Rogue River Holy Water, with photos! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Rogue River Holy Water, with photos!

05-30-2003, 09:56 AM
I was blessed with some three hours at the Holy Water yesterday. Virtually nobody there, salmonflies are definitely on - but most were in the trees near the road and parking area. Few were on the water. It was a beautiful afternoon, with scattered high clouds and a gentle, come-and-go breeze. The water was a bit higher than it has been these days, but very fishable.

I went out on the lower flat - had it all to myself for three hours, a solitude normally unheard of during the salmonfly hatch! I started with a bullethead, woven body and rubberlegged salmonfly I came up with this past weekend. A few inspections and weak bumps, but no takers after about a half an hour. The strange thing was there were fish taking something off of the surface with gusto, and no overt hatch going on...

So I decided to take a friend up on his invite on using some beautiful woven parachutes on curved nymph hooks he tied up for a swap we did of woven flies...

A red and tan one got hit nearly every drift, and brought me two nice fish - one of them smiled for the camera:

After catching those two, I thought I should keep the friends fly thing going. I took off the dry fly (that was getting hits on at least every other cast) to replace it with a beadhead wilted spinach... two casts later, I retired it after letting this guy go (the prettiest fish of the day, by the way):

After that run, the breeze calmed down for about 45 minutes - the little ripple that the wind had left was playing a role, as the flat glassy water calmed the fish for a good while. Once the breeze picked up, I picked up three more fish on a tiny woven dry, two of which I also got on film:

Six trout to hand, six or seven more LDR's, and it was a good afternoon at the Holy Water. I talked to a guy in the parking lot who had been fishing the upper water, and had had two fish on all afternoon. He hadn't tried anything but a salmonfly... It seems the fish are getting keyed in to the emergence, but not quite all the way there yet.

After I left, I realized I had about a half an hour before I needed to sart home, so I decided to head to the viewpoint and toss a few flies by the riprap... Three smallmouths were gracious enough to take my salmonfly in twenty minutes!... :D

So there you have it. A nice time on the Holy Water... and some fun as well in the warmwater up above it!


Dble Haul
05-30-2003, 10:02 AM
That's a refreshing report and great pics. I feel like I'm right there.

Could you explain what the beadhead wilted spinach fly is? I haven't heard of that one before. Thanks.

05-30-2003, 10:07 AM
The wilted is a soft hackle that another e-fishing buddy came up with, and has kind of become the trademark fly of the Oregon board at I've used it in regular and beadhead with good success - I think the flash gives it the extra kick that puts it over a regular soft hackle... It made it in to the fly pattern database there:


John Desjardins
05-30-2003, 10:17 AM
Nice fish & fly.

05-30-2003, 02:20 PM

I too visited the Holy Water for a few hours last night. The first time I've been out since moving up here. Having never fished the HW before, I went with the larrgest salmon fly imitation I had, a rather small 1-1/2 parashute pattern fished on a floating line. Moderately succesful although I kept wondering about swinging a heavily weighted nymph with a clear intermediate line. Kept seeing those clumbsy buggers skimming around on the surface without getting hit that often.


05-30-2003, 02:23 PM
What does that fly represent? Looks more like a caddis to me, but you said you were fishing stoneflies? Looks like a fishcatcher, definitely.
Do you ever fish that hatch with a dry/dropper rig? That was how I used to fish the stoneflies in CO. Big stimulator on top. medium Prince nymph below.
Nice pics and story. How do you get the trout to pose like that?

05-30-2003, 03:41 PM
JD, if you're ever are around Touvelle or the Holy Water and you see either a silver Expedition with salmon plates or silver Neon (with a westfly sticker and TU plate frames), I'll be the goofy looking one in waist high waders... I also stopped by the spey thing saturday morning and takled briefly to Fred and gave Sean some flies as well if you saw me... Maybe we can swap lies and fish sometime, although I'm a strictly single hander since I got rid of the Yellow telephone pole.

Dewey, well, the salmonfly hatch is definitely on, but they weren't keying on them yesterday as much as usual. It's still pretty early in the hatch. I had a big orange stimulator tied just for that purpose, but since I was having success on the little parachute and another of my woven body dries, I forgot to use it... I think the spinach is just a pretty good searching pattern. The rusty dubbing mimics caddis and mayfly, and the krystal is a great attractor, if not representative of a shuck... had the day been more difficult, I'd have gone to the stimulator with a krystal midge dropper... and getting the fish to pose? I whisper sweet nothings in to their lateral lines...


Mean Mr Mustard
05-30-2003, 04:44 PM
Nice tale. Nice fish. Nice pics.

I've only recently returned to fishing for trout and often wonder, now, just what was holding me back. They sure are fun...


06-01-2003, 07:43 PM
thanks gstrand - I am going to try to duplicate those