Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The North Umpqua River
(North Fork) Oregon
The North Umpqua River Oregon has thirty miles of fly
fishing only water. The river provides one of the most
scenic areas in the Northwest. Summer run steelhead
arrive in from late June and are in the river until the end
of October. These are wild and hatchery fish. The month
of September can be too warm for good fishing but it
picks back up in October.
Winter run steelhead are in the river in late Winter and
early Spring. They come into the North Fork of the
Umpqua River in January. The fishing peaks in February
and goes through the first part of March.
Spring Chinook salmon are present from April through
October. They can be fished for from the mouth of the
river to the fly fishing boundary from January through
July. The fishing is best during May through July. The fly
fishing only section is closed to Chinook salmon fishing.
There is also a good Fall Chinook salmon run.
There's some very good trout fishing in the upper North
Fork of the Umpqua River. You will find the best trout
fishing above the Soda Springs Reservoir. Rainbow,
brook and brown trout are present. Below Soda Springs,
trout fishing in the main part of the North Umpqua is
catch-and-release only to protect sea-run cutthroat.
This river has gone through some huge changes. It was
once filled with runoff sediment. Its headwaters have been
damed but today, it flows cold and clear. The North Fork
of the Umpqua starts high in the Cascade Mountains at
Maidu Lake. Its water comes from the outflow of Diamond
Lake as well as melting snow. It makes a one-hundred
mile long trip through beautiful canyons. Finally, it flows
together with the South Umpqua and forms the main
The North Fork of the Umpqua River is restricted to fly
fishing only for thirty-one miles from the boundary
markers above Rock Creek to the Soda Springs Dam.
The river is accessible from roads that closely follow the
river all the way from the forks to Lemolo Lake. You can
access the North Umpqua to its headwaters at Maidu from
the Kelsay Valley Trailhead. Forest roads follow the North
Umpqua inlet of Lemolo Lake. The section of water
between Crystal Springs and Lemolo has some good
brook trout and brown trout fishing. A forest road
accesses this area.
The lowest part of the North Umpqua River is bordered by
private land. It is usually fished by boat only. The most
popular area on the lower section is from Amacher Park
to below the Wincheser Dam. Salmon and steelhead can
be caught in this area. There's about a mile of fishing
access in the Whistler's Bend County Park. Bank fishing
is available for about two miles along the Old Glide Road
off of highway #138.
From above Rock Creek to the Soda Springs Power
House it is fly fishing only. Steamboat Creek is closed to
steelhead fishing because it's a prime spawning area.
The bend of the Umpqua River, including the Steamboat
intersection, is a very popular area. It's a few hundred
yard stretch called Camp Walter. It's heavily fished by
anglers that stay at the famous Steamboat Inn.
The season is open year-round but it's species dependent
Spring Chinook arrive in April but check the regulations.
Spring is a great time for trout in the headwaters.
Summer run steelhead fishing is great and so is the trout
fishing in the headwaters. Chinook fishing where the
season is open.
There is a Fall run of Chinook, but check the regulations.
Good trout fishing in the headwaters.
The winter-run steelhead fishing is great. It peaks in late
February, early March..
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
For Steelhead and Salmon
7, 8 , 9 or 10 weight for appropriate type
rod, sinking, sinking tip and floating
10#, 12# in 9 to 15 feet lengths
10# and 12#
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly 7, 8, 9 and 10 ft. single hand
For 7 to 10 weight lines
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Recent rain has helped liven up
the fishery again. We received
some good reports recently.
Swinging, eggs and nymphs are
working,.Send us an email for a
recommended fly list.
10/24/15 The fall run of summer steelhead is still producing some good catches for anglers.
The smallmouth bass fishing has been superb. Good stream levels exist at this time. There
is a chance of rain from now through Monday, then clearing. That should help in more ways
than one. Headwater trout fishing is also very good.
10/31/15 The steelhead fishing continues to be very good. Anglers are catching a good
many fish. Smallmouth bass is always excellent this month in the lower part of the river. Trout
fishing has picked up with cooler weather and the October Caddis hatch underway. Egg
laying females are bringing the trout to the surface to feed.
11/07/15 Summer Steehead are still being caught along with smallmouth bass and some
trout. It depends on exactly where you are fishing and how you are fishing. Blue-winged
olives are hatching good right now and should really be good this coming week with cloud
cover. Summer runs are taking nymphs and swung flies and should only get better with the
11/28/15 Same story second verse. There have been a few summer fish caught near Rock
Creek but it is very slow. For all practical purposes, it is over. The rains have started and
most of the summer-run fish are in the spawning tributaries and are not be available to
anglers. The winter run will be starting late January, better in February and March.
12/05/15 As mentioned last week the summer run is about over with most all the fish in the
spawning tributaries. The winter fish will be coming into the lower river this month and from
the looks of the weather forecast for the next week, the conditions for that happening look
very good. There is rain forecast every day.
12/12/15 As you probably alread know, the North Umpqua River is already very high and
headed up even more. It is going to take a few day for it to return to normal levels. There is
more rain in the forecast. T Keep track of the latest by clicking the above link to our fishing
12/26/15 There are reports of some winter steelhead being caught around the Rock Creek
area but it is slow, to say the least. Conditions should improve with less rain and cooler
weather in the forecast. Normally, it is the second week of January before it begins to pick up.
01/09/16 Almost like clockwork, the winter steelhead fishing is getting started. It will only get
better during the next few weeks.Two good reports from customers came in. They were
swinging in the Rock Creek area. The Johney Cash Spey and Red Roster Spey were the
01/17/16 More winter steelhead have been caught and released in the Rock Creek area.
Stream conditions are good but there is a lot of rain or rain/snow in the forecast, so watch
01/23/16 Very good fishing has been taking place in the Rock Creek area. Lots of steelhead
caught and released swinging and nymphing. Watch the stream levels, there is more rain in
01/30/16 Anglers are still catching plenty of winter steelhead in the Rock Creek area. Our
Steelehead Spey flies have been working well according to one customer. He has been
doing great swinging.
02/06/16 Stream levels have been high but back in good shape. Winter steelhead fishing
has still be good, even on high stream levels. Anglers are swinging flies and scoring well.
Both Spey guys and single handed guys are catching some.
02/13/16 The action is continuing around the Rock Creek area. There are plenty of
steelhead in the river and being caught. Swinging and nymphing are both producing well.
02/20/16 High water has been a problem lately and there is a chance of rain tomorrow, and
that is it for this coming week. Stream levels should be fine. Let us hear from you.
02/27/16 Notice we added a link to the USGS station at Winchester. The stream is down to
its normal level for this time of the year and Winter steelhead fishing is picking up.
03/27/16 The winter steelhead fishing is continuing to be good. High water has been a
problem but fish are still being caught.
04/16/16 The winter steelhead fishing is still good with fish being caught mostly in the Rock
Creek area. Stream levels are in good shape at this time.
04/23/16 The steelhead are mostly finished spawning and headed back to sea. The
"catching" is winding down fast. There will be a lag until the summer fish return.
05/21/15 No reports of any summer runs caught yet, but they should start moving into the
05/28/16 Still no reports of the summer run fish being caught but they should be moving into
06/25/16 We are yet to hear that summer run fish are being caught. Still no reports have
come in. The stream is in good shape and it shouldn't be long.
07/02/16 Stil not reports of summer runs being caught. It should be any day now. Keep
checking back with us.
07/09/16 The summer steelhead are in and being caught in good numbers. This is both
hatchery and wild. Remember, all wild fish must be released. The Swiftwater area is where
most of the action is.
07/16/16 There is little change in anything from the past week. Stream levels and weather is
the same. The summers are still being caught, both wild and hatchery. .
07/30/16 Good reports continue to come in with both wild and hatchery steelhead being
caught in good numbers. Fish the Swiftwater area.
09/23/16 Trout are still being caught with the cooler weather helping. Steelhead fishing is
done for the time being.
10/15/16 The river is fishing fine as long as your after resident trout. Few anglers are but it
is good at this time. The steelhead are in between seasons.
10/30/16 There are still a few summer steelhead being caught. There are also plenty of trout
in the upper sections few fish for. Now is the time to plan that next trip. Send us an email.
12/03/16 The season is over for Summer steelhead. Winter steelhead will begin to migrate
into the river early this month. Remember, the fly zone area require barbless hooks. You can
mash the barbs down on flies.
12/23/16 The stream is still flowing high but not too far above normal to fish. Winger
steelhead are being caught. Swinging is working best with the higher water levels.
01/07/17 The stream is still running high but there are a few steelhead being caught. It
should continue to improve when the stream levels drop some.
01/14/17 The stream is still a little high but the weather clear until Monday. More rain
expected next week. Anglers are catching steelhead. Some had problems with the road
conditions but that should be clear.
01/21/17 The stream is still a little high but it is snowing and should mostly end Monday as
the levels continue to fall. There will be some stain. Use our SH nymphs under an indicator.
01/28/17 Stream levels are back down in good shape and our customers are sending in
some good reports. Swinging and nymphing are both working. Conditions are good.
02/04/17 The river is flowing at 7190 at Winchester. There is rain or snow forecast everyday
for the coming week. There are plenty steelehead in the river.
02/11/17 Our customers were catching good numbers of steelhead but the river is high
again, running about 15,200 cfs at 8.63 feet. Watch the levels and fish as soon as it drops
down low enough. Check the flows and road conditions.
02/18/17 The flows are at 11,000 cfs at 7.27 ft at Winchester. That is very high, too high to
fish. There is rain and/or snow in the forecast everyday this coming week, so road and
stream conditions should be checked for sure.
02/25/17 The water levels are dropping fast. It is flowing at 2360 at 5.94 feet at Winchester,
which is not that high but too high to wade safely. It should be fine very shortly. Watch the
levels and fish as soon as they are down a little more.
03/04/17 The stream levels are back up and too high to safely wade. You will just have to
watch the levels and fish when it drops. Our customers were catching steelhead until the
water recently rose.
03/11/17 The flows at Winchester are at 12,000 cfs at 7.62 ft. It is falling but, there is some
more rain in the forecast.
04/01/17 Flows at Winchester are at 9160 cfs at 6.64 ft. Normal is about 4700 cfs. It is falling
but will take some more time to get down to good wading levels. Perfect Fly Steelhead Flies
04/07/17 The flows are down to 6890 cfs at 6.16 ft.. It is still too high to fish. Let us hear from
05/23/17 There are some Chinook being caught above and below Winchester. Summer
steelhead are starting to come in and Winters are on the way out. Stream levels at
Winchester are a little high but okay.
06/17/17 Summer run steelhead are expected to start showing up anytime now, but likely by
the end of the month. Now is a good time to be planning that next trip.
07/01/17 There are decent numbers of summer run steelhead being caught in the north
Umpqua. There are some trout being caught but few anglers are fishing for them. Stream
levels are good.
08/05/17 There are still plenty of summer run steelhead in the river but we didn't receive any
reports from anyone fishing for them this past week. It is likely due to the very hot weather.
10/15/17 Very few summer steelhead are being caught below deadline falls. Trout fishing in
the tributaries to deadline falls is closed. Chinook season is closed.
12/11/17 Winter steelhead are starting to come into the river. Now is the time to get
prepared for them.
01/22/18 Steelhead are being caught. Swinging and nymphing both turned up a few this past
week and this should only continue to improve.
01/29/18 More steelhead are being caught. Conditions are improving.
02/05/18 The river is falling and getting into very good shape. Good numbers of winter
steelhead are being caught.
02/12/18 Good conditions continue to exist with good numbers of steelhead being caught
throughout the river. Swinging, nymphs and eggs are working.
02/25/18 The river is low and cold. Fish the lower section of the North Fork. There are plenty
of fish there but they are a little sluggish due to the colder weather. Some anglers are
catching decent numbers.
03/22/18 Good conditions continue.The stream levels are up to normal and good numbers
of steelhead are being caught. Swinging, eggs and SH nymphs are working good.