Copyright 2015 James Marsh
North Fork Umpqua River Fly Fishing Guide - Gear, Tackle and
The gear, tackle and flies you need depends on the species of fish you are targeting. Most
fly anglers target steelhead in the North Fork of the Umpqua River. These fish are large,
averaging about six pounds and getting as large as twelve pounds and they fight very hard.
You need big flies to catch them and this requires a little heavier fly fishing gear than normal
trout fishing. We also provide information you need for trout fishing the headwaters.
Steelhead and Salmon
The fly line we recommend for salmon fishing the North Fork Umpqua River should be either
an 9 or 10 weight, floating fly line. The fly line we recommend for steelhead fishing should be
a 7 or 8 weight, floating fly line. If you prefer to use a Spey rod, then the line should probably
be a 9 weight line made for Spey fishing.
Fly Line Weight:
Adding weight to your fly line is dependant on the flow and depth of the pools you are
fishing. You can add a sink tip line or split shot.
The fly rod we recommend for salmon fishing should be an 9 or 10 weight, in a nine foot
length. It is probably best in a medium fast to fast action.
The fly rod we recommend for steelhead fishing is a 7 or 8 weight in a nine foot length. It is
probably best in a medium fast to fast action.
If you prefer to use a Spey Rod, then we suggest a 9 weight, 14 foot length rod. It should be
a medium to fast action rod.
You want a stiff, hard leader material like our Perfect Fly leaders. The size should range
from a minimum of ten pound test up to twelve pound test. They should be nine to fifteen
feet long for a regular fly rod and from ten and a half to fifteen feet for two handed Spey
rods. If you use a sinking fly line, you would want them only about four to six feet long. We
have hand-tied Perfect Fly steelhead leaders.
You want to carry plenty of extra tippet material for ten to twelve pound test. It too should be
hard, stiff material that is abrasive resistance.
Unless you want to fish from the banks in the few areas it is practical, then waders are
necessary. We suggest them even if you fish from a drift boat.
The wading boots you use are very important. Both cleats and rubber/felt bottoms are used.
A landing net is recommended. The main requirement is that the net should be very large.
The net area should be at least 15 inches wide by 20 inches long. The overall length is
usually around 32 inches.
We have a complete line of flies for steelhead and salmon. We have selected them as the
most popular flies from thousands of patterns that have been developed over the years. We
have some of our own Perfect Fly steelhead and salmon patterns. They imitate the
hexigenia mayfly nymph, certain caddisfly nymphs, stonefly nymphs and fish roe or eggs
that are found in the river throughout the year. We also have a full line of popular wet flies,
egg flies, Spey flies that are very popular. We hope you will give our flies a try.
We recommend either a 4 or 5 weight floating line for the trout. Some anglers may prefer to
use a 6 weight fly line for their nymphs and streamer fishing, but it wouldn't be absolutely
We recommend a rod for the 4, 5 or 6 weight line that is nine feet in length in a medium fast
to fast action.
The reel for the four, five or six weight rod should have a decent drag. It should be smooth.
A disc drag that adjust in fine increments would be best.
You should use leaders from 71/2 foot to 12 foot in length for the North Fork Umpqua River.
I suggest having them in sizes ranging from 0X for streamers, up to 6X for small dry flies and
midges, in the various lengths.
You should have extra tippet in sizes ranging from 0X to 6X.
Waders are necessary for the North Fork Umpqua River. We prefer the breathable type.
You may want neoprene waders during cold weather.
Much of the bottom in either gravel, sand or rock. You would not want cleats. Felt soles are
A landing net is purely optional.
We definitely recommend our "Perfect Fly" trout flies. They are by far the best flies for the
North Fork Umpqua River because they are the most realistic flies you can purchase. We
have imitations of every insect and other trout food that is present in this stream. If you
haven't done so already, we ask you to give them a try. We know you will not be
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
Recommended Tackle & Gear