Umpqua means "thundering water" in the Chinook language, and the Wild and Scenic North Umpqua River certainly can thunder -- as can competing recreationalists, if they're not careful: The river is renowned for both fishing and floating, which can make for uncomfortable (river)bedfellows.
The North Umpqua River runs east from near the town of Winchester (north of Roseburg at I-5) into the Cascades. The Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway parallels the river until Toketee Reservoir, where it turns south toward Diamond Lake and Crater Lake National Park. The highway is peppered with attractive trails, waterfalls, picnic sites, and campgrounds.
Fishermen from around the country are lured to the emerald green waters of the North Umpqua for its seasonal runs of steelhead and salmon. On the north shore of the river, at the Winchester Fish Ladder just off I-5 at Exit 129 (north of Roseburg, near the town of Wilbur), visitors can watch salmon and steelhead in their native environment as they swim by a viewing window at Winchester Dam.
Rafters have also discovered the river as home to several exciting Class II to V rapids. This conjunction of fly-fishing and floating has led to some complicated restrictions for both, but guides and outfitters can help you navigate the rules and regulations.
To learn more about the Umpqua River area, please select a topic of interest from the navigation bar on the left.