Attention All Fly Anglers
October is the primary month for steelhead fly-fishing. The Rogue River is an amazing sport fishery for salmon and steelhead, having over 215 miles of fishable water. The river is floatable for drift boat fishing from the hatchery at Lost Creek Lake to the Pacific Ocean. This page will focus on fishing the lower Rogue from Grants Pass to Gold Beach. Every day you spend fishing on the Rogue presents incredible scenic beauty, great whitewater thrills and a chance of chasing the wily Rogue River salmon or steelhead. The Rogue River is fishable year around with a variety of anadromous fish charging upstream out of the Pacific. The year of angling begins with the winter steelhead run that peaks around March. Most anglers targeting this run need to be ready for foul weather, however, the reward can be some much bigger fish. Most fish during the winter steelhead season weigh between 10 and 16 pounds.
Spring kicks off with the first run of salmon which many folks call “springers”. The “springers” are the most aggressive fighting salmon in the river, exhibiting tail dances and many powerful runs. The peak season for the “springer” in the Grants Pass area is the month of May. In pursuit of these tenacious fish, it is recommended that you check the river flows and temperature in preparation for productive angling in the first few hours of daylight.
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Primary Fishing Season on the Rogue
Late August through November is the main event for Rogue River fishing. As the hot days of summer start to cool, the big fall run of Chinook salmon begins to enter the lower Rogue Canyon. The fall Chinook can weigh as much as 71.5 lbs. (The record salmon was caught by Grant Martinsen of Grants Pass in 2002). The Chinook average 20 to 40 lbs. These salmon tend to have a more predictable bite but not as big a fight as their springtime counterparts.
Most anglers target salmon until mid-September when the fall steelhead arrive. These ocean-going rainbow trout are the beauties of the Rogue fishery, with their bright vibrant colors, fresh from the saltwater and a “freight train attitude.” The steelhead has more fight per pound of any fish in the Rogue with incredible aerial displays on almost every fish hooked up. The fall fishing on the Rogue is truly unique in late October when Coho Salmon arrive, presenting the opportunity to target many different species in a multi-day outing and sometimes even on the same day.
Learn more about fishing on the Rogue River on our dedicated fishing site.