A Good Morning on the Rogue River

This time of year I like to fish the wee early morning hours on the Rogue River of Oregon. The dawn is cool, the river is quiet, and most important, the steelhead are less wary. I’ve always found low light conditions very conducive to a steelhead bite. Not that they do not also take during the mid-day. I remember my first full daylight summer steelhead. I thought is was so cool, a steelhead hooked under a full August sun. I suspected it was because of a new, dark fly that I was swinging. I’ve now come to think that it was just the particulars of the run that I was fishing. It was a very intimate run; shallow, isolated, long and with plenty of good holding structures. That run accounted for many bright fish being caught that summer and the next few. Alas, one high water winter changed those dynamics and it has never fished the same.
Still a basic good rule of summer fishing for steelhead remains fish early or fish late. If you think back upon it, you will probably remember that most of your summertime catching came during those times. During the fall you can wake up later to begin your visit to the river. Actually on the Rogue River after the Army Corps of Engineers drops the temperature of the water about mid September, that becomes quite alright. For the present time and to best escape the heat of the Rogue Valley day, the early morning sojourn remains my plan of action.

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