The far upper Rogue is a spring chinook haven right now. With over 10,000 fish and water flowing at around 3200 CFS the fish can be found and they are in good shape.
I fished the water with my new 13 foot spey rod recently. I fished downriver from the crowds that line the bank at a certain point. Casting a new rod for the first time is always a special treat. The 8 weight felt a little heavy at first, but by the end of the day I was quite used to it. My first “pull” came after only 5 minutes of two handed casting. A nice heathy rainbow of 13 inches. Not the big chinook or first summer steelhead of the year, but I’ll take it. Summer steelhead…they are up there. The hatchery has already counted 20 or so of the returning steelhead. The count of steelhead into the upper river is still under 150 fish, but they are such aggressive biters that you never know. Keep the faith, just keep casting.
The spring chinook are finicky biters. Again you never know, but you are going to have to cast many times before hooking up with one. Especially with flies. I fished the Carpetbagger as a first fly with the new rod. Later I added droppers like a Muddy Buddy and then a Spring Trailer. I hooked more trout with the small Spring Trailer. The Muddy Buddy brought a good “pull”, but I don’t know what it was.
Excitment came at one point when a 15 – 20 point chinook jumped just down stream near the end of my drift. No hookup…no weight. Watched several chinook salmon get caught. The gear guys lining the bank at the “combat zone” have many and sometimes “certain techniques”. The fish I saw bankside gleamed with freshness. Nothing better than a spring chinook barbecue and I can hardly wait.