The first summer steelhead 2009

Early morning sunlight on the Rogue River

Early morning sunlight on the Rogue River

Our morning started early with sunlight peaking through the bankside trees. There was cold chill to the water and shade. We dressed light as temperatures were forcast to rise above 80°F.

My guest throws a nice loop.

My guest throws a nice loop.

We cast both flies and plugs. Primarily flies, as that is what we love best. We began with the usual heavy Rogue arsenal…weighted Ugly Bugs, G.R. Hare’s Ears, Carpetbaggers…but I had an ace up my sleeve. It produced small trout early on, but later…

Rogue Guiden grins wide as the fish runs far and fast.

Rogue Guiden grins wide as the fish runs far and fast.

The big pull came as I was swinging a large Silver Hilton from the rowers seat. Fish on! I advised John that we would have to exchange places. I could fight this steelhead best from the bow of the drifter. The move was made and the play began. These early summer steelhead can really pull in the high, cold, flow of the upper Rogue.

Finally he shows under the strain of the long, switch rod.

Finally he shows under the strain of the long, switch rod.


There’s about 850 of these fiesty early summer steelhead counted into the upper Rogue at this time. The water flow has dropped a little. It is about 2500 CFS now. The weather is going to remain warm, so I predict continued excellent conditions for success. Just remember you don’t always need to dredge the bottom with heavily weighted flies. With these warm air temperatures, every once in a while give the traditional summer steelhead fly a try…like a Silver Hilton!
Rogue Guiden and the drifters fish friendly net.

Rogue Guiden and the drifters fish friendly net.


P.S. And thank you John for the good photo work, netting the steelhead, and for handling those oars when I really needed it!

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