Some of the steelhead patterns that have been popular for the Rogue River recently. With the cooling weather the trend will be to heavier, bead head fly patterns like the Carpetbagger, G.R. Hare’s Ear, and Prince Nymphs. However throughout the fall all these patterns will have their time and place.
Start up the Rogue River summer steelhead season with Rogue River steelhead fly patterns! Early summers filter into the upper Rogue River late June through July. These adult steelhead can be some of the best fish of the year. With pink flesh reminisce of salmon, they can be some of the best eating steelhead of the year. Best of all, here is a salmonid that will readily take the fly. Great early season patterns are the Carpetbagger, Silver Hiltons, the Skunk, the Brown Forked Tail Prince, and the G.R. Hare’s Ear. Top that fly with a beadhead and you have a pattern that is killer. Later as the summer warms up and gets hot, a Steelhead Caddis fished near or on the surface can bring a smashing strike. Late season during the early fall the old classic Rogue patterns come into play down in the Wild & Scenic canyon of the Rogue River. Juicy Bugs, Rogue River Specials, Brown Forked Tails, Ants (Silver and Red), and some new creations will come into play for the famous Rogue River half-pound steelhead. Half-Pounders, as they are called, are junior steelhead returned to the Rogue River after only 3-4 months in the Pacific Ocean. Returned from the ocean early to feed in the lower Rogue River environment over the winter, these young trout sized steelhead will hit a small fly most readily and put a big grin and smile on your face as they peal line off your fly reel.
A popular fly for steelhead the Skunk has been around for a long time. While credit for the creator of the standard Skunk is clouded, the time frame for pattern’s introduction is generally thought to be during the 1930-1940. Various spinoff have occured including the Greenbutt Skunk, Redbutt Skunk, Coastal Skunk, and Inland Skunk. The Skunk has it’s time and place on the Rogue River of Oregon and I would suggest swinging the fly during the warmer months of the year. My first steelhead taken with a Greenbutt Skunk came on a Lake Erie tributary pool. I cast the fly into an upstream eddy flow just below a waterfall and was rewarded with an eight pound silver, Fall steelhead fresh from the lake. The Skunk is always a good choice and here are some size # eight destined for the Grand Ronde River of Oregon.