Summer steelhead fly.
Here’s the Rogue chinook fishing report from May 28. The Rogue’s flow was around 3,000 CFS. The water was clear. The chinook count at Gold Ray Dam was up to 4,000 Spring salmon. I saw only one Springer salmon, but the wildflowers along the Rogue were just beautiful. There seemed to be a theme of blue, violet and purple to the Rogue Valley flora.
The vetch was growing like crazy.
The common vetch plant seemed to be at a peak. I whole heartedly dislike this weed, though I understand you can eat it! My dislike stems from a time during my youth when I was called on to rid a corn field of the troublesome weed.
Miniature lupine sprouted up here and there.
The lupine plant, with flowers primarily blue with some white, were very common. As was the purple common Brodiaea with it’s long stem and six petal flowers. Pronounce “brody-uh.”
Single, bare stalk with a cluster of a few purple flowers.
The week began a period of afternoon thunder and lightening storms along the Rogue River. Here you can see the green landscape with the afternoon clouds building over the Cascade Mountains.
Lush green Rogue Valley landscape.
My trek to the river took me through some quieted , secluded, locations where live only minnows, crawdads, frogs, wood ducks and blue heron. I’ve seen Fall salmon in this creek.
A little side channel, home to many.
One little native that I could do without is the common mosquito. This time of year I always carry the little packets of Deep Woods Off. Nevertheless, a few get through.
Mosquitos are common during May & June.
Away from the water crossing, the trail takes me past more color. These lilac blooms appeared vividly blue under the intense rays of the Rogue Valley sun.
Lilac bush shines with blue flowers along the Rogue River.
I have another name for the lilac bush and it is “the tick bush.” That is a name I learned in my youth, though I do not believe I have ever found a tick on the lilac bush! Funny how old memories and names persist. I encountered no ticks this day anywhere. The fragrance of the lilac blooms escaped me for at this point I was at full steam for the river.
The Rogue flowed majesticly, the water full and clear. If I could describe a most beautiful season of the Rogue River I think it would be late Spring. The trouble is that the Spring salmon do not bite. They are nothing like a summer steelhead which will gladly grab your feathered lure if given the offer. No, the salmon sulks low and deep, indifferent to all and to most particular…the fisherman. I cast many a mighty offering with the powerful switch rod. I watched the gravel bar crossing for hint of the invisible quarry. A trout or two succumbed to the tag-along G.R.Hare’s Ear. The main offering, a heavily weighted Salmon-Carpetbagger, went untouched. And then for a moment the river spoke. Through a patch of clear surface I saw a fish. A Spring chinook, of nearly twenty (20#) pound swam by my position. Restless, he or she was moving and moving around in my hole. That the salmon was headed down river when I saw it, I cared not, for a milling salmon is an active salmon. I continued to cast, but the river spoke no more to me this day.
A window opens briefly on the Rogue.