Umpqua Smallmouth Report

Our friend and Caddis Fly Customer, Brad Emery, sent us some photos and a report from a recent trip he took down the main stem of the Umpqua River for smallmouth bass. Brad is part of Central Oregon Project Healing Waters and had a vet and mentor along with him for his float on the Umpqua. Project Healing Waters works to assist in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active duty military personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings. The Central Oregon Chapter focuses its efforts on one-on-one outings with veterans, rather than larger group trips that many other PHW chapters run. If you know a veteran who might be interested in some relaxing time on the water, drop Brad a line at or visit the website of Central Oregon Chapter of Project Healing Waters for more information. Brad’s report and photos are below.

Umpqua smallmouth fishing

Fished James Brown to Osprey – Monday Aug 6th

Coming from Bend to fish the Umpqua for a day is something I used to do when I was younger, but sometimes we just don’t learn. We left the Bend/La Pine area around 5 AM to hit the tunnel at 6…only to learn that they don’t work on weekends so it was open. We made it to the Tyee store around 8 and were fishing by 8:30. For our first trip in this section it was a success… we caught fish (but we don’t have one of those clickers to count fish) – we also started experimenting to see what they wouldn’t hit. All in all they liked Clouser Minnows in white/orange and Rainbow and Crystal buggers, but they didn’t like poppers or anything on top (yet).

Damsel fly on the Umpqua

I was told to watch out for the rapid above Osprey (I didn’t know where we were so by the time we were at Osprey it was too late), but anyway stay right because we painted some rocks on the left with a couple hangups. If you don’t know where Osprey is mark it in your mind when you go by – there are two houses (green and red) just before on the right and the chute is heading toward those houses….right now it looks OK either way but in the very near future it won’t be.

Umpqua Smallmouth bass

It was an amazing drift with lots of fish, eagles and kingfishers, what somebody calls vitamin N. I am part of Central Oregon Project Healing Waters and had a vet and mentor along with me, and we are trying to get vets out into nature on a one on one basis regularly instead of big outings for a lasting experience.

Hope this helps the drift……go enjoy – it’s worth it.

Brad Emery

Shuttles for floats on the Umpqua are available through Arlene’s Cafe and General Store (they also serves up some tasty pre- and post-trip grub) at 541-584-2555, or through the Tyee Store & Landing at 541-459-7705.

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2 Responses to Umpqua Smallmouth Report

  1. fred hayes says:

    Semper Fi…thanks brother!

  2. David Jensen says:

    Ditto to Fred’s comment. I live on the McKenzie. If I can help out let me know.
    David Jensen
    Capt., USMC, 1970-1973 (presently on very nonactive duty).

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