Big Red on the Rogue River

Today was supposed to be a snow day here in the Rogue Valley. One of those days where you wake up slowly and have time to enjoy a big breakfast.

Sourdough pancakes from our homemade starter

Sourdough pancakes from our homemade starter

By the time Teri and I finished up all the Saturday morning chores it was apparent that the weather front had passed us by.  However, the cold of a December morning lingered.  Outside temperature holding around 35 degrees.  We decided to head over to the the Rogue River.  Teri opted to stay warm in the car with her pile of Christmas cards.  I decided to fish a big stretch of water that I hadn’t visited in a week or so.  The surrounding mountains sported a new coat of snow.

Cold winter Rogue Valley landscape

Cold winter Rogue Valley landscape

Though the river was low, this section does not reveal much.  you have to know this section to fish it well, especially when the water is cold and the fish are holding deep.  Consequently it does not get alot of fishing pressure. 

Wide deep holding water on the Rogue River

Wide deep holding water on the Rogue River

I fished the run, poking into each and every spot that has held fish for me before.  I made alot of casts.  Reaching the bottom of the run, I started fishing upstream again.  Casting into water that I had covered about 10 minutess before I noted a pause to the drift of the fly.  This is what I had been waiting for!  I tightened up to the feel of a fish.  He moved and pulled and ran downstream.  And then he turned and ran upstream.  I gave him a little pressure and he ran stronger upstream.  A good fish!  Steelhead or coho, I didn’t know.  Time to call Teri with my cell.  I’d probably want a photo of this fish. 

Big Red Rogue River buck steelhead

Big Red Rogue River buck steelhead

Neil with large B run Rogue River steelhead

Neil with large B run Rogue River steelhead

Big steelhead and small Hare's Ear nymph

Big steelhead and small Hare's Ear nymph

This nice Rogue River steelhead paused long enough in his cold water sulking to intercept my bead head G.R. Hare’s Ear nymph. I used a weighted “Magic” Fly to get the nymph down deep.  Nice ending to a day we thought would be spent indoors.

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