Fly Fishing The Illinois River Oregon
The Illinois River's headwaters are located in California
but it flows across the state line on a 60 mile journey to
the Rogue River. The river flows through Cave Junction
Oregon and the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. The wilderness
area section of the Illinois river is a designated "Wild and
Scenic River" and can only be accessed by foot or boat.

This isn't water that's suitable for a drift boat. It consist
almost entirely of white-water rapids. The wilderness
section lies in between the uppermost and lower
sections of the river. Fly fishing the Illinois River for
trout, salmon or steelhead can be an exciting experience.

The upper section is noted for its trout fishing
opportunities and the section below Cave Junction is
known for its steelhead fishing. The Illinois River's
regulations provide for catch and release, artificial flies
and lures only.

Half-pounders or summer run steelhead, show up from
September through December. The peak of the season
is in October. These small steelhead range from 12 to
20 inches.

The winter steelhead go up to twenty pounds with March
being the peak of their season. Fishing is open for catch
and release steelhead and trout fishing up to the
Pomeroy Dam near Cave Junction above the Wilderness

From Cave Junction up to the end of the road at Briggs
Creek, access is limited due to strips of private property
but some access is available.  Plenty of accesses is
available in the Sisklyou National Forest near County
Road #4103. There's also some access in the area of

The Illinois River Road follows along the river from
Briggs Creek upstream for about fifteen miles. This
section consist of heavy pocket water with lots of
boulders and pools. Below the Wilderness Area, most
access routes requires some hiking.

The lower end of the Illinois, from near Agness
downstream for about three miles, can be fished from a
drift boat

You can wade the river in many places but doing so can
be dangerous. You should use extra caution when
wading. A wading staff may come in handy.

The season is year-round but species dependent
Steelhead fishing peaks from December through April.
Steelhead fishing continues in April. Trout fishing is
good after the Spring runoff.
Summertime is okay for trout.
September and October are the best times for the
half-pounders. Trout fishing is good the first part of Fall.
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Type of Stream

Winter Steelhead
Summer Steelhead (Half-pounders)
Rainbow Trout

Small to Medium, 60 miles long

Southern Oregon

Nearest Towns
Cave Junction

Species dependent

Fair to good

Non-Resident License
State of Oregon

National Weather Service

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