Fly Fishing The Rogue River (Lower )
The Rogue River provides a highly diversified fishing
experience. You can catch about every species of
Pacific Coast anadromous fish as well as all the major
species of trout in the Rogue River. For that reason, we
have broken the river down into the two parts. This
section covers fly fishing the Rouge River from the
Pacific Coast to the end of the "Holly Water" section, or
the tailwater below Lost Creek Dam. Fly fishing the
headwaters of the Rogue River and Holly Water tailwater
section are covered under this separate Stream section.
The Rogue has half-pounders as well as both Summer
and Winter steelhead. It has both a Spring and Fall
Chinook Salmon run as well as a Coho Salmon run.
Fly fishing the Rogue River varies greatly depending on
the area. The Rouge, not including the upper river
above Lost Creek Dam that we cover under a separate
section, is generally divided into several sections which
can be confusing to non locals. They are, starting at the
lower end of the Holly Water section and continuing
downstream, the Upper Rogue, the Upper Middle
Rogue, the Lower Middle Rogue, the Wild Rogue, and
the Lower Rogue.
The Upper Rouge is the twenty-eight mile section below
the Holly Water downstream to the Gold Ray Dam. It's
considered the best steelhead water. It's as wide as 150
feet with a variety of steelhead water ranging from
shallow water, to pocket water sections to deep pools.
The Upper Middle Rogue flows between Gold Ray Dam
and Savage Rapids Dam. It's rough water that shouldn't
be fished from a drift boat and surrounded by private
The Lower Middle Rogue begins below Savage Rapids
in Grants Pass and ends at Grave Creek. Fishing in
Grants Pass can be good but below there's not much fly
fishing opportunity until you get to the Whitehorse area.
Salmon and steelhead pass through this section of
course, and spawning salmon can provide some good
steelhead opportunities in both the Fall and Spring.
The Wild Rogue section is 33 miles long and runs from
Grave Creek to Foster Bar. It's accessible only by trail
and includes the original eight miles of the fist Wild and
Scenic water established by Congress. It's a narrow
canyon section that's mostly fished from drift boats.
The Lower Rogue always has some anadromous fish
but it's not very suitable for fly anglers. The
opportunities change rapidly with fish passing through
The Summer run of steelhead are about half wild fish
and half hatchery raised fish. They average about three
pounds with some going as large as eight or ten. The
start entering the Rogue River as early as May with the
best fishing taking places in September and October.
Most all of the Winter steelhead are wild. They enter the
Rogue River beginning in November and continue
through March. Unlike the Summer steelhead, these fish
spawn in the main stem of the Rogue. The spawning
occurs as early as December until as late as June but
the majority of it occurs in March and April.
The Spring run of Chinook Salmon average about
twelve to twenty pounds. They begin as early as March
and continue into June. The Fall run of Chinook Salmon
are much larger, going forty and even up to sixty
pounds. They are almost all wild fish. There are two
runs, the first one in July and August and head to the
Middle Rogue and Applegate River tributary. The
second run heads for the Illinois River tributary. These
fish spawn in the month of October.
The overall season is year-round but species dependent
Steelhead fishing peaks from December through April.
Steelhead fishing continues in April. The Spring run of
Salmon enter the river in March, April and May.
Salmon enter the river in the Summer. Half-pounders
run in September.
September and October are the best times for the
half-pounders. October is salmon spawning time.
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Recommended Tackle & Gear
7, 8 , 9 or 10 weight for appropriate type
rod, sinking, sinking tip and floating
10#, 12# in 9 to 15 feet lengths
10# and 12#
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly 7, 8, 9 and 10 ft. single hand
For 7 to 10 weight lines
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
KISS Strike Indicators, Lanyards, etc.
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Rogue River Fly Fishing Report:
11/21/13 Lower river has some half-pounders.
Our Estaz Egg patterns working for one
customer. Ordering more green and
chartreuse colors. No report on the Middle
Rogue but some steelhead reportedly being
caught on the upper rouge. Rain is in the
forecast and should help.
12/12/03 Customer ordering steelhead flies
reports a few steelhead have began to show
up in the lower Rogue. He is fishing the inside
bends and has caught two. There's not going
to be much help coming from the weather. It
should be clear for the next few days except
for today and tomorrow with lows around
freezing and highs near fifty. .
(Bottom Of Page)
Fishing Report Updated 11/19/16
01/11/14 Fishing the low, and middle rogue
has remained only fair with a few fish being
caught. The current rain though the Tuesday
should improve the fishing conditions.
01/18/14 Lower river has produced several
steelhead during the past weekend but clear
and lower water levels have slowed it back
down some. There are a few fish being
caught in the middle and upper but not many.
01/25/14 Anglers reporting catching a decent
number of adult and half-pounders in the
lower rogue. The Middle Rogue is also
producing a few late summer fish. Some fish
should be moving in the upper section.
02/01/14 Water is still low and clear even
though there has been some recent rainfall.
Few anglers are fishing but there still are a few
fish being caught.
02/08/14 Rain is forecast everyday for the
next week. Fishing conditions will improve as a
result of it. Keep a close check on the levels.
02/15/14 The river is currently blown out and
will be that way for a few days. More steelhead
have entered the river.
02/22/14 The water levels have dropped and
anglers are reporting some fish being caught.
Conditions should improve this coming week.
03/01/14 There is lots of rain forecast.
From Casey State Park to the hatchery should
stay clear and provides a great opportunity for
steelhead fishing when the rest of the river is
03/08/14 The lower and middle river is blown
out right now. Keep in mind from Casey State
Park to the hatchery will remain clear and
provides a great opportunity for steelhead
fishing when the rest of the river is blown out.
03/15/14 Stream levels have continued to drop
and conditions are much better. There is a little
rain in the forecast but not enough to blow the
river out again.
03/22/14 Fishing has been excellent for a few
days now throughout the entire system.
Customers have been catching them nymphing
and swinging flies and mostly ordering our Spey
03/29/14 Conditions are okay right now but
there is snow and rain and snow forecast
everyday for the next week.
04/05/14 Winter steelhead fishing opportunities
still exist and may continue for another week or
04/12/14 Lower river chinook are there and
being chased big time. A few winters have also
been taken. Fishing the middle section has
been producing the most..
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with the dates you will be fishing this
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04/19/14 Most of the fly fishing action is in the
upper and middle river. It is mostly chinook
anglers working the lower river.
05/17/14 Trout season is closed until May 24th.
Check back next week.
05/24/14 Trout season opens today. The river is
in good conditions and anglers should do well.
Let us hear from you.
05/31/14 Two customers ordering flies reported
they caught several trout this past week above
Lost Creek.They reported that caddis and a
few mayflies are hatching. Summer steelhead
have started showing up in the system.
06.07/14 More good reports from the summer
steelhead and trout being caught. Conditions
remain very good.
06/14/14 Anglers are having fun with the
summer steelhead and there are good
numbers of trout also being caught. Conditions
remain very good in all repects.
06/21/14 We are still getting some very good
reports from customers ordering flies and from
both the Summer run SH and trout. Conditions
remain very good.
07/05/14 More good fishing reports for trout
and summer run Steelhead. Good conditions
07/19 Three customers, one fishing for summer
runs and two for trout, reported excellent
conditions and catching plenty of fish. Watch
the levels but conditions right are as good as
they get during the summer.
07/26/14 Two more good fishing reports
came in for trout this past week. Summer
run steelhead are also being caught.
08/10/14 Steelhead are going over the Gold
Ray dam and being caught in the upper
section of the river and so are trout. This
section of the river isn't producing anything
08/16/14 Anglers are catching plenty of
summer steelhead but not many are fishing
due to the continued hot weather. Some
relief is expected this week.
08/30/14 The weather remained very hot most
of the past two weeks but is forecast to cool
off some. That should improve the fishing.
09/13/14 Angers are catching a few Chinook
in the lower sections, half-pounders and
adult summer steelhead throughout the
system. The weather is still warm but should
be cooling off soon and fishing improving.
09/27/14 More Chinook are entering the
river, Coho are in the estuary, but fly fishing
opportunities consist of adult summers and
10/11/14 Some Chinook and some Coho
are being caught. Anglers are catching lots
of summer steelhead and that should
continue to be good.
10/18/14 Conditions are improving with more
rain in the forecast and better water levels.
10/25/14 More good reports. It has rained off
and on but pretty consistent rain is expected
the next few days.
11/08/14 The lower Rouge isn't doing so
well. A few fish are being caught but just a
12/07/14 One customer reported catching his
first winter steelhead in the lower river. The
action should begin to pick up this month. He
was swinging flies. Perfect Fly steelhead flies
12/20/14 Two more good reports of
steelhead being caught. More fish have
entered the river and it should only get better.
12/27/14 River is blown out.
01/03/15 Two reports of steelhead being
caught. Levels are getting back near normal.
01/10/15 No reports from the past week
for this section of the river. Levels are still
in decent shape.
01/17/15 Steelhead fishing has picked up
and customers are reporting some decent
catches this past week.
01/24/15 Another good report from a
customer catching several fish this past week.
01/31/15 Two more good reports from
customers catching winter steelhead. Stream
levels are good.
02/07/15 Heavy rain has blown the lower
river out. It is expected to continue through
02/21/15 Stream levels are back down
and some wild steehead were caught in
the lower river this past few days.
03/21/15 Customers are reporting good
catches of steelhead. Water is back low
but should be rising this coming week.
04/25/15 Some Chinook are being caught.
05/23/15 Nothing of importance to report
06/13/15 Anglers are continuing to catch
06/20/15 Salmon is the only game in town.
07/04/15 Some salmon but Summer steelhead
fishing is very slow.
07/18/15 Only a few summer run steelhead
are in the river. A few Chinook salmon are
07/25/15 It is still slow but cooler weather
should help the coming week.
08/08/15 The lower river has got plenty of
summer steelhead, half pounders, and
Chinook. Some rain and cooler weather
08/15/15 No changes from the past week
except there is no chance of rain for a week.
08/29/15 Chinook should start moving in
from the bag along with more steelhead. The
rain and cooler weather should improve the
"catching" big time.
09/05/15 Coho activity is still mostly in the
bay. Steelhead fishing is marginal at best.
Cooler weather and more rain in needed.
09/12/15 The cooler weather and rain
should come this next week, so we expect a
lot more fish will enter the river.
09/26/15 the river is back low and clear. Rain
is needed to bring more fish into the river.
There isn't much opportunity this coming week.
10/03/15 A few summer steelhead near
Indian Creek are being caught.
10/10/15 A few Chinook are caught by those
willing to try. Some Coho and lots of adult
summer run and half pounders are being
10/24/15 A few steelhead and half-pounders
continue to be caught. Most of them are in
the river now, thanks to last week's rain.
10/31/15 Steelhead and half pounders
continue to be fair with some being caught.
There are more Coho in the river.
11/07/15 A few coho are being caught and a
very few steelhead and some half-pounders.
Rain is forecast everyday and that may help.
11/14/15 We would rate the "catching" fair at
best. There is rain/snow forecast every day.
A few coho, half pounders and steelhead
may be caught.
12/12/15 As you probably already know, the
river is blown out. That is slang language for
very high and muddy. It will take some time.
12/21/15 The river continues to be very high
and muddy. It will probably continue tp be in
this shape for the next few days.
12/26/15 The lower river near Angess,
Oregon, is at 15,000 cfs at 8.26 feet.. Normal
flows are about 5,000 cfs. It is still badly
stained. Note, we added a link to the site on
01/02/16 The stream levels are back at a
normal level and fish are being caught. The
water is colder and there is snow in forecast.
01/09/16 The cold front slowed down the
steelhead bite but it is back in good shape with
warmer weather and rain starting tomorrow.
01/16/16 A few more steelhead were
reported caught this past week but lots of
rain and rain/snow is forecast, so make sure
you check the levels.
01/23/16 The stream flows are 25,000 cfs at
11.18 feet with more rain in the forecast this
02/06/16 The lower river has fell back to
good levels and flows and steelhead are
being caught. It should continue to improve.
02/13/16 Stream levels are down to normal
levels and in good shape. Good conditions.
02/20/16 Stream levels are high again and
flowing at 13,800 cfs. The levels need to drop
for fishing conditions to improve.
02/27/16 The river is down to about a normal
level and clear. Steelhead are being caught.
03/12/16 Fish were being caught when the
levels were down but it has been blown out for
some time and appears it will continue to be
high for a few more days due to the forecast.
03/19/16 The river is still high but falling fast
and much lower than it has been. The
steelhead run is near the end.
03/26/16 The stream levels are still high but
hopefully, they will subside by next weekend.
Winter steelhead are about finished.
04/16/16 Spring Chinook fishing is currently
good. Steelhead fishing is over in this section.
The trout fishing season is closed.
05/07/16 There are spring Chinook in the river
and some being caught by boat anglers. There
isn't much opportunity for fly anglers.
05/14/16 Someone ask, can you fish for
springers with fly gear. Answer is yes, sure,
but not so practical from boats.
05/28/16 No reports on the springers. The
fishing has been slow, even with conventional
06/04/16 The first of the summer steelhead
should begin to move into the river this month.
06/11/16 Still no reports of summer runs
coming in the river.
07/02/16 Some Chinook salmon being caught
Not much opportunity for the fly angler.
07/23/16 Low, warm water. Fish the middle
and upper rouge or above the lake for trout.
08/06/16 We are still recommending fishing
the middle and upper rogue. The lower river is
warm and low.
08/13/16 It is going to be even warmer this
coming week. Fish the middle or upper Rogue.
08/20/16 Hot weather and no rain will keep the
levels low and warm.
08/27/16 Half pounders are beginning to show
up but the water is far too warm and low for
much action of any kind.
09/03/16 There isn't much change. Low water
and air temperature in the low eighties.
10/01/16 There are coho in the bay and the
river has lots of half-pounders. They are being
caught in good numbers.
10/08/16 Half pounders are fun, fun, fun on
light line and there are plenty of them.
10/22/16 The half-pounders continue to get
pounded. There are lots of them and not
difficult to catch.
11/19/16 Winter steelhead are showing up
and being caught in the lower river. Swinging,
nymphing and egg flies are working.