Drag Peeling Springers


That’s probably the best sound to hear to start out a morning of fishing, and that’s exactly what we heard yesterday. Jeff and I fished with guide Brady Rogers of Brady’s River Tours on the upper Rogue for some early springes, and boy was there some great action.

Sitting in the first hole of the morning, fish were rolling everywhere around us, including on top of our lines. We knew the KwikFish on the ends of our lines had to be pissing off the fish below, and finally a half hour into the morning Jeff’s rod doubles over. Apparently this first springer of the morning was extremely pissed as it hit Jeff’s plug, and before we could get the other lines out of the water, was down around the corner 200 ft into the next hole. Just as Brady was pulling up the anchor to give chase, the hooks came free. We were left in a bit of shock with how fast that had just happened.

And that was just the start to the drag peeling action…

I was the next one up. Same hole and same scenario…but this time Brady was ready. We were able to follow the hot springer down stream, and after a couple of massive, drag peeling runs through two holes, we were able to put the chrome bright hatchery fish in the box.

1 for 2 before the sun was even up.

Then the action slowed. There were a few other guide boats out, and fishing was spotty at best above Rogue Elk. Luckily things picked up a bit in the afternoon, as we moved farther down stream.

With the sun high on the water, we were focusing on back bouncing roe through the deep holes. Bounce……….Bounce…………Bounce…….tap, tap, tap…Wham! Fish On! I finally got to set the hook into a salmon while back bouncing. It wasn’t the biggest springer ever, but put up one heck of a fight like the fish from the morning. A quick hand off to Jeff right before landing, allowed both of us to continue fishing.

As seen on previous trips, somehow I often end up having the hot hand for the day. Yesterday was no exception, and in the last hole of the day the streak continued. Right as we bounced our baits into the deep part of the hole my rod just buries. It was more like a plug strike, than a bite you’d expect while back bouncing. There was no doubt about it, and that’s when the toughest battle of the day ensued.

Right away we could tell it was a big fish. Even with the drag cranked down, it just sat in the current, and there was no budging it for 5 minutes. We tried multiple different things, and angles to get it to move, but every time I gained a foot it took back two.

Enjoying the battle

Finally I was able to make some leeway on the brute, and we were able to get it close to the boat. As expected, the 25+lb springer was wild, so instead of netting it we opted for a quick release, and let it continue on its journey unharmed.

Finally got the fish close and noticed the extra fin.

All in all it was a great day of fishing thanks to our guide Brady Rodgers. This early in the run the fish aren’t very abundant, but boy are they in great shape and put up some hard fights. If you’re lucky enough to land a hatchery fish or two, you’ll also take home some of the best eating salmon in the world. It really doesn’t get any better than early season Rogue River springers.

If you’re wanting to experience these upper Rogue springers for yourself I highly recommend guide Brady Rogers of Brady’s River Tours. He will definitely put you on fish if there’s some to be caught, and will also make sure you’re having a good time during the lulls between bites. Brady has some open dates left in May and June, so don’t miss out and give him a call at (541)499-4749.

Tight Lines….

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