Southern Oregon Fishing Report – 3/28

Another large rain storm is on the horizon for Southern Oregon, and it will either help or hurt the fishing depending on where you are. All the rivers are forecast to take a large jump up in flows which will blow most systems out, but it will get the steelhead moving when they start to drop back into shape. If you’re limited to fishing the weekends you’ll probably have to wait tell next week before getting another shot at fishing.

Upper Rogue– Outflows from Lost Creek Dam will be dropping to 1,400 cfs today before the storm hits. Fishing the past week has been ok for winter steelhead, but not great by any means. Some boats have been finding limits, but most are having to work for a fish or two. With the low flows both side drifting eggs and yarn balls, and pulling plugs have been working from the boat. From the bank throwing spinners, beads under a bobber, and nymphing large flies have all been producing the occasional steelhead. Flows are forecast to hit around 5,000 cfs tomorrow at Dodge Bridge, which means the river below Big Butte Creek will most likely be blown out until the middle of the week. The stretch between the Hatchery and Casey State Park is always fishable no matter what the rest of the river is doing. No word of springers hitting the Upper Rogue has turned up yet, but expect to hear about the first one any day now. As of March 27th, 1157 winter steelhead have entered the hatchery.

Upper Rogue Winter Steelhead Fishing
John shows off a bright winter steelhead caught on the Upper Rogue with guide Steven Theel of S.O. Chrome Guide Service.

Middle Rogue– Fishing has been good for winter steelhead below Grants Pass the past week, and the first springers have been getting caught at Rainie Falls. There have also been a few rumors floating around of a springer or two caught at Hayes Falls. The middle river may fish for a little while Saturday morning until it starts to go on the rise. Flows are forecast to peak above 7,000 cfs Saturday night which will leave it blown out until later next week for everyone except plunkers. Plunking large Spin N Glows or plugs close to the bank will work for late winter steelhead and early springers.

Lower Rogue– Springer fishing has remained relatively slow with only single digit fish caught each day. Most of the action has been in the lower section below Quosatana Creek. Flows rose Wednesday and are forecast to peak above 11,000cfs on Sunday morning. Anglers will want to wait for the river to drop back down before venturing out again. Plunkers are doing best from the bank close to shore with large Spin N Glows, while boats are anchoring in 4-6 feet of water and using anchovies on a Rogue Bait Rig.

Applegate– With only a few days left in the winter steelhead season on the Applegate River, it’s now or never for anglers wanting to hit it. With outflows from the dam being so low, flows won’t jump up as much as other rivers, especially on the upper section. Winter steelhead are well spread out, and the last week of March is typically the peak of the season. Expect decent fishing this weekend as long as you can find clear water. The river closes to all fishing Monday night.

South Umpqua– Flows are already on the rise on the South Umpqua and are expected to peak Saturday night. Expect flows to drop back down to a fishable level by mid-week and for fishing to be good for late winter steelhead. There have been plenty of hatchery fish present this year, and fishing should remain good into the middle of April depending on flows.


Diamond Lake– With the warm weather lately the ice has started to soften and the resort is saying it is unsafe to venture out onto it. Anglers are now waiting for open water which is expected to happen around mid-April.

Expo Ponds– The ponds have been recently stocked with legal sized trout and fishing has been good. The trout are hitting a wide array of baits from PowerBait, to small spinners, to XFactor Tackle Miracle Worms.


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