Middle Rogue Getting Some Nice Fish!
SW Oregon Fishing Report- Greetings! This is my third report and I’m trying to provide as much up to date information from as many places in SW Oregon as possible. However, I’ll try and not just “fill space” with less valuable info. I’m learning about and obtaining more resources every day and will adjust the report according to the latest fishing opportunities. If I don’t mention your particular interest and or area, please leave a comment and I’ll try to get info on it 😉. If The Guide’s Forecast is of value to you, please pass along the link to your fishing buddies www.theguidesforecast.com
The weather has been nice…. maybe too nice and not your typical winter steelhead frozen fingers weather. I didn’t get to fish until Tuesday afternoon where I tried my trusty ole bank spot. I didn’t get there till around noon, and another guy was fishing the upper end of the hole. I cheerfully asked him if he left me any and he replied he’d hooked 2 and landed 1 nice ½ pounder about 20 inches! I could hardly wait to get my first cast in! I tied on a pink corky with a juicy nightcrawler and tossed it out about 2 o’ clock and just before the end of the drift I felt the nibble and pull of a bite! I landed a fat wild small ½ pounder on the first cast! That was most of the excitement for the remainder of the afternoon although I did catch 2 more smaller ones.
😎 Remember I’m NEW! Tight lines! Romer 🎣
Southern Oregon Rivers Give Up Winter Steelhead To Persistent Anglers
The mid Rogue flow at Grants Pass is falling slowly at 1920 cfs, 3 NTU and 46 degrees (as of 8am 3/25). Warmer Springtime weather is predicted over the weekend and will provide a huge “get out and fish” opportunity to those who get their honey-do chores done asap😉.
Warm and dry weather the next several days are forecast and so the rivers will be getting back to the low and clear state before the previous rain. Tackle tactics will be the same as what to put out there except when using roe, worms, or other bait, you’ll need to go a little longer and lighter leader using smaller gobs and pieces of bait. Maybe try some fluorocarbon leader?
From the Guides Mouth:
Local Medford guide Chris Griffin of Get Sum Guide Service- (541-973-7896) reported that there was decent fishing the past week after a bit of rain and warmed up the river a little. Chris reiterated what guide Troy Whittaker said last week; that keep working the holes you know have produced fish and try different things.
Here’s Chris holding a nice, beautiful steelhead caught 3/23 on the middle Rogue.
Grants Pass guide Troy Whitaker of Troy’s Guide Service (541-761-0015) reported this week “There seems to be a batch of new fish in the Grants Pass area”. Nice weather for the upcoming weekend, Troy recommends getting out and trying whatever your favorite bait is to catch some of these fish. He likes to use plugs, worms, roe, yarn balls, soft beads, jigs, spinners, and spoons…. did I miss anything😉? Whatever you use, Troy recommends to always use some kind of scent. Troy’s new favorite is Pautzke Fire Gel in Shrimp, Crawfish, and Squid
Boat fishers should also use the same for success and include back trolling plugs- Kwikfish K9’s in the copper colors along with black and silver, 49er, and pink/ silver combos seem to be the latest picks.
Bobber doggin’ with soft beads and yarn balls soaked in nectar is also another choice and technique that is gaining popularity and taking steelhead.
There are quite a few good places to fish within the middle/ Grants Pass area- Gold Hill sports park ramp, Coyote Evans Park at Rogue River bridge, Chinook Park, Pierce Rifle, Pierce Park, Baker Park, Schroeder Park, Lathrop, Findley bend, and Griffin Park.
Here’s Troy with a Rogue River beauty caught 3/24 by his wife.
BE SURE AND KILL EVERY PIKE MINNOW – AKA SQUAWFISH!
Here’s a big one I caught 3/24
Local Grants Pass guide Riley Wallace of Wallace Guide Service 541-761-2386 reports that Riley is fishing most every day since the last rain. I just got a text from him this morning telling me he’s 2 for 3 as of noon Thursday 3/25 fishing plugs and drifting roe w/ shrimp on the Grants Pass area of the Rogue. Here’s a couple pics:
Fly fishing forecast:
Josh from Rogue Fly Shop in Grants Pass 541-476-0552
Josh reports that steelhead fishing is still pretty slow in most parts. The mouth of the Applegate and mid Rogue has slowed due to lower flow and “just not enough fish”. His best bet for the next few days is the upper Rogue “Holy water” where the warm temps will bring out hatches of March Browns. Caddis pupa, March brown nymphs and emerging patterns should entice some fish. He also says to use a 4-5x tippet with clear water. Go up when expecting larger fish unless you want a wild ride!
Dave Castellanos of Chetco River Fishing- 541-698-7029 is hoping to get clients on the ocean this weekend for some bottomfishing. Warmer weather is forecast, but iffy ocean conditions make it uncertain for anyone not salt friendly… if ya know what I mean😉
“Bottomfishing for lingcod and rockfish has been great when one can get out on the ocean,” says Dave. Crabbing which has been a bust for commercial crab fishermen is hit or miss for recreational crabbers. There are just not many crabs here😥
NOAA Weather Marine Forecast for Brookings, Chetco Cove, OR
High : 61ºF
N wind 9 to 16 kt. Sunny. Mixed swell…NNW 7 to 8 ft at 10 seconds and S 1 ft at 14 seconds. Wind waves 3 to 4 ft.
Low : 47ºF
NNE wind 7 to 16 kt. Clear. Mixed swell…NNW 8 ft and S 1 ft. Wind waves 3 to 4 ft.
High : 63ºF
N wind around 7 kt. Sunny. Mixed swell…N 7 to 8 ft and S 1 ft. Wind waves around 1 ft.
Low : 47ºF
Variable winds 5 kt or less. Clear. Mixed swell…NNW 5 to 6 ft and SSW 1 ft. Wind waves around 1 ft.
High : 54ºF
Variable winds 5 kt or less. Sunny. Mixed swell…NNW 3 to 4 ft and SSW 1 ft. Wind waves around 1 ft.
Lakes and ponds to fish this week:
Spring Break weekend looks great for trout fishing in local lakes and ponds.
TROUT STOCKING MAPS: Find your place to fish Check out the ODFW fishing and trout stocking maps to find nearby fishing locations, driving directions and descriptions of amenities.
- Lake Selmac (Selma) recently has a bunch of stocked rainbow trout and will be a nice spot to take the kids out of the house time. Try Power bait and/ or worms. The bass bite is picking up with the warming weather. Various bass hardware and plastics
- Reinhardt Pond in Grants Pass is a local favorite. Stocked trout are in abundance and are biting in the morning and latter afternoon. A simple setup of a nightcrawler under a bobber, or a dime size piece of Power Bait fished off the bottom is a good bet… plus some patience for the kids.
- EXPO POND: in Medfordrainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie. Day use permits are required. Expo Pond received its first rainbow trout stocking (1,500 fish) of the year in early March. Its next scheduled stocking is the week of April 5. Chinese mystery snails are present here in the most northern pond. Please do not move these creatures and drain and dry any personal watercraft before using them in another waterbody.
- Lost Creek is 64% full and surface temp is 44 degrees is a good bet for trout fishing. Only the Takelma boat ramp is usable at the time! 20,000 rainbow trout was stocked last week. Bank anglers near the marina and Takelma boat ramp have been catching with power bait or worm with marshmallow floating from the bottom. Trollers try the classic Wedding ring with worm or power bait trolled slowly at about 30-50 feet down.
- Applegate reservoir– it’s about 37% full and surface temps are in the mid 40’s now. The French Gulch boat ramp is usable now and shouldn’t be too muddy.
- Trout fishing on most rivers and streams remains closed until May 22.
Rivers and streams to fish this week:
Lower Applegate –Some fish from the last rain are now spread out throughout to river now. There was some good action at the mouth but has died off with the falling flow. This last week of March will be the last good chance at these fish. Small baits of roe and worms cast into the deeper pools and seams will be where the fish are holding. Also. casting silver spoons and spinners with 4-6 lb leader will work.
Steelhead and trout fishing will be closed April 1.
Remember that only hatchery steelhead and trout may be kept and fishing from a floating device is prohibited! There is a lot of private property but good bank access around the Hwy 199 bridge, Fish Hatchery Park, Cantrell Buckley Park, upstream of Murphy, and near McKee Bridge. There are also scatterings of BLM lands in the upper river around McKee Bridge.
Lower Rogue- River conditions are again low and clear, but the good news is the last rain has raised the water temp up a couple degrees and pushed some fish up. Boats using plugs along seams while anchored are picking up fish. Favorite colors of plugs are silver/ chartreuse & silver/pink got a few too. Bank anglers drifting small gobs of roe, yarn balls with scent, and soft beads will see some fish too.
Anticipation for that first spring Chinook is getting anglers “giddy” and some lucky person will get that unexpected action anytime!
Middle Rogue- Spring time weather has warmed the river up enough to push fish from Hog Creek to Rogue River. Fishing your favorite spots will require the “early bird to get the spot” type of angler mentality since the weather is going to be in mid-70’s this weekend.
Down runner Summer steelhead are in the mix as well. My choice is to “let em go and I’ll get ya next year.”
Low and clear water tactics with longer leaders and smaller baits for bank angler’s side drifting worms or roe with corky during lower clear water is crucial for success. Soft beads and yarn balls soaked in scent should also be at the ready in your arsenal. If that doesn’t work, try your hand at bobber doggin with the above baits. Try some Pautzke Fire Gel on plugs, corkys, soft beads and such.
Boaters running plugs in the slots and seams of the river current should also produce. Don’t be afraid the change colors and types of plugs. Down runner steelhead are also reported to be in the catch mix. These are spawned out fish that have “done their duty” and unless you’re really hungry, it’s encouraged (but not necessary) to release them. Wild steelhead can now be retained in the whole Rogue basin, as long as the fish is a minimum of 24 inches long. Only 1 wild fish per day, and 3 per year zone wide in aggregate may be kept.
Upper Rogue- Fishing has still been slow with a few winter fish are being caught from Touvelle to the hatchery and numbers will only increase in the next month. The flow rate is much lower than in the middle and is a favorite for avid fly fisher and spoon/ spinner casters.
Chetco River- I talked with “Driftboat Dave” of Chetco River Fishing- 541-698-7029 about the end of season fishing on the Chetco since the season ends March 31st. He said that regular winter steelhead has been slow but a fair amount of Spring steelhead -aka Blu Back steelhead are showing up. If the season went into April, he would expect it to be good…. darn it! 😏 These Blue Backs run a little smaller into the 4-8 pound range and are good fighters. Rain Wednesday should make for a good end of season try with good weather on hand. Dave suggests side drifting roe with puff balls (with bait button) to keep the bait in the zone. Plugs could work too in the shallower stretches.
UMPQUA RIVER System- Sorry, I’ve not much to report here except from the ODFW report that said that river conditions are good, catching steelhead is slow.
Spring Chinook anglers have started fishing in the lower river. No reports of fish as of yet. April should start to see some action. Most anglers plunk from a boat or the bank using either a spinner or other lures. Please remember that the mainstem is temporarily closed to the harvest of all wild Chinook (including jack Chinook) through June. Consider using gear that will be less harmful to fish that need to be released. Tactics such as using single point hooks and artificial lures may ensure a higher survival of wild fish after release.
Note that as of Oct 1, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to the use of a single, barbless, artificial fly.
NOTE: Umpqua winter steelhead study Anglers who catch a hatchery winter steelhead in the Umpqua Basin are being asked to turn in the snouts from those fish. Some of these snouts contain small tags. Anglers who turn in snouts that contain these tags will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift card. Snouts may be turned in at barrels located around the basin, Sportsman’s Warehouse in Roseburg, or the Roseburg ODFW office. Tags obtained from the fish will inform ODFW on the best release strategy for juveniles to provide the most fish back to anglers in the future.