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River Outlook

ROGUE - The Grave Creek area continues to fish fairly well for fresh winter steelhead, while some fresh fish are finally showing up in the upper Rogue. But the best bet remains the Grants Pass area, where fish are scattered from Lathrop's Landing all the way to the Grave Creek boat ramp.

The recent warm weather has helped get these steelhead on the bite. They're hitting roe, yarn flies, sandshrimp (if they're alive) and plugs like K-11 Kwikfish or Cop Car plugs. Water conditions are good at Grants Pass and will get better Sunday when Saturday's splash of rain raises and warms the Rogue even more.

Bankies also have been doing fairly well, but inconsistently, at Griffin Park, and at various slots around Galice.

In the lower Rogue, bank fishing has fallen way off amid low and clear water conditions. But anglers are saying they are seeing schools of steelhead sprint past them.

No confirmed spring chinook salmon have been caught so far.

The upper Rogue is just starting to become an option as 678 winter steelhead have crossed Gold Ray Dam through Feb. 20. Look for catches to improve into March.

The entire river is open for bait fishing. Anglers may keep one wild winter steelhead over 24 inches a day as part of their two-fish daily limit.

UMPQUA - The South Umpqua was down and winter steelhead fishing has slowed, but look for some good action next week after the next spate of rain increases flows.

Flow at Winston on the South Umpqua was down to 428 cubic feet per second. Some hatchery fish are starting to show in the South Umpqua.

Fishing in the North Umpqua has been fair to good, mainly in the Colliding Rivers area. There are lots of wild steelhead in the North Umpqua this year.

All wild steelhead must be released unharmed in the North Umpqua and main-stem river.

Sturgeon fishing remains slow in the main-stem river.

COQUILLE - The South Fork was in good shape and fishing well for late-run winter steelhead. A lot of spawned-out kelts are starting to show up in the catches. They need to be released. Prospect for winter steelhead with roe and puffballs. Fishing plugs also is good.

Fish plugs in migration lanes and the inside turns of gravel bars.

CHETCO - Water conditions are a bit low and the winter steelhead catches have tapered off. A few chinook salmon were reportedly caught in the lower Chetco this past week. They likely are wash-ins from the ocean or possibly lost Rogue spring chinook.

Some late-run "blueback" steelhead — smaller fish in the 4-6 pound range — have moved in and catches have been decent on roe and corkies.

ELK/SIXES - Both rivers were low and clear this week, making for poor winter steelhead catches. The Sixes has dropped to levels where driftboating has become troublesome. For the latest river level, telephone the Elk River Hatchery at 541-332-7025.

APPLEGATE - The river is open for steelhead fishing and steelhead already are spread throughout the system. Water levels remain low and conditions are clear. Saturday's rain should suck some winter steelhead into the lower river from the Rogue. Catch them on spoons, worms and corkies (especially if it is raining) or egg flies.

PISTOL - Catches of winter steelhead have been good on the lower stretch of this Curry County river. Public access remains difficult.