Shad fishing here on the lower Umpqua is a great but unique sport fishery. If you are into catching hard fighting fish on light tackle and big numbers of them, then Shad are the fish for you. The Shad average about 2 lbs. and are a tremendous fighting fish. They are built for speed and can often come out of the water. When the Shad are in the river system there is no doubt and the fishing can be hot and heavy. We fish with both conventional and fly fishing gear and both are a lot of fun. The conventional gear is done with light trout spinning gear, usually 4 to 6 lbs test line and light weight rods. The fly fishing is done with 5 to 7 wt. rods and we like to use a 15 to 20 foot shooting head sinking line and a shooting head backing for long casts.
When the Shad are in it is common to hook upwards of 50 fish in a day. Often during this season we will fish part of the day for Shad and then go after some of the famous Smallmouth Bass that the lower Umpqua is known for. This can be a great combination trip and great for Kids because you will catch fish.
Season: Last half of April through June Peak season: May through mid-June