Rogue River - Undersized Steelhead ! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Rogue River - Undersized Steelhead !

03-08-2003, 07:02 PM
Mr. F. Evans please explain this to me. Undersized Rogue steelhead I have been hearing for 20 years, hah, now I know the truth.

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03-08-2003, 08:39 PM
i hate poor editing. talking about springers and saying steelhead. GRRRR learn how to write and what you are writing about if you are going to do it as a job.

03-09-2003, 05:18 AM
From personal observation the summer run steelhead on the Roge will (typical year) average 3-6 pounds, winter fish 7-12'ish. However, this years run of summer runs was exceptional due to the number of fish that were in the 10-12# range. Good ocean feeding this year???

Salmon ... that's a whole nother Beastie! Record last year was a 71 1/2# king on a 7wt fly rod out of a pram in the lower river. Only reason guy landed the fish is a partner got below the fish and netted it out of his pram when it rolled on the surface.

The spring run of kings (almost 45,000 through the counter into the upper river last year) will average 20-30# with a considerable number well above this figure. These fish are not too inclined to take a fly so the typical (particularly for the gear guys) is what we call "flossing." This is a very heavy head (300-400 grain RIO Big Boys and a fairly long leader and heavy fly. This is the time of the year I'll be using heavy tube flys due to weight and bulk.

Lead chuckers will be using 1.5-3oz lead sinkers and 10-12 foot leaders with a small corkie or glass beads above their hook. Point (pretty much) is to get the long leader sliding through their mouth until the hook slides into their jaw. Lot of 'exterior' hook ups (an automatic turn back as this is a game reg. "no-no').

The fall run of kings is far smaller in numbers (about one half that of the springers) but these buggers will readily take a fly and the water levels are usually far less. Here traditional 'swinging' will get you a lot of hook ups. Fun part is your 'rigged' for "3# steelhead, and you're just as likely to hook somethng that clocks in at 20#+++.

Major reason for the difference in gear wt (10-11Wt rods in the spring vs. 7-9's in the fall) really has to do with water flow conditions. The spring fish are very suseptable to some kind of water born disease so the water flows are kept high to cool the water temps in the mid-lower river. The fall kings don't seem to be bothered by the problem.

Took the game dept/Corp. of Eng. a few years to figure the above out .... and close to wiping out an entire run of spring kings a few years back.


03-09-2003, 08:10 AM
I had the impression that a rogue steelhead over 12 lBs was an outlyer, very infrequent etc...

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Robert Meiser
03-11-2003, 09:45 AM

Fred is right on all counts.

Been fishing the Rogue for over 25 years, and seeing summer fish in the teens normally is very unusual.....Except for last season.

What an outstanding year it was !!!

Winter fish in the double didgits is common, and with a low flow season, coupled to a warm spring....It becomes a March Brown game.

Not many things more exciting then swinging a size 14 March Brown soft hackle into a pod of 8 to 15 pound clear water winter fish actively feeding on emergers.....Even dead drifted Drakes !

Same thing can happen on BWOs, and even into the Mother's Day Caddis if the run is late.

Small two handers are the ticket for these conditions.

The Rogue is an amazing river in that the Steelies, both winter and summer, dial into the rich entomology very early on in their travels up river. They take on "Trout" habits very quickly.

It is not unusual to nail a few hefty early winter fish at Agnes in Aug/Sept. while swinging Isonychia soft hackles into the tailouts for Half Pounders. Always a pleasant suprize !

Gotta love the Rogue...............R.B. Meiser

03-11-2003, 10:03 AM
Yes that is what I have heard also from other Rogue river fly fisherman internet cyber friends.

Sounds like just the river for my new ultra light spey rod (shen purchased) to be exercised by those summer runs.

Its on my steelhead river to do list for sure.

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Robert Meiser
03-11-2003, 10:37 AM

If you do ever intend to fish the Rogue, just for fun, check out the patterns on the Rogue Flyfishers site :

Lots of years of accumulative experience in this group.....Some master tiers, and awesome anglers !


03-16-2003, 09:59 PM

Yes another Rogue angler showed me that a couple of months back. We use similar patterns in GL, lots of bead head nymphs.

My nymphing techniques sound like they would fit right in on the Rogue.



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03-16-2003, 10:14 PM
Trust me on this one: You'll hook 'three to one' using this/that "system."

03-17-2003, 12:04 PM
So are you saying nymphs will out fish other fly types 3 to 1 on the Rogue ?

If so I will be there sooner rather than later.

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03-17-2003, 12:08 PM
It's amazing that no matter how big the trout, they act like trout. Eating bugs, sculpins etc. Seen a monster brown once nail a mouse that fell in the water. That was one big trout!!!

03-17-2003, 03:12 PM
P.M. it all depends on what section of the river you are on .I used to think the same way as Fred's report until ,I started swinging flies this last year . I was turned onto 4 different pattern's last year .I held my own with my buddies that are very awesome fisherman . Personally I am hooked on it now .Fish-head

03-17-2003, 03:58 PM
And they are??????????????????????????:eek:

"F-H" aka Andy Zwan is one killer guy with a fly rod; his fishing partner Bob make's him look like a rank amatur. SOOOOO are you holding out on us???:D

03-17-2003, 05:16 PM
They made me take an oath of silence . But might be able to show you them next time ,I see you on the water ????????????:D

03-17-2003, 07:46 PM
I know some other regular rogue anglers besides Fred they use a lot of nymphs but say they do catch them on speys and other steelhead wet fly patterns also.

I will bring both when I get there.

But nymphs are always the starting point of attack.

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03-17-2003, 09:29 PM
Andy, think of Pain, cut renching Pain, think (hell, he's twice my size) Pain...

Give it up Man. ( Think Pain, loss of blood ...:devil: )

This guys too good not to .. how shalll we say? .... "extract" the info.

03-18-2003, 03:09 PM
Fred can be pretty tight lipped about patterns too.

Will you ever get up to the Deschutes so we can see some patterns, "on the water"?

03-18-2003, 03:23 PM
Fred can be pretty tight lipped about patterns too.


RIGHT ON , I have been trying to drag them out of him for a year now with some limited success, have gotten a few good ones.


I am not giving up yet !!


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03-18-2003, 05:47 PM
P.M. if you checked out the Rogue Web-site , That is about 40%of the normal bugs that most guy's throw at them .Although 98% are fishing them under an indicator . CDC Prince #6 thru #8 is 1 of the best choice's . Silver Hilton's , Golden Demon's , Red Ants , All fish great .Fish- Head

03-18-2003, 06:10 PM
Oh no under an indicator, please tell me it is not our Fred fishing indicators on the long spey rod. He has been field testing a bunch of my flies out there.

Yes have been to that site, got some new ideas. But we use similar nymphs out here.

Really they are still fishing Red Ants ?

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03-18-2003, 06:34 PM
I hope those fish will take some swung flies....That is my main plan of attack when I come down next week.

Never really fished steelhead with nymphs and would like to not have to learn how...

Not looking for patterns but wonder what size of flies you are swinging for the winter fish if you guys can at least share that much. :rolleyes:

Would a 3/0 skagit monster just scare the pants off of these fish?:devil:


03-19-2003, 04:38 AM
First the good news: the river water is warming up (up close to 4 degrees over the last couple of weeks and in excellent fishing shape.) so winter fish are on the move. Flys that size would probably be over kill given the river will be fairly low in flow and probably close to gin clear.

But with the warming water 'swung flys' really start to come into their own.

03-19-2003, 05:54 PM
Sean as Fred said wow . The normal hook the most people tie and fish #2 thru 6 . Hope this help's .Fish-head

Nate Bailey
03-24-2003, 12:49 AM
Andy ,Sean wasnt asking what most guys were useing , he was asking what you were useing ?:hehe: Comeon man let us in on the the secrets, can you say a dec. trip collecting some cdc on priviate ground in the basin in trade for info:o Hows the gate fishing???????......Nate

03-25-2003, 06:29 PM
pmflyfisher Hal!

So you're sharing our little secrets from Thomas' board, eh? Next thing you know you'll be givin' away Neil's secret Morel hunting spots! ;)

The page at the rogueflyfishers page is a good one to share, but there are always the staunch, secretive Willie Gunns of the bunch like our buddy Fred.

As you know, I'm still learning the two handed craft, but when I want to catch fish on the Rogue, I nymph with my single hander. Tied up a few King Princes and Heavy Metals just yesterday to replace a few flies I donated to Sean's cause Saturday, including a venerable beat up, one winged BHCDC Prince that had at least two steelhead to its credit that I can remember.

Anyway, with the purchase of the two hander, I've taken to tying some interesting flies on the Loop Brass Tubes, with short shanked double hooks, per Fred's avice. I also tied a yet to be used couple of killer steelhead caddis on regular doubles to swing with the big stick, but when I'm in doubt, for winter, I'll go back to my good old otis bug variations with a hot head on a TMC 200R...