Winter steelhead are an icon of Oregon’s rivers. These fish are often larger and more powerful than their summer-run relatives as they make the shorter journeys into their ancestral rivers west of the Cascades. Many anglers in the Northwest cherish the months they can chase these fish. The days are shorter, potentially darker, colder and wetter, but the opportunity to connect with one of these fish is worth the time spent on the prowl. Fishing for winter steelhead can give an angler some of the most exciting angling experiences of their year.
We target sections of the North Umpqua River, near the towns of Glide and Roseburg. The North Umpqua is famous in fly-fishing history and hosts runs of both summer and winter steelhead. In the “Fly-Water” section of the North Umpqua, we fish among the old growth trees in a beautiful canyon setting. Lower in the system, we can run float trips in the Umpqua valley. Regardless of the location, the settings are spectacular.
Fishing techniques will depend on fisherman preference and trip type. In the “Fly-Water” and on certain floats, we can target fish with the swing, using large flies and moderate-to-heavy tips. Swinging flies for winter steelhead provides the angler one of the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding pursuits. Casting into the emerald green waters is unique to the winter steelhead game. When doing float trips we can utilize dead drifting techniques while floating. This can be a fun day on the water and is often a change of pace from the intensity of swinging flies.
Trips for winter steelhead are offered in six-hour and eight-hour sessions from now and through the beginning of April. Unlike our summer guiding season, we do not split days (four hours in the morning and four hours later in the evening). Consecutive days of guiding are easily accommodated. Your guide will pick you up from wherever you stay or a meeting place can be arranged (we have suggestions for lodging depending on our fishing location). We will drive and hike along the river to our favorite spots. Coffee, other beverages, and snacks will be available at all times. When on an eight-hour trip, a riverside lunch will be provided. Before the trip, the menu can be adapted for preferences and dietary concerns. When river levels permit, we may utilize a drift boat to access and fish sections of the lower North Umpqua. These trips include fishing from the boat as well as riverbanks. Regardless of trip length and location, we will provide rods and tackle. Anglers will be expected to supply their own licenses, waders and wading shoes, which can be provided, and winter clothing.
Please contact guide Dillon Renton or the folks at Fly and Field Outfitters for more information on fishing the North Umpqua and for availability. We would love to be able to share with you a day on one of our favorite rivers.
Dillon Renton (541) 480-8067, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fly and Field (541) 318-1616, email@example.com
6 hour trip: $300/day
8 hour trip: $400/day
8 hour float trip (river levels and conditions permitting): $450/day