SW Oregon Fishing Report

Hello Everyone!  The skies have cleared in most places and the fires, while not out are somewhat contained.  The devastation to some of the best places in Oregon will be felt for a long time to come but the communities hit hard by fires and Covid need our dollars and our business so please get out there and fish, and spend a few extra bucks if you can spare them!  SO go fishing!  

SW Oregon Report The McKenzie –  No report for the foreseeable future.  Although the lower river should be fishable for trout to 15 inches.  

Detroit Reservoir – Sounds like the campgrounds miraculously made it through the fires unscathed….but not sure there will be access to the reservoir until next spring due to unstable trees and melted asphalt, rock slides etc.   

Rogue Bay – I didn’t get a new report but fishing for Kings has been good in the bay trolling anchovies naked or on a spinner rig. Big crowds – but that usually means good fishing. The lower river should be going soon!

Upper Rogue – The upper river is filled with steelhead and fishing is good and getting better. Steelhead are spread throughout and you can target them using flies and lures. Check your regulations for where and what you are allowed to fish with. Here is some up to date info from Rogue Valley Anglers 541.973.2988 – Flies Only season on the Upper Rogue got off to a good start, but then fires came through devastating our valley last week. The smoke is just starting to clear a little bit, and we’re supposed to get a little rain tomorrow which should help out. I’m hoping by next week we see clear skies again, and can get back out on the river and into our beloved summer steelhead! If you can please donate to the Rogue Valley Relief Fund through the MRG Foundation (mrgfoundation.org) to help our brothers and sisters down here who lost so much.

We are getting into numerous steelhead every day here, and there is a big push on their way that was going through Agness in late August. Those fish will get up here to the upper river in the coming weeks, so late September and October should be amazing fishing like usual! We have numerous great guides, and still have availability during our very best weeks of the year (September 20th thru mid November). Give us a call to get out there and get your chrome fix on, as the Rogue is one of the greatest places on earth to be in the fall. We have great weather and tons of chrome bright steelhead that love to eat flies!

I swing mostly dark flies basically all year in the upper Rogue, whether it be classic summer flies (green butt skunk, silver hilton, muddlers etc) or mini intruder type flies on sink tips when the sun is high. First and last light I’ll swing the classics or throw the skater on my Rage head with a floating Polyleader, and definitely fish mostly blacks and purples although I do like having a bright butt on my flies (chartreuse, pink etc). After 10 or so AM I’ll throw my skagit head with 10 or 12.5 feet of T-11 with mini intruders or hoh bo spey style flies. Black/Red, Purple/Black, Black/Blue are my go to colors on the sink tips, and I actually probably catch more of my fish fishing deep in the summer then early morning throwing the skater or classic summer steelhead pattern. As the water cools down in October I’ll also start throwing more pink/orange flies.

Nymph the usual suspects like Otis/Ugly Bug stoneflies, with oversized trout patterns below it like copper swans, steelhead brassies, princes, copper johns etc. I like flashier flies early in the summer steelhead season, as that extra flash seems to attract a few more fish. These early fish somewhat race to the cooler waters of the upper Rogue without feeding all that much, so when they first get here they don’t seem to like the natural stuff quite as much as flashier stoneflies. Now that they have been in the river for a few months they start learning that the real stoneflies aren’t so flashy, and more natural stonefly patterns work better.

Winchester Bay/Umpqua River – Chinook are moving through the bay and fishing near the jaws with herring is fair. I had a friend get a nice chinook and release a couple silvers at the jaws on Sunday. Fishing is improving in tidewater trolling herring, spinners behind Pro Trolls and bobber and eggs. Bay crabbing has been good with some beasts to 8″ across the back.

Coos River – I fished the Coos estuary this weekend with guide Martin Thurber and my wife’s family. I hooked and lost a big fish on our second pass upriver from the confluence with the Millicoma River (it broke off…not my fault!!). We had another drive-by before moving lower in the river as the tide bottomed out. Fishing was slow with another fish hooked and lost until the tide changed in the early afternoon. We moved out to the channel area near town and a bunch of fish moved in with the tide We had hook ups on 5 straight passes landing four fish. We finished the day looking for that pod up river and found them near the bridge hooking two more and landing one (My wife Denise got it and it was the big fish of the day. It was a great day all in all and we saw several boats hooked up too during the afternoon incoming tide in the channel. We fished cut plug herring in natural and green brine behind an in line flasher. We staged our rods so that they are fishing near the bottom to a few feet above that depth According to Martin, fishing should hold up another week and then he’s heading to the Umpqua.

A bunch of rain will keep me off the river this week but I hope to get out this weekend…good luck to everyone and tight lines!

That’s it from here! Stay safe!


Webinar Driftboating and bank fishing the Wilson River with Pro Guide Bob Rees January 20th