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SparseHairHackl 09-23-2002 10:52 PM

Love, hate, love, hate, love the N.Umpqua
Even though...

Got back last night from 4+ days on the river. Fished 3 days. Skunked.

River was perfect, I fished pretty well (I thought) except for the first evening (when I truly sucked at casting, mending, wading, and selecting a decent fly--the one I had on had a bad point and I didn't even know it). But I raised only 1 fish to my waker and I had no action whatsoever on wets. A couple weeks ago I was whining about trouble hooking fish. This time I never had a chance.

Some spots that were reasonably dependable in recent years have brought nothing this year; perhaps the lower water level means the holds aren't good, or it's just me or my luck. I was there with family and friends, so I didn't fish as much as usual, but still had plenty of time.

I'll have to quit spending so much time on the upper river, and more time around and below Steamboat if this bad luck continues. Mid-October might be time for another go.

On a related note, I tried an AirFlo floating Poly leader this trip. I was curious if it would help at all with keeping wakers on top in more roily water. I'll post a brief report on the Spey pages.


loco_alto 09-24-2002 12:01 AM

when you say upper river, you mean high above Steamboat? interesting. my weekend started slow but ended well, 2 for 3. Makes up for my skunker a few weeks back. Fly clubs added some pressure, but I did take my fish in "used" water, on wets. there's just no telling

Rick J 09-24-2002 09:38 AM

Sounds like you were there during the full moon and hot weather? Not great conditions but then there is no "bad" time to fish that river!!

Hope to get up there in October - can't pull myself away from the Klamath right now. I expect some of that club were several guys from my area - Santa Rosa that went up as a group?

New Spey 09-24-2002 01:54 PM

I haven't been down to the North Umpqau for about a month. Which is strange, since I managed to pick one up on a purple peril the last trip. I have mostly fished the camp water and below. Every time I go I keep telling myself I need to expand my horizons, but settle in on the camp water. Ever since I read the book on the North Umpqau by Doc Crawford I haven't had enough confidence to go higher. He made it sound like few steelhead ventured very far above steamboat. I have learned differently, but still don't know how high I should go and still expect to get into fish.
I still hope to experiment up there though.

SparseHairHackl 09-25-2002 11:29 AM

There certainly are not near the numbers of fish much above Steamboat as there are below, but fish can sometimes be found clear up to Soda Springs. I generally struggle to find fish in the upper river, just like last weekend, but one time 6 or 7 years ago I landed 2 fish in 2 casts, so one can get lucky. There is a lot less holding water above Steamboat, and Steamboat Creek is the major spawning tributary, so you won't find big numbers of fish up there.

New Spey, don't put too much stock in the Doc Crawford book. I picked it up at a bargain table some years ago, for the maps, but other than that, it's not too useful IMO. A much better read--as well as useful fishing info, especially if you read between the lines--is "A River Seen Right: A Fly Fisherman's North Umpqua" by Michael Baughman, with photographs by Dan Callaghan. I have a review of it on Amazon:

I did fish some below Steamboat last weekend, but it was quite crowded, and didn't help my results. The places I fished were places that have been very productive for me the last few years, but they didn't yield a single strike. I've made such a habit of avoiding the Camp Water that I forget to even look and see if it's not crowded. Having become enamored with the dry fly the past couple years, I'm sure I should spend time fishing Kitchen, for example, but I prefer uncrowded conditions when I fish, even if it means I catch less, so I almost always fish up or downstream a ways.


New Spey 09-25-2002 01:49 PM

Thanks SparseHairHackl,
I like the idea of getting away from everyone too. The last time I was at the campwater there was a fire above us, so I had quite a bit of water to myself. And for me, a hook up is pretty rare and speacial any way.
I am much closer to the Willamette and Mckenzie and give the traditional dry line dry fly/ wet fly a try, but It is hard to keep at it when your watching others catch one fish after another on nymphs. I go to the North Umpqua to help force me to stick with it.

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