A New Low For The North Umpqua

Because the North Umpqua is not dam-controlled, it is not unusual for it to vary widely in size from season to season.  But nobody could anticipate that the river would reach an all-time low that saw this proud stream reduced to a creek.  But it happened last August.  In fact, the river was so low that the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Game banned fishermen from the stream.  The Dept. felt that the water was too low and too warm.  Now the North Umpqua is known throughout the world for its splendid steelhead fishing, so this was quite a disappointment for many eager fishermen and, especially for Steamboat Lodge, which offers a well-known late fisherman’s dinner.  Normally, the Lodge offered picturesque views of a falls, but the falls disappeared into a pile of boulders. A plethora of fires didn’t help any of the tourist businesses either.  All in all, a strange and sad summer for people who frequent the North Umpqua.

Sign Welcoming You To Steamboat Lodge.

Sign welcoming you to Steamboat Lodge.

Lots of luck floating this rapid. There is a sharp rock in the middle.

Lots of luck floating this rapid. There is a sharp rock in the middle.

Not much of the river left in the ribbon ahead.

Not much of the river left in the ribbon ahead.

Notice how narrow the river is.

Notice how narrow the river is.

Another view of the same rapid.

Another view of the same rapid.

Scenes From The North Umpqua

NU 5*NU 4The North Umpqua, which arises near Diamond Lake, is one of the most beautiful rivers in America.  Its blue-green water splashing over boulders is a must see for river enthusiasts.  An agreement was made with the Power Commission that if the extensive power plant was built there would be no further dams on the river.  That agreement, and the abundance of forestry-owned land has protected the North Umpqua from further human obstructions.  To top it off, the North Umpqua is world-renowned for its wonderful steelhead fishing.  It is not an easy river to fish, since it offers many ledge rocks that a careless angler could slip off of into turbulent water.  However, that situation deters few.  In fact, during the summer, the Steamboat area is strictly regulated by fishermen to ensure the best fishing.  Should you wish to stay the night, the Steamboat Lodge offers a sumptuous feast known as the Fisherman’s Dinner served at dusk.  From Boulder Creek Campground to Steamboat, the gradient and sharp rocks keep inner tubers and casual tahiti rafters off the river.  Famous rapids include Pinball(Class 4), which swirls around a series of boulders, and Boulder Hole(Class 3), a long rapid that ends in an abrupt drop around a corner.  The river flows through magnificent forest and is highlighted by awe-inspiring spires and rock formations.  The photos  include:   Approaching Boulder Hole, The last drop of Boulder Hole, Happy Rock, Rapid below Headknocker’s 3 .  If you get the chance, do visit!NU 1   NU 3