We've had a few boats on the water since opening weekend and the dry fly action has been awesome! We should have another 3 to 4 weeks of solid Salmonfly activity. Now is a great time to take advantage of a super fun guide day! Here's what a few guides have to say.
Opening weekend of trout fishing on the Upper Rogue River saw warmer temperatures that enticed the big bugs to fly. I have observed lots of hatched salmonflies over the last two weeks, and had some good early dry fly fishing too. But this last bout of warmer weather seems to have the bugs stirring and hitting the air.
The Upper Rogue salmon fly hatch is definitely now underway. I was on this stretch of river twice this week and here are the results of these two trips. We saw some varied weather with the start of golden stone dries just starting in the air but surprisingly these bugs came out from the Hatchery to Rogue Elk Park. This is the second year in a row that salmon flies and golden stones are starting up high in the Rogue system and moving downriver. In past years, the bugs have historically started below Dodge bridge and then slowly and gradually moved upriver. Not sure why this phenomenon is happening but we are just reacting to where the good bug activity is located.
On the first day the weather was warm with bright sunshine and there were quite a few golden stone adults in the air and a few on the water. The fly fisher in my boat had a good effort with the small fish and hooked and released quite a few; we were after the steelhead in the river and were loaded up with 6 and 7 weight fly rods. This fly fisher was able to raise four adults steelhead to dry flies but was a little slow setting up on these fish so didn't get them hooked.
On the second trip of this week, I had two very experienced fly fishers that I fish with often; so they know the drill of fishing with dry flies very well. This day on the Rogue was overcast skies and at least 20 degrees cooler than earlier in the week. These two guys wanted to start later in the day so we started at noon for their float. The golden stone adults were just coming out and some were in the water and as we moved downstream the bug activity really picked up and the salmon fly adults also joined the action. These two guys fished a Clark's Golden Stone and a Gold Stimulator and a Sofa Pillow and ended up landing 5 adult fish on the day.
The biggest steelhead of the day was hooked on a Sofa Pillow fly; and this steelie came out of the water and we immediately saw a bright chrome fish with a wide body girth. The fly fisher that hooked this fish worked this female with a 7 weight fly rod and could not get her out of the fast water. He had on a 3X leader and it took him 15 minutes to get this steelhead to the boat; we all surmised that this fish that was 25 inches in length and the girth of it this steelhead was all of 7 lbs for weight. Seeing how bright this steelhead was we think that this was a big summer steelhead that has come into the Rogue system early; great native fish and Matt had a hoot getting this fish to hand. These guys landed one other steelhead and three really nice cutthroat in the 18 to 19 inch range.
Luckily the Rogue River flows are stable for now so hopefully with a little warmer weather this dry fly action will continue; check out the Ashland Fly Shop and get some of their great salmon flies and golden stone dries and get on the water; good luck!!