The Tale of Two Fish on The Rogue River

No blast, but two for the cast yesterday morning. Well I did get a blast at a couple overhead passing geese very early morning. I have to rethink those shots. They were off. I think next time I should shoot for the head. Perhaps more for the front of the goose bill?

Arriving at my prime “duck pond” I found only a couple ring neck ducks. The river fog slowly disappeared as I watched them cavorting along the far bank. Waterfowl entertainment! I would say that the migration has slowly begun. Last week I did see a bunch of widgeon at another pond, and have noted more passing mallards while fly casting. In general, the weather has been more bluebird than duck weather.

From the early morning duck hunting I transitioned to steelhead fly fishing. I went to the spots that have been good recently. No immediate success, however I persisted and as the day warmed I found a fish in both spots. Happily no hatchery retread steelhead, just fresh arriving steelhead from the lower river. The first fish took a Pheasant Tail Nymph, and I had to wade precariously to a spot to land it. The second steelhead took a Yellow Fork Tail Prince Nymph. I could feel the first nibble of this fish to the fly and I missed the hook up. I cast again and hooked him on his

second bite! A beautiful small native steelhead. Half pounder size I would say. Funny how since the dam removals on the middle Rogue River I have been seeing more of these smallish steelhead in our catches on the upper Rogue River.


October 18th Rogue River Cast and Blast

As the month of October rolls along the steelhead fly fishing gets better and better. Throw in a little early waterfowl hunting and you have a Rogue River treat that is hard to beat. The mallards fell during the dawning morning. Pretty sure they are local birds. There is not a lot of migration noted yet. The newly arrived hatchery steelhead is a sure sign that the Autumn run from the lower canyon is filtering in. Sure is fun to have a strong and pulling fish on the line again. An Agent Orange pattern accounted for the hookup in the bottom of a deep run during the warmth of early afternoon.

October steelhead 2017

A freshly arrived Rogue River steelhead.

October Mallards

A pair of early season mallards and decoys.

Successful Agent Orange Fly Pattern

The Agent Orange with speckled spandex legs.



Armchair Steelheading

Steelhead flies can be colorful and exotic concoctions of bird, floss, tinsel and thread.

Steelhead flytying can take you from the nuts and bolts of everyday hard working patterns, to the romance and beauty of fanciful creations. Indeed when you can’t get to the river, an hour or two at the vise can be just as rewarding as a day spent there. While this would not be the first fly I’d tie on for fishing an October Rogue River, there are times when fits of fancy cloud the practical thinking of the mind. The romance of swinging beautiful flies for one of the most magnificent of freshwater gamefish can be oh so tempting. The right stretch of river, the solitude of the moment, and the chance of that monumental hookup…these are reasons we create and play with our dressing at the vise. So on occasion we throw the old recipes away and pull out the boxes of pheasant, goose, duck, marabou, tinsels and silk and fashion creations that we dream will succeed. Somewhere, sometime, somehow…for time at the vise should be just as rewarding as time on the river.