If you have never ventured to the wild landscape of Oregon’s Southern coast you are missing a fisher’s version of valhalla! A mile or so walk in early predawn with the waves of the Pacific breaking off your shoulder. Soft wet sand cushioning every step and anticipation building as the mouth of the Elk River lies just ahead.
For such a small river the Elk posses prodigious fly angling opportunity each fall as chinook salmon arrive for their run inland. This is not a secret destination and it is popular for both gear and fly fishers. This is normally a very well mannered dance where cooperation by everyone is required to land one of these beautiful specimens fresh from the ocean. By fresh we mean in the last high tide as they scramble over outlet sand burms degraded by the drag of the outgoing tide. Milling about in the semi estuary just a stone throw from oceans hand makes for a setting truly unique.
For the fly fisher of course this means dealing with the elements, even in a somewhat peaceful fall season. Wind is a constant, from manageable to an absolutely shut you down howl…just part of the ambiance of testing your skills, luck and karma for a chance to hook into one of the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic species. Clousers, in normal and bait fish tones all will work but other options can prove productive. Our local Elk River expert Jeff Lucas shares with us one of his successful patterns for the Fall experience on the Elk in a tying tutorial you can find under Instruction/tying on the header of this site. Jeff’s Elk River Shrimp is a proven productive pattern, so have a few if you venture west to the oceans touch with land.
Bright is an understatement for Elk River Fall Chinook
Winter steelheading can be a daunting endeavor for the first timer. Let’s take just one of the tasks required for finding success out of the equation and let you fish with confidence in what is on the end of your line. Here is a fly you can fish knowing it has had many a winter run fish find it something they just couldn’t live without! Jeff Lucas fly tier/fisher extraordinaire has been haunting runs of the North Umpqua for a healthy selection of seasons and has found this adapted General Practitioner pattern to be one of his favorites. Fairly easy and fun to tie, give it a try net time you are in the water. Tutorial by Jeff can be located under tying instruction on this site. https://vimeo.com/515944937
A lot of different patterns will entice winter run steelhead. Depending on water conditions you may have to go heavy to get down to into their “move” zone. This has been a good choice!
This years dues are now being accepted. We are looking forward to a year of more activities and re-establishing our monthly get togethers. Forms are available under join on the header of the home page. We are looking forward to an improved year of activities and a return to our monthly meetings at some point. This has been a hard year and we are grateful for the health and well being of our membership and their loved ones. Much joy for us all ahead.
They are here!
Total destruction on sections of our beautiful North Umpqua is now what we must deal with. Coming winter months will create some nightmare scenarios for the surrounding hillsides and of course the condition of the river. It will be many years before many of these areas once again look “decent”. Of course the virgin timber stands will not return in our lifetime but the land will gradually heal and the fish will probably wonder what the heck happened?
Some evidence of the devastation laid upon us in the year 2020!
Photo work by Andrew Burr…Thank you Andrew for permission to use these.
Smoke and fire and covid are not all gone as Fall rolls our way but the trout in the North Umpqua are fat and still eating a selection of dry fly patterns. October Caddis are around and grasshoppers are still falling in the river so you might socially distance yourself out on the river when you can!
Tying video now available under Instruction, tying
Great little summer pattern for streams on both sides of the Cascades
Fish either dead drifted or with a bit of action.
Warming water is helping provide some activity on Whistlers Pond and not a bad time to test out some chironomids on the crappie in the pre-spawn zone of spring. Soon they will be more active and open to both floating and sub-surface patterns. Perfect weather for some social distancing with your favorite rod and a fly box just aching to be set loose!
Fish are being caught throughout the lower river. Start looking now for a great day on the water. Shad Delight pattern available under Instruction/tying today.