Sunday, February 11, 2018

In Search of Southern Oregon Steelhead


February 11, 2018

We have had 2 weeks of sunny, warm spring like weather here in southwest Oregon, which has made for beautiful days on the river while chasing wiley winter steelhead. It has been hard to not spend each of these "winter" days basking in the sun, but this morning's snow showers have encouraged me to get back to work and report on what our guides have been up to and what to expect for fishing in the weeks and months ahead. 

The cold front that is passing through today is bringing us some much needed precipitation, and, although, the forecast shows clearing for the week ahead, today's snow and rain will help keep the rivers at a steady level. Winter fishing can be challenging with mother nature in charge, but it encourages our guides to be flexible and creative when seeking fishing opportunities. This fairly dry winter has offered us many sunny river days, seeking deep holes and stealthier methods of fishing to find the bite. 

We are currently fishing for winter steelhead on the Rogue by drift boat and the south Umpqua and Applegate from rafts built for fishing. More information is provided below or call or Contact Us for details, 541.326.9486


Southern Oregon Fishing Reports for the Upper and Middle Rogue, Applegate, South Umpqua, South Coquille, and the Elk and Sixes Rivers

Rogue river fishing report

Upper Rogue river (Shady Cove/Medford/Ashland) - Winter steelhead have reached the hatchery at the top of the river. We caught our 1st winter fish a few weeks ago fishing near Shady Cove and are waiting for more steelhead to reach the upper river before offering trips on this section. The best months to fish the upper Rogue for winter steelhead tend to be March and April.

Middle Rogue river (Grants Pass) - While we wait for the upper river to fill with winter steelhead, we have been fishing just downstream near Grants Pass, below the Applegate river. This gives us the opportunity to fish for both Rogue and Applegate steelhead headed to their respective spawning grounds. Fishing has been good for steelhead on the middle Rogue. 

The Rogue is a perfect waterway for scenic fishing trips in the comfort of a heated drift boat year-round. There is always plenty of water in the river (even in drier years) because it is spring fed. For more information on Rogue river fishing and the Applegate river click here.
  
Applegate river (Grants Pass) - The Applegate is a tributary of the Rogue river, and is one of the two tributaries of the Rogue which you can fish for steelhead (the other is the Illinois river). The Applegate is known for some of the largest winter steelhead in the area. The winter steelhead season on the Applegate runs January through March and is currently in prime shape for fishing. The Applegate is a unique river in that you may take a boat down, but you are not allowed to fish from it. This makes for a perfect wading trip on a river with limited bank access.

Umpqua river fishing report South Umpqua river (Tiller/Canyonville/Myrtle Creek) - Winter steelhead fishing has been really good on the south Umpqua for the past few weeks. Just in the last few days the river has gotten fairly low for fishing from a drift boat. We are now fishing the south Umpqua from a raft which makes low water fishing possible. For more information on Umpqua river fishing click here.

South Coquille fishing report (Coquille/Myrtle Point) - The south Coquille is well known for its abundant number of hatchery steelhead. With this notoriety comes large numbers of guides and guests seeking these prized keepers. While we enjoy fishing the classic runs from our drift boats, Charlie took the opportunity a week ago to explore an upper section of the river that has been rarely floated for fishing. Charlie rafted through a scenic deep river canyon section, fishing along the way. A handful of class 3 rapids and one class 4 rapid, a 10 foot waterfall, was easily run (by a veteran raft guide) and offers an easy walk around for guests. An exciting new discovery for fishing in a remote river section. 

Elk and Sixes rivers fishing report (Port Orford) - Both the Elk and Sixes are very low and clear which is making then challenging to fish. If we get more rain, these rivers will again be fishable for steelhead this season. For updated river conditions click here or for more information about southern Oregon coast fishing click here.

Planning ahead: Rogue River Spring Salmon Season

We will be fishing for winter steelhead until the 1st spring salmon arrive in May. Spring king Chinook salmon are some of the hardest fighting and best eating fish you can catch. And just as spring salmon season is winding down mid summer, the arrival of the larger fall kings keep us salmon fishing the Rogue through September. 

And for those thinking about fly fishing the Rogue in fall...

Summer steelhead reach the upper Rogue mid summer and are an added bonus for guests when fishing for salmon during these months, but for fly fishers summer steelhead are the true treat, with October being one of the best months to fly fish for steelhead on the upper Rogue. 

For more information on Fishing Seasons click here.

For more information about our Fishing Trips click here.

Or call anytime to speak with a guide, 541.326.9486.