In less then two weeks the SAM (steelhead awareness movement) crew will hit the road for a two-week trip to the Deschutes and the North Umpqua. Last year was our maiden voyage to the Deschutes and we absolutely fell in love with it's emerald-green desert waters! We fished hard last year, waking up every night way before dawn and biking up the Mack's canyon trail in the dark via headlamp. The fish didn't come easy, but we managed to wrangle a few on the very technical green-butt skunk and freight train. The fish were a bonus, exploring a new river and camping with friends was for sure the highlight.
I am still skunked on the North Umpqua after many winter run trips on the river. Paul has 3 or 4 winter runs under his belt all coming to hand at the Susan Creek access. This August we hope to find a few fish that are interested in eating a skated fly on the surface. Supposedly red is a pretty good go to color for skaters on the North. Lee Spencer has observed steelhead rising to red leaves in the Dynamite Hole far more frequently then any other color (intel courtesy thanks to JC at the Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, OR: http://www.flyfishusa.com)
For more detailed information about the North Umpqua and it's Steelhead go this page on the North Umpqua Foundation's website: http://www.northumpqua.org