Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Rogue River Winter Steelhead are in the Building--a Rogue River report!

Its getting to be that time of year when the big fish start to show up. I love this time of year because it brings the Rogues biggest steelhead of the year. The water can be tricky at times, but the rewards are awesome.

The Rogue is running at a average 44 Deg and at a perfect 2400 cfs at Dodge. This is soon to change as there is a forecast of a storm train on its way! These spring  storms raise the river quickly, but they also load the upper river with fish. Catch the river on the drop, emerald green if you can, and you will find fresh pods all over the upper section.

Leave the floaters at home, unless your Todd Hirano, or planning to grease line. For us mere mortals a full sinking Scandi or even a heavy Skagit is in order.

I fish everything from Huge Hobo Speys, to naturals this time of year. The biggest thing you have to remember is that your fly has to be in front of the fish. This will dictate what setup to use. In flows under 5000cfs (at Dodge) Its mostly a Scandi  game for me, as I have a full bag of LTS Short Speed Lines, and LTS 3S Scandi's. At the top Scandi flows (4000-5000) I fish the 135. Meaning the tip section is a type 5 sink, the belly is a type 3 and the rear is a type 1. The mid scandi flows I use my 123. At the lightest, clear and cold flows I use the FHI as its stealthier than a floater.   The beauty of fishing these lines is that they stay strait in the water column and are uniform through out the swing. A single density line will always sink belly first as its the heaviest portion of the taper.  Anything above 5000 get out the intermediate Skagits, and some heavy tips.

I fish my Wired Flies and the Rogue River Recon recon when I'm fishing Scandis. I fish Nate's Wired Rogue when swing the big stuff.

Watch the weather, hit the river after the storms, even if it its off color, as there will be pods of fresh, new fish. Learn how to find fish when the river is high, find the soft spots and learn how to manipulate your presentation to fish those spots. The winter run will humble you, gift you, and teach you more about Steelhead than the easy summer season ever could. Once you become a proficient winter steelheader the summer will seem easy.

Get out there! The Winter Run is where Steelheaders are born, and its the season that all others are compared to.
The Short Speedline will change your Winter Swing!
The winter solitude is enough to get me out of bed!

Scandi Day

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