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KeystonerAugust 20th, 2012, 12:33 am
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
Hey guys!! Long time, no post. I bet most of you have forgotten all about your old e-pal, the Keystoner.

Just wanted to let you know things are going just swell in Oregon. I've been fishing the North Umpqua A LOT lately, and have been doing quite well. Hook up with steelhead almost every weekend. I've also taken to spey casting, and would give myself a C+, so far. Only downside to all this is that it has ruined me for trout fishing. Haven't touched the 5WT in months, and when asked if I caught anything I have a time or two responded, "Only trout". Only trout! What heresy. As soon as Steelhead get involved, the beloved trouts are second class citizens! Ironically, the fly bthat has brought me the most Steel is the old black Wooly Bugger 6, who knew.

Anyway, just wanted to drop a line. All the best!!
"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB
EntomanAugust 20th, 2012, 1:26 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hey Matthew,

Been wondering what you've been up to. Now I know... It is a fever - and very addictive!:) I'll know you've reached critical mass when I quit hearing you calling dark fuzzy hackled wiggly tails "woolly buggers" and you start using names like "Black GP's" or "Long -tailed Palmer Speys"... LOL

Beautiful river, huh? Thinking of making a trip up. How are the crowds?
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
KeystonerAugust 20th, 2012, 10:41 am
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
Hi Kurt,
Yes, the North Umpqua is beautiful and amazing. It's a 2hr haul from Eugene and I've made it the last 6 weekends. I can't stop, man!! You are right, it is addictive. The river, the fish, and the casting. I've been using a 11'3" 8wt which seems about perfect for the water levels right now. You really do not need to throw very many loooooong casts at this point.

As far as crowds, I'd say it's about what you'd expect. Good luck getting a camp site on Saturday afternoon. As far as on the water, it's not near as bad as you might think. Most guys are fishing in close proximity to a trailhead or turnout. I solve both of these problems by backpacking and bushwacking. I've fished some AWESOME tailouts with out seeing another person all weekend. Unless they were going by in a raft, of course.

If you are gonna make the trip up, be sure to let me know. Personally, I'm really amped for October. The only drag at present is that it's in the 90s through most of the days up there. I'd be ready to cool it down a bit.
"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB
PaulRobertsAugust 20th, 2012, 12:36 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
I unnerstand! Steelhead are the one fish that I felt I could truly shed all contacts with the human world for; Grow moss on my back and eat bugs at river side.

My wife loves to tell the story of how she flew from China to visit her brother (really hoping to get to know me, her brother's best friend) and how that December it rained! Steelhead filled the streams so early I had them all to myself. I practically slept on the water and my friend's sister never got to see me except once, during which I wore a distant but intense look in my eyes. "Girl, steelhead, girl, steelhead, ..." No contest.

We married quite a few years later, I guess after a few droughtish falls and bitter winters. I'm quite sane now actually. My wife insisted we move well inland. I take my fishing in small safe doses now -on small streams with small trout. I can handle that.
EntomanAugust 20th, 2012, 2:08 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Keystoner -

You'll know your in trouble when somebody mentions a Woolly Bugger and images like this come to your mind's eye.:)



Or like this:

"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SayfuAugust 21st, 2012, 11:58 am
Posts: 560
Beauties! Brings back the days of Enos Bradner, Syd Glasso, the retired school teacher from the Olympic Peninsula that tied some classic speys. Made me want to call up a friend that had a fish pond problem. Those long necked "Shy-Pokes" that would poke around in the shallows, and remove his fish. I was certain I could make one of them choke on one of his fish, and his spey hackle end up in my fly tying room. But it never happened. I aways ended up tying my beautiful woolly buggers!
OldredbarnAugust 25th, 2012, 4:13 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Matt,

Great to hear from you and that things seem to be working out for you. I can remember some posts when you first moved out that way where there was some doubt in your mind.

Now don't be so rough on the lowly trout. :) Sounds like you are getting spoiled out there. Last year I headed up to Michigan's Pere Marquette for the King salmon run and a guide friend set me up with an Orvis 10' 8wt and I was surprised how quickly I took to it. It had a Hatch reel.

So what else you doing out there?

We married quite a few years later, I guess after a few droughtish falls and bitter winters. I'm quite sane now actually. My wife insisted we move well inland. I take my fishing in small safe doses now -on small streams with small trout. I can handle that.


Paul. By "sane" do you mean thoroughly domesticated? :) It happens to the best of us, eh?!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
PaulRobertsAugust 27th, 2012, 10:11 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Paul. By "sane" do you mean thoroughly domesticated? :) It happens to the best of us, eh?!

Spence

Yes, that's it, in my case. Or a chunk of it. There are lots of options for insanity nowadays.
Jmd123August 27th, 2012, 2:30 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2530
A #6 black Woolly Bugger - just too funny!! Maybe there's lots of leeches for them to eat this year? The humble, old reliable WB continues to perform...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
KeystonerAugust 28th, 2012, 1:29 am
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
Jonathon, yes it really does. I've taken a couple more on the old WB since my original post.

Spence, my existense out here pretty much consists of work and steelhead. Been workin' at YOGI Tea (perhaps you've heard of it). Started as a temp, and ended up getting hired on. Other than that, I pretty much run straight down to the North Umpqua every weekend.

Don't get me wrong I still love those "little" trouts. But the first time I set into a 24inch chromer, something was forever changed. After you've you've raised your rod tip and felt that fish start horsing line off your reel, it's hard to go back to 8" Cutties. At least, that's what I've found. In conclusion, I would call this little Oregon experiment a success. I've got steady employment, I get a steelhead almost every weekend from an iconic and amazing river, oh and every now and then I even eat something.

It's all good.
"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB
KeystonerAugust 28th, 2012, 1:31 am
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
By the way, domestication and sanity are two things I have managed to avoid. So far...
"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB
OldredbarnAugust 28th, 2012, 11:24 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Matt,

You sound down-right evangelical! A born-again Steelhead evangelist! :) Kurt probably has the fishing wagon packed already and is heading your way.

Good to hear that the "experiment" is working out.

Spence

If you haven't already, look in to Ernie Schwiebert's, "Where Flows the Umpqua". It shows up in the collection, "Death of a Riverkeeper" and "The Compleat Schwiebert". If you have the latter Gonzo would have you also read, "Homage to Henryville" and I would send you to, "A Portrait of the Pere Marquette". That is if we can get you off the river long enough to do some reading! :)
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
KeystonerAugust 28th, 2012, 1:32 pm
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
Spence,

As cliche as it sounds, the North Umpqua has changed my life. I truly am a different person than I was when I pulled up outside the hostel 13 months ago. I would define it as satisfaction. A deep seated sense of satisfaction.

Thank you for the literary recomondations. I will be sure to look them up, as they will be surely useful for those mid-day hours that are always spent sitting on some boulder reading, writing, napping, or watching the rafters go by. I'm all "blissed out" over here!!

As far as Kurt and his fishing wagon, I hope to see him up here in late September. Feel free to come by yourself. There is plenty of ZEN to go around.

"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB

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