Upper Rogue Producing Summer Steelhead, Klamath Has Half-Pounders
The guides over at Rogue Valley Anglers report fishing has been picking up on the Rogue in the last few weeks, which is nice as most of October saw pretty tough fishing (which is still better than most steelhead rivers). Over the last week or two they have been averaging at least 2 or 3 steelhead on the swing, and also seeing some bigger fish which is common later in the season! Nymphing for steelhead has improved quite a bit for those that like to indicator fish. The weather is still really nice here in southern Oregon (70’s this week), and we are forecasted to get some rain this weekend. I don’t like the cooler weather the rain is coming with, but an inch or more of rain will help stir up the fish and get them moving quickly towards their spawning tributaries here in the upper Rogue.
There are numerous great guides here at Rogue Valley Anglers Fly Shop and quite a bit of availability throughout November, so give us a call to get out there and get your chrome fix on! 541.973.2988
Tips for fishing the upper river – 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 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, throw a 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. RVA guides actually catch more 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. 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.
Trout fishing has slowed down a bit, as the water has cooled and now some fisheries have closed for the winter (Williamson). There are still some good options with area lakes, the Holy Water, and northern California rivers (McCloud, Pit, Fall, etc).
The Klamath has been fishing quite well the last two or three weeks, and should continue to fish really well the next month or so. Swinging flies is great down there with lots of half pounders to keep the action going, and plenty of adult steelhead as well! Also they have a little warmer water then the Rogue, which keeps fish aggressive and chasing down swung flies.
The Umpquas are slowing down, as well as there just isn’t much access on the North right now due to how much of it burned during our fires. The mainstem Umpqua will pick up later this month as more winter fish start leaving the ocean, but will probably blow out something fierce when we get rain due to all the ash from the fires.
As always give a call to the shop for any specific questions and the most up to date info, as we live and breathe fly fishing and always know what’s going on down here in the great state of Jefferson… That’s the report! Best of luck this weekend! Tight lines y’all!