Today marked the beginning of retention for wild salmon between Dodge Bridge and Gold Ray Dam on the Rogue. With catches of hatchery springers tapering off on the upper Rogue, this is going to be the stretch you’ll want to hit for a chance at bringing home dinner. Unfortunately the first day was less than stellar.
My dad and I hit the river this morning with guide Brady Rogers of Brady’s River Tours. We were the first one’s to put in at Dodge Bridge and by 5am we were hooked up…but not for long. Even after crushing the Hawg Nose Maglips, the springer somehow didn’t embed either treble hook deep enough to stay on for more than 15 seconds. The quick start had us thinking there would be plenty of chrome in our near future.
But then the grind began. Hole after hole went by with nothing to show, but a few small cutthroat. Every boat we talked to was saying the same thing, and no one even had a bite besides us. That trend continued until we reached the Denman Wildlife area, where we finally talked to a boat that had caught 2, and then a boat that had one. Although they were all caught early, it was the first sign of fish since 5.
Our doom and gloom day quickly turned around after hearing about fish. A quick change up of plugs, some fresh sardine wraps, and finally the clicker started buzzing. After a Chinese fire drill down through a set of rapids, my dad had his Father’s Day springer in the boat.
Just like that we were one of the lucky ones. Out of about 10 boats on that stretch there were a total of 4 salmon caught, 1 lost, and 1 summer steelhead that we heard of. That’s extremely slow fishing, on what should have been a rather good day. We sure felt lucky to go 1-2 thanks to our guide Brady Rogers.
Things should turn around this week though, as the weather is finally forecast to stabilize which typically improves the bite. Both roe and k15 KwikFish have been producing, and another batch of hatchery springers will be recycled tomorrow. Good luck to any of you venturing out this week.