October Fishing Preview

A few of the leaves on the trees have started to turn colors, and there’s already quite a few of them floating down the river. The days have also become shorter, and that means October is here. With it comes great fishing and large fish.

Here’s what you can expect for this coming month fishing wise in Southern Oregon…

Salmon & Steelhead

Upper Rogue – The upper Rogue continues it’s flies only season for summer steelhead. The springers are in full spawning mode which means the steelhead will be keying in on the eggs. Using single egg patterns, and orange or pink bead head ugly bugs will be the top producers. Fishing will vary from fair to excellent depending on water flows. We have rain in the forecast for the first week of the month which should get the fish moving and on the bite.

A middle Rogue summer steelhead

Middle Rogue – Starting October 1st fishing for chinook salmon closes down to Hog Creek boat ramp. Anglers are still allowed to target them below Hog Creek, but most of the fish will be in poor shape. Summer steelhead fishing will improve with the forecasted rains, and the fall kings starting to spawn. Using yarn balls with various scents is very effective, but spoons and spinners will also produce fish. By the end of the month the silvers will start to show up. These fish are notorious non-biters in this part of the river, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch them. The most productive methods I’ve found for them are either tossing Little Cleo spoons, or twitching jigs.

Lower Rogue –  The lower Rogue is picking back up, and things should stay the same into October. Now is the time to hit the bay for the large kings, and silvers. The run of silvers typically peaks the first half of the month so you will want to hit it soon. Fishing in the bay has been rather spotty for them, and the best catches have come from the Agness area. Use Rogue Bait Rigs, or large spinners to target both the late kings and silvers. Summer steelhead, and half pounder fishing has been slow this year. Generally October the counts of both slow way down, so things are unlikely to improve.

A 50lb Chetco king

Chetco – Starting October 1st the Chetco bubble fishery opens for fall kings and runs until the 12th. This is one of the best fisheries to catch a king over 40lbs. There is also at least 1 fish over 50lbs taken in a normal year. This year’s return to the Chetco is expected to be above average so look for multiple fish over 50lbs to be caught. A few fish have also been caught recently in tidewater. The salmon will start to stack up waiting for the first fall rain to raise the river. Anglers are reminded that the river is closed until Nov. 1st from river mile 2.2 upstream.

Umpqua / Coos / Cocquile –  Fishing has been good recently, and should continue to stay that way through October. The mainstem rivers have been waiting for rain to really get the fish moving, and that should happen next week. Look for fishing to be excellent as the river starts to drop.


Diamond Lake – October is arguably the best month to fish the lake. The crowds are thin, the bugs are gone, and the fish are feeding up for winter. It’s also one of the best times to tie into the large trout in the lake. A 7lb 10oz trout was caught recently, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that beaten during October. Fishing PowerBait on the bottom or trolling ford fenders with pieces of night crawlers will be best.

Colby Pearson with an 8lb largemouth

Howard Prairie – Just like Diamond Lake, October is a great month to fish Howard Prairie. The trout are feeding up for the winter which makes them very aggressive. It’s also a great time to catch some larger fish. If you’re out doing a little deer hunting in the area, this can provide a nice afternoon break, and a nice meal to throw on the grill.


Fall bass fishing during October can produce some of the largest fish of the season. Local angler Colby Pearson has already caught two fish over 8lbs in the last week. As long as your favorite local lake or pond isn’t choked full of weeds, it can definitely be worth your time.

Tight Lines….

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