The latter part of December 2008 has been that of wintery conditions on the upper Rogue River. The steelhead catching for the year is done. That is particularly so with the high water flow we are experiencing now with recent warmer temperatures and rain.
I hope that water flow doesn’t seriously plague the month of January. The flow is up now, and with the way the weather trend is headed, it’s going to stay up on the high levels of the graph.
The fish count of steelhead and coho into the upper Rogue has remained slow for the bulk of December. I never saw the big push I was expecting. The steelhead count is going to end up being less than 6,000 fish. The coho count will remain shockingly below 3,000 fish. Cold water throughout the month has kept the fish from moving. I expect with the current high, warmer flooding some numbers will be added to those fish counts before the end of the year.
So with these ending of the season conditions I don’t expect to see much further catching during 2008. Not that fish can’t be caught under extreme conditions, but the chances are pretty slim in the big winter water of the Rogue.
Here’s a couple of interesting photos of extreme winter steelhead fishing from about 1991. The location was on a New York State Great Lakes tribuatary. Look at the ice that build up on the leader from repeated cast into the freezing water. Interesting enough, this steelhead magically appeared and rose up in the freezing water column to intercept a baited spin glo.
Love that stocking face mask I was wearing that day. Take note of it. You’ll see it again.
Here is some typical small stream New York steelhead water. Many times after the bad weather fronts passed the creeks became accessable. That is if you were inclined to deal with snow and ice. There’s that cold weather stocking cap again.
I’ve come across one blog that features the water that I use to steelhead fish back in western New York. The author seems to love the little Erie tributaries as much as I did. He has some neat looking photos posted up there. I like to check in ever so often and reminisce. He seemed to have ended his season a little early this past Fall. I don’t know if this was on account of the weather or numbers of fish. Probably the weather. Anyway here’s the GL’s blog site.
Well, looks like I’ll have to be content with my last steelhead of 2008. He fought well and exhibited good size for a Rogue River summer steelhead. Started out the season with a good fish and ended it with a good fish for Fall 2008. Looking at the photo I have to chuckle. I’m still wearing that old, cold-weather stocking cap from 1991!