Friday, April 15, 2011


I'm a fly fishermen. Plain and simple. And yes, I fly fish for springers.  With good water conditions they're very do-able, especially my larger bugs on spey rods.  But the number of "good water" days we get on the Umpqua during the months of April and May can usually be counted on one hand.  That means if you want to catch the "King" of all salmon consistently, you better know how to fish conventional tackle for the other 90 plus days that we call "Springer Season". 
This week begins the start of my spring chinook season.  Water is high, murky and fairly cold.  Great conditions for gear trips, but not so much for my fly clients.  My season will start off with two of my favorite clients (pictured above) Johnny and Fran Delashaw.  Last season we had a great day, hooking five and landing three.
During conventional tackle trips I fish bait-wrapped Kwik-Fish, Spinners from R&B Tackle and Rogue bait-rigs. All work very well and my choices are based on water temp, turbidity and where I anchor my powerboat. 
Its the kind of fishery that I look so forward to every year.  Days are getting longer and even once in awhile the sun shines.  The tree's are all starting leaf-up with the promise of a new summer.  Its VERY relaxing as you sit in an anchored boat with rods sitting in their holders, waiting patiently for the rod to double over and line to start screaming off your reel!  Cups of coffee go flying, sandwiches are tossed aside as folks grab up their rods!  AWSOME.  Then the ensuing battle will force us to toss the anchor rope and float overboard so that we can go after the fish thats racing off downstream at an incredible pace before it spools us.  INCREDIBLE.  Its fun for the whole family.  Terry and his family in the above photo camp on the river like many folks do and stay fishing for several days at a time.  Some of my fondest memories of fishing with all of my boys was during the years when my wife was finishing her degree at the U of O and each evening that I wasn't working, the boys and I would head for the river, fish for springers, b-b-q hot dogs or burgers for dinner, work on their homework in the boat and fish till dark. 

No doubt I love to fly fish, but these springers are soooooo much fun, fight soooooo hard and eat sooooo good that I don't complain one bit when water conditions force me to leave my fly gear at home and break out my level winds and salmon rods and enjoy some of the best fishing the Umpqua has to offer!

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree Dean, Umpqua/Rogue springer is the real deal. I might have a little report coming up next week myself......