Rogue River Field Notes

September 26, 2019 2 min read

Rogue River Field Notes | Ashland Fly Shop

It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and relayed my fishing experiences here locally. Lately I’ve had the opportunity to fish a bit in the evenings after closing the shop. My fishing has been spotty but there have been some real highlights that are worth sharing. In this blog I just wanted to share a story from a few weeks back.

A couple weeks back I’m getting ready to close the shop and I see this storm shower coming through our side window. As soon as I get the shop closed, I got home as quick as I could, scrambled a dinner together with my girlfriend Miranda. And then I looked at her, with the storm starting to shower over Medford showing in the large windows in our house and said, “if we leave right now, one of us will hook a steelhead tonight.” She half rolled her eyes but finally agreed and we packed up the car. To be fair, I often give her that line and we often get skunked.

Anyways, we load up the car and head for the river. We pulled up in one of my favorite sneaky walk-in spots on the Upper Rogue, just as the rainstorm was moving away from the river. After the system blew over, the sky lit up in one of the most impressive sunsets I’ve seen around here. We walk down to the river and I put Miranda in the top part of the run. I went to the lower portion with my new Sage Trout Spey 11’3” 4wt Trout Spey. Before I had the opportunity to see how far the rod could cast, I felt my muddler stop during the swing. The line pulled tight and my reel began to spin erratically.

Rogue River Field Notes | Ashland Fly Shop

For me, it felt awesome just to have the line come tight. I hooked this fish briefly after returning from my annual trip to British Columbia where I received the most epic skunking in recent memory. This fish wasn’t much of a fighter, but it sure put a real bend in smaller trout spey rod. After a couple of runs and some serious stress on the rod, I was able to lift this brute’s head and grab a hold of its tail.

Rogue River Field Notes | Ashland Fly Shop

All in all, this has been the largest steelhead I’ve got to hand on the Rogue and it was a really cool moment to share with Miranda. For me, it just went to show that we really are lucky to live here in the Rogue Valley. We still have wild steelhead! And what a special thing that is. With other rivers throughout the West having to close their steelhead fisheries, it reminds me of how important it is for us to treat our local rivers with extra care so that they will continue to offer excellent fishing opportunities for all of us.


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