February First Steelhead on the Prince Nymph

After a hard January, finally some fishable conditions on the Rogue River as February arrives. This may be a little window of opportunity and today was a good day to take advantage of it. Summer or fall steelhead, I don’t know, but this little hen was a fun, spunky catch. Still awaiting that first true winter steelhead on the upper Rogue River of Oregon.

The Indestructible Prince Nymph

IMG_7048

This nice Rogue River winter steelhead took a size 8 Brown Fork Tail (Prince) Nymph under murky, high, February water conditions.

img_8274 The Prince Nymph. Also know as the Brown Fork Tail. The most prolific steelhead catching fly of the past season. Fished on a dead drift.img_8248 The weighted Prince. I like a brass bead and wrapped lead wire underneath. A drop or two of Zap-A-Gap will cement it in place.img_8250 Two brown goose biots are wrapped on as a forked tail with red thread. An oval silver tinsel is attached to the far side to be wrapped as a rib. A length of strong, fine wire is attached to the near side. The thread is advanced to the front of the hook.img_8253 15 pieces of natural peacock herl are attached there at their fine tips. The thread is wrapped back to the base of the tail over the herl.img_8258 At this point the red thread is wrapped around the full length of the peacock herl strands. The herl and the thread are twisted together to form a strong rope. Then the “rope” is wrapped to the front of the hook forming a tapered body.img_8260 End the peacock herl body behind the brass bead head. Be sure to separate the extra herl from the thread. Clip the herl leaving a little free space behind the bead.img_8264 Wind the oval silver tinsel forward over the body with 5 or 6 equal spaced wraps to the front. Counter wind the strong wire over the tinsel to the front. Bind down the tinsel and wire with several taunt wraps of the red thread. Trim the excess tinsel and wire ends.img_8266 Attach a prepared brown feather hackle to the little space left between the body and the bead head. The fibers of the hackle can be folded to help slant rearward.img_8270 The brown hackle is wrapped once or twice to sweep rearward as a collar. Two white goose biots are attached to the top just behind the bead as wings. To securely attach the wings, I like to fold/bend the cut ends rearward and cover them with the final wraps of thread.img_8273 Build up a little red space with the tread behind the bead, whip finish and cut the thread. Several coats of cement (Sally Hansens or Zap-A-Gap) are applied to the thread. Notice the folded end of the white goose biot poking out at the base of the wing. A very attached wing that will not slip off.

August Cutthroat and Rogue River Summer Steelhead

More January reflecting. Thinking back on August when the Rogue River ran high but without the stain and cold of January runoff. Sure the river will continue it’s winter antics but the conditions overall are improving as we near February.

Here’s a lucky day during late August 2016 when a Hobo Spey and Midnight Rainbow Carpetbagger Stonefly Nymph were the successful flies to use.

Three Minutes to Land a December Rogue River Steelhead

Found this fresh fall steelhead in a good high water run on the upper Rogue River. Recent showers have swollen the flow of the river, but the water remains clear. The fly was one of my new stonefly nymph patterns, the “au natural Carpetbagger Nymph.”