Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fly Only Water North Umpqua

Ive been wanting to get down to the North Fork of the Umpqua for quite a while. So on monday I headed down. Arriving at the river at 6 a.m I parked and waited for the sun, hard raindrops pelted the roof and windows of my car adding fuel to the exitement of a day spent alone steelhead fishing probably the most famous steelhead river in the world. At 6:30 I decided to gear up, as I

rigged my rod I realized that I had brought nothing but 8lb fluoro leader, the fish here are natives and often large so I was a little bummed to have to work with less than 10 or 12.. but ive done it on many clear water days so I didn't worry about it... this would come back to haunt me. Walking down the river trail that runs basicly the whole upper length of the river I dropped down into a likely spot and whipped my black muddler minnow out into the sexiest tailout ive cast to in a while, third cast, as the fly began to lift in its turn "fish on"! and then fish off, oh well I though.. 8 more hours to put something together. I moved down the river and 45 minutes later Big fish on! I played him to the bank but stumbled in the landing, dropped him and the 8 lb line, too tight of a drag and the telephone pole like action of my IM6 Sage 8 wt and I was out another fish and my only black muddler. Tried some other intrueder style flies only to go back to the bull pen for another black pattern, lets make it a stonefly nymph I thought.... very good move, 4 more steelhead and a line cut just about to the bone by dark, and about 8 12-20 inch cutthroat.. but never put my hand on a steelhead, and also never saw another fisherman.. I love the North Umpqua this time of year, nobody above steamboat, I owned the joint. I just can't help but think if I would have used 10 lb fluoro and one of my glass rods there would be a picture of a steelhead here for you to enjoy, love that tippet protection. But I did enjoy sending my flies all the way to the warning track with some 9' graphite.. I loved im 6, but my arm reminds me just how much heavier it truely is than a new z-axis..enjoy the pictures


  1. Beautiful water. I'm sorry that you didn't land any of those is not dead.

  2. Sounds like you need a new One rod, Brad. Or one of Steelhead Stalker's super light North Fork built rods?

    I kind of had some of the stuff you wrote in mind on my trip tot he Wilson the other day - fishing black and dark purple flies. I had a couple hook ups, and more tugs - but I couldn't help myself from setting the hook right away like I would a trout - and couldn't get myself into the habit of letting the fish eat the fly/take a loop of line before swinging the rod- thus no steel for me.

    I tied up a few more flies - black and purple marabou contraptions with purple flashabou or tinsel added. Any other suggestions?