I’ve floated twice in the last two weekends in hopes of finding an early Winter fish on the Upper Rogue. At the same time, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been fishing in the last four months, needless to say was pretty pumped to get out and float with a couple buddies of mine.
The first weekend I floated with my buddy Jordy started out pretty damn wet and cold, but eventually the clouds broke and let out some sunshine which kicked our moral up a bit as we had gone fish-less all morning. Still fairly early in the year to be seeing Winter Steelhead in the upper river, we weren’t expecting much more than a day long casting session. I was fishing my 8wt Renegade with a 425gr RIO Gamechanger and a big Black / Blue / Red fly that I tied.
Around 3 O’ Clock I was wading up to my nips in a run that had really soft mud on the river bottom. I sent out my last cast of the run and the movement of me casting just made me sink in the mud up to my knees with the water just about over my waders. The more I moved the further I sank. So I turned my head and yelled at Jordy "Hey come pick my ass up before I die!". Jordy replies “Yeah alright bud, but finish out that cast, you know they’re in there!”. I knew he was right, I had gotten grabbed in this particular spot in the past. I resisted the urge to reel in and I finished out my swing.
Lo and behold a fish grabs my fly and I start sinking more and more as the fish continues to fight… Luckily Jordy was finally near and I was able to get one hand on the boat and one hand fighting the fish as Jordy rowed me back to a comfortable wade. We got the fish in the net and released safely then celebrated with some nice cheap beer and a relaxing sunset float to the boat ramp.
The last float I did was more of a filming trip than a fishing trip. Marcus, Matt Katibah and I had set out to get some new video content for the shop. But it would be a sin if we didn’t at least fish a couple runs.
The weather that day was much better, sunny and warm all day. Didn’t make for the best fishing conditions but hell, it was comfortable. Marcus was hucking his 7130 Sage X and Matt was throwing his trusty 7130 Sage Mod.
While Marcus and I were setting up rods upstream, Matt hooks into a fish on the first run we stopped at. This fish had been in the river for a little while. Cool to get her to hand anyways. This was the only fish we found all day, no other grabs throughout the rest of the float. It's a decent time to be out looking for fish, but with the low water we have it's going to be another couple weeks until I have more confidence in finding a fresh Winter Steelhead in the Upper Rogue
Article by Chris Myron