Email me
About UsThe Rivers we Fish in OregonWhat We're Fishing for Now!Fishing Trip Rates and Accommodations
A must for Oregon Steelhead Fishing
About o2fishRivers we FishRates and AccommodationsWhere We're fishing Now

Oregon Weather LinksNOAA River Gages and PlotsOregon Dept. of Fish and WildlifeVarious Fishing LinksOregon Chinook SalmonWelcome to the McKenzie River ValleyThe life cycle of Oregon Steelhad and Steelhead fishingHistory of the McKenzie Drift Boat


Oregon Fishing Report

These are Oregon rivers and coastal streams I fish first hand.

I try to update this Oregon fishing report about once a month. As you scroll down through the past reports you should be better able to plan your Oregon Fishing Trip.

Jon Payne Oregon Salmon and Steelhead Fishing Guide

UPDATED February 14th, 2011

Large Umpqua River Winter Steelhead caught Feb. 13th, 2011. Congrats Kalan on a Beauty!
Kalan with a Dandy Umpqua Winter Steelhead


Good Winter Steelhead Fishing on The Umpqua River this week during the low water conditions. Rain is excpected the next few days which should bring new Steelhead into the Siuslaw and Alsea R ivers. Lake creek is also a good bet as we have had no rain for almost two weeks. Plenty of Steelhead should be staging in the bay ready to move as the rivers rise.

*TIP of the WEEK*
For the past 4 years I have used "Fish Pills" exclusivley. These small colored foam balls simply slip over the bend of the hook and keep the hook pointed up at all times. I have seen my catch rate improve to over 80% since I started using these.

"Fish Pill" Simply slip over the bend of the hook!
Mad River's "Fish Pill" The only floating attracter I use


Early predictions are for another strong run of Willamette Spring Chinook. Over 65,00 last year with this year predicted to be about the same. We should see McKenzie River Chinook about the 15th of May depending on water conditions. Book now for best dates!


UPDATED January, 17th, 2011


Winter fishing began as soon as we received our first November storm. Trifectas on the Alsea! Chinook Salmon, Silver Salmon, Winter Steelhead, all in one day!

Alsea River Winter Steelhead
Alsea River Winter Steelhead


The Alsea remains my first choice through January, or until water clears, then over to the Siuslaw, if the rivers drop even more the Umpqua becomes my favorite option.
I fished the Alsea last week and did fair to good. Seemed like more fish should have been around. 36 degree water temp can slow the fish down. Those days are over as local coastal rivers just crested near flood level. Predictions are for little or no rain over the next week and we will have fishable conditions by Wednesday.

Alsea River Steelhead ready for the BBQ
Alsea River Steelhead Fillet ready for the BBQ, yummy!

UPDATED August, 30th, 2010


Summer fishing has been good with the solid snow pack and late seasonal rains. Great Trout fishing on the McKenzie, plenty of Steelhead in the Willamette


The town run remains a very good option as the cooler nights cool water temps. This is a great Steelhead Fly Fishing opportunity.



I have been spending the last few weeks fishing the Main Salmon River in Idaho. We put-in near Whitebird, taking out on the Snake River near Lewiston. 4 nights, 5 days of fishing bliss. I work with many outfitters over here so just drop me a line and I'll fill ya in.


UPDATED June, 30th, 2010


Super run of Spring Chinook Salmon after a few down years.

Oregon McKenzie River Salmon Fishing
McKenzie River King Salmon... "whatcha usein"?


June started a bit slow due to cold river conditions. The average water temps were about 3-5 degrees colder than years past. It can be hard to find a good Spring Chinook Salmon bite in cold water. After and good Spring rain the river warmed up June 8th and the bite was on. Great Salmon fishing thru the whole month. Longer leaders as the water clearity grew, smaller baits, FISH-ON!


May and June are always great times to fish the McKenzie River. Great Caddis hatches, March Browns, how can you not enjoy catching Rainbow Trout on Dry Flies? With the cold water temps early in the season most fishing in the lower river, Deerhorn to Hayden Bridge. As the river began to warm up I have been fishing near Blue River.

UPDATED December, 20th, 2009


Again my apologies for not updating more often. I fish the entire year and sometimes forget about my other duties. If my report is late and you want a current report, just drop me an Email and I will get right back to you!


We caught our first Winter Steelhead on the Alsea River last week as well as many Coho and King Salmon. We just had our second measurable rain storm since Thanksgiving and we should see Winter Steelhead in all Coastal Streams. I like the Alsea in the early part of the run and switch to the Siuslaw as we get into January.
As we enter the Winter Steelhead season, nothing is more important than keeping up on current river levels. For the Siuslaw look for levels in the 4ft-7ft range, the Alsea 3.5 -6ft is optimum. The Umpqua will fish around the 6ft level. I use the NOAA, Northwest River Forecast Center for my predictions.
A link here With river and stream gauges all over the Northwest, one is able to predict river conditions from any home computer. We look for river levels that are dropping, this will bring in more Steelhead and provide good fishing conditions.


The Willamette had over 2,000 Jack Salmon return last year. That's the most in a long, long time! Jacks are a good indicator of Salmon in the Ocean ready to return. I am very optimistic we could have one of our better returns in the past 20 years, we'll see.

UPDATED August, 12th, 2009


My thanks to Dirk Weishaar KVAL Sports and staff


I am so sorry for not updating these fishing reports more. It has been a very busy Spring and Summer. March, April, May, June we spent on the McKenzie River.

The Spring held promise for good river conditions but unfortunately the numbers of Spring Chinook Salmon were down once again :( But there is great news on the horizon! The Jack Salmon counts at Oregon City Falls are WAY UP! The Jacks can be an indicator of the numbers of Salmon in the Ocean that should return in the Spring of 2010.

The McKenzie Trout Fishing was great and my thanks to all that I spent time on the river with!

Once again I spent July and the first week of August on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River with


UPDATED January 27th, 2009


Mike with some fine Siuslaw River Steelhead
Mike with some fine Siuslaw River Steelhead


Well after a severe winter snow/ice storm Oregon rivers came into shape January 13th. We have been fishing the Siuslaw with fair to good success. We started fishing January 13th with water temps near 47 degrees. The 14th the water temp fell to 44 degrees, and the 15th it got down to 37 degrees. We definitely could tell by the amount of fish we hooked that the Steelhead didn't like the cold temps. On January 23 the water temp finally left the 30's behind with water temps at 40 degrees and we had our best day of the season. I fished yesterday with water temps hovering around 39-40 and though the fishing was slow we did manage to catch our limit on the Siuslaw.

The run appears very good this early in the season. I have caught fish all through February in the past and look for this to continue. Just watch the river and get out when the flows are between 7'-5' feet / Siuslaw river gage here


The Alsea has seen some good days also. As of January 16th only 200+ Steelhead have been trapped at the Hatchery. That number should climb to 2000+ so good fishing remains after another shot of rain which is falling now. I predict good fishing as that river comes into shape.
Watch for flows between 6'-4' / Alsea river gage here

Good fishing still to be had this winter, Now go do the right thing!

UPDATED November, 13th, 2008


WOW... What a Summer!

sAaron Helfrich in Sulfur Slide, Middle Fork Salmon River
Aaron Helfrich, Drift boating Sulfur Slide, Middle Fork of the Salmon, Idaho

I was on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River for 5 weeks. On July 23rd a rain storm swept the canyon a once again a new rapid was formed "Tappen 3 or 4" depending on who you talk to. We then moved to the Lower Main Salmon near Whitebird, ID boating to the Snake River near Lewiston, ID. We were doing a 5 day "Cast-n Blast" Chukar hunting, Smallmouth Bass fishing, and Steelhead fishing. This year the Steelhead fishing was very good. The bird numbers were down so the hunting was a bit slow. Anyway I'm back from hunting and hitting the river tomorrow for some Fall King Salmon action.


Sixes River King Salmon Fishing
Sixes River King Salmon Fishing

Not much to talk about so far but with the recent rains the Alsea River, Siuslaw River and the Elk and Sixes river should start showing some fish. I will be fishing the Siuslaw up until thanksgiving where I will once again turn my attention to The Elk and Sixes salmon fishing. I will be staying down there so get in touch with me soon and I can fit you in.

UPDATED June 5th, 2008


Unfortunately the Willamette and all tributary's are currently closed to the taking of these salmon. Due to low return at this point the ODFW felt necessary to close this fishery so enough fish could return to the Hatchery's. I think it's a good move, for future generations.

The McKenzie is fishing pretty good! Even with the high water levels due to Spring Snow melt (200% of normal) The McKenzie will have great water conditions all Summer. Lots of Caddis and some March Browns coming off during the past overcast days.

Not Bad! The numbers of Summer Steelhead coming over Oregon City Falls remains good. These Steelhead are very receptive to many types of Fishing techniques. My personal favorite is the "Float and Jig". This type of fishing is so effective in many types of water. Also, a close second is "Pulling small plugs" on the tail-outs and small pockets.

A close friend asked me to speak at his 4th Grade classroom. He wanted me to talk about my experiences as a fishing guide, specifically my time in Alaska. About forty 10 year olds sat quietly in their chairs while explained the importance of Salmon runs and told stories of Bears, Foxes and Big Fish. After I was finished a very nice question/answer session began. Some very good questions.


When the class was over my friend then made a blog for the students to share their thoughts. Below are just a few that made me chuckle.

Our visitor Mr. Payne shared many great things about his career.

  • What did you learn about his career?
  • What did you learn about salmon that you didn’t know before?
  • What do you think would be fun about fishing for salmon?
Please give clear answers to these question.

David Says:
I learned that he enjoys fishing and that he loves his career and never complains about it. I didn’t know that steel-heads didn’t die after they spawned. I don’t really know what would be fun about fishing ’cause I’ve never fished before. I think it would just be fun; everything!

Joseph Says:
I learned that a fishing guide is a fun job and that I would love to the job if I wasn’t moving to Texas. I also learned that there are more then 5 different types of salmon. I think every thing about fishing for salmon is fun but on the other hand I’ve never gone fishing.

Cyndia Says:
I leared alot and although I can’t say what I learned I can say that I learned almost to much stuff. : -D I learned that salmon have many different types of salmon and that salmon have many, many different things that naturely want to eat them. I think that the fishing and trowing back would be the funest part about it because I like animals and I don’t like to see them die of get killed. So, throwing them back and fishing for them would be the funest part! : -D

Wyatt Says:
I think that the guest was asome and that he liked the way are class acted around him we were not shy of any thing to say to him. If I could I would be like him for the rest of the year. If I had my fishing pole I would be fishing for Samoan. If he did not give me some advice then I would be fishing the same way I fish all the time. I think that the guest was a cool guy and he was vary vary nice. If I could I would give him a 100,000 point’s . I think that he is a professional at fishing.

Jessie Says:
I learned that he is a fishing guide for his career. He gets to fish almost every day! I learned that the nickname for the humpy fish is a pinky. I also learned that they help fertilize the sea. It’s really interesting to learn about all different kinds of fish. I think fishing for salmon would be very fun because they squirm around and go out of control when you catch them instead of just reeling them in. Fishing would be very fun to do. I went fishing once of twice before, but not enough to really know what it feels like. I would like to fish more often.

Maya Says:
What did you learn about his career?: I learned that he obviously loves his career, and loves to go fishing. He seems to like his job more than anybody else I know does. I imagine going fishing almost everyday for 10 years would get kind of boring, but no, he just loves his job, even after 10 years. I also learned that the job he does is a little tough, and it takes great patience. What did you learn about salmon that you didn’t know before?: I learned how they migrate, and where they’re most common. I learned a lot about the salmon that I didn’t know before, like all the nicknames that they gave the salmon, for they way it acts, or looks, or it was fed to. Mr. Payne -a.k.a. J.P or Jon- taught us a lot from his experiences. What do you think would be fun about fishing for salmon?: I’ve never went fishing before, but from the way people talk about it, it sounds really fun.

Amy Says:
I learned that the biggest fish that J.P caught was 20 something pounds. I also learned that there are all types of different salmon: Silver Salmon, Red Salmon, King Salmon,Dog Salmon and a Humpy. I also learned that Eskimo’s are also called Yupik. I think it is also cool how they use the noise in the middle of their throat. And we also know some sentences in Yupik. Like I love you or I caught a big fish. I also think it is cool that in 2 or 3 months, he learned the Yupik language. He is a professional at fishing and also does it for his job. He loves doing it. I think it is cool that he loves doing this as a job because most people don’t really like their jobs. But to him this is a privilege and a hobby.

Alexander Says:
I learned that he will never wake up any day and say the he doesn’t want to go to work today. I also learned that he enjoys being with people he doesn’t even know at all. Plus he makes a good friend right at the start because today he made all that time worth while because I already think he’s my friend already. I learned that that there are only five different types of salmon in the whole world. I also learned that they fight a lot when the are on the line of a fishing pole. Plus its worth catching a king salmon any day. I think it would be awesome to go fishing for all five types of salmon all over the world. I also think that fishing for salmon would be a blast exspecially if I caught a king salmon that was bigger than my big brother, Chris; I would totally eat all that hopefully in a week maybe in a month. I also think that it would be fun to have caught a steal head.

Krystah Says:
*I learned about his trips, and how not to be killed by a bear.
* I learned that he doesn’t do it for money, he does it for fun.
* I learned the other names of the salmon.
* The last thind I learned was how big a bears foot it is to hhis foot.

Sarah Rose Says:
I learned that he gets to fish almost everyday and I think that must be pretty cool mostly cause he gets to meet people from all around the world. And he gets to fish with them too!! I learned that a Pinky salmon and a Humpy salmon are the same type of salmon just that some people like to call them Humpy salmon and some people like to call them Pinky salmon. And I think that the fun part of fishing would be to see how many fish I catch and to see if I catch one of the BIGGEST ONES!! The only thing I would not like about fishing is that all fish are very slimy cause they come from out of well lakes, streams and oceans basicly water that is why they are so slimy.

Selina Says:
I think it would be fun to fish salmon because when you catch a big one you will feel good and they are a challeng to get.

UPDATED March 20th, 2008
The First day of Spring!

Now is the time to get out there. The fish are hungry and lots of bugs starting to come with the warm days. Look to the afternoons and around the willows in the high water. Good Caddis hatches after 2:00 with a few March Brown coming off a bit later.

My utmost apologies for not keeping better updates to our fishing reports. The 2007-2008 Oregon Winter Steelhead had a very nice return. When all the Oregon Coastal Rivers were fishable we found good fish. The Alsea River showed us a few fish and the Siuslaw fished fair - good into the first week of March.

Siuslaw Winter Steelhead
Mike and Mary and a nice Winter Steelhead March 3rd, 2008

The 2008 Spring Chinook outlook is not promising for the Willamette River (and tributaries). I am optimistic that our Salmon return will be fair and provide plenty of fishing opportunity. Along with strong runs of McKenzie and Willamette River Steelhead, McKenzie River Trout, fishing should good here in the Willamette Valley!
It's nice to know that even though the Salmon runs are down a bit, the Steelhead runs remain strong. We usually start seeing our first fish by Mid-May and see fresh Summer Steelhead into July-Aug. If this past Winter is any indication of the upcoming Summer Steelhead numbers, I'm looking forward getting out there!
With above average snow pack this will be great year to float the John Day River. Multi-Day fishing trips available with A Helfrich Outfitters. Visit for more details.
John Day River Trips
John Day River, May 2007
UPDATED Thanksgiving, Nov 22nd, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving Fishing Friends!
Summer has turned to Fall and the heater is on full blast! Can you believe we are already looking at Winter Steelhead. Fished the Alsea yesterday and caught one nice #30+ Chinook. The water levels are dropping a little bit to low right now but we will have good fishing after our next hard rain! Chetco, Elk and Sixes Rivers has been putting out fish and should remain good King Salmon Fishing after each rain storm through Mid-Jan. Winter Steelhead Trips on the Alsea, Siuslaw, Umpqua Elk, and Sixes will fish all the way into March. Don't miss out this Winter on a one of Oregon's premier Winter Steelhead Streams!
UPDATED July 24th, 2007
Greetings Fishing Friends!
Lots of fishing and wonderful guests on our beautiful Oregon rivers! Weather conditions have been good and as always the fishing has been GREAT! Sometimes the catching is a little slow but that why we call it Fishing. We are very busy this time of year and now is a good time to think about Fall salmon and Winter Steelhead Fishing Trips. Call now for best dates!
Tom with a nice McKenzie River King Salmon
Tom with a nice McKenzie River Spring Salmon
Well this wasn't the year we all were hoping for :( The Season started out slow and got slower. We were able to salvage the season by pursuing Summer Steelhead and the Trout fishing really took off. Most biologist think the the poor run is due to poor Ocean conditions. I, on the other hand believe the drawdown at Cougar reservoir in 2002 had an impact on the returning smolts. We will see next year. Thanks again to all that fish these great fish with me!

We did a John Day trip in May and are looking for guests to join us this Fall for some Steelhead Fishing and Chukar Hunting. If you have never floated this stream you are in for a treat. Absolutely the most gorgeous scenery I have ever seen! Visit for more details.
John Day River, Eastern Oregon
John Day River Fishing and Hunting Trips Eastern Oregon

It has been fantastic fishing on the upper river. We have had some cloudy days and the fishing has been great! The small brown caddis as well as the "Ol' Wolly Bugger" keeps gettin' 'em.

We just got home from the Middle Fork of the Salmon and water condition were fine. It could be a little higher but the fishing was great and we will be returning August 13th for two more trips. Contact 541-726-5039 for more info on these trips
Sulfur Slide on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
Drift Boat at Sulfur Slide on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
West Slope Cutthroat from the Middle Fork of the salmon River, Idaho
A beautiful West Slope Cutthroat from the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho
UPDATED Feb 16th, 2007
Greetings Fishing Friends!
Mike's perfect Winter Steelhead Great set of ALSEA RIVER STEELHEAD
Good January, February Oregon Steelhead Fishing
As with all Oregon Winters, Steelhead Fishing has been up and down like the rivers. With very good numbers of fish being caught in December all streams seemed to have lots of Winter Steelhead. In Mid-January we found great fishing on the Alsea, Siuslaw and by late January we had some good days on the Main Umpqua near Elkton. In Elkton stop by Arline's Cafe & General Store (541) 584-2555 for fishing reports and shuttles. The "good luck breakfast" always works!
With good river levels the Siuslaw should continue to fish through February and into March.
The Candy Dropper
We also spending lots time on the North Umpqua, Steelhead Fishing through March. Yarn balls and Floats with Jigs!
Be sure to take a look at the "Candy Dropper", works very well with a yarn ball attached 12" to 20" inches below the dropper. You can find the Candy Dropper at "Over the Edge Tackle"
Looking ahead as late Winter turns to Spring, it's time to knock the dust off that fly box and watch for the early Caddis and March Brown hatches. One of my favorite times to fish the McKenzie River is between early March and Late April, into May. Good Native Rainbow fishing in the lower river. After May 1st we offer stream side fish fry's! Eat what you catch for lunch!
Go get 'em EmilyEmily and her first trout!
We love to take kids fishing!
Fresh McKenzie River Trout... Streamside Fish Fry!
McKenzie River Stream Side Fish Fry!
Elk Bar, Middle Fork of the Salmon River
Elk Bar on the Middle Fork Of The Salmon River, Idaho
Again this Summer I will be joining Dean Helfrich and Son's on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. We do a 5 night, 6 day Trout fishing trip in some of the most stunning scenery in North America. This river trip can be 100 miles long! Some dates still available for Late July, August trips, contact Aaron at
UPDATED Nov 30th, 2006
WELL, How about that! Before I know it it's Winter. Greetings and Happy Holiday's to all!
Things have been Fair to Excellent on the Elk and Sixes so far this Fall/Winter. Every storm has brought fresh fish into both rivers. This King Salmon fishing will last all through December. The key is to find time between storms and be on the river when the rivers are dropping into shape.
Elk River Salmon Fishing
Sixes River King Salmon Fishing
Frank, Carl and Roger with a couple Elk and Sixes River Salmon
Now is the time to look for the first Oregon Winter Steelhead. My usual time line is the "second high water after Thanksgiving" Typically this has been my kickoff and I have always found Winter Steelhead then. My Favorite Steams are The Alsea River between December 1st - Jan 15th, The Umpqua River when water levels are below 6' at Elkton, The Siuslaw River through December - February, and the Elk and Sixes after January 15th. These are just general guide lines and through the years have provided me with the best fishing.
Keep warm and I'll see you out on the creek!
UPDATED Aug 28th, 2006
Middle Fork of the Salmon River
Lunch at Elk Bar on Middle Fork of the Salmon River
Again I must apologize for lack of fishing reports. This Summer I have been doing trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River with Dean Helfrich and Sons. The Trips are 6 Days and 5 Nights on the Middle Salmon near Stanley, Idaho. For more info on these trips visit
We fish for West Slope Cutthroat Trout like the one below. Dry Fly Fishing on one of the most beautiful rivers on earth.
Middle Fork Salmon River Trout Fishing
Lots of Summer Steelhead in the Willamette System. During the HOT Days of Summer be sure to concentrate in the Early Mornings and Late Afternoon. As we get into September and chilly evenings this fishing will certainly pick up.
UPDATED May 25th, 2006
McKenzie River Chinook Salmon Fishing May 25th, 2006
Trevor's first McKenzie River Spring Chinook Salmon...
Way to Go!!
Greetings Fishing Friend's, Summer is coming!
Been a little slow due to cold temps. The fish are here, just a little tough to get a good bite this week. Last week we caught limits three days in a row. As the water warms, more fish will be moving in and the fishing looks to be decent as we go into June.
Great count of Summer Steelhead coming over Willamette Falls. With the good snow pack we should have great water levels all through Summer. Add the two together and this could be a good Oregon Summer Steelhead Season. The "Town Run", through Eugene should fish good as the water levels start to drop. You can always find fish near the Leaburg Steelhead Hatchery. Don't be afraid to try something different, "show 'em something they haven's seen". Steelhead are a very curious fish.
    Lots of bugs coming off today. The Caddis has been out for well over a month now, and today I saw the best May Fly hatch I've seen all year, but the fish are still a bit sluggish due to the McKenzie Rivers cold temps. As the river temps rise, the fishing should get better. Had a great report today of some fantastic Dry Fly Fishing on the Lower McKenzie, 30-40 hook-ups! With optimum water conditions, this could be very good Late-Spring / Summer Trout Fishing Season.
UPDATED March 5th, 2006
Upqua River Steelhead Fishing Upqua Steelhead Fishing

Al's Umpqua River Steelhead...Even Marshall hooked a few :)


Greetings Fishing Friend's,
Thank you all for letting me know it's time to get off my butt and update this page. Since my last report the Winter has been Wet and Wild. Oregon Steelhead Rivers would come into shape for a few days and blow right back out. We had some good days Steelhead fishing in the beginning of February and things really heated up when the Main Umpqua dropped below the 6 ft level. That's Al in the pictures with some Winter Steelhead taken on the Main Umpqua Feb. 24th. Even Marshall managed to hook a few! Spent last Friday on the Elk River, two boats hooked 8 and landed 4-5. Still good Steelhead fishing on the Umpqua. Look for 4400-2000 cfs at Winchester Dam and there should be lots of fish around.
It's that time once again to look past the Winter Steelhead and thinking about Spring Chinook Salmon The first Spring Chinook have been caught near Elkton and a few are entering the Willamette as we speak. Now is the time to start replacing line on the King Salmon reels and polish up the Kwikfish!
Took an afternoon float on the McKenzie River yesterday to see if any bugs were flying. A little cold still, but after a few warm days things should be right on schedule. This year we are offering trips on the Upper Willamette near Oakridge. This is a USFS permitted section that can provide excellent Rainbow Dry Fly Fishing. Prime dates are beginning Aprl thru Mid-May.
UPDATED Nov, 11th, 2005

Oregon King Salmon Fishing

Justin's First King Salmon...way to go Junior!

Siuslaw River Salmon Fishing

Dad, not to be out done by the kid! Nov. 10th 2005

Knudson Cove Marina, Ketchikan Alaska

Jerri-Jo and Jon's Fishing Vacation. Sept 7th, 2005

UPDATED Sept, 21st, 2005

Greetings Fishing Friend's,
What a long and busy Summer. I can't believe that the first day of Fall is already here! We had a full July McKenzie River Fishing. Spent 5 days in Boston Fly Fishing Fishing for Stripers (Bass), spent 9 days on the Middle Fork Salmon, and took vacation in Alaska fishing for Coho's. Now get ready, here come the Fall Salmon and Winter Steelhead!!
This is the time of year when Trout and Summer Steelhead Fishing begins to take a back seat to the expected run of Fall Salmon. As the temps get cooler and rains begin to arrive, these big fish will migrate to most Oregon Coastal Streams. Look for good dates toward the end of October and through November. As the Winter Steelhead runs begins in late November it's also the time to take a look at the Elk and Sixes River King Salmon. Many good fishing days in December on the South Coast of Oregon.
The Trout Fishing has been fair to good on the McKenzie River! With cooler Temps the Summer Steelhead are becoming active and we've been seeing some fish caught below Leaburg Dam. The Summer Steelhead Fishing on the Willamette has picked up also.
UPDATED July, 1st, 2005
McKenzie River Trout Fishing McKenzie River Merganzers
Happy Anniversary Larry and Jill! June 30th, 2005
The Trout Fishing has been good to excellent on the McKenzie River! We have had some great trips and folks are raving about the "Stream Side Fish Fry's". We are also seeing some Summer Steelhead showing up in good numbers. Look for these fish on the Willamette River as well as the McKenzie River. Summer is upon us so do yourself a favor and get out and do some fishing. Be safe and have a great time!
UPDATED May, 28th, 2005
Steve and Conner's Mckenzie River Spring Chinook! June 4th 2005 McKenzie River Trout Fishing
Steve and Conner's McKenzie River Fishing Trip! June 4th, 2005
We are catching Spring Chinook! The McKenzie River Salmon have arrived and we are consistently getting fish now. Some days are better than others but the fish are here. As of this date over 22,000 have passed the Willamette Falls. The run is projected to be around 90,000 so we are still waiting for the next big push. With water temps rising,
we should know how big the run will be this week. With low and clear water conditions start using longer leaders and smaller baits. Also look to float fishing in the deep pools.
McKenzie River Spring Chinook Salmon. May 26th, 2005      Go Jimmy!
Jim and a Dandy McKenzie Spring Chinook Salmon!
McKenzie River Trout fishing has been good in the lower river and we should have good fishing throughout the Summer. The Upper River (Blue river to Leaburg) will fish better now with the rising water temps.
This years run will not be as strong as last years but we are seeing a few being pushed out of the big holes due to the Spring Chinook Salmon. As the Salmon run wanes down at the end of June we will be able to target Oregon Summer Steelhead with flies.
UPDATED May, 6th, 2005
McKenzie river Trout fishing has been very good in the lower river. As the temperatures warm the Upper River (below Blue River) will get better. As always my favorite is the small gray and brown Caddis.
A few Summer Steelhead are being caught! I witnessed one of the most impressive battles last Saturday. My Guest Butch, hooked a pretty good sizes buck Summer run. It made 6 or 7 leaps, straight up in the air!!! At least 5-6 feet high. We were both standing and it was as high as our eyes. Winking at us! Awesome!
There're here! A few being picked up on the Middle Willamette and with the numbers coming over Oregon City Falls we will have in the McKenzie by next week May 12-13th or so. Over 100,000 Spring Chinook expected to enter the Willamette this Spring.
McKenzie River Salmon Fishing! May 31st, 2005
Steve's McKenzie River Salmon!
Secret Spot?
Have a great Spring!
UPDATED February, 3rd, 2005
The Umpqua River Steelhead Fishing has been very good the last two weeks. It's been 5 years since the last time The Umpqua has been at the current levels during Winter Steelhead season. Lots of fish, good water, makes for some happy guests.
A Fine Day Umpqua River Steelhead Fishing. Thanks Rod and Mark!
Rod and Mark had a Good Day Umpqua Steelhead Fishing
on January 29th, 2005
The Alsea River Steelhead Fishing was good for a few weeks but most fish have now made it up to the North Fork by now, most fishing will be up there for now.
Aaron and Randy, Winter Steelhead Fishing on the Umpqua River!
Happy Birthday Aaron! First Steelhead ever!
January 30th, 2005
The Siuslaw Steelhead fishing should pick up with the next rain fall. Do most of your fishing lower in the river this week.
UPDATED January 10th, 2005
WOW! What else could be said for last weeks Umpqua Steelhead Fishing.
The Umpqua River got to 5 ft and the fish were very responsive.
On Jan. 4th we landed 3 Chrome Bright Umpqua Winter Steelhead on 4 casts. NICE!
All Oregon Steelhead streams are dropping into shape this week and fishing should be very good.
Look for fish on the Alsea and Siuslaw, as well as the Umpqua later in the week.
The Sand Shrimp, rigged with two hooks to Prevent Spinning. This 5 ft behind a Diver.
The Sand Shrimp, rigged with two hooks to Prevent Spinning.
This 5 ft behind a Diver.
Great "off-color water" riggin'

Remember, "When the river is High, Fish High. When the River is Low, Fish Low"
Go out there and catch a fish!
UPDATED December 20th, 2004
The Chinook Salmon Fishing on the South Coast turned out to be good when the rivers were in shape. Due to low water until December 12th the season was cut a little short. We had five very good days during that week. There are still Chinook Salmon to be caught down there, but, river conditions are getting low again. Look for another good batch of fish with the next raise in river level.
Sixes River Salmon Fishing...December is the peak!

Jim and Dwight with Sixes River Chinook Salmon
December 17th, 2004

Now is the time to get after early returning Oregon Winter Steelhead! With water levels a little low right now, it's a great time to fish the Alsea River and the Umpqua River for these great fish.
Umpqua Steelhead Fishing Umpqua River Steelhead Fishing
Steve and Mike, A Good Day Umpqua River Steelhead Fishing, Dec 22, 2004
The Alsea River Steelhead run is a bit earlier than other streams, and provides action through January. Look for river levels around 3.5 - 5' at the gauge near Tide
The Siuslaw is a later run. We should have good Steelhead fishing there in a few weeks, lasting into February. Look for river levels around 4' - 8" on the gauge near Mapleton
The Umpqua provides good Steelhead fishing now through February. Look for river levels around 4.5 - 6" on the gauge in Elkton
My personal favorite Steelhead Fishing is on the Elk and Sixes Rivers. I find good action down there during the end of January through Mid-March. The best gauge to use is on the South Fk Coquille at Powers
Look for levels between 2.5 -4"
Though the weather might be a bit wet and rainy, the winter is a great time to be Fishing Oregon Rivers.
Looking ahead, the forecast for Willamette Spring Chinook Salmon is looking good! Over 100,000 King Salmon excepted to return! Dates are already being booked so give us a call early. Mid-May through June are peak dates. Have a Happy Holiday and Fishy New Year!
UPDATED November 3rd, 2004
A hearty hello all my fishin' friends and family. Please except my apologies for the lateness of this report. A very full Summer, good Fall Fishing, Hunting, adds up to "so much to do, so little time." I will try to catch up in this letter.
Summer was spent in Idaho working on the Middle Fork Salmon River. What a beautiful river to Dry Fly Fish for "West Slope Cutthroat". Middle Fork Salmon Trips are 100 miles, 6 days, 5 nights during late June through the 1st of August. Contact A Helfrich Outfitters at 541-726-5039 or click here for more info.
After getting home to Eugene on the 12th of August I took a vacation fishing at Island West Resort, in Ucluelet, B.C. Canada, on the west side of Vancouver Island. We fished for Coho, Kings and Halibut. Coolers came home full and Vacuum sealers were busy for a few days. A great trip with great friends!

King Salmon from Island West Resort, Ucluelet, B.C. Canada
Ucluelet BC Salmon Fishing
September was busy fishing for Summer Steelhead with some good days swinging flies on the McKenzie River, Willamette River, and the Rogue River. October found some good Fall Trout Fishing on the McKenzie River as well as more Summer Steelhead Fishing. A little hunting on the side and the next thing ya know its November 2nd, election day! "Time Flies when your havin' Fishes"
Siuslaw River salmon Fishing...October-November
Siuslaw River Salmon Fishing, November 5th 2004
With the fall rains come BIG fish! Western Oregon has experienced some very needed early rain in October this year. These rains push the King Salmon up stream during the high flows. This means good fishing for us! We have had a some real good days lately with a mixed bag of Coho and King Salmon. Most of our trips have been on the Siuslaw River near Mapleton. I like to fish the lower river and find the bright fish moving in. It appears to be a good run so far.
December Dates still available for fishing the famous Winter Kings on the South Coast of Oregon. This fishing begins in Mid-November and peaks around the 20th of December. But, I have always had good fishing after the first of the year in mid-January.
We concentrate on the Elk and Sixes Rivers. These streams have a very particular run of King Salmon that spawn in the Winter, not in the Fall. These fish are BIG, BRIGHT, and really give you a test as you battle these bruisers on these smaller rivers.
Good article about this fishing found here
Hotel accommodations in Port Orford can be found here;
Sea Crest 541-332-3040
Shoreline 541-332-2903
Battle Rock 541-332-7331
Many Hotels available in Bandon 25 miles north of Sixes.
Oregon Winter Steelhead fishing begins around Thanksgiving with fish showing up near Sawyers Rapid on the Umpqua. As we get into December the Alsea River will give up some Steelhead as Dec-Jan is the peak there. Word at this point is the main Umpqua regulations are changing to allow fisherman to keep "1 per day, 5 per year' Unclipped Steelhead. Biologists know this river can support this change and I look forward to showing my guests some of these tremendous Umpqua Winter Steelhead. Good Umpqua River Steelhead Fishing Jan-Feb.
Things begin to slow down now, but during warm days you can always find some Trout fishing on the McKenzie River. I would be more comfortable fishing the lower river from Deerhorn to Hayden Bridge at this time of the year. It's feels good to get back in touch with everyone, don't be afraid to email or call any time, until next time,
"keep your line in the water, and a smile on your face"
UPDATED Sept, 13th, 2004
Fall Fishing
WOW...How time has flown this Summer! Sorry for the lateness of this update. After spending 5 weeks on the Middle Fork Salmon,Idaho
Middle Fork Salmon River, Idaho
Middle Fork Salmon River

I now am spending time on the Rogue River where the Steelhead fishing is just now starting to take off. Plenty of King Salmon throughout the Rogue River at this time also. For Rogue River trips through the "Wild and Scenic Rogue Canyon"
call A Helfrich Outfitters at 541-726-5039 or click here
Rogue River "Wild and Scenic River"
Rogue River Canyon
Looking ahead towards October and November we should be finding lots of King Salmon as rain continues to bring fresh fish into the Siuslaw River, Alsea River, Umpqua River as well as the Chetco, Elk and Sixes Rivers down on the South Coast of Oregon.
Summer Steelhead
As the Fall temps begin to cool Oregon Rivers the Summer Steelhead will begin to be a little more aggressive. Remember, telemetry studies have shown Steelhead to roam, they continue to roam up and downstream searching for the right places to spawn. Look for these fish in the McKenzie and Willamette River. Don't be afraid to try diffent sections of the rivers.

Now go catch some fish!
UPDATED July, 4th, 2004
Summer Fishing
McKenzie River Spring Chinook Fishing was the best any could remember. I know my boat landed well over 150 Spring Chinook in 30 days. I'm sorry for the lateness of this report, the fishing from Mid-May through July 1st has kept us very busy.
This Summer we will be in Idaho for 5 weeks, returning Late August after a Canadian fishing trip vacation. If your interested in a Fall fishing trip please email and I will return all inquiries every 6th day, or call 541-579-3474 and leave message.
Umpqua Smallmouth Bass
I have many dates booked starting August 22nd. Please call or email for open dates for this great fishery.

Have a great Summer, see you this Fall.
UPDATED May, 30th, 2004
McKenzie River Spring Chinook Fishing
McKenzie River Spring Chinook Fishing has been RED HOT! Literally! Limits being caught everyday out. In the past 4 years we have found the best McKenzie Springer Fishing after May 15th....This year it hasn't slowed down since May 7th! The Oregon City Falls counts remain strong. This year saw over 3000 Oregon Spring Chinook Salmon crossing the falls on numerous days. These fish are counted by hand as they pass by video recorded viewing screens.
On May, 28th the McKenzie River rose 2' in 24 hours. This will bring even more fish into the upper river. Good fishing should remain through June.

Oregon Spring Chinook Salmon  Fishing on the McKenzie River
Brian with a bright McKenzie Spring Chinook

The Egg and Shrimp Combo has been working very good. Most important is to changes divers for the different depth holes. Please remember when fishing this beautiful river that many other fishermen wish to share. Do not anchor up in the middle of the hole. Run your best divers and let the next boat through. Respect the bank fishermen, they don't have as many holes to fish. This makes for better fishing and fewer arguments on the river. This year has been very cordial. Keep up the good fishing.

McKenzie River Spring Chinook, May 18th, 2004.  Oregon Salmon Fishing
Buck and a nice limit of McKenzie Springers
Summer Steelhead have been crossing Oregon City Falls at the average rate of 300+ per day. Summer Steelhead fishing around Dexter Dam on the Willamette River has been very good. Also fly fishing from Leaburg to Hendricks Bridge Park has been very good. This run will provide good Summer Steelhead Fishing all through Summer. Very good Fly Fishing in the tail-outs and heavy riffles. This year will be another good year for "The Town Run". Good numbers of fish in the system, Willamette River Steelhead fishing will get better with Summer water conditions.
The McKenzie River Trout Fishing has been good to excellent, depending on weather conditions and temperature. Caddis, PMD's and March Browns make up most of the hatches. Remember that the Lower McKenzie is managed for Wild Trout. Artificial lures only. As we get into summer the section from Bellenger to Armitage Park makes for some great Cutthroat Fishing. Don't forget about the fantastic Trout Fishing on the Willamette River as well. Plenty of access from Dexter to Downtown Eugene.
The Umpqua River provides some of the best Smallmouth Bass fishing in the country. With over 100 fish days the norm through Summer. Flies, Rubber worms and some crank baits provide most of the action. Umpqua Shad numbers are up, good fishing in the Yellow creek area. These fish take flies real well and provide a great battle. Stop in Arlene's Cafe, Elkton OR, for latest info. Be safe and enjoy all Oregon has to offer, good fishing.
UPDATED April, 19th, 2004
Summer Steelhead have been crossing Oregon City Falls at the rate of around 100 per day. We are catching Summer Steelhead around Dexter Dam on the Willamette River as well as a few on the McKenzie River. This run should provide good Summer Steelhead Fishing all through Summer. My favorite fishing techniques are Bobber-Jig, Back-Trolling Small Plugs and the use of Flies. Oregon Summer Steelhead Fly patterns include Orange and Green Butted Skunks, and most Standard Steelhead Patterns, darker colors seem to work a bit better. Again, remember the Summer Steelhead smolts are being released at different points on the river. This seems to bring the fish to the release point, and provides better fishing through out the lower river.
February Umpqua River Steelhead with Sunglasses on!
Umpqua River Winter Steelhead
It might seem early for the upper Willamette System but the first Spring Chinook have arrived! A few have been caught near Dexter Dam on the Willamette and a few on the lower McKenzie River. This run normally starts around the middle of May. The counts at Oregon City Falls reached the first 1000 fish day on April 6th, about ten days ahead of schedule. There was a 1900 fish day on April 12th which should have the total some where around 10,000 at the time of this report. Look to the first week of May for good Spring Chinook fishing on The Santiam, The McKenzie and Willamette Rivers.
The McKenzie River Trout Fishing has been Fair to Good, depending on Weather Conditions and Temperature. Many Caddis and a few March Browns make up most of the hatch at this time. We are finding most activity around 2:00pm and 3:00 pm, with scattered hatches in the mornings and afternoon. The river will receive 7,000 hatchery reared Trout from Blue River to Helfrich landing on Friday April 23rd for the Opening Day April 24th. The lower river will receive 6500 on the 29th, Leaburg landing to Bellinger Landing.
The Umpqua has been running a little low for this time of the year and this helps the Bass Fishing. This river provides some of the best Smallmouth Bass fishing in the country. With over 100 fish days the norm through Summer, Flies, Rubber worms and some crank baits provide most of the action.
I hope this helps you find some fishing around Oregon, Spring is a great time to get and see the beauty Oregon has to offer, see you on the river.
UPDATED March 22nd, 2004
Steve with a Nice Pair of North Umpqua Winter Steelhead.  Both Caught Side Drifting Bait March 16th 2004.
A nice pair of Umpqua River Winter Steelhead
We found some good Winter Steelhead fishing on the North Umpqua the last few weeks. No rain for the past ten days and the North Fork Umpqua has dropped into shape and been fishing well. The North Umpqua should fish Fair to Good into April. All other streams have seen the last of the 2003/2004 Winter Steelhead run with exception of the Siletz, Elk, Sixes, Rogue and Chetco.
The first Willamette Summer Steelhead have begun crossing Oregon City Falls. This run, according to ODFW, should be close to the fantastic year we had in 2002. Releases of healthy smolts into the Upper Willamette and McKenzie River should provide Summer Steelhead Fishing towards the end of April and last all summer long. Also of interest, the Summer Steelhead smolts are being released at different points on the river. This seems to bring the fish to "Point of Origin" and provides better fishing on the lower river. This was first tried on the Willamette on the "Town Run" through Eugene. The year 2000 saw the fruits of this experiment with good fishing on that drift all Summer into November. Now we should be seeing the same on the McKenzie River.
Now that Oregon Winter Steelhead fishing is coming to a close all eyes are turning towards the first Spring Chinook Salmon. The Columbia River 2004 run is excepted to be one of histories best. As water temps on the Willamette hit 51-52 degrees, the first wave should be headed our way. Look for the first Spring Chinook Salmon to reach the Santiam in a Few Weeks or Days. Over 100,000 Springers are excepted to enter the Willamette River, and with our good snow pack I predict excellent fishing from the First Week of May through July 4th.
Look for Umpqua Spring Chinook from now through May with the peak being Mid-Late April.
With the warmer days of Spring also comes the beginning of the famous McKenzie River March Brown Hatch. This fishery provides some excellent Fly Fishing for Native Rainbows and Cutthroat Trout. Afternoons between Noon and 5:00 PM is when you can except to find most action. Look for Warm, Cloudy Days. The March Brown has adapted to become active on cloudy days, this may be because the Trout have a harder time seeing the bugs on the surface. McKenzie River Trout Stocking begins April 23rd with "Catchable" Trout being released from Blue River to Bellinger Landing. Remember, no bait allowed until April 23rd.
Also a fishery to note is the Umpqua River Smallmouth Bass. This is the time of year known as "Pre Spawn" when large males are protecting nests and larger fish can be caught. From Yellow Creek to Sawyers Rapid one can find these Big Umpqua Smallmouth Bass. Later in the Spring we will catch over 100 fish per day. Now we are targeting the Few, the Proud, The Big Smally's.
Spring is such a great time to fish Oregon, so JUST DO IT!
UPDATED Feb 15th, 2004
Sixes River Steelhead Fishing. Sunglasses in February,  NICE!
Jim's Bobber / Jig caught Sixes River Steelhead, Feb 10th 2004
Oregon Winter Steelhead has been UP and DOWN, with the biggest factor being River Flows. When the Streams and Rivers drop in shape the fishing has been good to fantastic. I spent last week Steelhead Fishing the Sixes River with some success in the mornings. One evening we fished the lower section of the Sixes and saw at least 10-12 fresh fish coming through the shallow water near the coast. The tide had been high at 3:30 PM and the fish were still coming after dark. That fishing should stay good through March.
Siuslaw River Steelhead fishing has been good as well when river conditions are favorable. Look for water levels in the 4.5-7 ft range
North Umpqua Steelhead fishing really picked up as the river dropped in to shape last week. More rain this week and things should drop back in a few days. Look for flows at Winchester to be between 3-4.5 ft
The Steelhead Fishing on the Main Umpqua has been good also. Reports from Elkton appear to be as always...when flows are good the fishing is good. Look for water levels in the 6.5-8 ft range
Looking to the future, Oregon Winter Steelhead fishing should remain good through Mid-March. Trout Fly Fishing begins in March with the first March Brown Hatches and by April things really take off. Good Fly Fishing for Trout on the McKenzie and Middle Willamette River all Spring. Summer Steelhead should be arriving in good numbers by the end of April along with Umpqua Spring Chinook Fishing. May is such a great time to go Fishing in Oregon, McKenzie Trout and Summer Steelhead and Spring Chinook are beginning to arrive, so much to do! So little fishing line!
Sixes River Steelhead Fishing, a classic Winter Steelhead Hole...
Sixes River Steelhead Fishing
While Steelhead Fishing the Sixes last week I really had a chance to fish with a float more than I normally do. With dropping flows and clearing water this technique really allowed our fisherman to effectively fish a lot of water. We caught fish on both Bobber and bait as well as Bobber and jig. By adjusting the depth of the float we were able to fish all different types of Steelhead water, deep pools and shallow tail-outs.
Lets start with the Rod and Reel combo. A long rod is necessary to keep control over the line between Rod Tip and Float, very similar to mending Fly Line. Keep the Float at the same speed as the river flow, don't let the line belly and drag your float. Most Rods are fitted with a Spinning reel loaded with a braided line that can be greased with a line floatant, this helps in line control. Monofilament can be used, just grease it the same as the braided.
Common presentations are 1/8 and 1/4 oz Jigs in a variety of colors or Bait. Whether type is used, it most be matched with the correct float. You want your float to float as close to neutral as possible. My favorite is The West Coast Float, it is a Styrofoam float available in sizes from 1/8 oz to 5 oz, painted Orange on top, and a yellow stripe where the water line should be.
Start by attaching a Bobber stop on your main line, pre-tied nail knots work best. Add a bead to stop the Bobber, add the Bobber and tie on a barrel swivel. Leader length varies, I prefer longer 16-24". If using Bait add spit shot until Bobber reaches the correct floating point. When fishing swifter water a small split shot will help keep your presentation down. The correct depth is between 12" and 24" from the bottom. This requires some degree of guessing and the understanding of river color and hydraulics. I start high and keep adjusting my Bobber stop till my jig touches bottom, them adjust it up a little. The theory is fish look up and not down...hmmm
Start fishing at the top of the hole and after 6-7 casts move down stream a few steps, as far as you think fish can see under water...methodically fish the hole. This method is quickly becoming a favorite and by fishing this way you will understand why.
Good Luck!
UPDATED Jan 15th, 2003
Siuslaw Steelhead. Caught by the UPS Guy. Jan 18th 2004. Thanks Paul!! Sixes River Steelhead Fishing
Winter Steelhead fishing in Oregon
Oregon Winter Steelhead season is well under way on all Oregon Coastal Rivers. Alsea River Steelhead fishing has been good on the North Fork of the Alsea. When other rivers are out of shape, the North fork will be fishable. As in years past this leads to crowded conditions. As long as all fisherman are courteous it's a great way to spend a day with friends. As the river drops into shape the fishing from Mill Ck.- Missouri Bend will pick up. Look for River levels in the 5.5-4.5 range.

The Alsea River Steelhead Hatchery is seeing a larger than average return for this part of the run. This leads many to believe that most river will see benefits from favorable Ocean conditions. See article from Today's Register Guard ( Eugene) Oregon Winter Steelhead

The Siuslaw River Steelhead fishing picked-up as soon as the river became fishable after the Snow Storm that Blanketed the Northwest after New Years Day. Over a foot of snow in places that haven't seen snow in ten years. Two boats with 5 fish on Monday and a strong bite on the upper river Tuesday means the Steelhead are in the entire river! Lake Creek will clear fast and keep good fishing at the confluents during dirty water fazes. Look for water levels in the 4.5-7 ft range

The Umpqua River Steelhead Fishing has been fair to slow with the current high water, but, as always this river will turn on when water conditions are favorable. Look for water levels in the 6.5-8 ft range

The Elk and Sixes Steelhead fishing is just starting. A few were caught while Salmon fishing in December but these rivers tend to peak from early-Feb through Mid-March. Both of those rivers had a "scouring" in Mid-December when river levels reached an 8 year high. This cleans out the steams of sediment built up over time and opens up some very nice water. Fresh gravel for spawning and new trees for cover. This fishing pattern should, and has, continued through the Winter and into the end of March. It's never to late to fish for Oregon Winter Steelhead.

A large majority of Winter Steelhead fishing is done in ways perfected 50 years ago. Drift Fishing Steelhead can be one of the hardest techniques to master, but, when accomplished can be very satisfying. Learning how to read water (Speed and Depth) adjusting your weight to match, feeling your offering "tic, tic" bottom while drifting through the hole, while not getting hung-up, and then being able to detect the subtle bite. When it all comes together on a winter day, Wow! There are many books showing how to properly rig this and I am always available to help with any questions you might have.

The next majority of Winter Steelhead fishing is done while maneuvering down river in a McKenzie Drift Boat. "Hot Shotting", "Plugging" both mean the same thing. Using a diving plug, Luhr Jensen Hot Shot (sizes #50-#35, Wee Warts, Flatfish, and many others, line is played out in front of the boat (35'-45') and the oarsman will lower the boat into areas where Winter Steelhead like to lay. The bite is explosive! When a Fresh Winter Steelhead takes one of these lures Hold-On! I've seen as many as 9 jumps in a row from these fish. Other techniques that I employ to fish for Oregon Winter Steelhead are Float and Jig, Float and Bait, Divers and Bait, Spoon and Spinner Tossing.
All these technique boil down to the Three Rules of Fishing;

#1 Fish where there are fish ( not just the river but the holes and areas fish live)
#2 Have confidence in the technique you are using and how you are using it. Versatility.
#3 Think like a Fish. What do they see as your offering is drifting by.

Have a great New Year and enjoy your Winter.
UPDATED Dec 7th, 2003
Thanksgiving is over and Christmas Trees are sprouting in my neighbors living rooms. We are catching South Coast King Salmon! Winter Steelhead are being caught on lower stretches of some Oregon Coastal streams!
Aaron Helfrich with a #30+ lb Siuslaw River Chinook Salmon.  Diver Bait brought us Five Bites in a row on this Day!
A Dandy Fall King/Nov 24th, 2003
Aaron Helfrich from A Helfrich Outfitter
on our day off!
Most Oregon King Salmon have made their way into the Coastal streams. Siuslaw River Salmon Fishing was good just after the first rains around Nov. 24th. Though most of the fish are turning dark some bright fish moved in that week. Please remember to release all dark Chinook so that they may spawn to provide better fishing in the future. Umpqua River Salmon Fishing saw some fantastic fishing at that time as well. Many Coho and Oregon Winter Steelhead being caught on the lower river. Although most Fall Salmon Runs may be coming to a close we can now look to the South Coast of Oregon. A late run Oregon Chinook Salmon is just beginning.
Craig Frechette and his Sixes River Chinook Salmon.  Float and the Egg / Shrimp combo got hin to Bite. Craig's Biggest fish to date!
Sixes River Chinook, Nov. 20th, 2003
Now is the time to get down to the South Coast of Oregon to fish for the late run of Winter Kings. We have been fishing the Elk and Sixes Rivers for the past two weeks. We have caught fish every where we fished but not lots of numbers. The Salmon are there, we just need favorable water conditions. A lot of the trees still have leaves and every wind storm creates a problem. December 5th-6th the Elk and Sixes reached high winter levels and began to drop. This should clear out the leaves and open the sand bars for fish passage. In other words The Elk and Sixes Salmon should start fishing real well.
watch POWO3 (South Fork Coquille in Powers)
Every time the rivers rise and fall Salmon fishing will be good on the drops. The South Coast of Oregon gets a lot of storms so timing is very important.

Remember, the Elk river will clear fast but the Sixes River will take a while to clear. The Elk can take 1 inch of rain and still fish good. The Sixes will cloud up with 1 inch of rain.
For current water conditions on the Elk River call 541-332-7025
For more information click here.
Egg / Shrimp Combo
Egg / Shrimp Combo
Hotel accommodations in Port Orford can be found here;
Sea Crest 541-332-3040
Shoreline 541-332-2903
Battle Rock 541-332-7331
Many Hotels available in Bandon 25 miles north of Sixes.
Campgrounds at Floras Lake (Boyce Cope), Cape Blanco State Park and KOA just south of Langlois.

K15 Kwikfish w/ a Sardine wrap enticed this Sixes River Salmon. Note the Hoochie Skirt on the tail hook...Hmmmmm
Sixes River Chinook, Dec. 10th, 2003

The Umpqua is seeing some early Winter Steelhead. In the past Sawyers Rapid has provided good fishing for early Winter Steelhead. Any time the river level is dropping good fishing should be found. I have reports of Alsea River Steelhead being caught in the lower river. Steelhead Fishing the Alsea is usually best between Christmas through Jan 30th. If your looking for a winter getaway, Mid-January is a good time to plan a trip. We fish The Alsea River, Siuslaw River, Umpqua River, Smith River, Elk River and Sixes Rivers for Winter Steelhead.
With so many streams to chose from, we can always get out on the water.
"May all your wishes be fishes"
UPDATED Nov 11th, 2003
I hope this report finds everyone healthy and well. The Holidays are just around the corner and that means South Coast Oregon King Salmon and Oregon Winter Steelhead. The Fall/Winter is a great time to get out Fishing Oregon Rivers and see the changing of the seasons.
With this weeks rain even more Oregon King Salmon have made their way into the Coastal streams. Though allot of the fish are turning dark some bright fish moved in this week. Please remember to release all dark Chinook so that they may spawn to provide even better fishing in the future. I have reports of good Bobber fishing near Mapleton on the Siuslaw River and Tidewater on the Alsea River. Although the Fall King Run may be coming to a close we can now look at the run on the South Coast. More about that later in this report.
The cooler Fall temps have helped Fly Fishing the Mckenzie River. The #14 Caddis is a good standby. Colors includes Gray, Brown, Dk Tan. Single egg patterns (Glow-Bugs) work well since all the Spawning of the Spring Chinook is taking place. We are still able to catch enough hatchery trout to have stream side fish fry's. The use of bait is allowed until December 31st. Though the temperature is dropping The McKenzie River is always a pleasure to float.
The cooler fall temps has also provided good Summer Steelhead fishing on the McKenzie River and Willamette River. Last Saturday we fished a four boat trip for some California Golden Bear Alumni in Eugene for the football game. We hooked thirteen Summer Steelhead! All on the Downtown run and within sight of Autzen Stadium. Lots of fish holding until Spawning season later in the Fall. These fish respond well to flies and provide good action. The best thing about fishing those stretches is that the fishing pressure is way down, and we can have the river to our self.
The Umpqua should be seeing Winter Steelhead any day now. In the past Sawyers Rapid has provided good fishing for early Winter Steelhead and Coho until the water raises. Drifting Orange Corkies and Back-Trolled Hot Shots works well. Umpqua Coho are in the Elkton area now and provide good fishing into Thanksgiving. By Christmas all Oregon Coastal rivers will full of Winter Steelhead. If your looking for a winter getaway, Mid-January is a good time to plan a trip. We fish The Alsea River, Siuslaw River, Umpqua River, Smith River, Elk River and Sixes Rivers for Winter Steelhead.
Now is the time to look at your calendar and find time to get down to the South Coast of Oregon to fish for the late run of Winter Kings. November 15th through the first week of January is prime fishing for Oregon's South Coast King Salmon. These Salmon return BIG and BRIGHT. As the first storms arrive on the South Coast more and more Kings will enter the Sixes River, The Elk River, and The Chetco River. Though the fishing pressure can be heavy at times, these small South Coast Rivers provide some of the best King Salmon action Oregon has to offer. Fishing the Elk and Sixes is a real treat. Back-Bouncing Egg/Shrimp combo's as well as Back-Trolling Sardine wrapped Kwikfish works real well.

Hotel accommodations in Port Orford can be found here;
Sea Crest 541-332-3040
Shoreline 541-332-2903
Battle Rock 541-332-7331
Many Hotels available in Bandon 25 miles north of Sixes. Campgrounds at Floras Lake (Boyce Cope), Cape Blanco State Park and KOA just south of Langlois.
For more information click here. If your interested just give me a call for details.
Have a Great Thanksfishing with Family and Friends
UPDATED Sept 16th, 2003
My apologies for the lateness of this report. I arrived home from Togiak, Alaska, Sept 10th and have been busy getting out on some Oregon Rivers to visit my old honey holes and find fish. Alaska is a great place to Guide the many folks that travel the Greatland. We Fished for Kings the whole month of July and the first Silver was caught August 4th and by the 8th we were catching between 15 and 40 Coho a day. More about that later in this report.
The last rain brought a few Kings into the Bays and with more precipitation more Kings will be entering Oregon's Coastal Rivers and Streams. I will be fishing the Umpqua and Siuslaw Rivers for these early returning Kings. Bobber fishing Chinook Salmon in the Tide Water and with good flows I can fish some pretty good spots upriver. Look for flows on the Siuslaw between 3.5' - 5' ft
The cooler Fall temps will/have helped the trout fishing on the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers. Again, like in Spring, the #14-#12 Caddis is a good standby. Colors includes Gray, Brown, Dk Tan. Single egg patterns have worked for me in the past also.
The cooler fall temps have also kept the Summer Steelhead active on all of the Willamette River Streams, The North and South Santiam, McKenzie River, and the Middle Fork Willamette River. Lots of fish holding until Spawning season later in the Fall. These fish respond well to flies and can provide good action. The best thing about fishing those stretches is that the fishing pressure is way down, and we can have the river to our self.
Looking ahead, Western Oregon Coastal Rivers should be seeing Winter Steelhead fishing by Thanksgiving and by Christmas all rivers will be in full swing. If your looking for a winter getaway, Mid-January is a good time to plan a trip. We fish The Alsea, Siuslaw, Umpqua, Smith, Elk and Sixes Rivers for Oregon Winter Steelhead. More about this in future reports.
November 15th through the first week of January is prime fishing for Oregon's South Coast King Salmon. Fishing for Salmon on the Elk and Sixes River. These Chinook Salmon return BIG and BRIGHT. More information can be found here.
If your interested just give me a call for details. 541-579-FISH
Father and Son Double up on a pair of Togiak River Silvers. Togiak River Lodge, Bristol Bay, Alaska
Father and Son Double
It was great experience to be able to Guide in Alaska this past Summer. I worked for Togiak River Lodge which is located just 3 miles upriver from the mouth of Togiak Bay in the Bristol Bay Region of Southwest Alaska.
The King/Chino
ok Season started the 27th of June and we were catching 25-35 Kings a day. My best day was 50 Kings hooked, 38 landed. That week I also was part of a "triple triple", Three Kings hooked at once, all landed. THREE TIMES IN A ROW! WOW! To top that the next day we had "Double Quadruple", Four Kings hooked at once, all landed. TWO TIMES IN A ROW! Most of these Chinook Salmon are between #15-#30 lbs, with the Lodge best being #42 Lbs this year.
Jerri-Jo Payne and her Togiak River King Salmon. Her first King Salmon! Casting a Red Mag Wart brought it up
Togiak River King Salmon

The Togiak Silvers / Coho season began August 8th. Our Guests began catching between 10-25 Coho a day. Most fish being caught on Pink Beadhead Flies and the Pink and Purple Double Bunny. Good action on Red and Pink Vibrax spinners also. During the third week of August I was part of quite a sight. One of our Fly Fishing guests, Konrad, said to me in the morning that he wanted to beat his record from the day before(6 straight Coho on 6 casts, all Fly caught). He made his first cast and landed his first one, then 2 and 3. When he landed his fourth fish I thought we might have a chance at 7 straight. He didn't get a bite on cast #5 but did land another one on cast #6. When the string was over Konrad had Hooked and Landed 14 Coho on 16 casts, ALL FLY CAUGHT! The Coho average #10-#15 lbs and are absolutely fresh from the Ocean. We fish on large gravel bars casting to moving fish.
This place is World Class Silver Fishing. Give me a call and I'll be glad to answer any questions you might have about fishing this beautiful place in Alaska.
Pete and Boyd with a nice batch of Togiak River Silver Bucks. All Fly caught in the Tidal Portion of the Togiak River.
Togiak River Silvers
Looking forward to a great Fall and Winter, hope to see you on the river...
"A fish a Day keeps the Doctor away"
UPDATED June 15th, 2003
McKenzie River Spring Chinook fishing has kept me on the river for the past 21 days straight. The fishing started getting good right around Memorial Day and depending on weather patterns fishing has been good...Lots of fish in the river. I was finding them very tough to catch early in the run but over Memorial Weekend they started to bite real well. During the Hot (90 degree) days of June 3rd-8th it was tough fishing out there. I found water temps in the mid 50's.
This week (June 15th) with cooler temps thing seem to be picking up...right place, right time. The use of bait divers with Egg/shrimp combos works well. Try tipping the trail hook with Sardine or Herring fillet.
As I mentioned before I will be Guiding on the Togiak River, in Alaska this Summer and will return to Oregon in Mid-September. Please excuse the lateness of this report and the lack of further updates until September 2003. Any inquiries will be responded to Bi-weekly.
Looking ahead to the Fall and Winter expect Kings to show up the end of August through October on Oregon's Coastal Rivers and Streams. Winter Steelhead fishing begins on Thanksgiving and The Winter Kings near Port Orford Thanksgiving through New Years.
"Happy Fishing to all"
Jerry with a McKenzie River Spring Salmon. T-Shirt Days are the Norm when these Kings enter the McKenzie River Eirc and Katie with a Dandy McKenzie River Salmon. Late May is the beginning of this Run.
Oregon's McKenzie River Spring Chinook (June 2003)
UPDATED May 5th, 2003
Happy Spring Fishing to everyone!
It has been one of the wettest springs on record. When rivers were out of shape I got more X-Country skiing after Mid-January than before. In fact one could find some good skiing as I am writing this May, 5th. But, this is about fishing!
Upper Middle Willamette River Fly Fishing has been fair to good when weather conditions cooperate. #14 Caddis under the trees and #14-#16 March Browns on the flats and riffles in the afternoons. Large bead head nymphs were producing last week as well. Lots of fish up there.
The McKenzie Summer Steelhead are showing near Leaburg and the first McKenzie River Spring Salmon were seen rolling in the lower river in Springfield, (Remember, no bait allowed below Hayden Bridge-to Mouth). My personal projection is over 20,000 Spring Chinook to enter the McKenzie River ( 102,000 projected to the Willamette, Divided by 4, North Santiam, South Santiam, Middle Willamette, McKenzie.) Look here for current fish counts. They changed the site this year and it take a while to load, be patient, the information is great! WILLAMETTE RIVER LEVEL and SALMON STEELHEAD COUNTS
Middle Willamette near Dexter is already kicking out some Willamette Spring Chinook Salmon. Willamette Summer Steelhead are found in the Long Runs and Riffles. Spring Chinook will be in the deep pools and shaded water.
Togiak River Lodge, Alaska. I will be Guiding / Fishing there all Summer (June 24th-Sept 10th). Togiak River is located in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. This is world class fishing with Salmon runs projected over 1,000,000... that's over One Million Salmon in a river about the size of the Willamette River near Eugene, Oregon.
The King run begins in Late June and ends in late July. The Pinks, Reds, and Chums run in July -August. We Fly Fish these Salmon as well as Large Rainbows, Dolly Varden, and Arctic Grayling.
The last week of August is when Coho's arrive in huge numbers. We target these Silver Salmon with Fly Fishing tackle but light spinning tackle is very effective.
The Togiak River Lodge accommodates up to 14 guests with a Guest/Guide ratio about 2-3/1. Some dates still available...give me a call and I'll fill you in.
I will return from Alaska to Eugene, Oregon in mid September and we will be looking at King Salmon fishing on the Alsea River as well as the Siuslaw and Umpqua Rivers. The first week of October has been good in the past. I am Booking those dates now.
o2fish has a large network of Fishing Guides in the Eugene, Oregon area. If your planning a trip to Oregon this summer give us a call.......
"now go catch a fish"
UPDATED April 1st, 2003
    The Alder Buds are turning green.....The Geese are Pairing up around their Nests.....March Browns are Hatching.....Spring Chinook are being caught near Elkton.....It must be Spring!
    The Willamette River Spring Chinook will be, should be, coming in when the River warms to 50 degrees.
    Oregon Summer Steelhead Fishing will be in full swing soon. Look for Summer Steelhead on the McKenzie River, Middle Willamette River and both forks of the Santiam River. As the waters clear its time to gear down, Smaller Baits, Jig Fishing, Lighter Leaders.
    McKenzie River Trout Fishing is picking up with the warmer temps. When weather and river level cooperate fishing has been good on the Middle Willamette River Fly Fishing for Wild Rainbows. The March Brown hatch is ON!!!.... on cloudy, warm days the fish are active. During high water be sure and fish the flooded willows on the lower McKenzie River, Hendricks Park to Armatage Park.
    Umpqua River Spring Chinook have been caught in the lower river and will pick up in the next few weeks. We caught our first Umpqua River Spring Salmon last year on April 7th, 2002. Look for water heights to be around 5'-7.5' for good fishing.
Umpqua River Spring Chinook,  "Holy S#*@...FIsh On......" Umpqua River Spring Salmon...Mid-April through May
UPDATE 04-03-03
If your wanting a fishing trip in Oregon this Summer be sure and send us a note as we have a large network of the finest Oregon River Guides available and will be sure to make your fishing trip a good one.
"April Showers bring May Fish"

Call 541-579-FISH (3474)
Drop me a line
Eugene, Oregon