Slow day after

Good one day, slow the next! The weather cooled down and so did the catching. I could only fool one cutthroat trout yesterday. He took a Beadhead G.R. Hare’s Ear Nymph. The daytime high dropped to about 88°F. The Rogue River’s water flow is slowly being dropped. Yesterday it was around 2,900 CFS. I don’t think these Canada geese have gotten the message yet? There is an early goose season coming up in September!


I could get close enough for a photo of these August geese along the Rogue River.


Rogue River high water hot spots.

August high water on the Rogue River makes bank fishing difficult. High water hot spots do exist if you know where to find them and don’t mind the 80° to 98° hikes through star thistle and blackberry bushes. Teri and I tag-teamed on this hot summer steelhead on a recent August day. Thanks for filming those good video clips Teri!


A high water summer steelhead haunt on the Rogue River.

Steelhead CDC Caddis Emerger (Another hot Rogue River surface pattern)

Fish this "wisp" of a fly just like you would a Steelhead Caddis.

The Steelhead CDC Caddis Emerger is a pattern I came up with several summers ago. It is an alternative to fishing the Steelhead Caddis for summer steelhead. Pattern comparing has shown me a very similar pattern for trout called the X-Caddis by Craig Mathews of Montana. My steelhead caddis pattern is for Rogue River steelhead and I recommend an appropriate hook style like a light wire salmon/steelhead iron. I’ve used Partridge Single Wilson Hooks as well as the very sharp Gamakatsu T10-3H hook. Another hook I like for this fly, while not of the up eye variety or light wire, is the Dai-Riki #270 natural bend nymph hook. I tie all the hooks in size #4. I’ve used smaller hook sizes, but for the sake of simplicity and the desire to not lose fish to a weak hook, I like the # 4’s. The end of summer through October is a good time to fish the Steelhead CDC Caddis Emerger. The orange poly shuck clearly matches the color and look of the natural shucks left on the rocks of the river by early Fall’s October Caddis flies.

Steelhead Caddis (A Rogue River pattern for hot August)

Bill McMillan's Steelhead Caddis, a good pattern for hot August on the Rogue.

During hot August days you can often dredge the bottom with offerings like the weighted Carpetbaggers and smaller nymphs and barely touch a trout. You know that there is fish holding, but for some reason they will not take those offerings that are presented to them down deep and dirty. I’ve found that more often than not, steelhead and cutthroat will be looking up. What I mean is that for some reason the fish will be more susceptible to a topside presentation. Swinging a regular wet fly like a Skunk or Silver Hilton is a good option. I’ve often elected to tie on a light fly like Bill McMillian’s Steelhead Caddis. The natural look of the fly inspires confidence. It nearly always fishes right on the surface. You can actually create a top surface disturbance with the fly by riffle hitching it to skate or plough a V wake through the water. What ever the fish see or maybe don’t really see I can’t imagine, but they do react. Sometimes a summer surface presentation is better than going deep for trout, cutthroat or wary Rogue River steelhead.