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Lower Rogue Halfpounder Outing Oct 3-4
October 3 - October 4
Lower Rogue Halfpounder Outing October 3 and 4
The Rogue is one of only a few rivers that support a unique run of young steelhead, called halfpounders, which return to the river after spending only a few months in the ocean. These 12 to 16-inch fish spend the fall and winter in the river before returning to the ocean again prior to their first spawning run. Halfpounders are great gamefish. They eagerly take flies and fight like crazy once hooked. When the fish are in, the action can be fast.
The Rogue Flyfishers and Southern Oregon Fly Fishers will host a joint outing to the lower Rogue River near Agness on October 3 and 4 to fish for these miniature steelhead. We will meet at the Foster Bar Boat Ramp at 9:00 AM on Saturday and 8:00 AM on Sunday. After a short discussion about equipment, flies, techniques, and locations; we will head to various access points along the river. There is a lot of good bank access in the Agness area, as well as several good drifts for those with boats.
Agness is a little over a two-hour drive from Grants Pass over the Bear Camp Road, so it is possible to get an early start and just come over for a day. For those that want to spend the night, there are plenty of options. There are Forest Service Campgrounds at Quosatana Creek and Foster Bar, the Agness RV Park (541-247-2813, www.rogueriverrvpark.com) has hook ups and showers, and rooms are available at Cougar Lane (541-247-7233) as well as several other lodges in the area. A good selection of motels and restaurants are available 28 miles downstream in Gold Beach as well.
A six-weight rod with a floating line is ideal for halfpounders. Trout Speys work great as well. The traditional way to fish halfpounders is to swing standard steelhead flies through runs and tailouts. Good patterns include the Golden Demon, Del Cooper, Skunk, Silver Hilton, Burlap, Brindle Bug, Tiger Paw, Golden Rogue, and Red Ant, all in Size 8 or 10. Nymphing is productive as well, even during the middle of the day. Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail, Prince Nymph, Copper John, Bloody Mary, Glimmer Nymph, and Flashback Nymph in size 10 or 12 are good choices. Chinook and Coho salmon will be in the river as well, so you may also want to bring along a heavier outfit.
Halfpounders are the fish that put the Rogue River on the fly fisher’s map. If you have never fished for them, you really should give it a try.
David Haight, Outings Chair