Elk and Sixes Rivers Oregon Salmon and Steelhead Fishing
Southern Oregon Winter Steelhead Fishing
upper rogue river steelhead fishing
Winter Salmon and Steelhead Fishing
Catching winter steelhead in winter conditions can be a challenge. Sometimes it's best to just play the odds and fish rivers that have the largest steelhead populations and good hatchery programs. Rivers like the Upper Rogue and the Canyonville run on the South Umpqua River are prime examples of fisheries with hatcheries/acclimation sites that produce good numbers of steelhead. While these runs are popular, and for good reason (we like them too!), they are just that, popular.
Sometimes it's worth taking the waterway less traveled and maybe catch a few less fish, but with the added benefit of fishing alone in untouched surroundings.
There are plenty of statistics about how many of us go to amazing natural places and venture only feet off the trail. We may have the desire to explore and to get away from the crowd, but we are often creatures of habit and like to know what to expect. Exploration also often requires the right equipment and even a guide to lead the way.
Our fully equipped fishing rafts are the key to unlocking the hidden gems that lie just upstream or downstream of the more popular classic drift boat runs.
Many river sections we fish have just one boulder, log or rapid that keep drift boats and most people from fishing them, but rafts make it all possible. Many tributaries and streams are also too small to run in a drift boat and low water levels can also pose an obstacle (even on more classic runs), but with a raft, there endless fishing possibilities.
This winter, so far, we have focused our raft based fishing trips on the uppermost section of the Sixes River. This is one of our favorite runs, winter steelhead fishing at its finest in tight, moss covered, mystical canyons. All the steelhead in the Sixes River are native and, while it is legal to keep one, we usually practice catch and release of these large, wild fish.
The Sixes River will be fishing well for winter steelhead through early spring and just now coming into season, a bit closer to home, the Applegate River near Grants Pass and the Upper South Umpqua River near the town of Tiller, an hour north of Medford.
The Applegate River is a small tributary of the Rogue that has little public access except by boat. The boat is only used for transport and all fishing is done from the bank or by wading. The techniques we use the most include bobber dogging, casting spoons and spinners and nymphing.
Of the hatchery steelhead produced for the Rogue River, half are put into the Applegate River.
The Umpqua River has over 50 miles of river upstream of the popular Canyonville run that rarely sees a boat. On this section we like to side drift, bobber fish, back troll, and fly fish for mostly wild steelhead.
If you are looking for trophy sized winter steelhead the Umpqua is the place to do it.
If fishing by raft isn't what you are looking for, don't worry, we offer plenty of trips in our drift boats too. The Rogue and the Umpqua Rivers, both classic runs with strong fisheries, offer plenty of opportunities for winter fishing in Southern Oregon, just a short distance from Medford, Grants Pass and Ashland.
For more information, give us a call anytime.
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