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Mark Stangeland - NUFlyGuide
It's steelheading time. Don't miss out on the action.
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Live before you die

Posted by Mark Friday, August 13, 2010

 I took the family down to the North Umpqua for a few days and it was a blast! We have been down there with them a few times now.The kids, while still a bit young(3 and 4) to put a rod in their hands, already love the river and all it has to offer.Thus the title of my post. If I waited to take them to all the places that Debi and I know and love, it would be to late. The time is now. Live before you die.We are gonna take them out and show them the things that are meaningful to us. Weather we are rich or poor( were poor now) we are going to live and go and explore and ramble around like my parents did with me. None of us know what tomorrow brings and I don't want regrets about not bringing them up in the outdoors.Or regrets about not doing all the things you wanted to when you were still able to do them.I want them to have the appreciation for the outdoors and to see some of the beautiful places that I have come to know.

 Best buddies

Future Anglers

 My wife has become quite the steelheader and loves to fish a skated fly...on a single hander no less. Right out of the box on Sunday night after we set up camp, Debi is in one of her favorite runs fishing a skater. She makes about 15 cast and gets a solid yank from a fish that would not come back to anything else. I don't know what it is but she is fishy as all get out. She hasn't fished much at all the last few years and she just has the stuff. I can't explain it. Her fish risen/hooked per hour spent on that river is off the chart.

With action right off the bat I think it may be a sign of things to come. The weather was cooler and cloud cover hung around most of the days we were there. We fished good water well and didn't get another sniff the rest of the night.

 Debi about to get yanked in the rainbow rays(loved the lens flare on this one)
 Debi putting in time( getting to the central structure)
 Monday I fished hard all morning taking my pick of whatever I wanted. Light fishing pressure and some lingering clouds extended the session a bit. After exhausting the pools I had planned for my morning routine, I decided to fish some different stuff. I decided to fish a run that is a very hard cast from a very weird position. You are up on a rock cliff about 15 ft in the air, with rock close behind and all around you. I left the single hander in the truck and opted for the 7130 in this instance. The fish hold out at 80+ft and it's a funky off shoulder cast into the frogwater before the current picks up the fly and moves it into the tail. After getting into the very bottom of the V tail out a fish hammers my surface fly and I'm hooked up. About 15 seconds later, the line slacks and he's gone......with my fly. I reel in and look at my tippet. A nice neat clinch knot still attached and the loop that goes around the eye of the hook had broken. I had heard the sound of my fly hitting a rock down below me on one of my lifts and thought"hum, I better check that" I never did and it cost me a nice fish. Operator error on my part but hey, you live and learn right.Not the first time and certainly not the last time I will loose a fish to some sort of failure in my equipment or a mental error or both. I just like to keep them spread out you know. Up until then I had not lost a fish this summer. I haven't hooked a ton but I was batting a thousand up till then.Oh well, that's fishing.

I rose one more fish before we left and it would not come time Charlie we call them. Overall fishing was tough. We had some chances but couldn't capitalize.There just didn't seem to be a lot of fish around. I looked in some favorite spots as the sun was out and did not see the amount of fish I normally would see. There is a run that I have fished for years that hasn't had a fish holding since June. It always holds fish and it is unexplainable why they aren't there.

I always try and run by and see Lee at Bend pool and see what's up. Lee said even fish in Steamboat Creek are holding in weird places. The plunge pools below the Bend pool Lee watches had more fish in them than I have ever seen. A hundred plus in one and a bunch more in some others.300 or so in Bend pool, a hundred or so below that, probably another hundred scattered on the way up. There could be 500 or so up Steamboat Creek by now. Good to see. Also some amazing specimens. Many in the 15-18lb range, yes summer fish do get that large in the NU. Maybe even 1 or two pushing 20. Kind of makes you weak in the knees looking at them swim around in the crystal clear water. Truly a unique viewing opportunity for native fish not found anywhere else in the world. I have seen a few big fish in my years on the river but that is not a fish that you see on the end of the line very often. I want to pet an 18 or 20 lb NU summer run...just for a minute.

Plunge pool below Bend Pool( hard to see but easily a hundred fish in there)

Fish holding in front of the wall in Bend Pool

A hundred+ fish in the upper end of Bend Pool nosed into the cool water coming from Big Bend Creek

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