A cold December day that caught me by surprise. No surprise to myself that I was going to catch steelhead. The first run that I fished was no good, and I left pretty quickly on account of the cold air. A little hike was necessary to get to the next spot. This run felt better as the noon sun was lighting the water. I worked down the hole and near the tail out was rewarded with a stop. The steelhead put up a good fight and I was happy to see that she had taken the very small fly I had tied on. Cold, clear water sometimes means small flies! I soon found that the chill of the day had numbed my finger tips as I struggled to remove the fly!
After a quick break for a peanut butter lunch, I went back to casting. Wasn’t too long before another fish was on, and this time leaping his way down river. I landed the buck steelhead and found that this one had taken a larger Carpetbagger fly with the hot orange bead head. Fishing a couple other holes, I found the cold daylight waning, and I beat a hike back to the car. Multiple fish on!
A walk in hike lead to this early September hatchery steelhead in a narrow holding run along the bank of the Rogue River. My home-made Scandi/Skagit casting head made throwing a G.R.Hare’s Ear Nymph easy from a casting area backed up by a high bank with trees and brush. The steelhead are where you find them. Never easy, but always a glorious challenge.
I’m still searching for that early Rogue River summer steelhead. The river looks perfect, but I guess the number of early fish is not good enough yet. I had a double pull to a G.R. Hare’s Ear Beadhead Nymph today, so that was very encouraging. I imagine that just like last year the first caught steelhead will come around July 1st. Click link, I’m casting a Scandi line.
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.
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.