ROGUE - Low and cold waters have put a damper on winter steelhead fishing in the lower Rogue and the upper Rogue remains slow for early-run winter steelhead. That makes the middle Rogue the best bet, and luckily it's been paying off for anglers this week.

ROGUE - Low and cold waters have put a damper on winter steelhead fishing in the lower Rogue and the upper Rogue remains slow for early-run winter steelhead. That makes the middle Rogue the best bet, and luckily it's been paying off for anglers this week.

The Galice area has been best for winter steelhead moving out of the Lower Rogue Canyon, with driftboaters catching them on eggs and yarn, sand shrimp and K-11 Kwikfish colored silver and pink. The small Kwikfish swim well in most currents, and that's where anglers are finding steelhead. Fish up to 18 pounds have been reported around the mouth of the Applegate River, but fishing upstream of the mouth has been slow.

Water flows have remained cold and low, with only 2,500 cubic feet per second at Grants Pass and 2,100 cfs reported at Gold Ray Dam. Most of the action is occurring downstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp. From the ramp down, anglers can keep one wild steelhead at least 24 inches long a day, and five per year. Upstream of the ramp is closed until Feb. 1.

The counts over Gold Ray Dam are light, with just 37 winter steelhead counted there as of Jan. 9, the last available count. A few people are fishing the upper Rogue, occasionally catching spawned-out wild summer steelhead, which must be released unharmed.

In the lower Rogue, plunkers are occasionally getting in front of a winter steelhead, with the Cop Car Hot Shot or the pink-pearl Spin-Glo the favorite offerings. The entire river is open for bait fishing.

UMPQUA - The main stem river was starting to fish well for winter steelhead in driftboats Wednesday, with anglers scattered in runs upstream of Scottsburg.

The South Umpqua has been good for a mix of hatchery and wild winter steelhead, but the river continues to drop and clear. Look for this weekend's storms to add a little height and color to the river, but the best thing rain can do is warm the water and get the steelhead moving around again.

The main-stem river and the North Umpqua are closed to retention of wild steelhead.

Sturgeon fishing was fair in tidewater this week. Ghost shrimp and mud shrimp are good muddy-water choices.

COQUILLE - The South Fork was fishing very well for winter steelhead, as last week's high water has dropped substantially.

Forecasts call for more rain this weekend, which might blow the river out for steelhead fishing. Steelhead are already well distributed throughout the system. Bait fishing in slower and deeper water will work best. Fish plugs in migration lanes and the inside turns of gravel bars.

CHETCO - Winter steelhead fishing has been slow amid low and cold water conditions, with this weekend's storms likely to add enough flow and color to make for some excellent winter steelhead fishing conditions.

Roe and yarn clusters are working best, along with Cop Car plugs fished with long leaders in tail-outs and the tops of holes.

ELK/SIXES - Both rivers were low and clear and fishing fairly well for winter steelhead. New storm fronts should add some water to both systems and draw some winter steelhead over the bar. Steelhead are now well spread out.

For the latest river level, telephone the Elk River Hatchery at 541-332-7025.

APPLEGATE - The river is open for steelhead fishing, and a few fresh winter steelhead have been caught downstream of the Highway 101 bridge. Worms and watermelon corkies are best, with spoons also good in riffles.

A few summer steelhead remain near creek mouths from the mouth of Williams Creek on down. They are spawned out and should be left alone. There is no fishing from a floating device on the Applegate, and all wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

CROOKED - A few redband trout have been caught recently. All radio-tagged redband trout and whitefish must be released unharmed.