Salmon season is starting to wind down here on the Middle Rogue. That means switching over to summer steelhead for Rogue Valley anglers not wanting to make the long trek over to the coast or up to the Umpqua.
|Float and flies setup|
Summer steelhead fishing can be great this time of year with the spring and fall salmon spawning. You’ll want to target areas below the spawning salmon as the steelhead will be keying in on the eggs. Tail outs, and the heads of riffles just below spawning beds can produce multiple fish in a day.
Anglers fishing above the old Gold Ray dam site are restricted to artificial flies only. You may fish them with any rod and reel provided you use no additional weights or attachments except for a float.
If you’re like me and prefer to use braided main line, there are still ways to get around not using a swivel. Knots like the “Double Uni” can be used to directly attach braided line to mono.
This time of year single egg patterns will produce the best. You’ll want to use a large bead head fly, such as an ugly bug, to get your offerings down. Then for your droppers you can use one or two single egg patterns. Any shades of orange, pink, and red will work. As we get later into October white will also be a good color as the dead eggs get washed out of the gravel.
|Another view. Use about 18 inches of line between each fly|
|A selection of flies and beads that work well for steelhead.|
Anglers fishing below the old Gold Ray dam site can use any type of conventional gear. The above setup is still very popular and productive, but you’ve got more tools at your disposal.
Drift fishing yarn balls can be very deadly. A lot of people like to soak these in scents or even left over juice from cured eggs. XFactor Tackle mini egg clusters, or small pieces of actual roe, are also extremely effective. Finally, don’t forget to bring along your spoons, spinners and plugs as well. They will always produce steelhead even if they are keying in on eggs.