Recent rains here in the valley raised the Rogue River up enough to draw in fresh summer steelhead and silver salmon into the upper sections. Flows peaked at 2,400 cfs Wednesday at Gold Ray, up from 1,600 cfs the day before. That was enough to get the fish on the move, and on the bite Wednesday and today.
Side drifting bait has been the most consistent producer of both steelhead and silvers. Small chunks of eggs cured in Pautzke’s red or natural Borx O Fire with an XFactor Tackle mini egg cluster for flotation and color have been our go-to’s. The plug bite has been slow overall this year, however Mag Lip 3.5’s are producing a few fish.
On Wednesday Elk Creek was dumping a lot of color and debris into the Rogue which made fishing extremely difficult below there. However, with last nights temps dipping into the mid-20’s, it has cleared up considerably and was in shape today. Most boat anglers will still concentrate their effort from the hatchery to Rogue Elk Park, but going all the way down to Shady Cove will be a good option as well this weekend.
Bank anglers have been having the most success at the Hatchery and Chief Holes, and are finding a mix of steelhead and silvers as well. Drifting small baits of eggs is best for steelhead while throwing spoons is best for the silvers.
With temperatures forecast to be below freezing for the next week, expect the early morning bite to be a little tough. Sleeping in for a couple hours and hitting the river once the sun hits the water will most likely be best.
As of Nov. 13th 1451 summer steelhead have reached the hatchery and 511 coho. Expect those numbers to make a big increase the next time they are updated.