ROGUE RIVER: Lower - Anglers have continued to pick up Chinook at a fairly regular pace in the estuary. Good numbers of Chinook are in the bay as this is only the beginning of the salmon fishery which will continue into October. A few chinook have been moving upriver, but warm water will make it hard to get them to bite.
Half-pounders have really started to move this week and anglers fishing with flies and spinners are reporting excellent success. Half-pounders are immature steelhead that move back into freshwater after spending 3 to 4 months in the ocean. These fish will return to the ocean in the spring to continue feeding until maturing as adult steelhead. The best time to fish is in the morning or evening.
Middle - With hot weather in the forecast during this drought year, anglers are reminded to be extremely careful when handling fish. Fishing early in the day when water temperatures are cooler reduces stress. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos and release fish quickly.
Early season catches of summer steelhead at ODFWs Huntley Park seining project on the lower river remain very good, and hint at a good steelhead season for anglers this year. Try night crawlers and corkies, or a Panther Martin with black body and gold blades. Some fall Chinook have been reported in the middle Rogue this week, and fishing should improve over the next several weeks. Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir are increasing slightly Monday and Tuesday of this week to minimize prespawning loss in adult fall chinook. The flow at Grants Pass was 1860 cfs on August 19. The water temperature was averaging 68F, with a peak of 72F.
Upper - With hot weather in the forecast during this drought year, anglers are reminded to be extremely careful when handling fish. Fishing early in the day when water temperatures are cooler reduces stress. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos and release fish quickly.
Summer steelhead fishing is fair to good in the river from Gold Hill upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery. Casting flies or spinners like a Panther Martin should work well for anglers.
Trout fishing should be very good on the upper Rogue. Anglers may keep up to five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. All other trout must be released unharmed.
Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir are increasing slightly Monday and Tuesday of this week to minimize prespawning loss in adult fall chinook. The release was 1850 cfs and the water temperature was 56°F the morning of Aug. 19. The water temperature at Dodge Bridge was averaging about 60F with a peak of 64F. The water temperature at Gold Ray was averaging about 65F with a peak of 68F. As of Aug. 12, 894 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery (65 new for the week), and over 300 had been returned to the fishery downstream at the Gold Hill boat ramp.
Above Lost Creek- Major public access sites on the Rogue River between Prospect and Minnehaha Creek are being stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout each week. Fishing has been good. Anglers can fish bait like single salmon eggs or worms, or cast small spinners like a Panther Martin or Rooster tail, or let a fly drift downstream below a bobber. In addition to the stocked trout, naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and brook trout are available in the river and in many tributaries. Plentiful trout, beautiful scenery, easy access, and an abundance of Forest Service campgrounds and day-use areas make this a great place to go trout fishing.