9 Out Of 10 Rogue River Steelhead Prefer…A Carpetbagger Nymph (instead of turkey) For Thanksgiving

Even with all the fancy fly choices you can fling out there, cold water Rogue River steelhead like Carpetbagger Stonefly Nymphs best. Maybe it is the wiggly legs? Maybe it is the cool New Age Chenille body colors? Maybe it’s the weighted bead head? Maybe all that real matters is that they work best in the waning months of the year! Try the Midnight Fire, Midnight Rainbow or Copper/Gold/Black  chenille body colors. Try the bead head “Magic Flies” this November and December and don’t go home a big gobbler!.

Native Rogue River steelhead released to fight again.

Native Rogue River steelhead released to fight again.


Flies on the Rogue River – Steelhead Caddis


Bill McMillan’s Steelhead Caddis is a great fly pattern this time of year on the Rogue River of Oregon

Lower water, warm afternoons…if you want to hook a steelhead near the surface, this is a great fly to go to on the Rogue River this time of year. Tied on a size 6 Partridge Wilson hook.

Army Corps Dropping Water Releases to the Upper Rogue

Lost Creek water releases to the upper Rogue River have been dropping slowly. I noticed it a couple of days ago. Didn’t make a difference as it was still hard to find a biting steelhead. I did see a large, dark Chinook salmon showing itself in the center of a run. Big Chinookie dominating the run to cause the steelhead to hide even better.


Today’s flow settles out around 1720 CFS. End of today’s air temperatures will be around 98°F. A little end of summer heat spike that should abate some by Sunday.


Flow down around Medford and White City sections.


Graph showing the release up near the McGregor Park section. By Tuesday that should be down around 1200 CFS.




Tailed! A chrome, bright Rogue River summer steelhead captured with a Bead Head G.R. Hare’s Ear Nymph.

Good Eats


Seared Steelhead Fillets from the Rogue River.

September First and the wild harvest of the Fall begins. There are still coin bright July and August summer steelhead languishing in the pools of the upper Rogue River. Right on time the water flow has risen to bring up migrating Fall Chinook salmon and steelhead from the Wild & Scenic canyon of the river. The cooling air of the Rogue Valley reveals that the heat of the summer has left a bountiful array of treats in the garden. Bright red tomatoes are to be  picked as well as potatoes dug. Lettuce and basil is to be plucked from their beds. Together all come together in a culinary feast of the season.

I don’t know if you have discovered Blue Apron or any of the other Dinner-Kit Services that deliver fresh meals and ingredients directly to your door. Complete with chef inspired recipes printed on colorful 8 x 11 cards, you cook and assemble the gormet meals at home yourself. Often I like to substitute fresh steelhead for the sustainable seafood Blue Apron sends.  In the dinner pictured above, Seared Salmon & Sauce Gribiche, I have substituted fresh, Rogue River steelhead for the packaged salmon. (The salmon was squirreled away in the freezer for the future.)  I further enhanced the meal with red potatoes, cherry tomatoes and parsley from our garden. Blue Apron supplied the base of the  ingredients including summer beans, shallots, cornichons and Dijonnaise.  Putting it all together, this came to be one, tasty , end-of-summer meal!

As for the fly responsible for the September steelhead catch? You can give full credit to the Beadhead G.R. Hare’s Ear Nymph.


G.R. Hare’s Ear Nymph. Always a good choice on the Rogue River of Oregon.