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Flyfishing Idaho - Henry's Fork of the Snake RiverBig K Guest Ranch, lower Umpqua River, Oregon

lower Umpqua River - Big K Guest Ranch, flyfishing Oregon

The lower Umpqua River from near Roseburg downstream is one of finest smallmouth streams in the West. This pristine part of the river also hosts a strong run of American shad and is a thoroughfare for steelhead and salmon in season. The best stretch of river to fish is that portion that runs through The Big K Guest Ranch near Elkton. A catch-and-release policy is observed on Ranch waters for smallmouth and this is the reason why more large fish are found in this section of the river than any other.

Umpqua River smallmouth bass

Smallmouth measuring twenty inches in length and weighing four pounds inhabit these waters, but most are ten to thirteen inches. Several years ago, a smallmouth twenty-three inches long weighing more than seven pounds was caught and released. Since the river running through the ranch is too much to drift in a day, only those staying at The Big K Guest Ranch can enjoy this fine fishing. "The Inside Angler" has made two reports on the fishing on the lower Umpqua River with the latest appearing in Volume IX, Number 2, March 2000.

Umpqua River shad
The flyfishing season at The Big K Guest Ranch starts in mid April with the arrival of the first shad. Their numbers keep increasing and they continue passing through until late June and early July, depending on the year.

The prime time to fish for smallmouth is from July through early September. If it is your desire to catch a good number of both species, a trip planned for mid June is suggested. The Big K Guest Ranch provides lodging with breakfast and dinner, offers guided fishing trips, horseback riding, bicycle rentals and a sporting clays course. It also offers guided hunting for turkey, deer and elk. For those anglers who own personal inflatables with experience running rivers who wish to fish on their own, the Ranch can arrange shuttles.

Guests stay in twenty cabins, which are spacious, air conditioned and well maintained. Each is just a short walk to main lodge, where meals are taken. Entrees for dinner during on our last visit featured preparations of roast duck, quail, T-bone and Tri Tip steak, grilled catfish, marinated chicken breast, pork loin and salmon. "The Inside Angler" found the food well prepared. Dessert consisted of cheesecake and strawberry shortcake. When the weather is warm, dinner can be taken on the large porch overlooking the property down toward the river. A fenced-in swimming pool and a pond planted with trout for young anglers and another with warm water species can be seen from the porch. Downstairs in the lodge is a recreation rooms with a pool table, electronic games and a large television.

lodge and cabinsbedroom

Rates for a cabin including breakfast and dinner are $175/night/single, $225/night/double, $65/night/additional adult and $35/night/youth, 6 - 16 years of age. Children 5 years or younger are free. Guided drift fishing trips are $200/day/single and $300/day/two anglers. Horseback rides are $25/hour and bicycles rent for $10/hour. There is a sportings clay course. For those who bring their own gun and shells, it is $25/round; to borrow and gun with shells provided is $35/round. Scenic half day floats are $35/person.

For more information and reservations:

Big K Guest Ranch
20020 Highway 138 West
Elkton, OR 97436
FAX (541/584-2395)

web site:

Many subscribers to "The Inside Angler" have reported excellent stays at The Big K Guest Ranch.

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