River Outlook

ROGUE - Fresh winter steelhead have been running into plunkers' Spin-Glos in the lower Rogue, while the middle Rogue and upper Rogue both could see a boost in summer steelhead and halfpounder action as early as Friday should today's rains materialize into something helpful.

That leaves the best bet still the middle Rogue for a combination of adult summer steelhead and halfpounders, the same fish that have been keeping anglers busy much of this fall. The action will improve if the water rises and warms enough to get these fish frisky again, and perhaps suck even more halfpounders from the Lower Rogue Canyon and into range of those casting flies, spinners, roe or worms.

The thing to watch is the flows at Grants Pass, which the U.S. Geological Survey forecasts will start to spike Friday to around 3,200 cubic feet per second. That's just OK. If it gets higher, look for decent angling conditions for steelhead, focusing on the tops of riffles.

The upper Rogue from the Gold Ray Dam upstream to the Shady Cove Boat Ramp is now open to flies and lures, but no bait. Fishing there has been decent, with a mix of small adults around 18 inches to fish in the 6-pound range. Side-drifting egg flies are best. Flows out of Lost Creek dam were up a hair to 1,716 cfs Wednesday and that should improve floating and fishing conditions. However, the flows out of the dam were a frigid 45 degrees, and that hurts the steelhead bite.

The water upstream of the Shady Cove Boat Ramp is open to bait fishing, and side-drifting small clusters of roe is good from Rogue Elk to Shady Cove. Most of the bigger fish are in faster water, and a decent contingent of halfpounder-sized resident rainbow trout appear to be in the mix.

As of Nov. 13, there have been 5,407 summer steelhead and 1,873 coho over Gold Ray Dam. Don't worry about the coho, though. They rarely bite. But if they do, it's usually something red or pink.

In the lower Rogue bay, fishing for coho and chinook was poor. But more winter steelhead have been caught this past week at Huntley Park and Lobster Creek Campground. Spin-Glo sizes No. 2 and 4 were best. More are expected this week.

UMPQUA - The river has dropped this past week and fishing for cohos has slowed in the main-stem. Late-season summer steelhead fishing is fair on the North Umpqua and look for catches to improve as new rains raise and warm the water.

The South Umpqua is open to angling, and some summer steelhead should be available in the river's lower section.

All wild steelhead throughout the system now must be released unharmed.

COQUILLE - The river was dropping, but some fresh chinook have entered the system. Fish are spread out from the Rocky Point Boat ramp up to the fishing deadlines. There are a few chinook around the mouth of Ferry Creek and at the mouth of Sevenmile Creek. Trolling spinners or casting Roostertails are most popular.

ELK/SIXES - Both systems have dropped, and fishing has slowed after a good bite last week river-wide. A few fish are getting caught daily in tidewater, especially on the top end of high tide. If decent rains occur today, look for another flurry of chinook catches Friday and Saturday.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing, and anglers are finding some rainbows and cutthroat. All wild rainbow trout and all cutthroats must be released unharmed.

CHETCO - The river was low, and fishing dropping off Wednesday after a good weekend of fishing. Rain dances could generate enough runoff to spike the river up and get the chinook moving again by Friday. A few winter steelhead have been caught by anglers side-drifting roe for chinook. A fly-caster caught a 50-pounder at Tide Rock earlier this week.Fish Kwikfish close to the bank right after the rains, then revert to back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp combinations.

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