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Trip Tip

Steelheading on the Coquille

With heaters burning and a cushion for the old backside, a day of driftboat steelhead fishing on the Coquille River can feel downright comfortable — especially if the fish are on the hook.

The winter steelhead run goes from December through April and usually is really jumping around January and February. Of course, there's no way to predict your success, but as the old saying goes, a bad day fishing is better than — well, just about anything.

The Coquille carries a lot of sediment in the winter and it doesn't take too many rainstorms to mess up your day. Tracking water turbidity and stream levels are important, but probably best left to the experts.

Plan your trip around the town of Myrtle Point, along Highway 42. It's a comfortable place to stay and located close to a lot of the best holes.

You can check the weekly Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's fishing report, www.dfw.state.or.us/RR/southwest, but it's probably best to get in touch with a river guide who may be willing to tell you where they're biting. A listing of state-licensed river guides is available at www.roguerivertrips.info/services/Guides_and_Outfitters.asp.

— by Bill Miller

Bob Robinson releases a Rogue River native steelhead caught at Modoc early Friday Morning. Mail Tribune Photo / Jamie Lusch - Jamie Lusch