Fly of the Month

This months fly pattern is the Stimulator. You can be pretty inventive with your choice of materials and colors for this pattern. I’ve tied mine to mimic the adult salmonfly bug that will soon be hatching on the Rogue River.  Just be sure you select materials for the fly that will help it float. The longer the better. The two flies to the right, with the black and white wings, I tested just yesterday. The wings and tail are of calf. The body material is poly yarn. I dressed the wings and tail of the flies with lip balm. Happily I was able to jerk the flies underwater on their drift downstream, and they would pop right back up to float merrily on. I can see a many trout, and maybe an early summer steelhead or two, succumbing to all these pattern in a month or so on the Rogue River.

Elk hair and calf tail stimulators tied by RogueGuiden for June & July.

Elk hair and calf tail stimulators tied by RogueGuiden for June & July.

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Spring Chinook Recon

Here’s the mid-week look at Spring salmon on the upper Rogue River. There is a lot of water flowing. I checked the CFS this day at 4,400. That didn’t discourage me for I was headed for a gravel bar again. There was a fresh beauty to the Rogue Valley skyline.

Vehicle access to the Rogue River.

Vehicle access to the Rogue River.

While the Rogue River flow is up, the tributaries have diminished. This is a good time to check and learn the basalt rock bottom. Knowledge like that can come in handy when one has to cross at a higher future flow.

Here you can cross on the basalt steps.

Here you can cross on the basalt steps.

The Rogue’s flow swelled along the river banks. A wide flooded area offers opportunity to fish many migration lanes.  With the Rogue’s Spring chinook count only up to about 1,300, there just has not been a lot of movement to note.

The high flow floods the bank.

The high flow floods the bank.

The Salmonbagger was fished extensively. Naturally the G.R. Hare’s Ear was attached as a dropper fly.

Salmonbagger, note the trout took the Hare's Ear.

Salmonbagger, note the trout took the Hare's Ear.

Spring fills me with energy and optimism. There is no fresher time of year.

An old familiar view without the frost.

An old familiar view without the frost.

The view from the gravel bar.

The view from the gravel bar.

Spring Chinook Update

The creek, though high, was wadeable.

The creek, though high, was wadeable.

 To access the gravel bar by foot, you have to cross some tributary creeks.

The trail skirts swamps that can't be crossed.

The trail skirts swamps that can't be crossed.

 The Rogue River has carved many channels over the years. Evidence of their existence remain today.

First glimpse of a new salmon fly. On the rock.

First glimpse of a new salmon fly. On the rock.

 There are many trout moving through the Rogue River system right now. The catch is inadvertent. Targeting trout will be legal once again on May 23. The rule is to protect the movement of anadromous smolts between March 31 through May 23. The upstream movement of big salmon passes the downstream migration of the young fish.

A flooded gravel bar with small, fast chutes where fish will pass.

A flooded gravel bar with small, fast chutes where fish will pass.

I’m amazed my old Canon camera continues to kick out photos. It has certainly taken a lot of abuse including countless dunkings. These photos are from yesterday’s good time on the Rogue where not a salmon was seen or caught, but the beauty of the river was appreciated.

Spring Chinook

Still a little bit too early for the Spring salmon. That is I don’t feel like pulling oars with the Rogue’s water flow up where it is. Just the other day the flow was up above 8,000 CFS and looking like this. That is a lot of water flowing by.

The Rogue River from Bybee Bridge

So Friday I took a good long hike near the river looking for giant puffball mushrooms. The recent rain had me thinking I ought to search where I have found the fungi in the past during May. The Spring runoff had me hiking good distances to get around creeks and swamps that I could normally wade. I did not find any of the giant puffball fungi. I did find some late wild asparagus. Not all of it had gone to seed. Along the base there were still some small, intact shoots.

Wild asparagus along the Rogue River

Wild asparagus along the Rogue River

I finally got alongside the river and took a look. The color looks good. The flow is a little bit high. The USGS data site tells me it is at 4140 CFS. The Army Corp of Engineers phone line tells me the chinook fish count stands at 757 as of May 1st and that around 76 of the silver footballs have already made it back to the hatchery.

Rogue River from the Island

Rogue River from the Island

I looked for salmon moving up river along the edges of the bend. Small chance of seeing one, but one looks anyway. I looked around for steelhead redds. Did not see any. With the water up so high and the sun shining directly on the surface, it is hard to see anything underwater. One can only imagine the fish moving up or where they have left their evidence.

A long trek to the car had me started back before noon. I had found a turkey call along a trail in the early morning. On the way back I had a good chance to use it. A couple dark objects amongst the thistles of a field had me sounding the call. Two wary hen turkeys were off like a shot. They looked more like pheasants running as they vacated that field. Later, I crashed through  a thistle patch and sent one winging for the nearby trees.