Chris Myron's Notes
What an incredible day. First off, any trip with Marcus, Jordy & I is sure to be an adventure. At one point in the day Jordy was popping just his indicator all around the Rogue for a good 20 minutes having a blast, hoping to find a nice 'large mouth' (none exist in the Rogue River). I could go on a month long trip with these guys and have just as much fun if we caught a ton of fish or no fish at all. Luckily, we found some fish last Sunday, which really boosted my confidence for the Rogue at this time of year. When the day started I wasn’t expecting to have three total encounters between the three of us, but in the first run of the day I caught a nice 25 inch steelhead.
I was using the 12’6” 7wt Sage Method with a 525gr Skagit Max, twelve feet of T-14 and Jerry French’s Dirty Hoh. I didn’t change my set up all day. The flows were at about 4000 at Dodge Bridge and the water had just a hint of green, I had confidence that set up would be perfect under these circumstances.
Later in the day Jordy hooked up on a nice chrome fish but lost it at the net. Jordy was using his beloved 13’2” 7wt Beulah Platinum Spey with a 510gr Airflo Skagit Compact G2, 12 feet of T-14 and a Red & Black Rhea Intruder. After Jordy’s fish I had one more really aggressive grab that I’m sure was a steelhead.
The day took a turn for the worst around 1:00 it just started dumping rain for a good 3 hours or so. I mean it was really coming down hard, it was like a damn monsoon! I was real happy I had my Simms Slick Jacket, it’s literally like wearing armor, thank god for GoreTex. Even though we got dumped on it was still better than sitting at home! So! Winter Steelhead are in! Get out there and find them!
I complained and argued all I could, but Jordy and Chris insisted on meeting at 6 o'clock in the morning to start the day. I hadn't been up for a sunrise in months - and this one was definitely worth the loss of sleep. We got to the river and launched the boat by seven. Before I knew what the hell was going on, Chris was already tied into a nice steelhead on the swing. I began fumbling with the camera equipment while he hooted and hollered downstream. I got down to hit just in time to catch Jordy landing his nice hatchery fish. It's a good thing the guys didn't listen to me about sleeping in. I'd bet twenty bucks we wouldn't have encountered that fish any later in the day.
I fished a number of rods throughout the day, but finally settled on the 7130 Sage Mod with a Rio 525 grain iFlight. A lot of folks only used intermediate heads in specific runs, but I don't mind committing to fishing it all day long. If I feel like its slowing down too much, I just adjust the angle of my cast - more perpendicular casts come across quicker. I fished a lot of black and blue flies, including Stu's Rhea Intruder from Aqua Flies (one of my all time favorites). And I switched around a bit with the flies - trying pink and orange. Even though I should have changed a few times, I kept the same 10 ft chunk of T-14 throughout the entire day.
Maybe it was the intermediate head, or the heavy tip/ fly combo, but it just wasn't my day to catch a steelhead. Maybe the rivers gods cursed me. Oh well, the fish are just a bonus in any fishing experience. It was still an epic day because I was out on the water with buddies who enjoy laughing and fishing just as much as catching. Can't wait for the next trip.