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OUTING – So. Oregon Coast Steelhead with David Haight
January 26, 2019 - January 27, 2019
January Outing – Winter Steelhead on the Lower Rogue 2018 Outings
For fly anglers in the Pacific Northwest, fishing in January usually means targeting winter steelhead. Unfortunately for us in the Rogue Valley, few winter steelhead have typically reached our section of the River. If we want to find good numbers of fish, we must head for the coast. For our outing on January 13, we will do just that—we will go to the lower Rogue River near Gold Beach. On Saturday, the 13th, we will meet for breakfast at 8:00 AM at the Indian Creek Cafe located a short distance upstream of Hwy 101 on the south side of the Rogue River (94682 Jerry’s Flat Road). If you don’t want to eat breakfast, join us there by 9:00 AM.
The lower Rogue offers plenty of good opportunities for bank anglers. Many of the large gravel bars are publicly owned and easy to access. For those that want to bring a boat, drift boats, pontoon boats, jet boats, and even prop boats, if you are careful, can be used to reach good locations that lack road access. The lower Rogue is a big river with large gravel bars and long runs well suited to swinging flies with long rods, so seven to eight-weight Spey or switch rods paired with Skagit heads and an assortment of tips would be ideal for this outing. If you don’t have a Spey or switch rod, don’t worry, the steelhead usually travel close to shore, so single handed rods, of similar weight, with sinktip lines or sinking shooting heads also will work. Bring 10 to 15-lb tippet material and an assortment of flies– from traditional steelhead patterns, to egg-sucking leeches, to intruders. Black or purple flies with a bit of bright color mixed in often work well. If you prefer to dead-drift egg patterns or nymphs, you can do that too. Pack your waders and rain gear as well.
Gold Beach has a good variety of lodging and dining options, and there are several RV parks and campgrounds along the river. You can find more information at www.goldbeach.org. There are a variety of other fishing options in the area. If you want to try a smaller stream, Hunter Creek and Pistol River have good runs of winter steelhead. Due to the uncertainty of river conditions during the winter, be sure to check the club’s website before you leave for the outing to see if we had to make any last-minute changes.
David Haight, Outings Chair