Tales From The Umpqua [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tales From The Umpqua

10-28-2003, 12:23 AM
SUN. 10/26 - 7AM
Im sittin outside the Idleyld Trading Post, Coffee and a muffin, and a pen. A cold breeze filters out of the East as the sun starts to brighten the sky. I slept under the stars last night. Glad I packed that sleeping bag liner! But let me back up, if you will, to yesterday.
It never ceases to amaze me how quiet this river can be in October, and how GOOD the fishing can be!
I started the day just above Susan Creek. Had a few strikes here and there, but it was the "bite'n spit", no hook ups. It was cold, and I was bundled up. The wind could not seem to make up its mind blowing from every direction. Around 11 am, and with no X's on my dance card yet, I broke for lunch and decided to change venues. I made a sandwich and kept an eye on the sky. A meager Midge hatch had begun, but there were some larger flys about, but to far away to made an I.D. I was thinking October Caddis, those big brown almost pre-historic flying machines, and a short walk streamside confirmed that. Without a large Caddis in my box, I decided to try a #12 Red Humpy. I just kept thinking red might do the trick. The bottom of the river still had remains of last months run. I thought the color might still be on those little fishy brains.
My bet paid off! Upon my return to the river in the afternoon, I made my casts, allowing the rivers currents to pull the fly below the surface. The reward was an 18" Cuthroat of medium girth, a good fighter! Later towards the evening, a series of boulders held some wild Rainbows that kept me busy till almost dark. I colected some kindling on my way back to camp, and built a campfire that kept me warm till an early bedtime of 8pm. I lay in my bag reflecting on the day, the sound of the rivers everpresent journey coming through the trees.

Sunday AM
I drove up a ways to try to find places that I have not frequented in the past. Access to the South bank is provided in spots by the North Umpqua Trail System, and from "over there" its like a whole different river. The morning was slow again with few strikes before 11 am. The wind was from the East, light but constant. Only casting across or slightly downstream worked.
After playing "crazy 8's" for a while, I stoped for a sandwich and a rest. The water temp was mid 40's, but the air had gone 60ish in the sun, just classic! I finished my lunch and got into a routine of 3 casts, 3 steps upstream. I was hittin a few when I came to a bend in the river. I looked up to see what the next stretch might hold. It looked rough and un-inviting, With little casting room and only a few boulders that I might chose from, either to fish from or behind. The water above this stretch actually looked better, and I decided that a hike might prove this out.
But after only about 150 feet, the water color, speed, and my attitude all changed for the better. Its funny how a river can do that to itself, and to you. I came upon an un-imposing rock the size of a sub-compact with a trailing end that dipped below the surfacc creating a eddy area behind it of about the same size. I spent the next 30-40 mins. pulling 5 rainbows out from behind that rock. Each fought harder than the one before, with the last strike almost Thermo-Nuking the fly! I swear it was glowing!
At that point I walked away, convinced I was not worthy of a min. more of this religous experience! With the afternoon sun beginning to arc towards the west, the colors of the Oak and Maple seemed to jump right out of the forest in bold splashes.
Upstream a ways I found a chute. The bottom was lined with stones the size of your fist, colored copper, green, and grey. I was tired, feeling I had enough. But here was this chute, and just a few more casts wouldnt hurt.
On the third cast, he appeared as if by magic, from the stones below. And turning 180*, so tail and head were side by side, to grab that fly backside. I waited a split second to set the hook, and he proceeded to empty my reel of its contents! Sort of like hooking an F-18 with full afterburners, just no detectable sonic boom. All at once he made a 90* turn moving out into mid stream. The fight was on. We did the empty the reel thing a few more times before he finally gave up.
But get this! When I reached under his belly to cradle him while I removed the hook, the fly just fell out of his mouth! The hook was never set! Just weged in a cranny in his upper jaw!
How big? From the tip of my middle finger to the inside of my elbow, 18+ inches, a stocky Bow of Destinction!
On the way home I ran the reels over on my head, as the sky turned streaks of Salmon pink and pale blue.
I do this flyfishing thing, because there is nothing in this life that brings more pleasure. There are few things closer to real truth than being in wild places, casting flys at pools, aand hoping for a rise. A few more days remain for Trout on the Umpqua, so like I have said in the past, go ahead, call the boss and tell him your sick, then hit the water! Dont worry, your job will be there when you get back....(he he) Shhhhhh.... Are those tails I hear splashing?

P.S. The music for this jaunt, Big Sandy and the Fly-Right Boys,
It's Time!


10-28-2003, 12:39 AM

10-28-2003, 12:43 AM

10-28-2003, 12:52 AM

10-28-2003, 12:58 AM
Your standin waist deep, 5pm, just you and the Caddis. And your thinkin to yourslf "Damn"

10-28-2003, 01:08 AM
They wait for you, just beyond the trees!

Dble Haul
10-28-2003, 08:06 AM
I'm supposed to sit here and concentrate on my work after viewing that? ;)

Thanks for sharing.

11-13-2003, 09:45 PM
Thanks for a great story. Most of us will never see the Umpqua but there for a minute I was right there. Very cool. Thanks.

11-13-2003, 11:16 PM
I loved it!... and the photo's are really nice... a bueatiful place that's for sure.

11-14-2003, 04:46 AM
Nice work. That's why I'll never give up my trout roots. Something about a trout taking a dry fly is hard to beat. FishHawk:)

11-14-2003, 05:45 AM
Deerhaawk -

That's a classic, let's talk about putting that into article form for the Chronicles page!

11-14-2003, 08:38 AM
You took me from my desk to a far far better palce.

Thanks I needed it.

11-14-2003, 09:12 PM
the pics

1. looking up into the boundary pool from sox creek

2. looking downstream into rip- rap ( elevation) from Burnt creek

3. Boundary pool

4 Swamp creek

5 this ones tough either walking into fox creek looking upstream or walking into from road side wright creek looking upstream..

11-14-2003, 09:14 PM
Spend a week (or two, or three) there during the summer. Even you wife doesn't care if you hit fish.

Wonderful place to be.

Robert Meiser
11-15-2003, 11:58 AM
Great Photos Deerhawk...Thanks for sharing !

Very few rivers on the planet as beautiful as the North Umpqua.

Very thankful it's so close to home !

Good on Ya....Meiz

11-27-2003, 10:41 PM
Super story and pics! I will fish that little piece of sacred water before I die, so help me. That picture of you alone in that beautiful pool is to die for. Much thanks for taking the time to write this all up for us--I know how much work is involved.
But fish bite better on the flies of guys who have shared. Remember that!
Bob, the Put Me In Your Pocket Next Time.:)