Winter Steelhead Are Here

Every year Rogue Valley anglers anxiously await the arrival of the winter steelhead run. We have to either sit at home, or make the long drive to the coast if we want to get into fish before January. Luckily the runs are starting to show up farther up river on both the Middle Rogue and South Umpqua, and are available for those willing to brave the sub freezing temperatures.

Wednesday I got to get out with guide Charlie “Steelhead” Brown and his wife Rochelle for a trip below Grants Pass on the Rogue. Conditions are low, clear, and cold which makes fishing tough but doable. Of coarse when you have a girl in the boat, luck is always on your side too. Rochelle put on quite the clinic for us and other boats going 2 for 3.

Wild Winter Steelhead on the Rogue River
They don’t come much prettier than this on the Middle Rogue
Rogue River hatchery winter steelhead
A nice Rogue hatchery fish.

Yesterday Phil and I fished with guide Brady Rogers on the South Umpqua. It’s also low and cold, but has a little more color to it than the Rogue. Small baits were the key, and we also found that small baits will still catch big fish. Brady put Phil onto his largest steelhead to date that measurements put at almost 18lbs.

18 pound Souther Umpqua Winter Steelhead
Phil’s big fish of the day.

Phil with his large South Umpqua Winter Steelhead

Large Winter Steelhead from the South Umpqua

Pautzke's Orange Borax O Fire with yarn
Very small baits of Pautzke’s Orange Borax O Fire with a yarn ball were the bait of the day.
South Umpqua Hatchery Winter Steelhead
A mythical Umpqua hatchery keeper.
Wild winter steelhead from the South Umpqua.
One last native to round out the day.

Conditions are going to continue to get tougher without rain, but there’s winter steelhead around for you Rogue Valley anglers needing a fix.

Tight Lines….

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