I was fortunate enough to host a great group of 7 anglers at Morrison’s Lodge on the Rogue River earlier this month. Being from the Southern end of the valley I have always wanted to spend more time on this middle section of the river and it did not disappoint.
This northern end of the Rogue Valley is used to holding a bit more water and so has a wider footprint than the upper section of river I am used too. I was taken at what an uneventful ride we had down the 2 sections of river we fished in regards to rapids and heavier water though the bottom beat that passes the lodge is referred to as Hellgate Canyon and I think it picks up a bit in there! There was no doubt we were on the Rogue as we floated over tons of the typical volcanic bedrock structure that we see in the river from top to bottom. I was pleased to find the fish like holding against this structure as much here as they do up river. Even though we were just outside the town of Grants Pass each day, the river felt very quiet and remote. Fall had its best coat on and the scenery was beautiful.
Most of us hooked fish every day and sometimes multiples. I wouldn't say it was exceptional but our guides put us on opportunities each day and that's all you can ask for from Steelhead fishing! I will say many fish were lost because the fish down there are so hot! Also the range of sizes of fish we would hook was pretty wild. We hooked fish of the typical half pounder size (14 - 18") and lost several fish that were easily over the 2' length and would have been measured in pounds. You really had to be on your game when these fish hit your fly and I for one missed several opportunities.
We had very low, comfortable flows during our trip and also the very last of our typical Indian Summer weather for 2 of our 3 days. On the last day the sky opened up and it rained and rained and rained. We hung in there and our intrepid group braved the rain and braced for the wind (that never showed, thankfully) and were rewarded for it... even fishing a rising river! Several fish were hooked on that last day as fish were bolting up river with the fresh scent of rain. Larry lost a very large fish that broke his leader as it jumped mid river. Rick landed his fish of the trip on that last day and it was a beauty. Ken also hooked a very large fish that last day that made it to the bank and popped off. And so it goes.
We all really enjoyed the lodge. Very comfortable accommodations, excellent food and the best guides in the region. What more could you ask for!! I could go on and on but I vowed to keep it short and sweet. Bottom line is we all want to return next year and that's the best endorsement you could ask for! Thank you John, Rick, Steve, Ken, Larry, Bill and Joan for making it happen and James, Darrel, Brandon and Stuart for guiding us into fish. See you next year!