Rogue River-First look 2009

Flooded section of the upper Rogue River

Flooded section of the upper Rogue River

The weather has settled in the Rogue Valley so I took a guy out by foot to investgate some promising water. The water flow on the upper river has dropped to about 3700 CFS with good color. Not optimum conditions for the fly rod, but if you know a high water spot or two, it’s always worth the try.  Even if the water is cold. I’ve caught enough  winter steelhead this early on the upper river to feel good about it, and there’s always the chance for a late summer or fall fish. Though there hasn’t been a bit of rain for days , the small creeks, ponds, and bogs were all full of water. We fished a good, short, stretch of river. One that remains manageable in fairly high flow.

We were blessed with a bit of winter sunlight. I moved upriver and cast the above pictured section of slow water. I was quickly rewarded with the bite of a good fish. All too short and quick, it was over with a couple head shakes. I groaned and sighed, realizing that I probably tightened up too fast on this one. Better to react slow and let the fish hook itself. I could always cast again, but not right to the very same spot. I cast again, but hooked some bankside roots and busted off my point fly. Minutes pasted, while I tied on a new Beadhead G.R. Hare’s Ear. That’s enough time to rest the area. Another cast and this time I securely hook a fish. A Rogue River steelhead smolt and a wild one. He was quickly released to return to the river. After this no other fish were hooked or seen this day. Not a bad start to the year. I could wish for more, and if the weather holds fair, and the river drops somemore, I’m just going to have to get back out again this week! There’s sure to be winter steelhead arriving soon!

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