Fishing is a mighty big deal in Gold Beach, which has one of the highest concentrations of professional guides in the state. There’s something to fish for just about year-round, but salmon and steelhead are the top quarry. When the spring chinook pour in (Apr.–June), anglers will need to book guided trips well in advance to get a shot at them. Catches peak in May.
Summer steelhead and fall-run chinook usually arrive July–September, then it’s hatchery coho September–November (sometimes as early as August). In December, the first of the winter steelhead make their appearance and continue into March.
The Rogue Outdoor Store (560 N. Ellensburg Ave., 541/247-7142) is well stocked with fishing, camping, and other gear, and its staff can advise on where, when, and what to fish. Typical rates for guided salmon trips are $150–200 per person. Contact the Gold Beach Visitor Center or the Curry Guide Association (800/775-0886) for a list of over two dozen licensed guides.
Some well-established guides include: Steve Beyerlin (541/247-4138 or 800/348-4138, www.fishoregon.com), for both conventional and fly-fishing; Shaun Carpenter (541/247-2049, www.endoftherogue.com), conventional and fly-fishing; and Ron Smith (541/247-6046 or 800/501-6391, www.sportfishingoregon.com) for salmon and steelhead fishing trips on a number of Southern Oregon rivers.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel