There was a 50% chance of rain for the day, which was a big change from the cold and clear weather that we seen for two weeks prior. We knew the fish would be moving, which is always great, but found out that the river would also soon rise once we saw 50% chance of showers turn into a 100% down pour!
As we arrived at the boat ramp the water conditions were ideal; so I launched the boat and started working the holes right away. Within the first two plugging spots we had intercepted a summer steelhead heading back to the ocean, and a gorgeous winter steelhead migrating upstream to spawn.
As the rain began to pour down harder and harder the river level began to rapidly rise. If you've ever done any steelhead fishing on a rising river, you know that it can be tough getting a fish to bite your usual presentation.
As the water went up the hard and fast bite turned off; however, we did manage to entice a few more steelhead to bite but they didn’t quite commit enough to get a good hook set. A missed bite is a common and unfortunate split second that happens while plug fishing! Your plug gets bit by a fish, and your rod either looks like it got bumped, or flat out slams down, and the fish simply doesn’t hook itself! All I know that this does to an angler, is get his or her heart beating faster and makes everyone who sees it confident that there are fish in the hole, and that their bait is in the correct spot.
One of my favorite and most productive techniques while targeting winter steelhead is running plugs like the famous Brad's wiggler, Lure Jenson’s Kwikfish and Yakima Bait Company's Mag Lip 3.5. A properly fished plug can be deadly for winter steelhead in Southern Oregon and is certainly a method that you will try while you're targeting any run of steelhead or salmon with Phil Tripp’s Guide Service.
Shown above is a good example of what a bite looks like while running plugs with
THESE ARE THE RESULTS OF A PROPERLY FISHED PLUG ON THE MIDDLE ROGUE RIVER IN JANUARY!
This native steelhead was caught and released plug fishing on 1/23/13!
Please book your trip on the middle Rogue River with http://www.rogueriversportfishing.com/ today if you're interested in targeting trophy winter steelhead on the Rogue and Umpqua Rivers!