Teri Selbicky hooks up the first winter steelhead of 2018. I helped her finally land it. For the first of February the weather is extremely nice. Air temperatures today got up to around the mid 60°F’s. The river CFS (cubic feet per second) is about 1560 and the afternoon river temperature is around 46°F. The bite came in the early afternoon to a small nymph swung with a Carpetbagger Nymph from the front of the drift boat. The water type was a sunlit, and gentle riffle at the top of a run, just like where you would fish during the early summer.
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.
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.
My version of the Agent Orange pattern and my Brownbagger Nymph pattern.
I’m on a roll this past week and a half. Each of my last three fish has been a progressively larger than the prior. Todays steelhead went an estimated 30 inch’s long. I’d thought I would capture part of the battle on video. However the fish suddenly “came alive”, and was off on a determined run that eventually traveled 100 yards downriver. At the very onset of that run I knew I’d never land the fish near the camera, so as quick as possible I turned it off. The two capture photos were taken as fast with my phone camera before the grand native steelhead was quickly released back into the Rogue River of Oregon. The fly was my Brownbagger Carpetbagger Nymph with the orange bead head.
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.
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.