After some good winter steelhead fishing to start the week, things have tapered off a bit lately. Flows have dropped and cleared everywhere, which has the fish not biting near as well. Luckily for Rogue Valley anglers, another storm has just started to hit us, and things are looking very promising for the start of next week.
Update 2/18 - The storm ended up not dropping very much rain last night, and as a result the rivers will remain low and clear. That means the tough fishing will continue for the rest of the week. The best bet for Rogue Valley Anglers will be the middle Rogue below Grants Pass.
|Guide Charlie “Steelhead” Brown found a few chromers this
week on the Middle Rogue.
Upper Rogue – As of this afternoon outflows have dropped to a measly 900cfs. Expect that to jump back up as this storm moves through. Currently Sunday is looking like the best day to hit the river, but that will depend on just how muddy the tributaries like Big Butte Creek, and Elk Creek get. Plenty of fresh winter steelhead will be moving up, and should be on the bite as the river starts to drop. Pulling plugs, and side drifting will both produce fish for boat anglers, while spoons, flies, and drift fishing will produce for bankies. The last updated report from the hatchery had 209 winter steelhead in the trap as of Feb. 7th.
Middle Rogue – Some excellent catches came from the river below Grants Pass this week, but things slowed down as the river dropped. This storm will have the steelhead on the move though, and things should really pick up again next week. Flows are currently predicted to crest Saturday afternoon near 4000cfs, but you’ll want to keep an eye on that as things can change in a hurry. When the river starts to drop boat anglers will find success both pulling plugs, and side drifting baits. Bank anglers will have the most success with a side planer and plug.
Lower Rogue – Winter steelhead effort has been light recently with the low flows, but fresh fish continue to move through. The best catches have come from the Agness area, but look for everything to pick up as the river starts to drop early next week. No reports of springers have been heard yet, but the first one should be showing up any time.
Applegate – A few fish are being caught, but it’s pretty tough fishing currently. The run really hasn’t shown up yet due to the low flows, but that could change this weekend. Flows are only expected to get up to about 600 cfs, but that could be enough to start drawing in steelhead. Target the deeper pools and under cover in the low flows.
Chetco – Things have really slowed down on the Chetco and effort has also lessened. This storm isn’t predicted to give the river a huge rise, but it should be enough to improve the fishing. From here on out catches will be a mix of fresh, and downriver fish, but new steelhead will continue to move in well into March.