Elk and Sixes Rivers Oregon Salmon and Steelhead Fishing
Fishing The Rogue for salmon and steelhead
Rogue River and Umpqua River Winter Steelhead Fishing
Rogue River spring salmon fishing
Southern Oregon salmon and steelhead fishing
Southern Oregon Winter Steelhead Fishing
Umpqua River Winter Steelhead Fishing
upper rogue river steelhead fishing
Winter Salmon and Steelhead Fishing
Here we are at the end of the holiday season, the making of resolutions and the beginning of a New Year. For me, this is the beginning of one of my favorite seasons of all - winter steelhead! This is the time of year these chrome leviathans leave their fertile pacific ocean feeding grounds and start their upstream river migration.
After the 1st heavy winter storms, early season steelhead will flood the short, steep coastal streams known for their large hard fighting natives. We steelhead fish the Elk and Sixes Rivers (just north of Gold Beach) starting in January and, while some retention is allowed, the Elk and Sixes are mainly catch and release fisheries. The winter steelhead season on these two rivers are marked by pristine scenery and the solace fishing small streams provides.
As winter progresses so do steelhead. The mightly Umpqua River is host to a large population of hatchery fish, one of the healthiest winter steelhead runs in Oregon. The Umpqua attracts anglers from near and far. If you want to take fish home and don't mind the company of other like minded anglers, the Canyonville to Myrtle Creek run (just south of Roseburg and about 40 miles north of Grants Pass) is the place to be in February.
If you are looking for a more remote Umpqua River experience this time of year, we also drift the Upper Umpqua near the town of Tiller. This stretch of river, not far from Medford/Shady Cove, is rarely floated due to some challenging whitewater, but offers some trophy size steelhead. The Upper South Umpqua is a trip you won't soon forget.
Next stop, the Rogue, a long river punctuated by deep canyons, which take winter steelhead a little longer to navigate. Winter steelhead show in numbers in the Upper Rogue later in the season. The Rogue offers both convenience being near both Medford and Grants Pass and warmer spring weather conditions.
And finally my top pick of the winter steelhead season, the Applegate River, a tributary of the Rogue, and a perennial favorite of many local steelhead aficionados. This small river has more winter steelhead (hatchery and native) and fewer anglers than any river we guide. Drifting the Applegate River offers amazing wading access to a large number of steelhead not easily accessed by bank. Waders are required on this one!