Winter Steelead Fishing Report 3-14

After Sunday’s big rain event in Southern Oregon, the rivers are starting to drop into perfect shape for the weekend. For the first time all year it may be best to hit the river closest to you instead of having to drive. With the forecast high’s in the 70’s it should be a great weekend to get out.

Upper Rogue– The Upper Rogue is still high, but very fishable. It is a little colored up below Little Butte Creek, but should be better below there this weekend. Most of the action has been upstream of Rogue Elk Park where both bankies and drift boaters have been hitting it hard this week. For those fishing from the bank, drifting eggs with yarn or fishing them under a float has been best. Those casting spinners and fly fishing have also been picking up winter steelhead. From the boat both side drifting eggs and pulling plugs have been producing. With outflows at 3,800cfs you’ll want to target the inside seems where the current isn’t as strong. As of March 13th, 597 winter steelhead have entered the hatchery. That’s an increase of 250 fish in the last week, and one of the largest early returns in the last decade.

Upper Rogue Winter Steelhead fishing with S.O. Chrome Guide Service
Savannah caught her first ever steelhead on a recent trip to the Upper Rogue with guide Steven Theel of S.O. Chrome Guide Service.

Middle Rogue– Flows are still high around Grants Pass, however, according to the turbidity level it is now fishable. Most anglers like the turbidity level to be below 14 ntu, and as of this morning it was at 11 ntu. That’s still a little colored up, so you’ll want to use larger and brighter baits to attract the fish until it comes down a little farther. Most anglers will be fishing the section below the mouth of the Applegate to intercept fish heading for there and the upper river. Bank anglers will mostly be using plugs behind a side planer, while those fishing from a boat will be side drifting eggs and pulling plugs.

Lower Rogue– Anglers on the Lower Rogue are starting to see fishable levels, and reports have been good for winter steelhead from those plunking. Large spin n glows have been best. As flows continue to drop look for the next flurry of springers to start getting caught. March can be very hit and miss, but it will continue to improve as April is prime time on the Lower Rogue for springers.

Applegate– With outflows sitting at 500cfs the Applegate has been fishing well for winter steelhead throughout the river. There are only 2 weeks left in the season, which means anglers will have to get out soon if they want in on the action. The last two weeks are also typically the peak of the season. Anglers are reminded that no fishing from a floating device is allowed and to be very mindful of private property.

South Umpqua– The South Umpqua will be dropping into great shape for winter steelhead this weekend. It will also most likely be extremely crowded as it has been for most weekends this year. Anglers are having the best luck drifting egg and yarn combos.


Diamond Lake– The resort has reported that the ice is now too soft to be safe for ice fishing. They are recommending that no one venture out on it, and wait for the lake to be ice free before fishing again. If we continue to have warm weather the lake will most likely be ice free around mid-April.

Expo Ponds– The pond’s were stocked last week with 1500 legal sized trout. With the recent stable weather fishing for them should be good. Powerbait, spinners and XFactor Tackle Miracle Worms will all catch fish.


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