North Umpqua

I know this is a Washington Flyfishing site but does anyone out there have any experiences on the North Umpqua? I'm going to be in that area (Roseburg to Medford) for 3-4 days and since I have time to wet a line, would greatly appreciate any help.

I have a variety of rods so I can fish for steelhead or trout. Also any other rivers, like the Rogue, etc. that you may have info on will give me some options. I can even end up in the Klamath Falls area.

Thanks for the info! :THUMBSUP



Active Member
Gotta fish the fly only section of the North Umpqua if you haven't! Don't worry about guide books or anything like,just start at the bottom of the fly only water and drive along the river, pick the water type you like, and pull over into any of the pullouts along the road, or any of the campgrounds along the river. Don't stay in any spot any longer than it takes to cover the water once well. KEEP MOVING. Steamboat is awesome, but that doesn't mean it's worth any more effort than a lesser known section that calls out to you. Bring a wading staff and cleated shoes (I don't care how much of a stud you think you are, you need both), and I even wear a pair of SOSpenders. Great river, awesome fish. I would fish it even if the reports aren't great. That just means less fishermen on the water :) I've done just as well in 105 degree bright conditions as I have in 65 degree overcast conditions there... Of course the fish were in different places...:WINK
Thanks for the info. I've never been in that area at all so this will help. I've read a little about the river and the need for cleated shoes and I will take my SOSpenders. I always take my wading staff.


I caught my first steelhead on a fly there some 15 years ago. It is a great river... beautiful to say the least. I'm not sure how the regs are there anymore, but last I heard, the eco-whacked fly-fishing purists finally got there way there, so it was floating fly lines, unweighted flys, and no split shot as of last year. Yes, the fly only section is great, but regulations are not condusive to productive days. If it was me, I would focus on downstream of the fly only section. Sure, there are some gear guys down there, but its a big river ~ Just as many fish as well...

Good luck!!!!

Some of the info I've been able to gleen off of other web sites about fishing on the North Umpqua is that you can now use a sinking line but still no weighted flies. From what I've read, you're right, there is plenty of good water. The only unknown is - are the fish there yet! That's a large part of fishing anywhere, let alone new unknown water.

The flows seem to be manageable so hopefully there will be some holding water that a swinging fly will get down to without having rushing water pushing it through too quickly. This is a scouting trip that will hopefully set up future trips with my fishing buddy.



I believe most of the fish come in July, however there should be catchable amounts right now. A good back up is to fish the South Umpqua for smallmouth. They are plentiful and aggressive. Most will go 8"-12", but there are some that will push 5lbs in there. Its a lot of fun. Any of the local shops should be able to point you in the right direction.



Active Member
I wish I had caught my first steelhead there. That must have been a "the drinks are on me" day! I agree that unweighted flies and floaters make things tougher, and it was an over-reaction on the part of the pure fly boys, but there had to be a reaction. The indicator nymph crowd did bring it on themselves... drifting a weighted nymph over a couple of fish in one slot for an hour with the help of a spotter?!?!?! That's called catching... or trying to catch... not fishing! In time there will be rational compromises. As to the lower section, yes there is some nice water, but not as much, and in the middle of summer, all the fish are "relatively" fresh so you can do okay on the fly there. In the fall, it's a different story...
Stopped in at the Blue Heron Fly Shop on Saturday, June 29th and Joe was very helpful. Fished a few of the key holes that he recommended that afternoon without any luck. He did say that it was a little early in the season but that there were "some" steelies in the river. Mid July would see a bigger, more steady push of fish. August being the busiest month as far as the number of fish and the number of fishermen!

Went up above Steamboat Creek late in the afternoon and fished with my 4 weight for brown trout and caught a couple of small ones.

Fished Sunday morning from 6:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Caught one 20" steelhead at the Wright Creek bridge. The water was below average cfs but it still was moving. Since I've been back home, the flows have dropped another 300cfs.

Beautiful river once you get into the "fly fishing only" section. I can't believe that a fish could get past all the hardware chuckers lined up below Rock Creek. Both sides of the narrow channel had fishermen(?) trying to catch/snag either a salmon (most were almost dead) or a steelhead. The only space between these fishermen(?) was the width off their cooler. Hardly anyone up in the fly fishing only water. It was great.

The Korkers (cleated sandals) are a definite must! And the wading staff was a welcomed third leg.

Can't wait to get back down that way.