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River Outlook

ROGUE - A mix of summer steelhead and some coho fishing has been going on in the upper Rogue, while the middle Rogue is decent for steelhead still chewing on salmon eggs. The lower Rogue is slow for steelhead and half-pounders, and the bay is deader than Elvis.

That makes the best bet the upper Rogue, where river flows are up and that's getting the coho on the move. Through Nov. 13, 4,150 coho have crossed Gold Ray Dam, with about 800 of them already finding their way into the hatchery. Coho are notorious nonbiters, but the best places to intercept them are the far upper Rogue from the Slide Hole to the Hatchery Hole. They'll eat eggs, red spinners or bright red streamers. The Sand Hole has always been decent for coho. All wild coho must be released unharmed. Many of the hatchery coho are dark by the time they reach Trail.

For summer steelhead, the numbers still remain low with 6,237 fish over Gold Ray Dam through Nov. 13. Still, these fish can be found scattered throughout the upper Rogue eating small clusters of roe or yarn flies.

Downstream of the Shady Cove boat ramp remains open to flies and lures only. That, however, still allows the side-drifting of egg flies using regular spinning rods and weights. That action remains good, especially in shallow tailouts downstream from spawning beds. Scent on your yarn flies always helps. Also, plug fishing should be good from driftboats during the day. Focus on tail-outs below spawning salmon. Many of the big fish are laying in shallow, fast water.

Flows have increased, with about 2,230 cubic feet per second forecast for release out of Lost Creek Lake Wednesday.

In the middle Rogue, steelhead fishing is good with roe downstream of spawning salmon. Tail-outs are best. Most of these fish are wild steelhead that must be released unharmed. Flows at Grants Pass measured just shy of 4,000 cfs Wednesday. A few coho are getting caught all the way upstream to Savage Rapids Dam, but coho effort remains light. Cast red or orange flies, lures or corkies for them.

The lower Rogue remains in fishable condition and anglers may see the first winter steelhead of the season this weekend.

All wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.

UMPQUA - The South Umpqua remains closed to all angling until Dec. 1 to give fall chinook room to spawn.

Steelhead fishing remains very slow in the fly-only area of the North Umpqua, and coho fishing is fair in the lower section of the North Umqua. More than 2,700 coho have passed Winchester Dam, and catches should improve as the coho run continues.

COOS - Fall chinook and searun cutthroat angling is nearly done, as fish will move up to spawning grounds with rainfall. A few tired and degraded chinook remain at the top of tidewater. No winter steelhead have been reported yet.

COQUILLE - Early winter steelhead could be available this weekend in the South Fork this weekend. Striped bass fishing has slowed in tidewater.

CHETCO - The river was dropping into excellent shape for fall chinook fishing. Flows were at 5,100 cubic feet per second Wednesday afternoon and dropping. Driftboats generally hit the river at 4,000 cfs. Fishing should be excellent on Kwikfish in migration lanes, with back-bouncing a distant second until river levels stabilize. Early winter steelhead also could be present.

ELK/SIXES - Both streams were dropping and clearing for what is expected to be excellent fall chinook fishing this weekend. Fish are well distributed throughout both systems. As the river drops, Kwikfish will be the most productive, followed by back-bouncing roe and some fishing of roe and sandshrimp under bobbers at the tops of deeper, slower holes.

Big tides are expected to bring fresh fish into both systems. Fly-fishing the lower Sixes could be very good on shrimp patterns.

APPLEGATE - The Applegate is open for trout fishing, but anglers cannot target salmon or steelhead. Anglers are catching and releasing lots of wild rainbow trout from 15 up to 21 inches between Jackson Picnic Park and the deadline below the dam. Rainbow trout over 16 inches are considered steelhead and must be released unharmed.