Guided salmon and steelhead fishing on Southern Oregon's Rogue, Umpqua and Chetco

Middle Rogue River Winter Steelhead 1/23/13

I recently decided to call my good friend Steven Theel, of Southern Oregon Fishing to invite him on one of my favorite drifts along the middle Rogue River for early winter steelhead.
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
This native steelhead was caught and released plug fishing on 1/23/13!

The retention of 1 wild steelhead per day and 5 per year is allowed above Hog Creek boat ramp starting on February 1st and continuing until the end of April.  (Check 2013 regulations)Although it's completely up to you whether or not you would like to keep your wild fish, I try to encourage catch and release, especially on trophy sized native steelhead. If I can help do my part by encouraging selective harvest to help preserve these strong runs of big native steelhead for years to come, I'm all for it. Remember that the biggest fish aren't always the best ones to take home for dinner.  

Please book your trip on the middle Rogue River with today if you're interested in targeting trophy winter steelhead on the Rogue and Umpqua Rivers!

(541)613 8754


  1. This was a good suggestion that you put up here...dude…..hope that it benefits all the ones who land up here. 

    Fishing Supplies

  2. This was a good suggestion that you put up here...dude…..hope that it benefits all the ones who land up here. 

    Fishing Supplies