There are still a few good summer steelhead showing in catchs on the upper Rogue River, and with the early February warm up, the trout and cutthroat trout have become more active. I connected with this good size Rogue River steelhead the other evening casting the orange beadhead Carpetbagger Nymph (AKA the Brownbagger).
I also had on my leader a G.R. Hare’s Ear Nymph as the second fly. So given the choice the steelhead went for that glint of orange on the larger fly. Not surprisingly several good size cutthroat trout have also hammered the Brownbagger pattern. The smaller G.R. Hare’s Ear pattern has been hooking it’s fair share of trout and smaller cutthroat. I noticed the trout rising actively to a hatch the other day. February insect activity! I sometimes try to match the hatch with a dry fly like a small BWO, Humpy or Adams. Fun when you encounter the right situation, and surprising when you hook up with something larger than a mere smote. This requires changing your tippet size accordingly to the small dry fly size. Not really something I want to do when fishing a large Spey rod or even the switch stick. Most often I’ll just simply add a appropriate dropper, a small G.R. Hare’s Ear or Prince Nymph and swing my flies through the riffle where the hatch is apparent. That way I’m still covered if a larger steelhead is present and decides to take. Hopefully, with a steelhead, it will be the larger fly with stronger leader that is taken!