After the Black Bird 5000 on Saturday I was exhausted to say the least. I had worked from 6am to 8pm on Friday and didn’t get to bed tell after 11. On Saturday we were up at 3am to hit the road for Diamond Lake. Fishing all day and being in the sun out on the water also took quite the toll on me, and as soon as I walked through the door back into the house I was out. After a nice 5 hour nap I got up to eat some dinner, and then was back to catching some more Z’s. Between Saturday and Sunday night I got around 26 hours of sleep. Monday morning I finally awoke from the deep slumber, and decided it was time to hit the river again.
|A wild springer that had to be released|
I called my buddy Eric and we hit the Upper Rogue in search of some summer steelhead and springers. I only brought along my light steelhead set-up as I would much prefer to hook into just 1 summer run over a few springers. Summer steelhead are probably my favorite fish to catch. They are very aggressive and typically make several aerial displays while fighting. I also prefer the taste of them over salmon.
We got up to the hole a little after 12 and it didn’t take me long to hook into the first fish. The fight didn’t last long though as the hook pulled after it made a few head shakes and then turned down stream. The next couple hours went by with out so much as a single hit and things were starting to look a little bleak. Finally I had an aggresive bite, and saw a small skinny flash as I set the hook. I began to think that I may have hooked into my first summer run of the season, but after the fish made a run into the bank and jumped I saw that it was a small jack salmon. It ended up being a mini jack and was only around 15″ long, but with not having to tag it, onto the stringer it went.
|A twin of the fish before, but this time it was a keeper|
After that things slowed down again. It wasn’t until around 4 that I finally hooked up again. This time I knew from the start that it was a springer as the fish stayed deep the entire time. It ended up being a wild 2 year old fish that was around 10 lbs. After a quick photo it was released back into the river.
Apparently that wild fish was part of a school that were all the same size and had just moved into the hole. Over the next half hour I went 1-4 with a twin hatchery fish of the wild one from before. I also lost 2 others right at the bank that were the exact same size and would have made a limit for the day. After that quick streak of fish it died off again, and we didn’t hook anything for the rest of the day.
It ended up being a nice day of fishing after my deep slumber. I didn’t find the summer steelhead I was after, but can’t complain going 3-7 on springers. Eric also managed to hook into a couple of springers, but couldn’t get any into the net. Overall it seemed like a very slow day for the 10-15 other people on the bank. I was only using 10lb test which is probably why I was able to get into so many fish compared to everyone else. This time of year the fish start to become skittish with all the pressure and the water starting to lower and clear. Using smaller presentations, and line can be the key to getting into fish while others around you go without.
Now for a look at fishing around the whole valley….
Rogue Valley Fishing Report:
Salmon & Steelhead
Upper Rogue – There are still plenty of springers around, but the run is starting to taper off. Fishing has still been good around Shady Cove so you’ll still have a shot at getting into fish until it closes at the end of July. With the water starting to lower lighter line can be the key to getting into more fish. Summer steelhead are also starting to show up. Catches will continue to improve as more and more fish make it into the upper river. These fish are very aggressive and will take most any offering. Spinners, corkie & yarn combinations, and flies under a bobber are the most popular ways.
Middle Rogue – Summer steelhead and late springers are still moving through. The river was dropping nicely until the rains the last couple of days. It didn’t blow the river out though so this section is still a possibility. Reports have been pretty scattered this year though due to the high water, but fish are present. For those not wanting to travel to the Upper Rogue this is still a good option.
Lower Rogue – I continue to hear a few reports of fish being caught but pressure has been light. Late springers and summer steelhead are moving through right now.
Umpqua – Reports of summer steelhead have been improving every day. Quite a few fish have been picked up recently on side drifted eggs.
Diamond Lake – Fishing this weekend was very good. Chartruese power bait was the hot ticket, although rainbow, corn, and garlic flavors all produced fish as well. For trollers frog colored needle fish behind a ford fender has been the hot bait recently. Look for fishing to improve now that the bug hatches are starting to die down, and the trout become very hungry.
Bass & Panfish
The bass & crappie bite has died a bit at the ponds and lakes around the valley. With rising temps and weeds growing thick it has started to push the fish into the deeper water. Smallmouth fishing on the other hand has been great. Both Howard Prairie and the Umpqua system have produced great catches. There was a picture just the other day posted by The Big K Ranch of a 5lber caught on the Umpqua.