Catching steelhead patterns for the lower Rogue River

Carpetbaggers, Hare’s Ears, Prince and Copper Herniator Nymphs, all sticking jaws on the lower Rogue River.

Half pounder time on the lower Rogue River. While the upper Rogue River continues to stew with the hot weather, I have been hearing some good reports from the lower river. Good half pound steelhead fishing has been had below Clay Hill. Over on the Klamath river half pound and adult steelhead have been found above Orleans. Copper Herniators have been working on the Klamath, and there is no reason similar success should not happen on the lower Rogue River. Here are Carpetbaggers, mini-Carpetbaggers, Herniators, Brown Forked Tail Prince, and Bead Head G.R. Hare’s Ear nymphs all bound for the lower Rogue. Steelhead beware, your new tooth ache is on the way.


Been up in the hills lately.

Hunting the wild Band Tailed pigeon season. The birds are fairly numerous. They are feeding on the blue elderberry of the open logged over areas. The weather is pretty cool up there at over 4500 feet. Down in the Rogue Valley temperatures are getting up to 90°F plus daily. I guess I’m not the only one hunting the pigeons. This (I think is a…?) sharp shinned hawk is looking pretty stealthy sitting on his perch in that grey tree. Be back to fly fishing Rogue River steelhead pretty soon.

Steelhead Caddis, a good late Summer pattern on the upper Rogue River

The Steelhead Caddis pattern is a good searching pattern during the lull of late summer on the Rogue River, Oregon. Originated by Bill McMillian about 1975 for steelhead, the pattern works equally well for cutthroat trout. I use it as a searching pattern for steelhead during that season when you know they need a big stimulus to bring that strike. I like to “riffle hitch” the leader behind the head of the fly. That way the fly slides along the surface of the water creating a “V”. Move that fly slow enough, just right, and you might trigger a big strike from a stale steelhead or a resident Rogue River fluvial cutthroat trout.

The Bloody Muddler, A Good Light Pattern for the Upper Rogue River

Just for a change up, a nice light pattern. I tie this on when I notice a lot of late summer grasshoppers around. Even during the brighter times of the day the fish are always looking up and often willing to cooperate with a surface snatch.

The Hit Man, A Dark Steelhead Pattern for the Rogue River

"The Hit Man"

A large, dark steelhead pattern that was originated on far northern waters, the Hit Man should prove deadly to Rogue River fish. Also known as the Dean River Special, the Hit Man was designed by Mark Noble for the rivers of British Columbia. Featuring black marabou, soft hackle and the glitz of Flashabou and Diamond Braid, the Hit Man offers a lot of big movement and light to entice an aggressive response from both summer and winter steelhead.

New Steelhead Patterns-The Herniator

New for me that is. The Herniator steelhead pattern has been around for a long time. The pattern was originated in California by Bill Geise for the Klamath and Trinity Rivers where it is very effective. The Herniator has made it’s way to the Rogue River, which is not unexpected because of the similarity of those fisheries. The account as to how the Herniator got the name goes as such. Geise had to admit himself to the hospital with a hernia the day after the debut of his new fly due to the strain of catching so many steelhead with it. Now that’s some kind of endorsement.

Casting the Heavy Carpetbagger and Beadhead G.R. Hare’s Ear Combo

A video showing the casting of the heavy, 2-fly rig-ups that are popular on the Rogue River during the Fall. The flyrod is a 6 weight, 11′ 3″ switch flyrod. The flies being cast are a size #4 Carpetbagger Nymph and a size #6 G.R. Hare’s Ear Nymph. Both flies are heavily weighted. They get deep fast in the solid, heavy flow of the Rogue River. The length of the switch stick helps to get the job done quite nicely. The quarry is the wily summer steelhead of the upper Rogue River, Oregon.