On the Rogue River this is the fly pattern that has dominated my fly box for the last five years. There is hardly a time of year when I do no’t tie one on to the end of my leader. What with all the stonefly nymphs found in the upper Rogue, this selection make a lot of sense. These examples are tied in my favorite color, Midnight Rainbow. There are a host of Spirit River’s New Age Chenille colors to choose from. I have found the Midnight Rainbow chenille to be the most successful on the upper Rogue above Medford. I call this pattern the Carpetbagger. The other two colors I favor are Midnight Fire and Copper Black. Generally I’ll tie the Copper/Black chenille Rubber-leg Stonefly Nymph with a large, orange, beadhead. That’s the combination I learned from the Fishing Hole fly shop up in Shady Cove. The shop favors those colors for the far upper Rogue.
On the lower Rogue River around Agness and the Foster Bar my friend Wayne Van Burger has found good success for steelhead with the Carpetbagger tied in Midnight Fire chenille. I can’t argue with his choose of color for the lower Rogue. I’ve seen plenty of photo evidence of his success down there with the Midnight fire color. You can see plenty of Midnight Fire Carpetbaggers hanging from steelhead jaws in Wayne’s Four Seasons of Steelhead Video found at Joy of FishingTV. For a look at the tieing of the Carpetbagger go to:
So how the Rogue River fishing? Slow. Cold weather and low water has put the bite off river wide. The majority of the winter steelhead should be found down in the middle Rogue. They won’t start moving up into the upper River until things warm up a bit. I’ve gotten out and investigated a few stretches. Nothing much yet except for some good sized smolt and trout. Here’s a few stretches. If you know the river, you know the spots.