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.
January 4, 2018 I found the trout are more active and biting well now. There was even a little hatch of small flies coming off the water. I found the hatchery stock summer steelhead are still in the Rogue River near Medford, Oregon. A Yellow Fork Tail Prince Nymph accounted for this retread summer steelhead. The Orange Bead Head Carpetbagger (Brownbagger) Nymph was also attracting a lot of attention in the very clear and low water of the day. First steelhead of 2018!
No blast, but two for the cast yesterday morning. Well I did get a blast at a couple overhead passing geese very early morning. I have to rethink those shots. They were off. I think next time I should shoot for the head. Perhaps more for the front of the goose bill?
Arriving at my prime “duck pond” I found only a couple ring neck ducks. The river fog slowly disappeared as I watched them cavorting along the far bank. Waterfowl entertainment! I would say that the migration has slowly begun. Last week I did see a bunch of widgeon at another pond, and have noted more passing mallards while fly casting. In general, the weather has been more bluebird than duck weather.
From the early morning duck hunting I transitioned to steelhead fly fishing. I went to the spots that have been good recently. No immediate success, however I persisted and as the day warmed I found a fish in both spots. Happily no hatchery retread steelhead, just fresh arriving steelhead from the lower river. The first fish took a Pheasant Tail Nymph, and I had to wade precariously to a spot to land it. The second steelhead took a Yellow Fork Tail Prince Nymph. I could feel the first nibble of this fish to the fly and I missed the hook up. I cast again and hooked him on his
second bite! A beautiful small native steelhead. Half pounder size I would say. Funny how since the dam removals on the middle Rogue River I have been seeing more of these smallish steelhead in our catches on the upper Rogue River.
Arriving only 20 minutes earlier, the run looked good. A large Halloween Spey and Prince Nymph combo of flies rose nothing in the slow water of the hole. I switched to a single Yellow Fork Tail Prince Nymph and swung that fly through the fast and slow water. The hit came suddenly downstream at about 50 ° in the slower water. Fish on! A jump and four or five runs back into the fast water and finally she began to give up the ghost. Measured a true 25 inch, and such a sweet return to the Rogue River for me. Water flow : about 1720 CFS Air Quality : Improving, but still plenty of smoke overhead. Arriving : A loud thunder and lightening storm with good rain that wet all before I could get back to the vehicle.