Yeah, that is how you heard it. Kelts not kilts. Big difference there. Finally got into catching something other than smolts flyfishing on the upper Rogue River today. This was a day in between rain fronts. The river flow was low at about 1200 CFS. The water was extremely clear in spite of the good rain that fell yesterday evening. I started out casting a single Beadhead G.R. Hare’s Ear Nymph and after a half dozen or so cast hooked up with this fish.

Steelhead on a Hare's Ear

Steelhead on a Hare's Ear

She jumped right off the bat and my first impression was that it was a cutthroat trout. After I pulled and fought her for a bit I saw the crimson of her side and knew it was a steelhead. Upon landing her I surmised she was a summer fish and she was post spawn.

The next fish was found  just a little further downstream and fell to the Beadhead Hare’s Ear fished on the swing. There was a lot more fight to this beauty.

Steelhead number two

Steelhead number two

She had been laying in a hole that is interesting to fish. When you hook one here you don’t know where it is going to go. There are vicious snags on either side of the lie. You hope you hook the fish and it runs straight downstream. That way you can stop it and hopefully lead it back upstream and past the snags. This steelhead did what I’ve found a lot of them do in this hole. She ran straight upstream from the onset which is great. All you need to do is gather up that belly of slack line with the large arbor of the reel and hold the fish up level with your position not letting it slip back downstream to the snags. Worked great again, as the fish ran even further upstream than I had expected. I kept her in the safety zone and eventually made the landing.

The third and final fish was a slug. I hooked this fish up fishing the Carpetbagger Nymph and a G.R. Hare’s Ear in tadem. The fish sucked in the Carpetbagger near the shore and it felt like I’d hooked the bottom. I pulled hard and soon discovered my snag was a heavier fish.

Steelie with a Carpetbagger

Steelie with a Carpetbagger

A bit of weight here, but not outstanding fight. Another post spawn summer steelhead. She fought as hared as she could and with the assist of the strong current she eluded the landing for a time. She was quickly photographed and released back into the river. February fish…will not be long before the “catch” will be a big, winter fish on the upper Rogue.


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