The Spring salmon season has progressed on the upper Rogue River. I’ve missed keeping up with my posting, so I’ll try to make it up all in one. The fish count has steadily risen. I believe it is over 7,000 chinook as of today! The fish eagle has indeed arrived on the mountain.
The flora of the Rogue Valley floor has undergone color changes. I see lots of yellow and white. I also see the beginning of some of the dryness of summer. Lucky for us, the rain and thunderstorms of the past few week have prolonged a cool Spring.
The river flow has been good, the average CFS being up in the low 3,000. The fishing pressure has been light. I’ve been seeing few driftboats. Generally the feeling is that the Springer season is slow…in spite of the ever increasing numbers of fish. Emergency rules along the river have restricted the retention of wild Spring chinook.
From the rowers seat, I’ve been watching the hooking of some nice cutthroat and trout. A light fly rod and a good surface fly, like the Steelhead Muddler, have been good as the fish are looking up. My trusted G.R. Hare’s Ear nymph (and Carpetbagger) has been fishing slow.
The real good news is (and I’m always ready for them!) that the summer steelhead have begun to arrive. There is something near 100 summer steelhead counted over Gold Ray Dam. These early Rogue steelhead are the best in my estimate. A 24 inch, four to five pound, early summer steelhead can give you as much to handle as a ten pound winter fish. Catch and fillet a hatchery fish, and you’ll see color as near to salmon steak as you are gonna see on a trout. That’s why I call them salmontrout.