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.
An interesting hot bead head stonefly nymph.
A Carpetbagger style nymph with brown body and orange bead. Very good fly.
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.
Snow covers the whole of Mt. McCloughlin on November 6, 2017. Luckily our rain has been light and scattered enough to maintain good fly fishing flow in the Rogue River.
I was a little down. Had just missed harvesting my blacktail buck that morning. This large Rogue River summer steelhead was a bit of consulation for missing that shot. I don’t know if the video captures all the beauty of this fish. In my memory the fish looked just perfect coming up out of the depths. A real gorgeous hen steelhead with good size. I’d estimate that she went about 28 inches long. She was quickly released back into the river to rest up before her winter’s spawn. The fly again was my fish-catching Yellow Fork Tail Prince Nymph that has been so successful this Fall.
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.
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.