Oregon’s North Umpqua River is the quintessential Cascadian river – steep, swift, crystal clear, and incredibly beautiful. It is also an iconic American classic that has captured the souls of countless anglers and drawn them back year after year to test their skills against one of the most challenging and rewarding races of steelhead in the world.
The North Umpqua’s 32 miles of “fly only” water are among the most radically regulated waters in the West and prohibit the use of weight throughout the prime summer months. For those who seek the challenge and rewards of catching a steelhead on a dry fly, this is the ultimate playing field. We have enlisted the river’s finest guides including Rich Zellman, Tony Wratney and Mike Peters. Their knowledge and dedication to the North Umpqua are unsurpassed and days spent with them are intense, physical, and more often than not, rewarding.
With accommodations at the historic and refined Steamboat Inn, this is a classic steelheading experience unlike any other. Due to the comfort and amenities provided by the Steamboat Inn, the many hiking trails, nearby wineries and proximity to Crater Lake National Park, this is also a great getaway for non-angling, nature loving companions.
North Umpqua Location:
Steamboat Inn (on the fly water) is located on the banks of the North Umpqua, approximately 40 miles east of Roseburg, Oregon.
North Umpqua Fishing Program:
Fly fishing the North Umpqua river for steelhead is a pilgrimage to one of the cradles of our sport. It is a river that has inspired anglers for generations. All of our North Umpqua guides have fallen under the rivers’ spell and are eager to share their love and passion for the river and its’ magnificent steelhead. Simply put, fly fishing with one of these guides is a wonderful way to feel connected to an angling legacy.
All guide days on the North Umpqua are walk-and-wade trips. Days on the water are fairly athletic, requiring sometimes difficult wading and multiple trips up and down the riverbank. Many of the guides will employ a split-schedule fishing program for the early season (July – August) as water conditions and air temperatures dictate.
Our guides on the North Umpqua are consummate professionals who have dedicated their lives to this special fishery. For a river that is known to “have no secrets” these guides have each developed a unique style of fly fishing program that is educational, enjoyable, and productive.
Summer steelhead on the North Umpqua range from 4 – 14 pounds, with the average steelhead coming in at 6 – 8 pounds. Like most steelhead fishing an angler should consider 2 good “pulls” or encounters a good day on the water. These are extremely hard-fighting steelhead that swim in a swift, steep river so the fish you do hook are always memorable and rewarding.
Nearby Roseburg hosts wineries, a wildlife safari, shopping and theaters. Crater Lake National Park approximately 65 miles from Steamboat Inn.
North Umpqua Accommodations and Meals:
The Steamboat Inn is perched on a bluff among the towering firs of the Umpqua National Forest, overlooking some of the best fishing water on the renowned North Umpqua River. The Inn has a long and rich history of angling tradition reaching back to the 1920’s and consists of a main lodge and a number of comfortable accommodation choices. Accommodation choices include Streamside Cabins, River Suites, the Hideaway Cottages (located ½ mile from the Inn), or the Camp-Water Houses (located across the river with full kitchens).
Each summer night at dusk and in the winter at around seven o'clock, the doors of Steamboat Inn close to all but cabin guests and those who have made reservations. At this hour, the staff at the Inn dedicates itself to a single purpose - the dining pleasure of the Inn's guests. Proprietors, Sharon & Jim Van Loan, or manager Pat Lee host the nightly occasion. At the dinner hour, guests gather in the library to sip an aperitif, enjoy the evening's hors d'oeuvres and exchange stories of their day. A main dish of beef, fish, poultry, lamb, or pork follows with savory side dishes, fresh vegetables, and homemade bread. Oregon wines lend agreeable accompaniment, and every meal is brought to a gracious conclusion with a tempting dessert made for the occasion.
The Inn is a perfect lodging base for the numerous nearby attractions, such as Crater Lake National Park, Diamond Lake, excellent wineries and a wildlife safari park. Fishing at its most challenging, trails for hikers, and swimming are all within minutes of Steamboat Inn.
Additional accommodation options are available including the Steamboat rental houses, Illahee Inn, and the Dogwood Motel. Please call for details.
Day 1: Arrive Steamboat Inn.
Days 2-4: Full days of guided fishing
Day 5: Depart lodge.
"Steamboat Inn is fabulous and historic, highly recommended. Hospitality, food and drink are exceptional. Tony Wratney is an excellent guide and easy to get along with. He was prompt, professional and had good transportation. His vehicle is set up nicely for simple transportation of fly rods. The North Umpqua River requires some climbing up and down rocky, steep banks. Tony simplified this for us by carrying most of the equipment. Lunches were simple and delicious. He provided fresh bread, cold cuts, and the other amenities to make sandwiches as well as chips, cookies, and bottled drinks. The North Umpqua River is amazingly beautiful and provided plenty of eye-candy." M.G., PA