January Reflecting

Considering all the snow, ice, rain and high water of early January this year it is good to reflect back on the warm days and hot fish of summer on the Rogue River, Oregon. Early morning wet wading. Oh what a treat. It will be a while until we can do this again. In the meantime keep an eye on the weather and river flow. Winter steelhead fishing is next on the Rogue agenda, and with the high water flows, fish could be trickling in sooner than expected.

A diminutive Brown Fork Tail Prince Nymph working well. I like the pattern with a slight, yellow-brown tail. Today I was using  the pattern on the size 10 hook.

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.”

Rogue River December Steelhead, Al’s Special Gold Brooch Fly Pin

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December 2nd Rogue River chrome and Cabela’s Spey rod. Rio heads and sink tips.

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Hooked up in the high, grey water of December. December steelhead on my mind.

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Al’s Special gold brooch fly pin. Al Knudson was an early pioneering fly tier of the early 19th Century. He was one of the first to use large flies for winter steelhead. Knudson’s streamer patterns are little remembered today, but surely would fish just as well now as they did in the old days.

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.

Try Fishing the Rogue River Early in the November Cold and Fog.

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Hatchery Heft like the Orange Bead Head Brownbagger Stonefly Nymph.

November Colors

Yarn flies, slight wisp of orange, fished off a Carpetbagger Stonefly Nymph work well now.

Sometimes called “Oh dark oh thirty”, arriving early in the November gloom and mist can pay dividents on the Rogue River, of Oregon.

November on the Rogue River

There are a couple of ways of catching steelhead and salmon this month on the stretch of the Rogue River that I fish a lot. Fly fishing remains a good option, and the fun thing is that you can go full purist with fly, switch or Spey rod, or you can fish a spinning rod with weighted fly and float bobber. With the fluctuating water levels of this month the latter method is a good option.

Plugs and spinners are also allowed now after the close of the flies only September through October period. The Coho salmon, currently present in the river and legal to fish for, will occasionally take a fly.  However a plug, spoon or spinner is often the best presentation for the salmon. In the second half of this video I hook a nice Coho buck with a Rebel Crawdad plug. Very interesting in that I cast the lure out mid-river; had a spool over run with the fresh Maxima line; quickly fixed the tangle while the floating plug drifted downriver and immediately hooked the Coho upon beginning the retrieve.  I  have to wonder did the fish track and follow the lure while it was free floating  downstream, or did it just drift down into his holding position and he immediately attack the lure upon the first wiggle of the retrieve?

Rogue River at 2040 CFS (Liking it!) 11/02/16

The water is very clear right now. That was the first thing I noticed, lots of good flow and gin clear. It didn’t take long to find a nice sized cutthroat trout with the Midnight Rainbow Carpetbagger Stonefly Nymph. The first steelhead came to a Brown Fork Tail Prince Nymph. He was a little further downriver in the run. Finally just before the sunset I was able to cast at the “sweet spot” as it became vacant. I was soon on to a nice steelhead. I played the fish well and was giving it a different angle of the rod when the hook came out. No matter, I made a cast to the middle of the run, and on that very next cast I was hooked to an even better steelhead. The buck fought well, lighting up the water with some spectacular runs and leaps. Finally I was able to control those and some other stubborn antics. I tailed the fish and admired the white, crimson and green of his thick sides. Like I said the Rogue River was up and I was, “Liking it!”