Rogue River Field Notes for August

August 31, 2018

Rogue River Field Notes | Marcus Mattioli Photography The Rogue's been a bit of a cruel mistress for me as of late. But it always seems that way during the early season. Always seems like I'm there at the wrong time. I go out for an evening session and get skunked. Come to work the next day and customer calls or comes in saying they got one the next morning. 

This past week though has been really great on the Rogue, fishing aside. The smoke cleared out for about a full week and I got out there every chance I got. What do I have to show for it? One picture of a cutthroat I took on a traditional swung fly. And shortly after the image below as taken, I hooked and landed a cutthroat that was around 18" - one of the bigger ones I've ever landed on the Rogue. Both fished had me fooled, thinking they were both steelhead until they came right in after the initial fiery grab.

Ashland Fly Shop | Rogue River Field Notes

In this past couple weeks I got some new gear that I've been really excited about trying and so I haven't minded too much not running into fish. I recently got a Sage X 7130 with a their new Spey Reel in 6/7/8 size. That combo is insane - sometimes it feels a little big for a Rogue summer specific rod, but come fall and winter it'll be my go-to rod for sure!

 

The first evening out with the X, I put the Rio Scandi 460gr with a 12' 10lb Steelhead Leader and it just sailed out there, effortlessly. I admit the timing took a bit to figure out, but once I slowed down and smoothed out my stroke, the rod just lit up. The next evening I went the river with Rio Scandi Body 500gr and 12.5' of T-8 and a medium sized fly. I've said it a few times but its worth mentioning again, this Scandi Body is THE line for summer and fall sink tip fishing. It's great for any flies that aren't too mega. By that I mean, it works great with medium weighted flies from 2.5-3.5" in length, like the Mini Intruder. These are the core sink tip flies for me this time of year anyways. And that combo, with the higher grain Scandi Body and the longer chunk of T-8 just meets on the curve of smooth casting and effective fishing.

 

And the evening after that, I fished the Rio Skagit Max 525gr grain head with a 15' Type 3 Tip and 12.5' of T-8 also. This combo was by far the powerful of the setup of the three I tried. That 525 grain head just flew off there. It really reminded me of the 8130X which I had the opportunity to cast this past winter. Both these rods are seriously power tools which also deliver a bunch of feel through the cork while casting.

I head out for British Columbia in a week from today and I'll be spending a lot more time with this rod over the next couple weeks, so I'm sure I'll have more to say about it when I get back. For those of you fishing the Rogue, it has always seemed to me that the cooling temperatures of September have made for more consistent swinging conditions. Don't get discouraged out there, the smoke and high heat shouldn't last too long.

-Marcus Mattioli, Manager

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