Rogue River Fishing

The Rogue river in southern Oregon flows 215 miles from Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean. It originates in the Cascade Range's Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness, within Crate Lake National Park. The Rogue is one of the most consistent fisheries in southern Oregon and there isn't a month of the year that you can't catch either salmon or steelhead. That, along with the lush evergreen forests and wildlife, is what made the Rogue one of the original eight wild and scenic rivers. Black bear, river otter, black tail deer, bald eagles, osprey, great blue herons, water ouzel, Canadian geese, beavers, and mink are commonly seen while fishing the Rogue.

We fish the upper Rogue river between the towns of Shady Cove and Gold Hill, about 20 miles outside of Medford, Oregon and the middle Rogue river near Grants Pass. The natural beauty of this stretch of the Rogue river has been preserved with parks and wildlife areas and is home to legendary fishing holes perfect for back bouncing, running plugs, bobber fishing, side-drifting and fly fishing.

We fish for Chinook king salmon May through September. "Springers," (spring salmon) arrive in the upper Rogue river by May and Fall salmon start to arrive in the upper Rogue river by mid-summer. 

We fish for summer steelhead July through December and winter steelhead January through April. Steelhead are ocean-run Rainbow trout with flesh similar to salmon.

Peak Fishing Seasons
Rogue river fishing peak seasons often translate to more salmon and steelhead caught, but also more anglers and boats on the river. Before and after the peak times are still great times to catch fish, but also offer a quieter Rogue river fishing experience. 

March & April,
Winter Steelhead
Winter weather, changing water conditions and river levels keep us on our toes and on the move. If you're willing to be flexible (and a bit adventurous), the reward is large, fun to fight fish. Luckily we have several river systems to choose from. We fish the classic winter steelhead runs, on the upper and middle Rogue river and the south Umpqua river (January & February). We also enjoy fishing smaller and more remote rivers, when conditions permit, like the Applegate (a tributary of the Rogue river), January through March, the upper sections of the Umpqua river, near Tiller Oregon, January through March and southern Oregon's coastal rivers (December through March).

May, June & July,
"Springers" Spring Salmon
The upper Rogue in May, June & July is where you will find the hardest fighting and best eating salmon of the year. Spring salmon can range between 10 to 40 pounds and are well worth getting up before the sun!

Fall Salmon & Summer Steelhead
This is our favorite time of the year to fish. Sunny skies and abundant salmon and steelhead in the upper Rogue river makes this the most pleasant and most consistent time of the season to catch fish. Fall salmon tend to be larger than their spring cousins, weighing in at around 20 to 50 pounds, and tend to have a more predictable bite. Summer steelhead, are smaller than Rogue river salmon, often weighing 5 to 20 pounds, but their distinctive bright chrome or multi-colored skin and a powerful fight often resembling a dance with aerial displays, makes these fish a highly sought after catch. This time of year offers the opportunity to fish for both salmon and steelhead on the same trip.

September & October,
Summer Steelhead
This is the best time of the year for Rogue river fly fishing and "bug and bubble" spin casting for steelhead. The upper Rogue during these months is designated as fly only. The quantity and quality of steelhead in the upper river is at its peak and the pressure from anglers on the river is much less than during summer months. People come from all over to fish the Rogue for these reasons.  

Summer Steelhead & Coastal Salmon
This time of year, we have Fishing The Rogue guides working on both the upper Rogue and on the rivers of the southern Oregon coast. The 1st 2 weeks of November are some of the best steelhead fishing of the year on the Rogue river. On November 1st the regulations change from fly only (September & October) back to bait and tackle. In the early part of the month the steelhead bite is particularly aggressive.