Went two for three today on the Rogue River. All of the steelhead took the Orange Bead Head Brownbagger Stonefly Nymph pattern. This hatchery and native steelhead I was totally on top of except for the complete landing of the small native. The small native splashed it’s way to freedom at the bank. The first fish I hooked today was a biggy. I struggled to get it to shore (and to the camera), but the dry bank was a long way’s from the deep water were I hooked it. As I neared my chosen landing spot, the fish gave a great leap and the hook was shaken. The Brownbagger Nymph has been on fire as of late hooking the majority of the steelhead. I believe that hot orange bead head is the key.
An interesting hot bead head stonefly nymph.
A Carpetbagger style nymph with brown body and orange bead. Very good fly.
My version of the Agent Orange pattern and my Brownbagger Nymph pattern.
I was a little down. Had just missed harvesting my blacktail buck that morning. This large Rogue River summer steelhead was a bit of consulation for missing that shot. I don’t know if the video captures all the beauty of this fish. In my memory the fish looked just perfect coming up out of the depths. A real gorgeous hen steelhead with good size. I’d estimate that she went about 28 inches long. She was quickly released back into the river to rest up before her winter’s spawn. The fly again was my fish-catching Yellow Fork Tail Prince Nymph that has been so successful this Fall.
Landed three all on my Yellow Fork Tail Prince Nymph. One of the steelhead was my largest of the Fall so far. Hooked in a very difficult place, I had to deep wade down river to get to the filming spot. The fish ran way down stream almost to the spill over of the tail out. I was expecting a wild, native Rogue River steelhead. Surprise! She was a nice 26 inch hatchery hen.
As the month of October rolls along the steelhead fly fishing gets better and better. Throw in a little early waterfowl hunting and you have a Rogue River treat that is hard to beat. The mallards fell during the dawning morning. Pretty sure they are local birds. There is not a lot of migration noted yet. The newly arrived hatchery steelhead is a sure sign that the Autumn run from the lower canyon is filtering in. Sure is fun to have a strong and pulling fish on the line again. An Agent Orange pattern accounted for the hookup in the bottom of a deep run during the warmth of early afternoon.
A freshly arrived Rogue River steelhead.
A pair of early season mallards and decoys.
The Agent Orange with speckled spandex legs.
I’ve been finding a lot of gill punched Rogue River hatchery fish as of late. Thank goodness for those second chance steelhead. They make the doldrums of Indian summer low-water days of October a little more interesting and pleasant. That’s particularly true when you can hook up multiple fish with little hesitation out of a short little run of water when the bite is on. Looking forward to coming days of colder weather, rain and rising water. Bring on those fresh fish languishing down in the canyon.
Not all fish are created equal. This small Rogue River hatchery steelhead goes back into the drink! Grow larger.
The water flow has lowered and the steelhead bite seems a little tentative. I felt several other steelhead “mouth” the fly. However I was a little slow on the hookup to the skinny water wary fish. Smaller flies have been the fish ticket. Try a size #10 Yellow Fork Tail Prince Nymph. A small G.R. Hare’s Ear Nymph is a good second choice.
An average size Rogue River summer steelhead puts up a good fight in the near 3000 CFS water flow of July. Once again the bite came in the early afternoon after the water had warmed up a bit. The steelhead hit the Yellow Fork Tail Prince near near the end of a nymph and swing tactic.