Rogue River Steelhead Fishing
The Upper Rogue River is a special place for me — I grew up fishing the river in Shady Cove (a small town the river flows through in Southern Oregon). The Rogue River originates near Crater Lake National Park, flowing through the basalt canyons and massive evergreen forests.
The amazing fishing and scenery make guided fishing trips well worth a day on the water. The Rogue River has Spring Chinook, Fall Chinook, a Fall run of Coho, Summer and Winter steelhead. Also sturgeon and ocean run cutthroat are there as well.
Although there are sea run fish in this area year-round, going on a guided fishing trip for Summer steelhead in September and October is my favorite. The river is typically low and clear this time of the year and the Fall weather is usually wonderful. Rogue River fishing at this time can be very productive with flies.
Rogue River Spring Chinook Fishing
Spring Chinook enter the Rogue River in April and May. They are in a hurry to get to the upper river near Shady Cove. They are a great fighting fish that people of this region treasure. Most anglers who enjoy sea run fish in Oregon consider Spring Chinook to be the best eating. Two per day may be kept. Typically they bite best early in the morning, so we get up early for this adventure.
Rogue River Fall Chinook Fishing
From August through October, these big fish may be harvested from Gold Beach to Gold Hill, Oregon. Near the mouth of the river, they typically bite anchovies and spinners the best.
As we move up the river, salmon eggs and sand shrimp become more prevalent for our presentation. A kwik fish lure with a sardine fillet can also be the ticket. These fish average 20 to 25 pounds with 30 pounders a common sight.
Again the Rogue River’s Fall weather is unbeatable. So T-shirt, shorts, sunglasses and sunscreen are a must. Also don’t forget your fishing license! These fish are very willing to bite and success is usually high. The fishing is done from a powerboat in the estuary and from a drift boat as we move up the river.
Rogue River Winter Steelhead Fishing
Most of the angling is done between Grants Pass and Shady Cove. Grants Pass is considered the Middle River. Grants Pass can be very productive in February and March. Five to 8 steelhead a day per boat is common, with fish averaging 6 to 8 pounds.
Shady Cove is best from the middle of March through the month of April. Cole Rivers Hatchery is located upriver from Shady Cove and produces lots of hatchery steelhead. This gives us a great chance at a limit of beautiful steelhead.
Long 10-mile drifts are often the choice for the day. This makes for a fun trip through the rapids and lots of casting into riffles and pools. A fishing trip you’re sure to enjoy.