Rogue Valley fishermen now have a myriad of options for catching winter steelhead. The pineapple express storm that hit us last week made the steelhead migrate faster than normal, and as a result they are now spread throughout all the river systems.
|Guide Andy Martin put the Pautzke guys on this large
Chetco buck earlier this week.
Chetco – The river has continued to drop and clear, and fishing has become harder with all the pressure. The Chetco continues to see a lot of boat traffic which has seemed to put the fish off the bite. However, plenty of fish are still being caught with side drifting and pulling plugs the top producers. Look for things to continue to get tougher with no rain in the forecast.
Upper Rogue – Winter steelhead are showing up early thanks to the warmer flows last week. Over 100 winter chromers have already shown up in the hatchery collection pond, but fishing pressure remains light. Typically anglers don’t start fishing for them until mid-February, so word must not be out yet that they are here. The first big push of fish won’t show up until we receive another good shot of precipitation, but there are enough around to warrant the effort. Flows remain right around 2000cfs out of Lost Creek Dam which leaves your options open for both side drifting and pulling plugs. The entire river is now open to the harvest of 1 native steelhead a day and 5 a year.
Middle Rogue – Anglers are finding steelhead from Gold Hill to Galice. Fishing below the mouth of the Applegate is probably the best bet however, so that you can target both upriver and Applegate bound fish. Flows are at 2800cfs at Gold Ray, and 3200 cfs at Grants Pass. Using what you’re most confident with, and where you’re most familiar will produce more fish than one specific technique or spot.
Lower Rogue – Plunking has been good this last week, and plenty of winter steelhead continue to move upstream. Using spin n glows tipped with shrimp or roe has been the most popular method. As flows continue to drop, anglers will want to start downsizing their offerings to match the clarity of the water.
South Umpqua – Fishing has been very good lately on the South Umpqua. Side drifting yarn balls, and pulling plugs are both producing plenty of chrome winter steelhead. There is a mix of wild and hatchery fish, but only retention of hatchery steelhead is allowed. Look for things to slow down a bit as the water continues to drop and clear.
|A great father & daughter moment thanks to guide Charlie Brown on the South Umpqua|
Applegate – Flows are finally dropping, and the river is in excellent shape this weekend for winter steelhead. Fish will be spread out from top to bottom, but the majority will still be in the lower half. You’ll want to hit it soon, as flows will continue to drop, and it fishes best when flows are between 1000 and 600 cfs on the Wilderville gauge.