SW Oregon Fishing Report – I spoke to two guide friends that have been fishing the mainstem Umpqua and they report fair to decent steelhead fishing. Some days are good with 4+ fish to the boat and some it’s difficult to scare up a fish. Bait and beads are taking fish as well and back-trolling Mag Lips. Friend and Guide Martin Thurber, has been posting some really nice fish on Instagram and FB.
Over on the Rogue River Alex at Rogue Valley Angler’s reports that they’re in that, “in between runs time” here on the Rogue. Still plenty of summer steelhead around, but many of those are heading into the tributaries to spawn over the next month. Winter steelhead are here in the upper river, but not very many at all. Grants Pass has a few more, but still way more summer steelhead then winters. By February, they will have more winter fish than summer and it normally really picks up about mid February throughout the middle and upper Rogue. We mostly do our trips up on the Umpqua’s this time of year, as they have a lot more early returning winter steelhead then we do on the Rogue. They also have a lot more true “sea monsters” up there that are 15+ pounds! Just this week on a guide recon mission Jordan swung up a 35.5 incher that weighed at least 15 pounds. Our head guide Captain Logan Johnson has a place on the Umpqua, so he spends 50+ days a year up there floating the North, South, and mainstem whenever the rivers aren’t totally blown out. He has taught Jordan the ropes up there the last few years, so we send our Umpqua trips out with these fellas as they are the best fly guides floating all these rivers. Give us a call (541-973-2988) to book your trips and get your chance at that fish of a lifetime!
I swing mostly dark flies basically all year in the upper Rogue, but will also throw some brighter/pinker intruder type flies in the Winter. The closer we get to the ocean the more pinkish stuff we throw. If I’m second through a run close to the coast and the person in front of me fishes pink I’ll throw black/blue or black/red just to switch it up. Same thing on the upper and middle Rogue, although the opposite as I’ll throw the dark fly first but if going second I would throw the brighter/pinker fly. 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.