Flyfishing the hatchery stretch on the Rogue River

Sundays steelhead flyfishing excursion took us to the far upper Rogue River. There below the Cole Rivers Hatchery the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife has opened the closeby water to wade fishing. I’ve found this a pleasant stretch to visit during times when the Rogue flows full and  muddy from rain. The water is usually clear in this section and the water flow trivial.

Hatchery steelhead can be retained on the Rogue River. Two per day is the limit and harvest is encouraged.

That is because the Army Corp of Engineers releases water flow from the Lost Creek Dam located just above the hatchery. On this visit the flow they were releasing was a little high. Clear but high. I sampled quite a few of the runs that I know and found the action a little slow. As there are a lot of hatchery summer steelhead that come back to this water that was a little surprizing. There were a few guys around flyfishing, but I didn’t see any hookups. I hold the cold high water responsible for the slow catching conditions. I accounted for one steelhead and that was when I added a dropper fly to my Carpetbagger Stonefly Nymph. The dropper fly was that drab little Beadhead G.R. Hare’s Ear nymph. I debated with myself as to should I knot on an egg pattern or the Hare’s Ear. As my habit is I knotted on the G.R. Hare’s Ear and found once again that the Rogue steelhead have a hard time resisting it.

Food for trout, and on the Rogue River the steelhead like it too!

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