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Well, for the most part my steelhead season is over until spring. I really can't handle living over here anymore. I love the 4 seasons, wilderness, lakes, mountains, intact ecosystems with abundant predators, rustic towns, simple people, etc. However, I would trade it all for a foggy PNW morning in December-- walking the tracks of the Salmonberry or gravel bars of the lower Sandy. Ya, there's no pronounced spring, summer, fall, or winter. Yep, there are clear-cuts and mountain scabs everywhere you look. No wolves or grizzly bears. I can’t walk out my front door into a 250,000 acre wilderness. Poor trout fishing? ah-ha. But there's no fucking steelhead!! Life would be much simpler if I had never become aware of their existence. I'm preoccupied with not just the fish itself, that's a small part of it. It's the fishing for them and everything involved with the process. My house is going up for sell next fall and I'm out of here. I feel as though life is passing me by every day I'm neglected a cool foggy morning. People may say, "Enjoy what you have and be thankful." Bullshit! Life is too short and I want to steelhead my way through it.
 

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Adam,

I agree the essense of PNW angling isn't found where you currently live. You can always head back inland to fish the Snake and its tribs. I'm torn between making the State of Jefferson home...or the Northeast.

William
 

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"Trout fishing" have you lost your mind? :D

I grew up in P-town so i know what to expect there. S. Oregon, with the exception of the NU is a blind spot in my steelhead knowledge.
Given I live here, I shouldn't, well probably shouldn't, 'invite' more folks to my small corner of the world. Fished Friday and Saturday on the upper Rogue (end of the summer run season) and saw/competed with ZERO other fishermen within a mile of the hatchery on Friday. Saturday ... two, which makes for a 'crowd.':p

From Medford to the NU fly only water it's about a 2.5 hour drive up I-5 before you're pulling your rod off the top of the car/or rigging same. From 'downtown' Medford to the first good access? About 15 minutes.:thumb:If you're a 'newbie' to the Rogue one bit of VITAL EQUIPMENT is the Rogue River access map published (about six bucks?) by Amato (SalmonTroutSteelhead magazine). The access info (even down to .1 miles) is dead on.

Map will save you a hell of a lot of fooling around if you want to plan a trip. Will the fish be there? Another story, for another time ... but at least you know all of your options.

Fred
 

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I grew up in deadford and caught my first steelhead, salmon, trout, sucker, from the Rogue. They ruined the Rogue and I had to move north. I have caught steel from almost every river in southwest OR and Northern CA. Sometimes I wish I still lived down there until I think of the Rogue and can't bear the thought of seeing it again in its current state. I have never seen the dam on the Applegate and can only imagine how badly they fucked that river up also. Perhaps someday I will go back but until then I will fish the rivers of northwest WA and hope we can get something back in them.

Good luck in your search and I hope you find your steelhead nirvana.
 

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Adam,

At this point in time the overall experience of my fishing is top priority. The 'quiet sport' is alive and well in the Maritime Provinces. I have had nothing but quality back east. When crowded the experience does not turn for the worse. Something that is getting harder to find out west. If not impossible at the busiest of times on the few remaining quality steelhead rivers.

William
 

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i know your pain. after years of moving around the west, looking for that perfect place tp get it together, i always returned home to the pacific northwest.Still fish interior steelhead every fall, but the coast gives me steelhead fishing all year long.
made a home in montana for awhile, wife, kids, yellowstone park in the backyard, sweeping view of the continental divde out my front door. beautiful in many ways. a trout fishermens dream. But, no steelhead, no satisfaction.
as inland pointed out, steelheading ain't what it used to be, runs are down, lots of folks flogging the water in places. still there are those moments, the foggy december morn, sound of the surf as you wade into the first run above the tide, the hope of a sea bright steelhead after days of rain and high water.
many beautiful and exciting places to live in the west, but i live here in the rainforest, because i'm a steelheader.
 

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Pan,

I know how you feel. I have lived around some of the best trout waters in the lower 48, eastern sierras, and montana. Twenty years ago I caught my first steelhead on a fly and have never been the same. Each year around the middle of August I would find myself planning and anxiously awaiting my anual fall steelhead trip. Once I started to fish for steel, usally in mid Sept. I would put the trout rod away, even though fishing in the fall would mean I missed some of the best trout fishing of the season!

Well after 20 or so years of kammakazie weekend trips, trying to plan winter vacations while hoping that the rivers would not be blown out once I got there, we decided to move to the OP. And 3 years later We are still here with no regrets.

Good luck on your new adventure.
 

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Adam,

Great, just someone else to fuck with the west side chrome----again!! ;)

Seriously though, If I were looking for steelie heaven I'd look to the Roseburg area. You've got the Umpqua with great summer/winter fishing and the Rogue, Applegate and several coastal rivers and not too far from the Chetco. Still a decent number of wild fish down there with great fly water.

Once you get out this way, I'll have to take you out to make up for the great info. you gave me on the Clearwater a couple of years ago.

C
 
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