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Indigenous Adventures
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer
Published in the September 15, 2016 edition

I spoke with Cooper Hedgecock, owner of Indigenous Adventures, a fishing charter company operating out of Coos Bay. Cooper has been running guide trips in Oregon for three years, but has many years of experience fishing in Alaska.

“I ran fishing trips in Alaska for years,” said Cooper. “I started fishing at age 12, worked as a deckhand, a dockhand, and up the chain of command.  At age 18 I got my captain’s license and started running a charter boat, which I did for 17 seasons.  I came back to Coos Bay because this is my home town, and hey, we’ve got a heck of a fishery here!” 

Cooper Hedgecock with his catch of the day.

Indigenous Adventures operates year-round, depending on the available fish. “Once I get a call from a client, I figure out a date and what we’ll be fishing for,” said Cooper. “I’ll fish for smallmouth bass on the Umpqua River from June until the middle of August, but once the salmon start running I switch over to that fishing.” 

Being the sole proprietor and fisherman at his company keeps Cooper busy. “Lately I’ve been taking lots of out-of-state folks fishing, but my clientele really varies,” he explained. “I definitely take a lot of women fishing, but also retired people, father and son trips, you name it.  It’s a real mixed bag of people who want to go fishing…it’s a sport that everyone can do!”

Indigenous Adventures is solely a river and bay fishing enterprise; they don’t go out into the ocean. “We have lots of rivers right here that I fish from,” said Cooper. “I go up the Coos River for salmon, but I’ll also fish the Allegany, Umpqua, Coquille, Elk and Sixes rivers. Right now I’m trolling for chinook in the Coos River and the bay.  As the season goes on, in late September I’ll fish the upper rivers with roe (eggs).”

A fishing trip usually takes about eight hours, but Cooper will stay out later if fishing is slow that day.  “It really varies with each trip,” he said. “I have no problem staying out later so that my clients can catch some fish.  I also have no problem referring them to other fishermen if my schedule is too full.”

When you go on a fishing excursion with Indigenous Adventures, you don’t have to worry about cleaning your catch or bringing your own gear.  “I can even give you recipes for your catch,” said Cooper.  “I’ll let you know what to wear for the trip, what the licensing requirements are, what personal supplies to take…and I always provide all the gear, bait, equipment, etc.”

Cooper said that he offers both drift and jet boat guided fishing trips, with either fly fishing or conventional rod and reel, and will take clients from beginners to advanced anglers.  “I often get last-minute calls from people who have come out to the coast and want to add to the Oregon experience,” said Cooper.

If you’re looking for a fishing adventure on one of our beautiful rivers or in the bay, give Indigenous Adventures a call at 541-537-0256.

“The best part of my job is meeting new people and introducing them to the great fishing we have on the southern Oregon coast,” Cooper finished.

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