- Apr 28, 2009
- Roseburg, Oregon
I spent a week on my favorite rivers in Southern Oregon this year. Like so many coastal streams in Oregon the rivers are so dependent on just the right amount of water. I hit the rivers just after the first significant rain and was hoping for rain during the week to keep them up but it didn't quite happen that way. The initial rain brought both rivers up and one was fishable for one day and the other was not fishable for a couple days. On Monday we floated in the afternoon and had a few take downs with two solid hook ups and 1 landed. Tuesday I gave it a half hearted attempt again but the water had dropped to low and clear and I knew better fishing was lining up on the other river. Wednesday we did a quick float on a muddy but fishable river and started getting fish from the second we put in. I was in my friends boat that day and we dropped the anchor right off the put in while he baited a back bouncing rod. I threw out a couple plugs and within a few seconds one of the rods buried. We hooked fish for about the first 1/2 mile of the float but after that we didn't get bit. Ended up with 2 beautiful fish in the box for our efforts. On Thursday I expected the water to be perfect but it wasn't. Still lots of color and leaves but it ended up being a great day anyway. Only 3 boats decided to float the drift we chose and we were all rewarded. Again, I fished the put in and within 10 yards of putting our gear in the water we got a fish on. It was dark and I made the mistake of trying to get the second rod in before I took the boat far enough away from the bank. The fish went into the bank and probably rubbed the lure on branches. We got it off the bank and it freed itself a few seconds later. That ended up being the story the entire day. Weird stuff all day. Lot's of takedowns that didn't stick and 7 fish that we couldn't get to the net. Pretty frustrating because both of us in the boat are decent fishermen but we were making stupid mistakes all day. Then came Friday. I have to admit I was a bit nervous because of the poor showing on Thursday. I figured the water was going to be in good shape and we knew the river had a lot of fish in it. We were the first at the launch an hour before legal fishing and hauled butt downstream about halfway through the float to get on the water we wanted. We fished the first hole for about 45 minutes expecting at least a couple fish but got nothing. Reluctantly we moved to the next hole that didn't produce any bites the day before. First pass we got slammed hard but the fish didn't stick. I kept moving down the hole and got slammed again and this one stuck. I anchored the boat in what I thought was a few inches of water, grabbed the net and went to jump out. My shin hit the gunnel and I went face first into about 3 feet of water. Damn that was cold. We got that fish in and promptly went back into the run. Next pass, with my friend at the oars, we drilled another fish. Both were wild so we figured we'd push out and hit the other river that has a hatchery run to see if we could limit out there. On the way down I decided to fish a couple spots. There is the possibility of a hatchery fish and if nothing else it was likely we would get to fight a couple more fish. We dropped into my favorite run on this float and the rod got slammed but didn't stick. A few feet later, fish on. My buddy fought it and just before we got it in he is saying it would be nice if it released itself. I asked if he had seen a fin because I hadn't and sure enough it was a hatchery unicorn. Bonk! Next pass, takedown doesn't stick, takedown doesn't stick, takedown sticks and just as I'm getting the rod out of the rod holder, another takedown that doesn't stick. I get that fish to the boat and that fish was a hatchery brat too. 4/4 by 8:30 in the morning with two hatchery fish that shouldn't have been there. It was a great trip. My worst hook up to landing ratio every but still fun. I came home and sharpened the hooks on every hook I used on that trip even though none of them will be used again until the springers show up in Roseburg. I added a few pics from the trip. No giants this year but all the fish we kept were nice and bright.