Copyright 2019 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Rogue River Michigan
Even though it is close to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in
many places the Rogue River is a beautiful stream. If
you were blind folded and taken there, you may think
you were fishing a remote, northern Michigan trout
streams rather than one close to Grand Rapids.

The Rogue River is a major tributary of the Grand
River, another world renowned steelhead and salmon
fishery. The river is divided by the Rockford Dam. The
upper Rogue river is considered the section above the
dam and below the dam, of course, is the lower section
of the Rogue. The dam prevents the salmon and
steelhead from migrating further upstream.

Most of the upper part of the 42 mile long river offers
some good opportunities for brown, brook and rainbow
trout. The lower section has both a Spring and Fall run
of Steelhead and Salmon.

The upper Rogue River is mostly fished from boats or
canoes. Wading is possible in some areas but some of
the water has too soft of a bottom to wade.  The Rogue
runs through the Rogue River State Game Area.

Its headwaters are a series of ditches that drain the old
Rice Lake bed near Grant. That area of the stream has
been dredged and straightened and offers very little
fish habitat. The other sections of the upper river
provides a good habitat for trout.

The Rogue River steelhead and salmon fishery exist in
a total distance of about seven miles, the area from the
dam to the confluence with the Grand River.  Prairie
Creek and the Flat River, both tributaries to the Rogue,
also receive noteworthy steelhead runs.

The Rogue River has good wading access at West
River, Packer, Jericho, and Childsdale Roads.

The season varies with the species. Be sure to check
the current regulations
Springtime is a good time for fly fishing the Rogue River
for trout due to the plentiful aquatic insect hatches.
The water can get a little too warm in some areas of the
river during the summer.
Fall is the best time to catch steelhead with October
probably being the best month.
Steelhead remain in the river on into early Spring.
Winter can be good during decent weather. The
steelhead and trout can be sluggish when the water
temperature is very low.  
Type of Stream
Freestone and tailwater

Brown Trout (Wild and Stocked)
Brook Trout (Wild and Stocked)
Rainbow (Stocked)

Small to Medium

Western Michigan

Nearest Town
Grand Rapids

Trout First Saturday of April through
February. Steelhead and salmon,
check current regulations

Good in most areas but some private

Non-Resident License
State of Michigan

National Weather Service Link

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Rogue River Michigan Fly Fishing Report:
11/16/13 More steelhead in the lower river according
to a customer who ordered more of our Spey flies. He
caught one and reported others being caught. Rain
has helped but wading is difficult.
02/04/14 Sorry to be so slow reporting but ice and very cold weather has resulted in few fish
caught and little to report. Maybe they will get a break soon.
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.  
09/05/15 It appears the water is still to warm but this should change soon. Give us a call or
shoot us an email.
10/31/15 Steelhead fishing is currently very good. Anglers are mostly using egg flies but
swinging and nymphing is also working.
Fishing Report 10/29/19
Below at bottom of page
11/14/15 Stream levels are about normal and lots of steelhead are being caught. The
steelhead Cinnamon Caddis larva fly has been hot lately. Extaz eggs are also working good.
11/28/15 Lots of steelhead are being caught. Swinging and nymphing is working best
although a few are still being taken on egg flies.
12/12/15 There are a few steelhead being caught in the lower river. The river is at a
normal level.  
01/01/16 There are still a few fish being caught in the lower section. There is some ice and
you do need to use nymphs versus swinging methods with the colder water.
01/11/16 The stream levels is high right now but should fall back down. Our customers are
doing good swinging and nymphing on an indicator.
Perfect Fly Steelhead pattersn:
02/08/16 The river levels are staying high in all sectiions. Some steelhead were being caught
but the high, cold water has slowed things down.
Nymphs on indicators are the only way  to go.
02/22/16 Melting snow on the banks due to the recent warm weather has the stream high and
dingy. It should clear back up quickly.
03/12/16 The river has been high for the last few days but down now and anglers are catching
steelhead swinging our Spey flies and nymphs like the Green Sedge and Giant Black stonefly.
03/21/16 Stream levels are down and in good shape and steelhead are being caught.
USGS Real-Time Stream Flow:
Near Rockford
03/28/16 Stream levels are back up high and the water stained badly. Watch the stream
levels and catch it on the fall just above normal and you should pick up some steelhead.
04/09/16 Stream levels are back down and our customers are reporting that they are
catching steelhead swinging and on eggs. The water temperature is also in better shape.
Trout fishing season is open and cream and red midge larva and pupa in tandem  and little
BWO nymphs are working good.
05/02/16 The levels are still a little high and some more rain is ahead. It is warming at about
49 degrees. Anglers picking up spring run steelhead. Trout are being caught and some major
hatches should begin very soon.
05/16/16 The stream levels are still running high but can be fished, but not waded. Lots of
insects are hatching. Less rain is in the forecast, so conditions should improve.
06/04/16 Lots of hatches and lots of brook, brown and rainbow trout being caught. Conditions
are good and should continue to be good this coming week.
06/20/16 Customers are reporting good trout fishing opportunity. There are several hatches
taking place including Little Yellow stoneflies, Slate Drakes, BWOs, Sulphurs and others.
Stream levels are in good shape and the water clear.  
07/04/16 Stream levels are near normal. The water is getting up into the high sixties during
the day. Fish early and very late in the day. Hatches are still taking place.
07/18/16 Early morning fishing is the best time. The weather is going to be a little cooler but
the water temperature is still very marginal. We don't recommend fishing if it is over 68.
08/22/16 Stream levels are just a little above normal (which is good). The water is still to
warm up in the day for trout but it is getting cooler. Fish early mornings.
08/29/16 Stream levels are still just a little above normal but the water still too warm for trout
most of the day.
09/05/16 The stream levels are running at a normal level. The weather is still to warm for much
of anything to be going on. It will change soon.
10/03/16 There are some Coho being caught on Sucker Spawn. The stream levels is up right
now with more rain forecast and more fish should be coming in.
Sucker Spawn and Crystal
Meth flies.
10/17/16 The river is up to 474 cfs at 5.70 feet. Swinging should be the best method at this
time. Egg flies are also working. A good number of steelhead have been caught.
10/31/16 The stream levels are back up high again at 290 cfs at 4.73. Steelhead are still
being caught mostly swinging but some on nymphs and egg flies.
Perfect Fly Steelhead Flies.
11/07/16 The stream level were up but back down near normal levels. There are steelhead
throughout the river and some are being caught. Our Veiled Beadhead Crystal egg fly is
working great along with the Estaz eggs.
11/14/16 The action has slowed down due to lower water levels but steelhead are still being
12/12/16 The stream has been higher bringing more steelhead into the river. A few are being
caught. The levels are currently about normal. Steelhead nymphs, such as our Green Sedge
larva and Giant Black stonefly nymph is working. The water is cold, averaging about 37.
01/02/17 The river has a lot of skim and slush ice and the water is about 34 degrees. We
didn't receive any reports from anyone fishing this past week.
01/30/17 There were some steelhead caught during the warm up period but it is back cold
again and the water barely above the freezing mark with lots of ice in the water.
02/20/17 The discharges and stream levels are just little above normal levels, with warmer
water and a few steelhead being caught swinging and nymphing.
03/13/17 Stream levels are down just a little below normal and the water slightly stained and
about 39 degrees. Swinging, Nymphing and eggs are catching steelhead.
04/24/17 The river is a little high but getting warmer and in good shape. Trout fishing is
underway with Quill Gordon, Blue Quill, little Brown stoneflies, little Black Caddis and
Blue-winged olives hatching. Steelhead are still being caught.
05/15/17 The steelhead fishing is over but trout fishing is very good. American March browns
are starting to hatch. Sculpin streamers are catching some of the larger trout.
06/26/17 The stream levels have been high but back down to good levels. There are a lot of
hatches going on and trout being caught. Sulphurs are starting, Light Cahills, Little Yellow
stoneflies, Slate drakes, BWOs, Green sedge caddis and Cinnamon Caddis.
07/17/17 The river is in good shape and there are still some good hatches taking place.
Terrestrials such as Japanese beetles, Carpenter ants and hoppers are also working.
08/07/17 The cooler weather and cloud cover is going to help the trout fishing in the Upper
Rogue River. The stream levels are down and there are some hatches still taking place.
09/18/17 There are some steelhead below the Childsdale dam. We didn't receive any reports
of any caught on the fly yet. Coho should be moving in as well.
09/25/17 Still no reports of steelhead being caught to any appreciable extent. Low discharges
and warm water has it slowed down. Hopefully, that will change later this week.
10/09/17 The stream levels are up to a normal level and hopefully, that will bring some
steelhead in the river. Coho are in the lower river.
11/15/17 Steelhead are in the river in decent numbers and being caught swinging, nymphing
and on egg flies. Send us an email and we will send a fly recommendation.
11/22/17 Steelhead fishing continues to be good. Fish are being caught as far upstream as
Rockford. The water levels are running high.
12/20/17 The cold water has it a little slow but steelhead are still being caught by the few
anglers fishing for them.
01/03/18 The steelhead fishing has been slow, with the colder water temperatures. There is
some slush ice in the water. It will improve with a warm up.
02/01/18 A few steelhead were caught this past week but the water is still a little high and
dingy. Steelhead nymphs and swinging, both did okay.
02/15/18 The water is still very cold and the fish sluggish. The good news is it is warming
up fast and conditions should be good very soon. Warmer weather is on the way.
03/22/18 The water is a little low and warmer. Steelhead are in the river and being caught
on steelhead nymphs, eggs and some swinging. Send us an email for a recommend fly list.
05/23/18 Trout are being caught in good numbers. There are hatches of American March
Browns, Blue Quills, Green Sedges and other insects.
08/08/18 The stream levels are fine but the water is still warm. Fish early morning and late
near dark.
09/20/18 The are some kings, coho and a few steelhead in the river. Let us hear from you.
We need catch reports.
09/30/18 There are Chinook, Coho and some steelhead being caught . The river is in okay
conditions at this time.
10/07/18 Conditions remain very good with Coho, King and steelhead being caught. Stream
levels are just a little above normal.
10/17/18 Lousy weather prevented good opportunity this past week but there are coho, king
and steelhead in the river awaiting a fly they think is an intruder to pass by.
10/31/18 The stream levels are a little high but lots of fish are in the river and being caught.
Swinging flies is working great right now with the higher levels. Send us an email for a fly list.  
11/07/18 More good reports are coming in. The stream is up the past two day, flowing at 538
cfs. It will be better when it drops a little. Swinging flies are producing the most action.
11/19/18 The river is still in fairly good shape but we didn't receive any reports from anyone
fishing this past week.
12/16/18 The river is flowing a little above normal levels but in good shape. Steelhead are being
caught in good numbers swinging, on eggs and our SH nymphs.
12/25/18 Conditions remain good. Steelhead are being caught on a regular basis since the
stream levels have dropped.
01/09/19 The stream levels are a little high but some steelhead are being caught. Swinging and
steelhead nymphs are working good.
01/15/19 Stream levels are down and in good shape. Steelhead are being caught. Our
customers are using our steelhead nymphs under a strike indicator.
02/13/19 No reports from the past week but conditions should improve this coming week. There
are plenty steelhead in the river but they are sluggish. Conditions should improve very soon.
03/15/19 The water is clear of ice and steelhead are being caught. Swinging, nymphs and eggs
are working. Send us an email for fly recommendations.
03/25/19 Conditions are excellent. Fish are being caught in good numbers swinging and on
eggs and our SH nymphs.The water is warmer and fish are more aggressive.
04/24/19 The river is full of spawning steelhead.
05/29/19 Trout fishing is very good when stream levels are not too high. There are some good
hatches taking place. Steelhead/salmon are done for a while.
06/14/19 The river is blown out and highly dingy to muddy. Fish when  it drops.
06/21/19 The river is still flowing high, too high to wade in many places, but it should be falling and
down soon. Trout are being caught when  the levels are okay. Good hatches are taking place.
07/07/19 Trout are being caught in good numbers. There are lots of insects hatching and
terrestrial imitations like our Japanese beetles, hoppers and carpenter ants are working.
07/14/19 The river is in good shape and good numbers of trout are being caught by our
07/31/10 Conditions are good. Fish early and late in the day. There are still some hatches taking
place and terrestrial like our Japanese beetles are working good.
08/09/19 Trout can still be caugh. Fish early mornings and near dark. Late evening spinner falls
are good and egg laying caddis turn them on. .
09/01/19 The rver is about a normal levels and in good shape. Salmon should start showing
up in the lower river anytime now. Shoot us an email for a recommended fly selection.
09/11/19 Salmon are starting to come into the river.
10/03/19 The heavy rain has brought salmon and steelhead into the river and it should be
good when the levels subside.
10/21/19 River levels are still above normal, but dropping. Salmon and Steelhead are in the
river and should be getting better as levels drop. Several hatches are taking place and
streamer patterns are working.
10/29/19 River levles remain above normal and are dropping slightly. The high water continues
to bring salmon and steelhead in and fisking should improve as levels drop. Good hatches are
still taking place and Sculpin patterns are working.