Harbor View Cottages "Catch the View"

Harbor View Cottages LLC, are conveniently located in Gold Beach, Oregon, with access to a wide range of outdoor activities. 

Fishing Calendar

~December-March:  Winter steelhead travel up the Rogue this time of year.  Good eating and great fighters!

March-June:  Spring chinook (or king) salmon are caught between Gold Beach and Agness (2 to 35 miles upriver).  Similar to fall chinook, these "springers" are in peak physical condition as they leave the cold waters of the Pacific and come into the Rogue system in search of their spawning grounds.  Known for their mouth-watering flavor, spring chinook range in size from 10 to 40+ pounds.

~July-December:  Troll (fisherman talk for putting around in a boat with a line or two out) the Rogue River Bay for Chinook salmon which, once hooked, give even the most experienced angler a challenging fight.  These fine fish also range from 10-40+ pounds.  In fact, one fish weighing over 70 pounds was landed by a Grants Pass Fisherman several years ago.  Summer steelhead (or half-pounders) also provide excellent fishing during these months.

~September-December:  This time of year you'll catch coho (silver) salmon and, of course, the fun-to-hook summer steelies.  Silvers range in size from five to 15 pounds and steelhead from 3/4 pound to two pounds.  Nothing's more fun than fighting these fish on light tackle, especially a fly rod.  Many fishermen catch and release these beauties, allowing them to live and fight another day.

 

Anyone can toss out a line on a sunny summer day, but winter brings out the real anglers, especially for steelhead -one of the sport's great challenges.

December through March is one of the locals' favorite times of the year, because Gold Beach typically has multiple days of sunshine and mild weather.  Steelhead fishing reaches its peak in February, with opportunities to cast in as many as five rivers within a five-minute to one-hour drive from the center of town.

Steelhead are sea-run rainbow trout that range in size up to 20 pounds; average is 4 to 8 pounds.  You can fish in a variety of ways depending on the river and conditions, and can cover up to 12 miles of river a day.  How does a covered, heated 21-foot powerboat sound?  Or an open drift boat with heater?  These vessels carry two to four people, depending on conditions and fishing method; guides, boats, licenses and tackle are available in Gold Beach.

If you don't want to drift up, you can drive upstream; locals can point out public river access spots for good fishing.

Now the Ocean is a different kettle of fish altogether - lingcod and rockfish at this time of year.  And Gold Beach offers the best ocean bottom fishing opportunities on the Oregon Coast.  It's done just a few miles offshore in 40 to 125 feet of water, with great catches of excellent-eating seafood.  If you're looking to charter a boat in the winter, it's best to call ahead (see fishing search below), because weather definitely affects accessibility for safety reasons, current conditions and anglers' preference.

Bird Watching

In addition to beachcombers, adventure seekers and trailblazers, look who else flocks to GOLD BEACH...Osprey, Hutton's Vireo, Greater White-fronted Goose, Common Merganser, American Dipper, Wild Turkey, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Winter Wren, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Varied Thrush, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Dark-eyed Junco, Lesser Goldfinch to name a few... 

Jet Boats

Gold Beach is synonymous with jet boats and is the gateway to the Wild & Scenic portion of the Rogue River. Departing from Gold Beach is the only way to get jet boat access to this pristine "Wild Section." The trips are considered a must-do during any Gold Beach visit — at least between May 1st and October 15th. Jerry's Rogue Jets runs the boats up the Wild and Scenic Rogue River on trips of 64, 80 and 104 round-trip miles, the longer, the wilder — in terms of whitewater and scenery. Excursions include lunch or dinner stopovers at upriver lodges (meal price extra), or bring a picnic in a small cooler and enjoy the beautiful outdoor setting at Singing Springs or one of the other lodges (no alcohol allowed).

Jet boats are designed specifically for safely navigating strong currents and shallow riffles, so you can relax as trained pilots treat you to tall tales and river lore, incredible scenery and sightings of black bear, river otters, eagles and the rare mountain lion.

An adventure with Jerry’s Rogue Jets begins in their museum, where just about anything you need to know about the area’s colorful history is on display in photos, artifacts and dioramas. Then get on board to learn the true meaning of "wild and scenic" from folks who’ve run these trips since 1958.

Reservations are highly recommended , although same-day openings are available if you’re lucky. Overnight stays at lodges upriver are another option; check out their website,

or call 1.800.451.3645 for details.


Beach Combing

Combing the beach in Oregon is a very different adventure from many beaches around the globe, and that’s mostly because of the driftwood that makes its way down Oregon rivers to the sea. Dramatic new shapes wash in almost daily, and a favorite sandy cove can look entirely different from one day to the next, especially in stormy weather. Agates are another local treasure, a colorful stone that’s considered a real prize; December through April is the best time to spot them, as well as jasper, fossils and petrified wood.

Refuse from the Tsunami in Japan are predicted to wash ashore in the coming months to years, traveling thousands of miles on the Kuroshio current. Beach combers should exhibit respect for items they may encounter. Web sites are being developed to track debris found along the Oregon and Washington coastline.

If you prefer treasures of the living kind, the best tide pool areas include Agate Beach and Rocky Point North of Town, and Myers Creek, and Lone Ranch Wayside to the South. For low tide periods, check the paper or pick up a free guide at the Visitor Center. Head out with The Tidepools are Alive brochure in hand (also available from the Visitor Center). Of course, tide pool critters are protected, so photos are the only way you can take them home.

Tidepooling, beach combing or just strolling, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on the water. Oregon has what are called sneaker waves; one can rise suddenly and powerfully from an otherwise regular set, knocking down and carrying out even strong swimmers. With children especially, time your visits during low tide, and know when it’s coming in.


 Storm Watching

Storm Watching on the Beautiful Southern Oregon Coast in Gold Beach...

For many people, storms are fascinating, and many visitors come to the coast during the winter to observe the forces of nature strike the coast with high winds and horizontal volleys of rain.

But whether you park at the water's edge or watch from your Cottage, the raging surf is an experience you won't soon forget.  Weather in Gold Beach is spectacular, dramatic, and unpredictable.

Storm watching doesn't necessarily mean pulling on rain gear and leaning into 60 MPH winds.  In fact, huge waves created by swells from storms still out at sea precede the actual storm.  The sun can be shining and the wind only a calm breeze as you watch heavy surf crash into a headland, cape or jetty. 

The result?  The airborne mist and cream-like froth cascade over the rocks, leaving you mesmerized.

The months of November through February bring the biggest surf, and the most excitement for storm watchers.  Thankfully, there are many overlooks, viewpoints and state parks north and south of Gold Beach on Highway 101 that are excellent locations to begin your winter storm watching adventures.

Winter at the Beach...

Outdoor activities:  Winter season is a great time to be on the southern Oregon coast.  Beach combing is actually best when tumultuous seas deposit a variety of treasures on local beaches.

Luckily, Gold Beach enjoys a very temperate climate that allows for outdoor activities even in mid-winter, and it's not unusual to have a major wind or rainstorm followed by a series of warm, bright and sunny days, with blue skies chasing the clouds away. 

Actually, the possibilities are almost endless when it comes to winter-time activities:  Whale watch, storm watch, beach comb, hike, crab and ride horses.  Of course, whale and storm watching can also be enjoyed in the comfort of your Cottage or vehicle.

When on the beach, be aware of "sneaker sets", or large swells that compound upon one another to create unusually large waves. Rule #1 of storm watching, NEVER turn your back to the surf!

Indoor activities:  From your cozy river and oceanfront lodging,  read a book or sip piping-hot cup of coffee.  When you venture out, enjoy a fresh Dungeness crab and other delicacies at local eateries.  Then, wander through the several art galleries, antique stores, and gift shops in town. 

 Windsurfing

Gold Beach is an ideal home base for windsurfing adventures. Considered among the choice spots is the stretch of coastline 10 miles south of Gold Beach, from Cape Sebastian to Pistol River.

Depending on which way the wind is blowing and surf conditions, you’ll see colorful sails surfing and soaring typically between mileposts 334 and 339 on US 101. Spring and early summer conditions are the best.

Or head inland. Floras Lake, two miles east of US 101 near Port Orford, is where you can learn the sport.

Scenic Drives

Well of course there's the coast. The stretch of US 101 between Gold Beach and Brookings to the south is considered one of the most "oooooohhh!" and "wow!" scenic drives in the state, and one that’s usually less trafficked than up north. Look for waysides; there are lots of picnic spots and hiking trails.

But turn off the highway and you’ll find as much to be amazed by. Considered one of the most beautiful is Floras Lake County Park, off US 101 just north Port Orford. While you’re up here, check out nearby Cape Blanco State Park, the westernmost point in the continental United States, and the Elk River, also marked along US 101.

Closer is the Lower Rogue River Highway, County Road 595, that takes you up and into the hills east of Gold Beach.

A good map and recommendations from locals is your best bet when in town, because the drives vary with the season. Ask about azalea blooms and spring iris fields.

Whale Watching

There are two ways to go about this: You can charter a boat and get up close and cozy with a California gray whale, or you can just keep glancing out to sea every time you’re on a bluff hiking, biking, walking or driving. Chances are excellent that you’ll eventually spot a plume of water spouting from a blowhole. Carry binoculars and you may get to see the magnificent mammals breaching the surface of the water. Several boats congregating in close proximity often means they’ve spotted a pod, so keep your eyes open.

To take advantage of the California gray whale's 12,000-mile migratory route from a Gold Beach standpoint, you’ll want to be in town between December and May. Till February they’re heading south as far as the Arctic, and tend to travel  2 miles offshore; from March through May they’re on their way back north, and cruise closer in, just beyond the surf line. The rest of the year you might catch sight of one of the "locals" — whales that have taken up permanent residence off the Oregon coast. Early morning and late evening, when the water is calm, are best times.

For land-based sightings, look for vantage points all along the Oregon coast with big "Whale Watching Spoken Here" signs.


                             


  Special thanks to the City of Gold Beach for providing this information.



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