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. Chinook are spread throughout the lower river and new fish are moving in every day. Cooler river temperatures and less boat traffic this time of year can make for some good salmon fishing. Side drifting or back bouncing eggs, running plugs, or casting spinners are all good techniques for catching salmon.
Half-pounders are spread throughout the river, along with adult summer steelhead. 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 - Anglers are reminded to be extremely careful when handling fish during this drought year. 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.
Fishing for fall Chinook is reportedly picking up between Gold Hill and Grave Creek. Summer steelhead are also available. 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. The flow at Grants Pass was 1970 cfs on September 2nd. The water temperature was averaging 65F, with a peak of 67F.
Upper - Anglers are reminded to be extremely careful when handling fish during this drought year. 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.
Beginning Sept. 1, the river above Fishers Ferry boat ramp is closed to fishing for Chinook salmon. In addition, fishing between Gold Ray and Cole Rivers Hatchery is limited to artificial flies only, any type rod and reel permitted. Please see the angling regulations for additional details.
Summer steelhead fishing is fair to good. Anglers may want to try nymph patterns, or a big stonefly pattern in combination with a smaller nymph, or standard steelhead patterns. Trout fishing should be very good as well. Anglers may keep up to five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. All other trout must be released unharmed.
The release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1850 cfs and the water temperature was 56°F the morning of September 2nd. The water temperature at Dodge Bridge was averaging about 60F with a peak of 63F. The water temperature at Gold Ray was averaging about 62F with a peak of 65F. As of Aug. 27th, 1,023 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery (46 new for the week), and over 631 had been returned to the fishery downstream at the Gold Hill boat ramp.
Fish stocking has ended for the year upstream of Lost Creek, but fishing remains open and should be very 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.