Mother nature just gave Rogue Valley anglers a much needed shot in the arm to jump start the winter steelhead fishing before the season winds down. With the driest first three months of the year ever recorded, the rain was very much needed as the winter steelhead have been kegged up in the Middle Rogue. Here’s a look at what to expect the rest of the week and into the weekend.
Upper Rogue – To try and aggressively fill Lost Creek Reservior the Army Corps have dropped outflows to just over 800 cfs. That will leave the very upper stretch of the Rogue very low, and won’t help draw any fish up. A few winter steelhead continue to be hooked every day though, and there are reports of a few more springers being hooked on spinners as well. As of March 29th only 670 winter steelhead have entered the hatchery and 0 springers. The best fishing on the Upper Rogue will be below Dodge Bridge where flows spiked at 2500cfs last night. Floating from Dodge Bridge to Tou Velle State Park, or from Tou Velle to Fichers Ferry will both be decent choices for winter steelhead. Anglers also have a slight chance of hooking up with an early springer.
Middle Rogue – Flows at Grants Pass spiked around 4500cfs last night. That will have the winter steelhead on the move towards the upper river. Plugging the high water travel lanes could be extremely effective as they shoot for the spawning grounds. The Applegate remained quite low, so fishing below the mouth could also be a good bet. Springers are moving through the area, but there haven’t been many reports of them being hooked. Rainie Falls, or Hayes Falls will be the best bets at tying into an early fish.
Lower Rogue – Despite warm river temperatures, the low water has kept fishing for springers slow on the Lower Rogue. This rain should definitely jump start the fishery, as flows are will be peaking around 7000cfs later today at Agness with a temperature around 54 degrees. Target springers in 4 to 6ft of water with a Rogue Bait Rig and an anchovy.
South Umpqua – Just like on the Rogue fishing on the South Umpqua has been slow as of late due to low flows. The system that moved through shot the river up just over 2000cfs at Tiller last night. That should make for some excellent late season winter steelhead fishing. The area around Seven Feathers Casino should be the best as that’s where the hatchery fish are acclimated and where they will stop. Side drifting yarn with chunks of roe will be the best choice.
Applegate River – Fishing closed Sunday night.
Chetco River – Fishing closed Sunday night.
Diamond Lake – The lake has started to go through it’s spring thaw making the top layer of snow very slushy. The ice is still plenty thick for safe fishing though. Most anglers have been fishing just outside of the resort as it has the easiest access. Anglers have also had decent success on the south end of the lake in 5 ft of water. Using dough baits on the bottom or suspending a night crawler or jig have been the best.
Expo Ponds – The pond right along the access road was stocked earlier this month with 1500 trout and the fish from the Sportsman Show which are up to 12lbs. Fishing has been good with dough baits and night crawlers. Using a spinner until you find the school of trout and then switching over to bait is the easiest way to have a great day of catching.
Lost Creek Lake – Lost Creek Lake was recently stocked with 25,000 trout. Fishing should be great for those both still fishing and trolling.