Bring on the winter steelhead run on the Rogue River, Oregon! Had one steelhead on this day, but it came unglued. Would have been a double (bird and fish) McNabb.
The hoped for rain didn’t quite materialize and the afternoon forecast called for high winds. That made steelhead fly-fishing on the opening day of Oregon Rifle Deer Season the best option. With an on and off cloudy sky, we found the steelhead more than willing to play.
Low water. Soft rain. The steelhead took a small Brown Forked Tail Prince Nymph. The tippet was 4X fluorcarbon.
A new pursuit. A new passion. After years of observing plentiful waterfowl along the Rogue River I became interested in hunting them. Three years ago I began carrying a light, single-shot shotgun along on fall steelhead flyfishing adventures along the river. The results were good. Despite the single-shot refusing to fire during sub-freezing weather, I got a few ducks. The next year I upgraded to a CZ Mallard o/u 12 gauge. The over & under shot straight and did not fail during freezing conditions. Again I put a few ducks in the freezer. This year I got my first pump, and even went so far as to devote some of my time on the river to just duck hunting. Lets just say that waterfowling can grow on one and become an addiction just as much as flyfishing for Rogue River steelhead.
The final morning of waterfowl season was another foggy and cold one in the Rogue Valley. I finally was able to walk in to a slough on the Rogue River that I had been kept away from for weeks because of the high water flows. The greenhead mallards were there early, but also very wary and alert. A long shot across the slough, they lit and took off almost immediately upon detecting my presence. They never did return. I did better after I set up the dekes and the bay ducks returned. I took scaup and a couple buffleheads. One male scaup was an impressive and exciting sight as he cupped his wings and sailed into the dekes. There are some interesting feathers on the scaup’s back that I will bag up and save for fly tying material.
If the current dry spell continues it won’t be long before we are back to flyfishing for steelhead. There could be some winter fish already into the mix of upper Rogue River fish.