Rogue River Chinook Falling for the Carpetbagger Nymph

Imagine my surprise the other day, when that large summer steelhead I was playing turned out to be a fresh Fall chinook.

Imagine my surprise when that large summer steelhead I was playing the other day turned out to be a fresh Fall chinook.

The contact came at the end of the swing. I was fishing a Midnight Fire Carpetbagger Nymph with a small bead head Prince Nymph on a tippet tied on to the bend of its hook. I felt solid weight to the rod, and then a little give to what I had hooked. Next came the head shakes of a good fish. I applied pressure and the fish moved out into the strong current. I knew already it was a large fish, but I suspected big, native steelhead. Downstream went the run and I applied even more pressure. Luckily the fish stopped and went to the bottom and sulked. Being in this situation before, I knew what to do. I began to reel and pump, slowly moving my prize up river. Once I got the fish on a short line, it became pretty much a slug-out, albeit one with no jumps and leaps. Who would outlast who? At one point I pulled the stubborn creature close enough to the bank to discern a different look. Instead of the silver and rose flank of a large steelhead, I saw chinook salmon. Weathering a couple more large runs down river I eventually wore on the salmon and I landed him. He had bit on the Carpetbagger Stonefly Nymph. Great thing about this part of the upper Rogue at that time of the year is you can harvest a chinook salmon. I did!

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