Start Up Winter Steelhead Season

A nice beginning to the 2011 Winter Steelhead season on the upper Rogue River, Oregon.

The upper Rogue River winter steelhead season kicks off with this nice steelhead caught on Super Bowl Sunday. A cookie-cutter Rogue winter steelhead, the buck went 27 inch and about 7-8 pounds. The fish took a Beadhead G.R. Hare’s Ear nymph fished as the trailing fly off a large Brownbagger Stonefly Nymph. The tadem fly setup was cast cross river and allowed to swing downstream. The take came near the end of the swing of the flies.

The upper Rogue River has dropped back into fishing shape after running high and muddy for much of January. That made for some alright waterfowl hunting, but the steelheading conditons were bad. If this first steelhead is any indication, we are going to have a great winter steelhead season on the upper Rogue. This year with the absence of any man-made obstructions like dams to hinder them, the fish should be arriving timely and in great shape.

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Waterfowl Seasons End

Finished the season with a near limit of bay ducks.

The final morning of waterfowl season was another foggy and cold one in the Rogue Valley. I finally was able to walk in to a slough on the Rogue River that I had been kept away from for weeks because of the high water flows. The greenhead mallards were there early, but also very wary and alert. A long shot across the slough, they lit and took off almost immediately upon detecting my presence. They never did return. I did better after I set up the dekes and the bay ducks returned. I took scaup and a couple buffleheads. One male scaup was an impressive and exciting sight as he cupped his wings and sailed into the dekes. There are some interesting feathers on the scaup’s back that I will bag up and save for fly tying material.

If the current dry spell continues it won’t be long before we are back to flyfishing for steelhead. There could be some winter fish already into the mix of upper Rogue River fish.