Conditions are prime in our backyard! We are looking at another few weeks of good winter steelhead fishing here in Southern Oregon. Let's see what the guides have to say.
Finally we have some decent Upper Rogue stream flows, water clarity, conditions and some nice warmer weather. This last week of March for the first three days has seen three days of fishing by myself and friends and we have picked up adult steelhead all three days.
On Monday, it was a day that one of my fly fishing friends took the time in the afternoon to hit the Middle Rogue and practice some scandi casting with a new Switch Rod that she had recently purchased.
She was intently thinking thru and executing the good fundamentals that she had just recently learned and was engrossed in being sure to get a really good high release and delivery of her spey cast. She did have a fly on her spey line, a spey fly we use around here in the summer and fall, and she used that fly as she practiced rather than use a piece of yarn.
All of a sudden on one of her casts she has her fly coming into a seam of slower water from the faster stream flow of the Rogue and she gets slammed by a nice 20 inch steelhead. Total shock and awe from her as she realized that now I need to land this nice fish, which she did and shortly after that she called me excitedly to give me the great news. Wow, was she shocked to get a player while she was just trying to get better at her scandi casting.
On Tuesday, the Upper Rogue was covered from the Hatchery to Rogue Elk in a 5 hour float. The water flows were a little under 3,000 cfs and with the Rogue being more in a confined area and higher flows there were few fish that could hold in this faster water. As we proceeded closer to Rogue Elk and the Rogue widened out we were able to find some holding areas in the softer water where we found steelhead that would play. On this Tuesday it was a tough day of fishing but we were able to get two adult steelhead to the boat on stone fly nymphs.
On Wednesday, my boat covered the run from Rogue Elk to Takelma under nice warm weather with very little wind and flows around 2,700 cfs just enough flow so it was hard to anchor up in any spots. In this section of River my friend had a memorable day for her in her spey fishing experience. She did swing flies with her Switch Rod but for most all of this trip she was nymph fishing with stone flies that came out of the bins of the Ashland Fly Shop. On the day, Jen was able to get 6 adult steelhead to hand with one being a 29 inch native male steelhead and two that measured 20 inches apiece with the rest of the adult steelhead were under 20 inches.
What made the day so significant for her is that she was able to hook and land all six fish; the big steelhead that she landed was probably a December or January winter steelhead that had made its way up River; it still had plenty of bulk and size and didn't appear to have spawned as yet. This steelhead put up only a modest fight in comparison to what it would have done if it had of been a fresh fish just in the Upper River.
Great Job Jen; it was a genuine pleasure to fish with you, you made us look awfully good on this day, nice work!!!
I was out Monday and Tuesday on the Upper Rogue swinging flies with a couple of characters. We fished hard Monday didn't have a confirmed encounter with a steelhead. Tuesday was a different day. We headed upriver a couple of beats to spend the day. With the Rogue a little on the high side, wading is a little tough on certain stretches of the river, and we found some water that fished really well.
We fished Skagit lines and mostly 10" of T-14. The Rio IFlight (intermediate Skagit) was also an integral part of our success, paired with T-11 and T-14. When it was all said and done, we hooked for adult steelhead and landed one of them. The Rogue is high and clear, and fish are hiding. We found fish in heavy, choppy water, for the most part. We hooked fish on several flies, all ones that I had tied. The blue Dirk Wiggler took our first fish. An orange/copper/rust colored "intruder" ish fly with lots of gold holo flash was good for our second hook-up. Two other fish were hooked on a black/purple Dirk Wiggler/Deuce Wigalo bastardized intruder hybrid critter.
Reports river wide are good, which infers that fishing should hold up for a while. For booking information, contact Jon at the shop!