Although the weather may not show it, winter is still here in the Rogue Valley. Sunny, mild days persist with daytime temperatures near the 70°F mark. During this stretch the lack of any measurable rainfall has left the rivers low and fishable; and right on time the winter steelhead are ever arriving and catchable.
Bless with this treat of fishable waters through early March, I have ventured out on both the Rogue and Applegate Rivers. From early-on plug, bait, and spoon high water efforts, the fishing method as of late has been with flies. Once again patterns such as the Carpetbagger Nymphs, bead head G.R. Hare’s Ears and Prince Nymphs are taking steelhead. I reckon it is the same old melody, but those buggy flies do really do the trick on the above mentioned rivers.
The water flow has dropped to low levels. Every year the flow seems to end up at about 150 CFS. Makes it a bit harder to catch fish in bright, sunny weather. Luckily rain and clouds are forecast for the rest of the week, and a good chance that the rain will be showers and light.
With the dropping water flow I like to fish dark, deeper runs against steep banks. It is surprising how close to these banks the steelhead will hold. It is not surprising when close inspection reveal the structure that held the fish, such as a deeper pocket with swirling back eddy. When I find good structure and hook a fish, I note it well. Year after year specific locations seem to always hold fish.
And there are definitely fish lurking in the murky, deeper holes and runs, as I have seen them.
Been waiting for this. Now it looks like the conditions will be right for a drive over. March steelhead! Just wait for the water to clear.