N.Umpqua--knowledgeable(?), but lousy fisherman... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: N.Umpqua--knowledgeable(?), but lousy fisherman...

09-17-2004, 08:48 PM
is I.

Got back yesterday from fishing the N. Umpqua for 3 days. In August I landed 4 out of 4; this trip was the other way as I farmed 3 out of 4.

Two of the "lost" fish were completely my fault. For a change, I didn't yank the fly away from the fish when it took, but I still messed up. One fish was a looong cast away (for me and most; est. 90-100 feet of cross-hand single spey without much D-loop room), and I had to shoot line to reach the lie. I had so much slack when the fish took that even 14 feet of rod couldn't move enough line to hook the fish well. Furthermore, I had hooked a rock with that fly earlier in the day, and the hook point was not real sharp. I intended to sharpen it when I got back to my truck, but spaced it out. With this pathetic combination of lack of skill and preparation, it's a wonder I had the fish on for 5 seconds.

Another fish grabbed the waker straight downstream from me on a short line--the exact situation where one SHOULD have some slack line, but I had none, and again the fish came unbuttoned within seconds.

The third lost fish just came off after the battle was nearly over--I claim it wasn't my fault on that one!

Still, I enjoyed myself immensely. Four hookups including 3 on a dry, several more steelhead rises to the waker, some more unknown rises, innumerable steep banks and stiff currents negotiated without serious injury, all add up to a great time. The only negative was that I was supposed to fish 4 days, but I suffered from migraine 1 day so most of that day was lost, except...

Perhaps my migraine was fortunate because I ended up spending a couple hours sharing with and listening to Loren Grey, Zane's son. I know the stories about Zane weren't always favorable, but Loren was very nice, and it was great to hear some first-hand accounts of earlier days on the Umpqua.

I made another new friend my last night...Steve Nelson (WintersHope) from Wisconsin. A great and knowledgeable fisherman, he has an article about the Deschutes (and some gorgeous flies!) in the Art of Angling Journal Volume 2, Issue 1.

Now I'm home, resting my bones, tired from my own fishing and from climbing into and out of remote holes with Umpqua FishWatcher and friend Lee Spencer, but I will return in a week. Can't wait...my kids will be joining me the next trip!


09-18-2004, 09:47 AM
Good morning,
Bill, great report on your trip! I am looking forward to the next 6 weeks and at least a few trips south to those hallowed walls and holes! I'll wave if I see you!


09-19-2004, 05:31 PM
Bill ... I can relate .. :eek:

Put a post up a few weeks back about my Labor Day trip. Fished three mornings, hooked 7 and lost every one of the bloody things!