Another day on the upper Rogue River this time blessed with sun and no rain fall. The water flow is still cold and high. Chills your toes if the waders leak a bit. Managed to land a couple fish on flies. Lost a larger steelhead when it managed to snag up the line on the bottom. Can’t win them all. Better to have played than not to have done so. There is still plenty of steelhead around.
With water flows of 3800+ CFS there was no better option than to fish the fly with bubble and the spin rod.
The orange beadhead Brownbagger scored in the high water with the catch of the above pictured steelhead. The flow was high for the upper Rogue and it took a lot of prospecting to find one. Was not so hard on the 23rd when I caught two with the switch fly rod in a lesser flow. The fly patterns that have worked are the Brownbagger and the Midnight Fire Carpetbagger. I’m using beadhead G.R. Hare’s Ear and Prince nymphs for the dropper fly. The Beadhead G. R. Hare’s Ear worked on one of the bottom pictured fish. Have to reiterate again, the water flow is high. Water data says that the flow is over 3800 CFS. There is already a crew of salmon fisherman working the Hatchery Hole for Spring chinook. I hear that a couple Springers have already been caught.
Two nice fatties taken on the switch rod with Carpetbagger and Beadhead G.R. Hare's Ear.
The Carpetbagger Stonefly Nymph tied with the New Age Midnight Fire Chenille.
This is the Carpetbagger pattern that has been called “magic.” Magic because it catchs a lot of Rogue River steelhead. The “Magic” Carpetbagger is done in the Spirit River Inc. New Age Chenille color of Midnight Fire. I was slow to catch on to the effectiveness of this color. However reports back from clients who were using this color soon induced me to try the Midnight Fire more often. I’m glad I did because some of my best steelhead have come with the “Magic Fly.” I’ve even had a report of the fly catching a fat triploid Kamloops rainbow trout from a stillwater pond. The “Magic Fly” is featured catching steelhead in The Joy of Fishing TV Episode called “Home Waters.”
The Carpetbagger Stonefly Nymph done in Midnight Raibow chenille. This was the original hot color.
This is the Carpetbagger that is really the pattern for all seasons. It is done in the Spirit River Inc. chenille color of Midnight Rainbow. I’m especially fond of this color during the summer and fall months. One should not neglect to use it during the cold winter and spring month. Just the other day I hooked my largest winter steelhead of the year with this pattern. The steelhead was a very large, red-color buck that leaped two time out of the cold water of the Rogue near McGregor Park. While the fish was finning near my boots I noted that it was a intact adipose native fish of the Rogue. Just as I neared the steelhead to the bank the trailer fly, a Beadhead G.R. Hare’s Ear Nymph, caught a rock, and the Carpetbagger was pulled from it’s hold on the fish. The steelhead lay free momentarily at my feet, and then with a swirl of the tail he was racing back to the deep. And I realized once again why I call this pattern “My Favorite.”