The first leg of our trip up to Oregon was to the famed waters of the North Umpqua. We thought this would be a good stop not only because it was about halfway to the Deschutes, but we always love a good a$$ kicking! Spencer had never fished the N.U. and we were meeting Soft Take and his dad there. In the first run the next morning I had a boil to a skated muddler but could not get the fish to come back to the fly. Fishing half a dozen more runs neither Spencer or I could bring another fish to the fly that morning.
We headed out to see Lee Spencer in the afternoon and chat about all things steelhead. Lee said there were about 260 wild steelhead in the pool and that fishing on the river had been tough lately due to warmer temps and a lack of fresh fish moving up the system. Even Lee has had tough fishing lately only bringing two steelhead to his version of a muddler without a point.
The evening fishing provided a bit of excitement. With soft take and his dad now on the river we all split up for the evening session. Spencer and I headed down to a favorite tailout where Spencer had risen a nice fish to a dry and then briefly hooking one later in the run on a hitched muddler before getting trigger happy and giving it the old farmer john! Here's where it gets good...
On our way to the next run we run into soft take and his dad Fred. Fred was up on the road next to the truck stringing up a new rod in disgust. We pull up and he's got his hands up in the air shaking his head. "Fred, what's up?" His response, " That damn steelhead just took off with my fly line. my fly got ripped and took about 10-15 feet of line off the reel and bam!" So you got spooled? Fred pulled out what was left of his 40+ floater and said, "the steelhead took off with the floating head and it snapped off where the running line and head are connected." So your telling me there is a steelhead swimming around out there with a 35' piece of green floating line connected to a fly in its mouth? " Yeah" Spencer and I were laughing so hard we were almost crying. I know of guys that have lost some shooting heads before to snags but not to a summer steelhead. Too funny! That run will be forever known to me now as "Fred lost his 40+ run."
Next up, the Deschutes report. Stay tuned....
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