With waterfowl season closed for the Rogue River, I got out and did a little steelhead fly fishing. I didn’t expect much. Water flow has been low with the absence of any good rain. Most of the late summer steelhead of January I consider just “red snakes.” Still early for the Rogue River’s winter steelhead run, but you never know. Well I was able to find and get into a good run of late summer steelhead. All females they were bright and fresh enough to give a good time. The run was a deep stretch so I fished the Carpetbagger Stonefly Nymph with either a Brown Fork Tail or G.R. Hare’s Ear trailer fly. Both of the trailer smaller patterns caught the fish. The takes were down and deep in the run, just at the end of the drift of the flies. I was even surprised with the catch of a big, hooked jaw silver salmon. I celebrated the good return to fly fishing the river with a hearty seared mallard breast supper
When the temperatures turn to freezing and the summer steelhead get dark, duck hunting becomes the best option along the Rogue River. Plentiful waterfowl lends to plentiful opportunities. Never a game of continuous action, waterfowl hunting requires patience, habitat knowledge and skill. What better time to sit and quietly observe the river and it’s winter time inhabitants. Scouting out the best locations comes with accumulated experience, just as “making the shot” comes from practiced habits acquired during the heat of the action.