Greatest Summer Steelhead Rivers in the world? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Greatest Summer Steelhead Rivers in the world?

03-21-2004, 08:32 AM
A little trivia help please...

what are the greatest summer steelhead and atlantic salmon rivers of the world?

03-21-2004, 09:14 AM

03-21-2004, 09:32 AM
Rogue and North Umpqua. The first for the shear number of fish, and public access, the second for the beauty and 'toughness' of fishing.

Big K1
03-21-2004, 11:02 AM
The Grande Ronde. Dry fly fishing!


G Ritchie
03-21-2004, 11:43 AM
Depends on what criteria you use for the greatest. For atlantic salmon in Scotland (no experience with atlantics outside Scotland), the Tweed has the largest catch, the Spey is the most rugged of the major rivers, but my choice of the greatest would be the Dee.

Brian Simonseth
03-21-2004, 01:03 PM
North Fork Stillaguamish!:hehe:

And good SM!:hehe:

03-21-2004, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by Brian Simonseth
North Fork Stillaguamish!:hehe:

And good SM!:hehe:

Always thought it interesting the the George Orwell "1984," and the first real impact of the Bolt 'decission' coensided.

In the 50's, 60's and 70's the north fork was my major fishing ground. There, and the waters above Index (Sky),... just a gas to fish ... and you were really quite surprised if you got 'skunked.'

03-21-2004, 04:00 PM
Is there a Summer steelhead run of any sort on the East Coast?

03-21-2004, 06:12 PM
If you are looking for one river in each category, it comes down to:

Alta for Salmon and Dean for Steelhead.


03-21-2004, 06:49 PM
I'll show 'ya but I wont tell! :devil:

03-22-2004, 11:43 AM
The Rogue

The NF Stilly

The Grande Ronde

03-22-2004, 01:57 PM
What a nice day out, it must be close to 70 already this morning.
To be in downtown Seattle today at lunch girl watching would be a beautiful thing indeed!

Oh ya, Northern North Korea has some nice summer steelhead water! Anyone fish there in the last 5 years?:cool:

03-22-2004, 03:49 PM
The next one I fly fish in.


03-22-2004, 06:40 PM
That's tough. I'll say the Cowlitz. Only because of the sheer #'s it gets. When complete crackers who have never fly or gear fished can limit in a matter of hours, must be clogged full. LOL.

03-22-2004, 08:19 PM
gotta say for sheer numbers of fish no river in the world matches the Cowlitz.. However numbers of fish isn't the only measure in my book. There is also the scenery, responsivness of the fish, amount of open water.. and just the overall quality of the experience.

My favorite river has to be the North Umpqua but thats because of the company I have when I am there, and the ethic of the anglers who are there.
On the Deschutes your constantly getting low holed or swamped by jet boats or you flat out can't fine an unocupied run..
The north umpqua has ver responsive fish you never get low holed, it's beautiful and the restruant has sour cream roll ups and grandmas bread. ( insiders info ) The river is always fishable from June 1 - the end of november. although there is another river i like almost as much it just doesn't qualifiy as a great river like the Umpqua does.
Plus the Umpqua has a rich steelheading history behind it. you can look down at the rocks and wonder who made the cleat marks. Zane grey , Major Mott, Col. hayden, Billy Pate? or just some guy who was there before you

03-22-2004, 10:12 PM
mmmmm.. sour cream roll ups

03-22-2004, 10:42 PM
Steve,, that sure sums it up.. I guess it's official North Umpqua greatest summer steelhead river on the planet.:P

03-22-2004, 10:48 PM
Let's see, there is the ............ I decided I best not put it here because OC and Sinktip would poke holes in my waders with the grappling hook used to pull me into the river. Besides, cement wading shoes don't float very well.

03-23-2004, 01:17 AM
I guess the greatest steelhead stream in the world would be the last river I caught a wild steelhead on. My feeling is any river that contains a run of wild steelhead is worthy of some status, hopefully not ESA :rolleyes:

03-23-2004, 10:17 AM
certainly i'm biased,and i wasn't going to post on this thread because of that,but,,,the numbers of summers,and that's what we're talking here~summer steelies~ in the ump,aren't worth the drive to knowhere,or i should say back from nowwhere;85 hundred total,about half that are pelletheads that might go past rock creek;the start of the fly water,whereas the Rogue has steel yearound,there's always a summer in it,on one end or the other,the opportunities on it are endless,great concentration in the upper end most of the year,with a hatchery contingent there for those that are hungry,,waves,loners all year moving thru,remember,there's a ten ft. strip for 50-60 miles on both sides that is owned by you;BLM scenic/wild sections;you cannot be denied access to,every kind of water and surroundings ,from the intimate confines of the upper,down thru the solitude and remoteness of `the canyon',to the bigwater of the coast section,as a river for all the people all the time,she stands alone ,and always will!,if you only knew,,,,,what i've seen in nearly fifty years on her banks there'd be no contest here,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,well,,,,,gotta go,she's waitin';)

03-23-2004, 10:22 AM
Just to make things clear 1/2 pounders don't count they aren't steelhead yet just glorified smolts. remember 20 inches in minimum length for a steelhead

03-23-2004, 10:24 AM
better read your synopsis honey:D

03-23-2004, 10:28 AM
Hammer.. HOMER HAS SPOKEN!! The North Umpqua is the greatest :P

03-23-2004, 10:54 AM
now remember,,,i stocked the ump with Rogue smolts when i was 14,my,my,,whata looong time ago,worked for the f/g commission one summer;we'd pick up a truck load of smoltsat the butte falls hatchery then dump em all over the ump. drainege,incl. the bridge at the `camp waters'so,,have fun with those `rogue 'steelies,,they are responsive,heheheheheheh:hehe: ;) :smokin:

03-23-2004, 12:17 PM
Had never heard of Rogue fish being 'dumped into' the North Umpuqa. As this river is one of fame and glory Waaaay Back I'd have assumed it had a 'natural run' of fish.

Were the fish you put in 'supplimentary' to increase the size of the run(s)?

03-23-2004, 01:41 PM
but,worked for ,or with a man named Terry ,eagle point class of 61',said we were riding in `the fastest stock truck inthe whole state fleet of 16',i had to ware tennies as he'd hand a huge net down to me and i'd havta' run down to the water,unless we dumped em' off of a bridge,like the N ump.,he'd take a temp reading at every stop,and the Damned motor that ran the pump/cooler ran ALL stinkin' day,at the last stop we'd set up a chute like a conrete truck,and wow,when the pump motor was shutdown it' was like a weight was lifted off you,we hauled out of rock ck. as well ate lunch there many times,yes i'm guessing to supplement `catchable' fish,it' was ten `trout' when i was young,i don't EVER remember stocking fish the other direction though,maybe that's why `it' has stuck with me all those years,with the terrible tales of woah;we're outa' fish here,,,this is what makes it tough for me,my whole life you simply went to the Rogue, tossed a worm,caught a steelhead no biggie,no graphite,flourocarbon,corkies,slinkies,just some splitshot,snelled eagle claw hooks,worms ,i used to spin fish as i got older was like a gift from the gods,not having to bait up,fly fishing was just a natural? progression for me,so,it's just been a lifelong part of me,since it's always been there for me didn't SEEM important,,,wasn't until i was so friggen stressed out with my business that i was going to slaughter the emplyees,my wife ,customers,suppliers etc.etc,that i used the river as an escape,,then question arose,about the healthof the river,the fish,it all started to sink in like drainage,runoff so many things ,not just fish,but the whole picture of the watershed,,yes,,`born again',the Rogue'll do that to ya',,,happens every night,to me,,,welll,,anyway,the Mother Rogue soothed out all the bad things ,now it's all good,smilies for everyone!!!,steelhead for everyone!,open yearround,now you know why i didn't want to post?,and i'm not even warmed up,,,hey better get out there,the guys building the bridge in RR city have taken up fishing,,,one guy hooked nine sat. morn,,,but those were just winter's `they' don't count:hehe:

03-23-2004, 02:16 PM
Hammer buddy, yer killin me here.... please call that Honest Realtor you were tellin me about:hehe: :eyecrazy: :hehe:


03-23-2004, 02:35 PM
hey John glad you made it back!,safe i hope,,yes she's on fire!,all levels of the water column;hatch's going off,great to be alive!,something i appreciate,not everyone else's agenda,that's really what self employments all about,,,try a search of Rogue River ,,see what happens,,try any other river,,hmmmm,no contest,so,,if you're serious i will,,,of course it won't be the bro- in-laws since you wanted Honest Realtors:chuckle:

03-23-2004, 05:13 PM
I listed the Rogue for sentimental value. Sorry Hammer she will never be the greatest until they remove the, well you know. I will say no more.

Today the Stilly is the best. No, the Ronde. The Stilly. The Ronde.

Someone said whatever river they are on.

03-23-2004, 05:22 PM
yes i know alrighty,,working on it,just can't figure where to aim the RPG(s) so she drains slowly!!!!:smokin:

03-23-2004, 05:32 PM

I will say that reading your posts about the Rogue has got me almost to the point of coming down and doing a little reconnecting to my old home river. My wife wants to see where I grew up anyway. Who knows I have some vacation time coming perhaps the valley would be a good place to spend a week or two.

03-23-2004, 11:08 PM
i'd do a week here,then shoot to the coast for some springer's,or depending on your time frame,there ,then here,what's the `window of opportunitie'?,better be careful,,she's loaded:hehe:

03-24-2004, 09:49 AM
No worries Hammer. It would take more then those little Rogue steelhead to get me to come back for a long period. The Skagit gave me a 14 pounder last week. There are few strains of steelhead that compare to the Skagit's for size and spirit. They may be fewer of them but the Skagit fish are the best in the world.

OK let me have it.

03-24-2004, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by KerryS

I will say that reading your posts about the Rogue has got me almost to the point of coming down and doing a little reconnecting to my old home river. My wife wants to see where I grew up anyway. Who knows I have some vacation time coming perhaps the valley would be a good place to spend a week or two.

Checked the fish count over Gold Rae dam a couple of days ago; lastest count was March 15th. Over 11,000 winter runs are now in the top 30 miles of river. Gather the Oregon Fish/Game is expecting considerably more given the number still hanging below Grants Pass. Fly fishing conditions (river) couldn't be better.

A good thing.

03-24-2004, 10:25 AM
hehehehehehehe,,,open yearround,,,,no problems here,after all,there MUST be a reason for your residence THERE,,but,some day,i'll get to travel more,just waiting for the kids to leave,?,spring chinook,that's what everyone's talking know,and with the mostly hatchery contingent,and the fact that it's the best tasting salmon,well,,,memorial weekends always HOT,,c'mon:devil: :tsk_tsk: ;)

Sharp Steelie
04-13-2004, 03:45 PM
Great thread - no doubt the Rogue is up there. Every day
spent on that river was incredible. The NF Stilly was an
incredible river in the 80's and never had a bad day on
that one. Not sure what it's like now. These days have to
go with the Columbia river tribs; Deschutes and Klickitat.
Haven't fished the Rogue since the early 90's - bet it is
still amazing. Fly fished just about every river in the
Northwest and have to go with the four above. Not sure
in what order, they are all great.


04-13-2004, 03:49 PM
fish into the upper 30 miles of river. I'm sure a considerable number have already spawned and are 'downers,' but that would still leave a heck of a lot of our 'finny friends.'

Sharp Steelie
04-13-2004, 04:25 PM
FAE, Wow :eyecrazy: , that's just about enough
temptation to move towards the Rogue Valley. ;)

04-13-2004, 06:47 PM
is you show up at the door with a good bottle of single malt and Joan and I will take care of the rest.

Should have added: Joan doesn't drink much (wine) so you and I get to split the 'bootie.'

Sharp Steelie
04-14-2004, 01:38 AM
FAE, sent you an email. Let me know if you
got it.


04-14-2004, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by Sharp Steelie
FAE, sent you an email. Let me know if you
got it.


Got, and long responce this morning. Hope you make it down soon; kids soccer season (but I could be wrong here
:devil: ) doesn't go on for ever and ever and ever. Even if it seems like it does.

04-14-2004, 02:09 PM
18,000 and they're still coming.:smokin:

04-14-2004, 03:08 PM
Sharp Steelie,

I don't recall the NF Stilly being all that great in the 80's. The slides on the Deer Creek tributaries started to muddy the river in the last 70's and there was the massive slide in 1983 on DeForest Creek that nearly wiped out the native Deer Creek fish. Yes, there were hatchery fish above Oso; however, there were problems in the river above Oso too. Boulder Creek run was badly silted, the slide at Steelhead Haven was becoming more active, Skeer's was greatly changed, and Blue Slough and Car Body were silted in.

The only place there was really any action happening on the NF Stilly in the 80's was at Picnic Tables and Fortson's, the terminal areas for the hatchery fish.

Sharp Steelie
04-14-2004, 03:44 PM
Fished the NF Stilly in 1986,87,and 88. Found 3 particular areas
off of highway 530 where you could park and do a lot of hike
and fish. Never really paid attention to the name of any
particular area, picnic table and fortsons sounds familiar. That
was quite a while ago. The NF Stilly is the first river that I
caught a Steelhead on a fly rod. It was also the first time I ever
tried fly fishing for Steelies. It will always be my sentimental favorite just based on that first very magical day.

04-14-2004, 05:07 PM
Wynoochee anyone? :eyecrazy: Once you get zeroed in, it's all over!


04-14-2004, 05:28 PM
care to zero us in?