Upper Rogue River Steelhead and a Novel Fly


This novel creation lay hidden in an old fly box for years. Saturday afternoon the Spiderman Fly made a splendid reappearance on the Rogue River of Oregon.

This novel creation lay hidden in an old fly box for years. Saturday afternoon the Spiderman Fly made a splendid reappearance on the Rogue River of Oregon.

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Lower Rogue River Canyon Steelhead.

Lower Rogue River guide Mike Springer (Springer’s Guide Service, springersguideservice@gmail.com, 541-430-1565) has been putting his clients on to lots of steelhead in the Wild and Scenic section of the river. In addition to the abundant half pound steelhead there have been many catches of adults. Sandy of Roseburg, Oregon landed five adult steelhead on a recent trip. Mike relates that the Brown Fork Tail Prince Nymph has been responsible for the majority of the catches.

Ron from Florida, a big Carpetbagger Nymph fan, reports lots of half pound steelhead action down around Agness on his annual visit to the lower Rogue River. He says the catches were about equal between the Carpetbagger and a size #8 Pheasant Tail Nymph fly patterns. I say next time why not tie both flies on your leader as a tandem setup of dropper and chaser flys? Ron (remember he’s from Florida) says the mornings were 40 degrees and a might nip. Apparently the last Jerry’s Jet Boat runs of the season went by Agness on October 15th Like “frozen bodies slipping by.” Meanwhile we continue to enjoy high 40°F mornings and high 70°F afternoons on the upper Rogue River with plentiful adult steelhead around.

Pink Silver Salmon Fly

Getting to be coho salmon time on the upper Rogue River. I can feel them coming, and of course there is the report of eleven silver salmon already returning to the hatchery at Cole Rivers on the Rogue River above Trail. It has been a while since I caught one on a fly. I remember that year, it was good, I caught five on Carpetbaggers.

Late November silver salmon buck caught on the Rogue River, Oregon.

Late November silver salmon buck caught on the Rogue River, Oregon.


Late October should see a few arriving. November is the better month. I’ve caught most of my silver salmon by jigging a Carpetbagger Nymph along the bottom during the drift of the fly. Yes, movement is what they like. Sometimes you are lucky enough to see a school swimming. They say pink is a good color, so I’m going to try this fly in addition to the Carpetbaggers for silver salmon this year. I think a fast strip of the fly on the long Spey rod just might work.

Pink Articulated Silver Salmon Fly

Pink Articulated Silver Salmon Fly

Forked Tail Prince working. Skating ‘Hilton working. ‘Shrooms along the Rogue River, Oregon.

Sunny warm days have produced some idyllic autumn moments along the Rogue River, Oregon this mid October. There are plenty of fish to catch in the Rogue River, and if you look hard, mushrooms to find along the banks.

Prince Nymph Was On Fire Today On the Rogue River

Saturday Afternoon on the Rogue River 10/05/13

All steelhead will go for the Carpetbagger.

All steelhead will go for the Carpetbagger.

Lite and bright conditions, we put in early afternoon on the Rogue River. Looked good, but I know how under low water conditions it can be slow under sunny skies. The first mile of so of river we targeted every rock ledge, deep slot and shady run we could with smart cast of the Carpetbagger Stonefly and small chaser nymph flies. Finally about 4:00 PM while drifting through a small, fast, steep gradient bank run Erik hooked up with a good steelhead. I backed and pulled with the oars towards shore, knowing we really didn’t want that fish to run downriver the full length of that fast stretch. Finally dropped anchor and said, “Its gotta be here we make the stand.” We just could not slide any further down into that broad shallow rocky water below. Well we did land it. Erik played the fish masterfully with his 5/6 weight Orvis rod keeping the steelie within range. We both had to climb out of the Drifter to net the hatchery buck. Really surprised to see he was hatchery because that buck fought like a wild fish.