On The Drop = Steelhead

Now that the rains have passed,  the rivers are on the drop, and the steelhead are on the move. The upper sections of the rivers have come into shape first and are already producing plenty of fish.

Guide Andy Martin put his clients on a couple of fish by
plunking the Chetco as it started to drop Thursday

Chetco –  The Chetco started to drop Thursday, and it produced fish that day. It has been doing nothing but getting better since then, however, the crowd has also followed. It has dropped enough already that side drifting and pulling plugs will be the most effective methods for the rest of the week.

Lower Rogue – Flows at Agness are dropping and plunking should be excellent. Until the river drops a little further concentrate on the inside turns of gravel bars. Plunking roe behind spin n glows or plugs will both produce plenty of fish. 

Middle Rogue – Flows at Gold Ray are down to around 3300cfs, however, turbidity is still reading quite high. Down below Grants Pass the turbidity level is perfect, and plenty of fish are moving through. Flows below Grants Pass are still on the high side, so you’ll want to concentrate on the slow side of current seams. Side drifting roe, and pulling plugs will be the go to baits for boat anglers, while plunking with roe or using a plug behind a side planer will be the ticket for bankies. Anglers are only allowed to keep 1 native steelhead a day and 5 a year below Hog Creek boat ramp until February 1st.

Upper Rogue – Fresh winter steelhead have finally hit the upper Rogue, and apparently the first ones have even reached the hatchery. Flows out of Lost Creek Dam are hovering around 2000cfs which is great for side drifting and pulling plugs. Things will continue to heat up as the week goes by and we get into February. Anglers aren’t allowed to keep 1 native steelhead a day and 5 a year until February 1st.

An early winter steelhead from the upper Rogue by guide Charlie “Steelhead” Brown.

Applegate – The Army Corps of Engineers have kept the outflows from the dam hovering around 1300cfs. That has largely made the Applegate very tough to fish, and will continue to do so until they drop the flows. Anglers will want to keep an eye on the flows because as soon as the river starts to drop you’ll want to hit it. Winter steelhead will mainly still be on the lower half of the river, but there should be a few all the way to the top. Spoons, roe and jigs are all favorites on the Applegate.

A recent upper Klamath River steelhead by guide Scott Caldwell

Upper Klamath (N. Cali) – Guide Scott Caldwell has reported that the late summer steelhead action continues to be good on the stretch below Iron Gate Dam. Plenty of fish up to 10lbs continue to be caught, while the half pounders provide plenty of action. He has been having the best success on Rebel crawdad plugs, with crawdad scent.

Tight Lines….

XFactor Tackle

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