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28 May 2005
Rogue River fishing report [May 28 '05]
I am in a serious slump. I'm trying to just fish through it, but it's not going very well...

We made plans for an early morning trip to the upper Rogue today. Best of intentions, but we didn't actually arrive at the river until about 9:00. Oh well. The river was apparently the place to be - every access was full of cars and fishermen occupied the river in all the usual places. We did manage to find one or our favorite sections without any anglers and we felt fortunate. The water level was average or lower and relatively clear for this stream.

B and I both expected streamers to work well in the morning - and we were wrong. Not even one strike or follow, so I switched to my new DS2 3-weight and we both switched tactics. I managed one pretty little brown on a Griffith Gnat before making the first bend; little did I know that it would be my last of the day. The brown trout in this river are some of the most beautiful I've seen. Big black and red spots, deep coloration during the spawning season - unlike the more pale, silvery strains I've caught in other rivers.

B discovered that the trout were willing to take a bead-head Bird's Nest nymph dead-drifted and lifted. She caught several trout this way. All I mustered were a few strikes from little guys. She also had good luck with a Turk's Power Ant on a swing, then pulled under. I also could not duplicate this maneuver to the trout's preferences.

By early afternoon, sporadic surface, or near-surface feeding began and I thought maybe my luck would improve. But I was again perplexed. I tried sulphurs, drakes, caddis and BWOs in dry and emerging patterns, searching patterns like the Griffith Gnat and some rubber-legged deer hair thing, but no results. I was about ready to break my new 3-weight over a tree. What the heck are they eating? I've got a lot of fly fishing education left in front of me. At least I didn't lose as many flies as I usually do.

We fished until about 7:00-7:30. A couple of new anglers arrived at our spot to take over so we felt free to leave. The afternoon thunderstorms that were predicted never materialized, though the wind picked up significantly. I figured this might stunt the evening hatch activity, so we may not have missed much by leaving early. B finished the day with probably 15 or 20 trout in total. She wouldn't say for sure how many she caught since I was pretty crabby about the whole subject.

Difference between weather forecast and actual weather: +100%
Number of times I used the F-word: TNTC
Number of onion rings in an order at Arnie's Old Mill: 6, but they're huge
Arnie's lunchtime recommendation: Seafood-salad sandwich
Number of flies on my patch at the end of the day: 14

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