The Upper and Middle Rogue have received an infusion of fall salmon thanks to the cooler weather a couple of weeks ago. Many of the kings are large and bright, and anglers are experiencing some of the hardest fights of the year.
The concentration of fish has been between Dodge Bridge and Valley of the Rogue State Park, with most boats averaging 2-4 salmon a day. There are fish below Grants Pass and down near Galice, but the bite has been a bit tougher than upriver. We found our fish this week using KwikFish wrapped with sardine fillets soaked in Pautzke’s Nectar, and back bouncing eggs. Back bouncing KwikFish in the deeper holes can also be quite effective.
Look for the fishing to stay good for the rest of the month and into September. We have below average temperatures in the forecast this coming week, which should only help to improve the bite. It will also help to draw the next batch of fish out of the bay. Fishing does close for salmon on August 31st above Fishers Ferry Boat Ramp, so anglers fishing that stretch will have to move down stream to Gold Hill or even below Grants Pass.
Summer steelhead fishing has also remained consistent in the Upper Rogue. A batch of recycled hatchery fish has been working its way upriver providing even more fish for anglers above Gold Hill. Spinners and plugs have been best, but they can be caught on everything from night crawlers to flies. The warmer river temperatures recently have improved the bite for those swinging flies in the mornings and evenings.