The Elk and Sixes Rivers on the rugged Southern Oregon Coast, are known for their runs of native Chinook king salmon and winter steelhead.
Our guides fish on a handful of coastal rivers, but the rivers we fish the most due to their beauty, productivity and dependability are the Elk and Sixes. The Sixes River enters the ocean on the north side of Cape Blanco State Park, a few miles north of the similar-sized Elk River, roughly 5 miles north of Port Orford, Oregon (30 minutes north of Gold Beach and about 20 miles south of Bandon along highway 101).
It is not uncommon for the Elk to produce a couple thousand Chinook salmon in a season, an impressive number for a small river. The Elk, known for its wild fish, also has a hatchery program and a good return of both hatchery salmon and steelhead. The Upper Elk River is designated as "wild and scenic" and is protected as one of Oregon's old-growth forest river ecosystems. The Sixes is one of Oregon's most pristine rivers and both rivers are invaluable salmon habitats.
One of the Elk's greatest advantages is that the blue-green water clears quicker than other rivers in the area after a storm. The Elk and Sixes make great companions, being just a short drive apart, as the Elk can be fished shortly after a rain, and the Sixes clearing quickly thereafter.
We fish for Chinook king salmon and steelhead on the rivers of the Southern Oregon Coast after the 1st fall storms. Rain allows the rivers to rise and the sand duned river mouths to open to the ocean. Salmon and steelhead are then able to enter the rivers and head upstream to their spawning grounds.
Peak of the Season
Our guides fish the rivers of the Southern Oregon Coast October through January. Below we have highlighted the peak of the season. Peak of the season often translates to more salmon and steelhead caught, but also more anglers and boats on the river. Before and after the peak times are still great times to catch fish, but also offer a quieter river fishing experience. We hope this helps you plan the trip that's right for you.
The coastal rivers we fish the most due to their beauty, productivity and dependability are the Elk and Sixes.