When the Rogue River got too crowded for Zane Grey's taste in 1932, he headed to the North Umpqua River with his fly pole in hand.

It's a tradition still carried on today, especially on a 34-mile stretch of the river, beginning about 20 miles east of Roseburg on Highway 138, from Rock Creek upstream to the Soda Springs Dam.

The "fly area" is open to catch and release for trout, open for adipose fin-clipped steelhead and, unless restrictions are imposed, open for adipose fin-clipped Coho salmon till the end of the year.

Some old-timers brag that this is the most difficult place to catch a fish, but there isn't a true Oregon outdoorsman who doesn't like a tough challenge.

Boat fishing isn't allowed, so don't forget your sturdy waders and remember this is a demanding river with a slippery rock bottom, tricky depths and a super-fast current.

Other special regulations also apply, so, before heading out, be sure to check ODFW's Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations," online at www.dfw.state.or.us, or in booklet form from most sporting goods stores.

You can get more detailed information from the Roseburg District Office of the BLM at 541-440-4930, or from their Web site, www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation.

Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at newsmiller@yahoo.com.