York River -Zone 4
Day 1Rusty and I fished Zone 4 of the York River today. This was abeatiful stretch of river with about 70-80 Salmon in the pool we fished today, but they were what the guides called "dour". We put wet and dry flies over these fish in sizes 10-2/0, every imaginable color, and you've got it, we were skunked.
We saw a few giant (50lbs+) fish in the run and the are truly impressive to see.
It can become frustrating to fish a pool full of salmon and not even to get an interested look at the fly, I bet i is exciting when a fish pulls away from the pod to grab the fly, but in that regard I can only surmise, as it never happened on this day.
York River - Zone 9
Rusty and I fished Keg Pool on the York River today. Quebec Sporting also booked one of their guides and a Client on this water with us. There is not even enough room on this run for 2 people to fish it at the same time so the third angler was not welcome, and it was not what I was expecting. and I was less agreeable about than I should have been.
This short run was certainly full of fish and on his second pass through the run the other angler hooked and landed a small salmon. He kept the fish and called it a day, which was awesome, as I really wanted to spend more time in the water fishing, and less time on-shore watching.
We rested the pool and then I fished through with a #8 low water Black Bear Green Butt and just a jolting grab, I am so sick of grabs with out a hooked fish. I am ready to feel a fish. (Note: This was written the evening after fishing. I would change it, but I guess it shows how hungry I sometimes get to catch a fish)
Rusty followed me through and He hooked a solid fish. It fought hard, getting tangled in a beaver dam, but Wayne (our guide) and rusty crossed the river and tried to free the line. Wayne waded out to and on-to the dam to free the line from the offending limbs and got the line loose and luckily, the fish was still on the line. The fight went on for many more minutes in the lower part of the Keg run.
This was the last fish of the day, but a great one. Wayne said the fish was around 25-30lbs.
I first visited the North Umpqua in 2004. I instantly realized that it was likely the most beautiful Steelhead River in the world, But I did not like fishing it. often the fishing would consist of standing on a rock and methodically lengthening my cast as the cast and step technique was not an option. Wading on the Umpqua is tougher than on any other river I have seen. As John Shewey says in his Umpqua river Journal, you may as well just jump in the river first thing in the morning and get it over with, or something to that effect. I love casting and step fishing like on the Deschutes and figured that the umpqua and I were just not a good match.
Despite this I did catch a very big fish on the Umpqua in '04. It was right at Mott's Bridge and I local had taken me there with the promise that we were about to light up the steelhead, and we truly were. He then tied a wholly-bugger on to my leader and had me cast up stream and stack mend, and led the fly fish deep. I did this and on the second drift through my line came tight and after a long battle, I had landed a Buck the was fat as hell and over 36", and I felt dirty as hell. This was not how I had imagined hooking my first Umpqua Steelhead and In short order I realized this was not the type of guy that I wanted to fish with or near when I saw him spay crayfish scent on his fly. Well he hooked a fish and I got out of there.I got one grab on the swung fly in 04 that was it , and I wrecked my rental as I was leaving the Umpqua. So I didn't have the best flavor for the Umpqua, But over time the river grew in my mind and I knew I must go back.It was only this last week end that I did finally return to the Umpqua. My friend Charlie and I had just fished the Deschutes for 4.5 days and had landed about .5 steelhead, tough to explain quickly, but we were jonesing and sick of the desert. The Umpqua was as I remembered but also better. The River was the same, but I had changed a bit and this time I discovered more about the river and I liked it.
I found that standing on a rock and working your way out to you biggest cast can be really fun, and some runs can be rolled with the standard cast and step as well. Big flies are effective and I like that. and there are lots of wild steelhead in the river, even though catching one is a miracle.
For Charlie and I a Steelhead was not in the cards. I got a really solid grab and I caught a 17" sea run cutthroat on a skater. Charlie got our Deschutes Steelhead so I didn't feel too bad for him. If you are going to get skunked, this is the river to do it on.