Aug 29th, 2019
Check out this Summer Recap from Dillon Renton, head guide at the Umpqua Summer Basecamp in Oregon:
While summer steelhead fishing on the North Umpqua is far from over, our time guiding the river this season is coming to a close. It is time for us to transition from the steep, evergreen-lined waters of the Umpqua to the scenic, desert oasis of the Deschutes. Its been an amazing Summer spending time with people at both the North Umpqua Basecamp and with single-day outings. Thanks to everyone that joined us on one of the most beautiful rivers in the world!
This summer was different in many ways from last year. Heat waves avoided the Pacific Northwest for the most part and spared us from repetitive 100 degree days. Water temperatures stayed low enough to avoid the “hoot-owl” 2:00 PM closures experienced last July and August. While official counts have yet to be released, steelhead returns to the North Umpqua appear to have been better than in 2017 and 2018. It was a comforting feeling to step out into the river each morning with confidence.
Similarly to years past, fishing had a “spotty” feeling at times. Groups of fish would push into the fly-water section and provide for some good fishing. As that group of fish moved through the system and were found by anglers, fishing would obviously slow and it would be a waiting game for the next arrival. A week of good fishing would more than likely be followed by a week of slower angling. Some mornings sent you back to camp with a couple fish while others, seemingly perfect with spots chosen, produced nothing. In the end, that is steelhead fishing.
All that said, seeing more fish in the system and at the end of our lines has us all optimistic for what next year has to offer. Hopefully, this year was an indicator of the runs to come.
Following the season, its easy to seem jaded by the long days and countless early rises. It was truly an amazing summer. Being able to share the river with anglers who appreciate the beauty of the North Umpqua is worth all the effort and night time alarm clocks. Even more amazing is to watch someone raise a steelhead to a skater who hadn’t before or who was just as excited as I when the fish broke the water. This year, it seemed that more anglers got to hook their first fish on the surface than many before. There’s no doubt that a surface take on the North Umpqua is a moment that is permanently imprinted on the minds of those who experience it. As a guide, helping create those moments is what its all about for me.
Again, thanks to all who joined us on the North Umpqua this Summer!
For anglers looking forward to their next Umpqua adventure, its not too early to start considering a winter trip. For the Winter Basecamp, our all-inclusive multi-day trip, look toward March when the majority of steelhead have returned. Swinging and drifting from the boat are both available on many days. Single day trips will be available December through March as well.
To learn more about Dillon, his family, and their offerings across the state of Oregon, click HERE.
Contact Andy at 800.552.2729 for more information on our offerings on the North Umpqua River