I had a couple cancellations, a recurring theme this month and rather than fret over it I went fishing. I try to get up to the Umpqua a couple times a year to chase it’s legendary summer steelhead. I had heard that the fishing had been good, a few fish had been caught after the river was closed for three weeks due to forest fires. I arrived on Sunday and had an angler in the run upstream from me hook up and land a fish within a few minutes of my arrival. As he was landing his fish, the angler just downstream hooked up as well. Not a common sight on this river, famed for it’s challenging fishing. A short time later I raised a fish in my run and after three fly changes it grabbed a favorite small wet fly I call a Little Black Dress and proceeded to bound around the pool until it came unhooked on it’s final leap. What an outstanding start. I fished upstream without luck and at dusk ran into the first angler I saw earlier land a fish. We swapped notes about our day, he had hooked another fish but neither of us had another fish to hand. We camped in adjoining sites and chatted a bit. Travis is a bike mechanic for a mountain bike race team centered in Bend, Oregon. He has recently been bit by Steelhead and fishes any time he is not on the road to a race. Turns out we like the same kind of water and kept running into each other so exchanged contact info and started planning to fish together again soon. I met Tom at the Susan Creek Campground the following evening. Tom is a retired teacher from Corvalis and hadn’t fished the Camp Water before so I offered to share it with him the following morning. While we didn’t find fish Travis landed another nice hatchery fish upstream from us. I ended up with fish hooked in all but the last session, and even landed a few. Catching or even hooking a fish as magical as a summer steelhead on a river as gorgeous as the Umpqua is a deeply rewarding experience. While I hope not to have many more cancellations I do plan to make it back up for a little more Umpqua magic again soon.