Umpqua River Info Request

My wife and I have planned a trip to the Umpqua River in a couple of weeks for some smallmouth fishing. I’ve never canoed the river before and have a couple of sections in mind, specifically 5 miles east of Elkton and possible the Myrtle Creek/Winston area. In any case, my questions regarding whitewater I might encounter on the trip have yet to be answered (the books are a bit inadequate). I’ve been canoeing since a young boy, but my wife has very little whitewater experience. Has anyone been through either section of the river?

Also, I used to employ drag chain(s) from time to time to slow a drift while fishing, while back East. Is this method used much out West?

Try info from steelhead drift boats
Your best info on that river, if you can’t locate a good canoing source, would be a guide in the area who fishes the river with a drift boat. Good for you to seek info first. I sure wouldn’t tackle that river without knowing more, especially with a novice. Roseburg is a larger town nearby whose tourism site should link you to river info.

I drove along parts of the sections you mention last Sunday, and saw many small rapids in close sequence and ledge drops across the river, enough to make me wary of the parts I could not see. I’ve never paddled it. I’m not super familiar with that river but have driven long it a few times and it seemed surprisingly low to me for this time of year.

Never heard of anyone using the chain drag method in the west. Not sure if authorities frown on it due to possible damage to salmon/steelhead eggs in the gravel beds, and don’t even know if there are eggs in that river gravel at this time of year. Each river and run is different. With bedrock ledges, in which a chain might catch solid in a crack, I’d make sure the end attached to the boat had a quick release.

It is a pretty river and a pretty area. You will enjoy it however you go at it.

Thanks for the information. A few people have warned me about a tricky rapid near the bridge at the town of Elkton and one further up river around Kellogg. One fellow went on to say that he has never seen a fully loaded canoe make it through the rapid near kellogg. I will be doing a lot of scouting for sure.

Good Trip to the Umpqua
We ended up drifting about a 5 mile stretch of the river upstream of Elkton from the Drift Boat slide to the town. Fishing was fabulous, the smallies were holding on the bottom and behind the ledges. We used a variety of lures, plastic tubes, spinner baits and worms. Bait had to be on the bottom though or forget it. Caught a lot of dinks, but did have a few good ones in there as well, lost count, probably over 50 fish.

The river was running low and had to negotiate one class I-II area with little difficulty. The chute just below the bridge was too much for the open canoe, water volume, height of standing waves 3’+ that continued for about 100’made it too tough, so we decided that portage was our only option. The drift boats and pontoon craft made it through okay. I’d definitely drift that stretch of water again.

Sounds like great fun.