Every summer for several seasons, Craig and Jerri have enjoyed a tradition of friends and family joining them for an annual pilgrimage to the Umpqua River to search for summer run Steelhead. The Umpqua has one of the few remaining runs of wild summer fish in the lower 48 states that supports angling. The fish are also surface oriented and getting one to tip up from a deep emerald pool for a skated fly can be one of the most magical moments in our sport. The Umpqua is steeped in tradition and is famous in the lore of the sport so for us sharing this tradition with those we love is what it really is all about. We enjoy telling some fish tales about our success or lack of it during cocktail hour, a breakfast at the Steamboat Inn or one of our evening potluck BBQ’s, perhaps the highlight of which was a whole lamb roasted Argentinian style on a cross over an open fire this season.
This year a couple dozen folks joined us for the week, most of which took the opportunity to fish. Some folks new to the river, as well as a couple not so new, opted to fish with some great local guides who we heartily recommend, Rich Zellman and Tony Wratney. A big thank you to Nana & Papa, Ed & Melinda, Tim & Judy, Greg & Larry, Jim, Gui, Tim, Brandon, Brian, Joel, Dave, Zach, Tony, Avery, Mike, Steve, and Ray for helping to make this year one of the most memorable visits ever. A great trip for family and friends who don’t fish as well, some folks took hikes, biked, swam, camped, ate, drank, and slept under the stars.
Fishing conditions were challenging as the weather was hot after a little rain, one of those times when “we should have been there the weekend before.” Despite the lack of action most folks stuck to searching with dry flies and floating lines. Over the week perhaps a dozen or so steelhead were caught and released with Ed and Zach at the head of the class with three fish to hand each. Look for reports on hosted trips to the Grande Ronde in October (still some openings, call) and the Skeena (sold out) in late September or early October. For more photos of this trip check out the Umpqua Selects album.