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.
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.
Two for three today all on a size #14 Pheasant Tail Nymph (my tie). I’ll take that back. That big third steelhead which threw the hook after streaking across the river and then making a big leap, my have taken a size #8 Yellow Fork Tail Prince Nymph. Why? Because that is what I had on.
Very similar to the old Rogue Ant, only lacking a double point hook and a fine gold oval rib.
The Red Ant is very similar to the Rogue Ant. Indeed John Shewey mentions in his book Steelhead Flies that the Rogue Ant is also referred to as the Rogue Red Ant. I believe the Red Ant is the older pattern, and the Rogue Red Ant was an adaptation created for the lower Rogue River in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Instead of a single, down-eyed hook the Rogue Red Ant was usually tied on Mustad double point hooks. It also featured a fine, oval gold rib through the body. If jungle cock feather eyes were available, two were mounted on the outside of the bucktail wing. One on each side, much like the old Rogue River Special. Old double point hook flies were fished off the front of the boat to swing and flutter in the current 30 to 40 feet below the driftboat. No casting of the flies. The movement of the boat did the work. The half-pounders and adult steelhead found this tactic irresistible.