better suited, and i'm not apposed to fishing dries. I just really want to avoid an indicator. I think it would give him more of a fly fishing experience
I鈥檓 thinking then that the Rogue in late May might work for you. The lower sac mentioned by a few is one of the best tailwater fisheries in NA, and is only a few hours drive south from the Rogue, but is predominantly bobbers from boats. You can also swing for trout but it is very hit or miss there doing that in my experience.The Fall mentioned above (nearby) is superb spring creek fishery and you can easily avoid the bobber scene there both with dries and swingy/strippy stuff from a boat. I will also say if you are prepared to go even further south May is when the Shad on the lower sac, and several other rivers north of Sacramento are ramping in from the ocean to spawn. Shad are some of the most fun (and in nice weather) that you can have swinging, and in most cases guaranteed numbers regardless of skill. They are super strong ocean going fish, go on runs, and even occasionally jump. I鈥檝e had several of my most transcendently pleasurable fishing experiences swinging for them with good friends. So another good location in mid to late May might be in and near Redding CA just south of Medford OR and the rogue. Of course if you go at the end of the year you could more easily do the steelhead thing at many, many other places all around the west coast.
 

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Go to the South Fork of the Snake River and stay at the Lodge at Palisades Creek. You can fish drys or nymph for rainbows, browns, or cutties depending on what section of the river you fish. Ideal conditions for a newbie, but still lots of fun for an experienced angler. Pretty much guaranteed a good time.
 

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who was the guy on here that used to guide the Williamson/Klamath? wouldn't be steelhead, but he swings for lake run trout.....
 

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I vote for the Salmon Fly hatch on the Rouge (May / June). I took my brother for a birthday trip. His response was "we should make this an annual trip" Big dry flies, easy to see, nice float, don't need waders if you're just going to fish from the boat. Big cutties and rainbows. I wanted to swing a little, but was in shorts. Water was flipping cold at the beginning of June and I couldn't take the wet wading. We fished with Stuart Warren. I would fish with him again. He swings too. I'm sure you could pull over at a few choice spots and swing up some trout.
 

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I might suggest the Upper Sacramento near Redding and if in late May or June you can also tie a trip from there to the Fall River. The Fall River is great to fish from a boat and you can fish dry flies, fish nymphs, and if you time it right catch the Hex hatch. If you want a nice lodge experience, check with the Clearwater House out of Burney on the Pit River. Wonderful place to stay and they have guide service for the Fall River, Pit River and Hat Creek. An evening on the porch after dinner is quite nice there. If you speak with them they can probably put together a few days that will work for your dad. I really think the Fall River is perfect for what you are looking for and it鈥檚 still less than two hours away from Redding and great out of the boat fishing for great rainbows on the Upper Sacramento River. You can also check with the Fly Shop out of Redding for trips and recommendations. May/June is really not good steelhead timing.
 

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One other thought if you wish to have a chance at both trout and steelhead is if you time your trip for the fall (and might be better this year given you might still face Covid restrictions this May), is to look at a fall trip to Redding for both trout and steelhead. The Fly Shop out of Redding, or I would recommend Confluence Outfitters (a guide service), can set you up with trout/steelhead floats on the Sacramento and float trips on the Trinity River for steelhead. The Trinity is only about an hour out of Redding and is a beautiful river to float in the fall. October and November are prime times for summer/fall run steelhead on the Trinity. If I was to pick a time, mid to late October is perfect there and the fall foliage on the river is really nice. If you ask your guide, they can do a combination nymphing and swing float for you, where you can nymph from the boat but get out and swing some runs as well if you want. I鈥檝e done that several times on the Trinity. I鈥檇 probably recommend you contact Andrew Harris at Confluence Outfitters and tell him what you are looking for and he could put together a trip for you with one of their guides. You could do 1-3 days on the Trinity for steelhead and 1-3 days on the Sacramento (between Redding and Anderson) for your trout fix. My first trip to the Trinity is how I became hooked on steelhead. You can fly into the Sacramento airport and Redding is a very easy two hour drive up Interstate 5. PM me if you have any questions.
 

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Maybe I am too late to chime in... but, several great ideas noted above. Lower Sac for trout on a drift boat. That's as close to a guarantee for a good time and plenty of big fish as anyone will ever get, especially for those new to fly fishing. A guide once allowed me to take my son and another kid on the boat that had never fly fished. We switched off so only 2 people were ever fishing at the same time, and we each caught 20+ fish, nothing smaller than 15", and all very fat. You can swing dries in the evening for explosive takes, long runs and leaping fish. It's pretty incredible. It's been known to make a grown man scream.
Shad is another great idea. The fish are in now, and I just had my second best shad day ever. A person has a reasonable chance of catching a bunch on first day with a spey rod from shore, and a very good chance from a boat , even if they never used a fly rod before. It would be a fantastic bonding time with your dad. A very precious time that would be forever cherished.
Good luck, and enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Maybe I am too late to chime in... but, several great ideas noted above. Lower Sac for trout on a drift boat. That's as close to a guarantee for a good time and plenty of big fish as anyone will ever get, especially for those new to fly fishing. A guide once allowed me to take my son and another kid on the boat that had never fly fished. We switched off so only 2 people were ever fishing at the same time, and we each caught 20+ fish, nothing smaller than 15", and all very fat. You can swing dries in the evening for explosive takes, long runs and leaping fish. It's pretty incredible. It's been known to make a grown man scream.
Shad is another great idea. The fish are in now, and I just had my second best shad day ever. A person has a reasonable chance of catching a bunch on first day with a spey rod from shore, and a very good chance from a boat , even if they never used a fly rod before. It would be a fantastic bonding time with your dad. A very precious time that would be forever cherished.
Good luck, and enjoy!
Nice man. Where about are you fishing for shad? Went on the American river yesterday but it was swarmed with people floating the river. Couldn鈥檛 get any casts in and called it A day.
 

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I fished the lower river last week, but heard fish were all the way up in mid-river, Sunrise. I drive 2 hours to shad fish, so turning around is not an option for me. My only option is to manage my expectations. I expect shad fishing to be a 'social ' event. I even invited someone who wasn't catching anything to fish the same seam where I was catching a lot - not expecting he would wade across the river and plant himself right where I was casting. Sigh. And you have the bobber crowd who will horn in on you as soon as you hook one. For solitude, I go to the high country or some remote area, but for American River shad, I bring a different mindset.
 

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I fished the lower river last week, but heard fish were all the way up in mid-river, Sunrise. I drive 2 hours to shad fish, so turning around is not an option for me. My only option is to manage my expectations. I expect shad fishing to be a 'social ' event. I even invited someone who wasn't catching anything to fish the same seam where I was catching a lot - not expecting he would wade across the river and plant himself right where I was casting. Sigh. And you have the bobber crowd who will horn in on you as soon as you hook one. For solitude, I go to the high country or some remote area, but for American River shad, I bring a different mindset.
right on. I am coming from 1.5-2 hrs as well. from the east bay. I had hit about 4 different spots between 10-3pm before calling it. no fish for me that trip. Rossmoor and el monto were packed with floaters
 
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