Paddling the Siuslaw

FairweatherFisher
FairweatherFisher
Hey all,

I’m interested in floating/paddling the Siuslaw between Mapleton & Florence this year. I recently found the Siuslaw Water Trail, which shows boat ramps, distances, and such. Seems simple enough. Looking on YouTube I’ve found a few videos of this trip, and it looks like very calm water.

My question is how does the tide affect this stretch? It looks like it’s about 17-18mi from Mapleton to Florence. Going with the current, that sounds like a fun day-long trip. Getting back to the car, going up river, sounds nearly impossible unless the tide changes the direction the river flows, and I can ride the current back upstream as well.
 
troutdude
troutdude
Troll with hot pink Rooster Tails, for some Bluebacks while you're at it! Also try brown Rooster Tails too (they are usually better upstream, in fresh water, cuz they mimic crawdad fry); but ya never know.

If you have a bug wand...find and fling some Borden Specials also for Bluebacks.
 
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FairweatherFisher
FairweatherFisher
troutdude said:
Troll with hot pink Rooster Tails, for some Bluebacks while you're at it! Also try brown Rooster Tails too (they are usually better upstream, in fresh water, cuz they mimic crawdad fry); but ya never know.

If you have a bug wand...find and fling some Borden Specials also for Bluebacks.
Thanks, those are great suggestions!!

One question….what’s a blueback?
 
kemfish
kemfish
I think the tidal influence goes up to Mapleton. Haven't kayaked on it, but below Mapleton it looks like you could paddle in both both directions unless you were out in some high water conditions which is unlikely in summer. I've been out fishing on the Smith a couple times this spring which looks a lot the same and had no issue going upriver even against the tide..

Not sure where you're located, but you could also just do a little recon by launching somewhere like the Tiernan landing and seeing how you can move around.

I think you most difficult part would be down in Florence itself where the river could have a little more strength and the tides and winds would move you more.
 
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O. mykiss
O. mykiss
It is tidally influenced well past mapleton. Paddling against the tide isn’t terrible, but I would plan your trip on a day with softer tides. Another consideration I haven’t seen mentioned is the wind factor. The wind can ruin a trip or even make it a capsizing issue. If it were me, I would plan your trip so the tide is in your favor, low wind forecast, and start right after runrise. The wind here at the coast usually picks up around noon. Good luck and catch some blue backs!
 
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kemfish
kemfish
forgot, bluebacks are sea run cutthroat
 
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FairweatherFisher
FairweatherFisher
kemfish said:
forgot, bluebacks are sea run cutthroat
Oh, then heck yeah I want to try to catch some! I was googling blueback fish and it was returning a herring lol.
 
FairweatherFisher
FairweatherFisher
O. mykiss said:
It is tidally influenced well past mapleton. Paddling against the tide isn’t terrible, but I would plan your trip on a day with softer tides. Another consideration I haven’t seen mentioned is the wind factor. The wind can ruin a trip or even make it a capsizing issue. If it were me, I would plan your trip so the tide is in your favor, low wind forecast, and start right after runrise. The wind here at the coast usually picks up around noon. Good luck and catch some blue backs!
Thank you for the advice! I hadn’t thought to consider the wind forecast. I’ll be in an inflatable raft, so it’d be a little harder to capsize, but nevertheless I’d rather not be fighting strong winds if I can avoid it.
 
rogerdodger
rogerdodger
My advice is also check the Siltcoos canoe/kayak trail. Starts at the Lane county launch on the lake, over to the outlet, down the river, under 101 bridge, over the dam using a special slide, then goes all the way to the ocean. Good chance of encountering river otters and various birds/ducks.
 
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troutdude
troutdude
FairweatherFisher said:
Thanks, those are great suggestions!!

One question….what’s a blueback?
LOL Had a hunch. It's what we Alsea & Siletz fishermen call SRC's (sea run cutthroats).
 
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troutdude
troutdude
@FairweatherFisher I forgot to mention the "why" to calling them Bluebacks. It's because their backs turn to a very rich, and darkish, blue when they return to freshwater. At least on the 2 streams mentioned above.
 
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FairweatherFisher
FairweatherFisher
troutdude said:
@FairweatherFisher I forgot to mention the "why" to calling them Bluebacks. It's because their backs turn to a very rich, and darkish, blue when they return to freshwater. At least on the 2 streams mentioned above.
Yeah, I’d never heard of them before this thread. I went and looked on the ODFW’s website about them, and it seems like July is a good time to go after them AND there shouldn’t be any salmon/steelhead runs (I don’t have that tag) so it sounds like a perfect time to go try this float.
 
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troutdude
troutdude
FairweatherFisher said:
Yeah, I’d never heard of them before this thread. I went and looked on the ODFW’s website about them, and it seems like July is a good time to go after them AND there shouldn’t be any salmon/steelhead runs (I don’t have that tag) so it sounds like a perfect time to go try this float.
DING DING DING!!! Yes, they will begin their move into tidewaters soon.
 
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rogerdodger
rogerdodger
FairweatherFisher said:
Yeah, I’d never heard of them before this thread. I went and looked on the ODFW’s website about them, and it seems like July is a good time to go after them AND there shouldn’t be any salmon/steelhead runs (I don’t have that tag) so it sounds like a perfect time to go try this float.
yep, Siuslaw doesn't even open for salmon until Aug.1 and the run doesn't really get going until late in the month, you should be all good.
 
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FairweatherFisher
FairweatherFisher
rogerdodger said:
yep, Siuslaw doesn't even open for salmon until Aug.1 and the run doesn't really get going until late in the month, you should be all good.
Excellent!
 
C_Run
C_Run
I've been kayak fishing 12 years now and can attest to the fact that wind can negate any help from drifting with the tide. That especially goes for an inflatable. I can think of at least four times when I thought I would paddle somewhere and float back with the tide but the wind came up fierce and ruined my plans, In fact a couple of times I had to get out of the yak and pull/wade to make it back with the coastal wind whipping.

I did find some success on the 10th on one of the famous rivers of the Northwest Zone. I ended up catching and releasing 14 and probably lost about that many. I was using a couple of homemade spoons and a small Mepps spinner. They all worked equally well. Pro tip...go at low tide. There is less water and the fish are more concentrated. Look for structure/ cut banks. Good luck.
 
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