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
This fine hatchery steelhead took a Pheasant Tail Nymph fished as the dropper fly off a Carpetbagger Nymph
Smaller native steelhead took a Prince Nymph on the second bite.
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.
A little bit of snow lingers after the weekend rains on Mt. McCloughlin.
There was a little rise to the Rogue River flow after the weekend rains. Good for the catching as it makes the fish less skittish.
Not all fish are created equal. This small Rogue River hatchery steelhead goes back into the drink! Grow larger.
The water flow has lowered and the steelhead bite seems a little tentative. I felt several other steelhead “mouth” the fly. However I was a little slow on the hookup to the skinny water wary fish. Smaller flies have been the fish ticket. Try a size #10 Yellow Fork Tail Prince Nymph. A small G.R. Hare’s Ear Nymph is a good second choice.
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.
A swinging fly for the Spey rod sporting golden pheasant and marabou wrapped Spey style.
No name for this Spey pattern yet, but I decided to do another with a little hotter color combination. The recipe remains the same. The tail and butt section remain pheasant, but this time it is the red of the golden pheasant flank. The balance of the body is yellow, orange and red marabou wrapped Spey style. The collar is of a golden pheasant tippet. The fly is winged with a couple goose wing feather strips.