OREGON COAST WINTER STEELHEAD
– THE FISHING
Oregon’s north coast has a wide variety of rivers that are available to the fly angler. Beginning in the middle of November, small groups of steelhead begin their journey from the Pacific Ocean back to the streams from which they were born. As the winter progresses, larger and larger groups file into the systems in preparation to spawn. This migration lasts until the end of April, with the bulk of the wild steelhead run entering fresh water during January, February and March. It is during this time that we chase these fish in earnest.
The north coast’s steelhead streams are often short, high gradient originating deep within the coast range. Upper stretches within these watersheds are riddled with canyons, waterfalls and whitewater. We spend our time fishing the transition zones between the high gradient upper rivers and the coastal flat lands of the lower rivers.
Much of that water we fish isn’t what folks would call classic steelhead fly water. Often times our rivers run bank to bank, with very little exposed shoreline or gravel bar. Wading can be tricky, trying to maneuver through boulders as well as bedrock, and overhanging branches can get in the way of even the most skilled caster. But the fish are there, and our job is to figure out a way to get your fly to the fish. The nice thing about having not-so-classic fly water is we can often pin-point where fish will be lying within a run and select only the best to fish.
Most fishing days will consist of doing a float in either self-bailing raft or drift boat. Float distances range from two to upwards of ten miles. Some days we may do multiple floats on a river, or jump to another river in the area halfway through the day. Occasionally, we will hike a small section of river in the morning, and then float in the afternoon; this will all depend on the river conditions as well as the interest of the guest. While floating, we will typically fish from the boat with strike indicators in-between each carefully selected swinging run, where we will get out and swing flies from shore. Our guides prefer to use spey and switch rods for this type fishing, and are all well versed in instruction for the novice two handed caster.
Swinging flies for steelhead is one of the most challenging things a fly angler can do, so it is important to understand the a days success will be measured in grabs. On the North Coast, we hope for a grab or two a day, and a few fish mixed in caught on dead drifted flies. The reward to the challenge though, is the fish, often chrome bright, and fresh from the salt. Our fish average eight to ten pounds, with fish over fifteen caught every season.
We offer all-inclusive packages in a beautiful beach home near the town of Rockaway Beach, OR. Up to six guests (but typically four) share a four bed, two and a half bath home just a few minutes walk from the beach and short drive to local rivers. Our private chef will prepare all of your meals during your stay utilizing the freshest locally sourced ingredients.
January 19-24: 4 day/5 night – Arrive evening of the 19th, fish 10, 21, 22, 23, depart morning of 24th. 2 spaces available
January 18-February 1: 3 day/ 4 night 4 spaces available
February 12-15: 2 day/3 night – 4 spaces available – Ladies Only
February 23-28: 3, 4, or 5 day trip – 2 spaces available
March 1-6: 3, 4, or 5 day trip – 2 spaces available
March 29-April 3: 3, 4, or 5 day trip – 2 spaces available
January: 5-10, 17, 24
February: 21, 28
March: 20, 27
All-inclusive rates include: food, beverages, lodging and guiding
2 Day/3 Night: $1,500
3 day/4 night: $2,500
4 day/5 night: $3,200
5 day/ 6 night: $3,950
Single day pricing: $600/boat, one or two anglers
What’s not included:
Fishing license, alcoholic beverages and gratuities