Oregon/California Coastal trip report

Okay guys and gals. Here's the trip report.

We left Seattle Seattle about 1230 PM on Oct 2 and arrived at Nehalem, Oregon on the coast in early evening just in time to set up camp and watch the sunset over the ocean (breathtaking!). Stayed at the state park for $16/night which included power, water, individual showers and clean flush toilets. The next morning I fished upstream a few miles on the Nehalem river (Liz read and wrote postcards in the car)in the rain. I hooked but did not land 3 nice searun cutts on either a beadhead or woolly bugger. The lower river was full of big kings and fisherpersons but we elected not to fish for them this trip.

Friday Oct 4 we drove to Tillamook and toured the cheese factory (highly recommend). On to Lincoln City for a 2 mile beachcombing walk collecting a garbage bag full of litter (I'm not always this ecologically motivated so don't praise me). Then on to Florence and the dunes and sea lion cave. The sea lions were visible out cruising the shoreline and and river mouths for salmon and not in the cave so we declined the $7/person tour of the empty cave. Camped at the J.Honeyman Memorial State Park in the dunes ($12 with water and flush toilets and showers). Beach was a strenuous 2 plus mile hike through the dunes so we elected a mile round trip walk in them just for the exercise.

Saturday Oct 5 drove to Gold Beach and stayed at the Quosatana Campground ($8 and no shower but did have water and clean flush toilets. beautiful well maintained sites right on the Rogue River. Landed about 6 smolts to 9" that evening. The next day Liz outfished me 2 to 1 landing about 20 to 10" on about size 14 parachute adams and royal coachmans fished both dry and wet. I tried dredging the bottom unsuccessfully for steelhead and salmon so switched to small nymphs and dries for the smolts. Won't change me to preach about catching the smolts so don't bother. We had a blast and would do it again whereever legal. Same thing the next morning.

Monday Oct 7 on to Crescent City, CA camping at the Jedadiah Smith Redwoods State Park on the Smith River amidst towering giant redwoods. $12 with water, shower,and flush toilets (not quite as nice as the others though). The river was closed due to draught and the flow was low and slow.

Tuesday Oct 8 to EurekaFly Shop (707) 444-2000 for fishing reports, maps and local flies. Mad and Eel rivers closed due to low flows so drove to the Trinity River and stayed at the abandoned free but spooky Tish Tang Campground on tribal land. Beautiful river! Could not get any big boys to bite dredging the bottom so switched to beadhead nymphs and picked up fish that night to 10". Got a measured 13 1/2" wild fish the next morning on a beadhead. Liz hooked smaller ones.

Wednesday Oct 9 drove down to Mendocino sightseeing through the redwoods and then over to Willets inland for a cheap motel and shower.

Thursday Oct 10 drove through the Napa Valley and toured the Sterling Winery. $10 included a tram car ride up the hill and 4 wine tastings. Liz sampled the wines and I had juice. We both thought the tour was fascinating and the hilltop view of the surrounding vinyards and hills was spectacular. On to Berkeley along the low flow but beautiful Russian River to visit with Liz's niece and nephews. Stayed with the kids but took the BART and Muni into town for a walk through the Golden Gate Park to the famous casting ponds where we enjoyed visiting with those using the facilities.

Saturday October 12 to the state campground on the Upper Sacramento at Dunsmuir. Got local fly and info from the Ted Fay Fly Shop (916)235-4805. $12 no shower but flush toilets and water. Noisy because of freeway and trains but beautiful location right on the stream. I landed 3 fish over 12" that evening right in the campground. The next morning and early afternoon we explored a bit of river near Simms Road downstream a few miles and I landed 3 more nice fish sightcasting with a size 14 peacock soft hackle wet fly. Liz wasn't successful though she had some follows on her dry. 4PM that Sunday we decided to drive home so 9 1/2 hours later we were back in Seattle. A great trip with beautiful coastline, quaint towns, beautiful rivers, nice campgrounds and friendly people. We had licenses and complied with all rules and regs. We didn't keep any fish this trip but do sometimes. We tent camped out of our Subaru Legacy wagon which ran flawlessly though weighted to the gills top and bottom. It's a 1990 with over 180,000 miles on it and we averaged just under 25 miles to the gallon for the whole trip. Our tent was 9 x 9 and had a blowup double bed and catalytic tent heater. Liz cooked fantastic meals so we didn't lose a pound. This was not primarily a fishing trip but the fishing was fun and the sightseeing fantastic. Liz just left to visit family in Portland so tomorrow I will drive to Oregon to fish the Deschutes and possibly the Crooked through Monday so will have another more fishing oriented report next Tuesday or Wednesday.