Sixes River steelhead fishing

my2labs
my2labs
Hello all.

I am taking a trip to the Sixes river in southern Oregon soon and was wondering if anyone can speak to it?

Its gonna be myself and three friends Ive had since I was a kid. Two of us have drift boats and we are having a competition for bragging rights. One I would really, REALLY like to win

Thanks for any insight into that river.

It is also possible that we may float the Elk but the rapid just below the hatchery is a deterrent for us. My friend does not row often and I am a weekend rower for only the last two seasons on the Sandy.

There is a lot of info online about the Elk but almost none on the sixes.

Any help is appreciated.

Good luck!
 
C_Run
C_Run
There is a secondary launch below that rapid at the hatchery. Call the hatchery and see if it's open. I'd bet you would do fine over the "falls" if you scout it first. I've been over once as a passenger and it was fine.

I've been from Edson Cr. to the Grange on Sixes with guides and friends a few times. I don't recall anything dangerous. Lots of nice water.
 
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my2labs
my2labs
Appreciate the info. I will absolutely call about the launch.

I have floated the sixes once with a guide and it was very lite.

The Elk river rapid videos online do show that as at as long as you enter the shoot between the rocks and nose first, there are no other hazards through it. Additionally, the lead into the riffle appears to offer an adequate amount of time to position yourself correctly. It just looks like it really launches the boat through and that is giving me some pause.

Thanks again.
 
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N
Native Fisher
I fish the sixes pretty regularly for salmon/steelhead. I hike the river and bank fish, usually you can find me somewhere between midway and the recreation area up at the forks. I will warn you that the sixes and elk have both been incredibly slow this year so far, but they often get a good burst of fish in the beginning of March. It is a great river to bobber and jig fish, my most productive jigs are peach/pink combo and nightmare. I often times tie a bead on as a trailer about 24" behind the jig with good success, and adding a sand shrimp tail to your jig will also up your odds. If you go above edison aways there are several good slides you can use, and will allow you to fish some additional holes. The times I have been on a boat, I haven't found them to respond well to plugs. No matter where you launch the sixes is an easy river too row with the only issue being some real shallow spots if it is low. If it is low spend a long time working the obvious holes, if you can't see to the bottom it will likely have some fish in it. If the water is perfect let your bobber/jig float well into the tailout as they will often hold back there when the water is "steelhead green".

On the elk, there is a launch inside the hatchery itself, just follow the road past the holding ponds and down to the river, that will avoid the "falls" near there. The elk will stay green for a long time during river rises, often times I will find the sixes a muddy mess and the elk will still be reasonably clear.
 
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my2labs
my2labs
Excellent response. Thank you very much sir. This forum is really excellent. All of the help I've received from it over the years is greatly appreciated.
 
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my2labs
my2labs
So the trip was great. We floated the Elk as the Sixes was chocolate milk. My fisherman (first time steelheader) hooked and lost three. Two were monsters!

That river is so beautiful. Large overhanging trees, and cut banks corral this beautiful emerald green water with salty winds in your face.

I will be back to that river soon.

The other boat did not hook a fish and the ones hooked in my boat were all bobber doggin.

can't speak enough about the extremely nice shuttle ladies and town folk in Bandon who were extremely willing to provide us with information and guidance.

All in all, no fish were boated, but a virgin steel header felt three for awhile, (one I estimate was in the upper teens), and I got to see some friends that I haven't in a long time.

If you have not been down the elk, it is a must.

I sort of hate the Sandy a little now... :)

The elk floated easy as well. Nothing to worry about and the launch below the hatchery causes you to lose roughly 80 yards of water (basically nothing). I am unsure why everyone doesn't use it as people do sink at the falls 80 yards above it. Kind of silly in my opinion to take the chance when there is zero benefit.
 
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my2labs
my2labs
Photos are not usually my thing as I am a private fella but this one is worth sharing with my OFF friends who will be able to relate to a great reunion of friends over fishing...

photo32212.jpg
 
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N
Native Fisher
Glad you enjoyed your trip to our little piece of heaven. There are rivers and streams south of the elk all the way to california border that are beautiful and contain that untouched feeling you get when floating the elk. I'd love to have about 2 weeks to go south and fish all the little creeks that are teaming with winter steelhead down there. The only reason to put in above the hatchery is to fish the hole right there at the launch. Particularly in Salmon season the water fall hole and the hole above the falls can be really productive when the water is high.
 
my2labs
my2labs
A big thank you to you for all of your advice ahead of time. Really helped us gauge our approach...
 
Kilowatt-Hour
Kilowatt-Hour
my2labs said:
can't speak enough about the extremely nice shuttle ladies and town folk in Bandon who were extremely willing to provide us with information and guidance.
Can you share contact info for the "extremely nice shuttle ladies"?

I hope to fish the Elk/Sixes soon and appreciate the information in this thread. I recently downsized from a 17'6" drift boat to a 13' Koffler river pram (Rocky Mountain Trout Boat.) and am happy to hear the rivers are not very technical.
 
jamisonace
jamisonace
Kilowatt-Hour said:
Can you share contact info for the "extremely nice shuttle ladies"?
Elk/Sixes Shuttle
Debbie
5416550655

my2labs said:
The elk floated easy as well. Nothing to worry about and the launch below the hatchery causes you to lose roughly 80 yards of water (basically nothing). I am unsure why everyone doesn't use it as people do sink at the falls 80 yards above it. Kind of silly in my opinion to take the chance when there is zero benefit

I can think of a few reasons to launch above the falls instead of the low water launch. The fishing above the falls can be very good. The launch is much easier and quicker. If you know how to approach the falls its no problem. And, its an exhilarating way to start the day. I like to wait until there is enough light on the water so we can see instead of just feel and hear the experience. I'm sure boats have sank on it but I've never known of anyone. Hundreds of boats go over it each week at peak season. Its not that big of a deal. I went with a guide my first time and was pretty nervous the first time I did it by myself but I made it through without incident.
 
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