Expect More Winter Steelhead To Show Up

Rogue River- Upper - Medford, OR (Jackson County)

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Expect more winter steelhead to move into the upper Rogue throughout the next couple weeks. Trout fishing is closed and will reopen May 22. 

There is good public access for bank fishing and boat access at Cole Rivers Hatchery, McGregor Park, Casey Park, Rogue Elk, Shady Cove, Takelma, Dodge Bridge, Modoc, Denman Wildlife Area, Touvelle State Park, Gold Ray and Fishers Ferry. Most floats in the upper Rogue have been from the hatchery or Rogue Elk downstream to Shady Cove. Dodge Bridge to Touvelle is an excellent float but anglers should be aware that they will encounter Rattlesnake Rapids. If you are not ready for Rattlesnake, many floats will start at the ODFW Modoc Access Site and float to Touvelle or Fishers Ferry.

Due to forecast rain this week into next, the upper Rogue will likely be high and turbid. Water will be clear upstream of Big Butte Creek but flows from the dam will be a bit high for this time of year. Watch the river as you drive up as conditions change quickly.

Fly anglers that nymph will want to use prince nymphs or copperswans, steelhead brassies, stone flies, ugly bugs, or will want to fish large dark flies if swinging. Don’t be afraid of color such as black and chartreuse, black and blue, black and purple, black and pink, or black and red. If tying your own flies, don’t be afraid to add a little bit of flash dubbing or tinsel in the body of your fly. Also, covering lots of water when working through a run is a good technique when swinging flies. Trying moving 4-5 feet down every cast or two.

As of March 28, 3,645 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery, with 16 new fish for the week. 159 new winter steelhead were collected for the week, bringing the total to 685 fish for the season. Only around 15-20 percent of the winter steelhead run is typically into Cole Rivers Hatchery by this time of the year, so there should be plenty of weeks ahead for opportunities to catch Rogue Winter Steelhead.  As of March 28, no Spring Chinook have entered the hatchery yet.

The McLeod gage is currently reading 3,220 cfs. The Dodge Bridge gage is at 4,850 cfs. For the most current releases of water out of Lost Creek Reservoir, call 1-800-472-2434. For real time streamflow from USGS gauges on the Rogue.

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