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River Outlook

ROGUE - Spring chinook salmon fishing has been pretty good at various spots on the upper Rogue, while the middle Rogue is still a steelhead-only fishery and the lower Rogue has been good for fall chinook, but without much attention yet.

The best bet for this weekend is the upper Rogue, where fish numbers continue to inch upward. As of July 9, there had been 11,061 spring chinook counted at Gold Ray Dam. That remains low, but it's improving.

Anglers are banned from keeping wild spring chinook upstream of the Hog Creek Boat Ramp along the middle Rogue. About half the catch lately are wild fish.

Some of the better springer fishing has been from Dodge Bridge to TouVelle State Park for boaters, the far upper Rogue for bank anglers. Kwikfish and roe are working equally well for boaters, while the old stand-by — beads and glow-in-the-dark corkies — are good choices for bank anglers, especially at the Hatchery Hole and Casey State Park.

More anglers are fishing with bait instead of plugs from boats now, because releasing fish caught with roe and corkies is easier than releasing those that bite Kwikfish. Also, fishing plugs in migration lanes increases the odds of catching a hatchery fish. Try to avoid the holes, where wild fish are holding and waiting to spawn.

Catches of fin-clipped springers has been off and on from Shady Cove Park up to the Hatchery Hole, where the action remains good enough to keep it fairly crowded.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake have dropped to 2,000 cubic feet per second of 52-degree water. Both numbers are down from last week and represent good conditions for salmon and steelhead fishing.

The summer steelhead count over Gold Ray Dam is looking good for this early in the season. As of July 9, 1,453 summer steelhead had been counted over the dam, and that includes about 600 fish over the previous week.

Summer steelhead bite worms, streamer flies, ugly bugs, pink plastic worms, crayfish plugs and more. The trick is to find these fish in fast water around structure and tail-outs. They prefer the oxygenated water.

The stonefly hatch on the flies-only stretch is over.

In the lower Rogue, a few anglers trolling the bay are taking advantage of the switch to rules allowing them to kill wild chinook. About two dozen boats were in the bay daily so far this week, and they're averaging about a fish per boat. But that's mostly guides. Troll anchovies with a green or gold spinner in front, and use a slow troll from the mouth to the bridge.

In the far upper Rogue upstream of Lost Creek Lake, weekly trout stockings are occurring around campgrounds such as Union Creek and Farewell Bend. Catches of legal-sized trout are good on worms, single salmon eggs or woolly bugger flies.

ILLINOIS - The river is open to catch-and-release fishing on resident trout. Catches are slow.

UMPQUA - Summer steelhead fishing is starting to improve in the bait-fishing areas of the North Umpqua. Some spring chinook are getting caught below Rock Creek, as well, and the vast majority are out of the mainstem. In the mainstem Umpqua, shad fishing is slow. Sturgeon fishing also remains slow in the estuary. Smallmouth bass fishing remains excellent in the Elkton area, but public access is poor. The South Umpqua is very good for smallmouth, especially the lower end.

COQUILLE - A few sturgeon have been caught this past week in tidewater as anglers are starting to target them. Striped bass catches is fair.

COOS - Shad action has slowed way down in the South Fork of the Coos River, for those trolling shad darts.

CHETCO - Fishing for cutthroat trout is fair to good in tidewater on bait. Upstream fishing is allowed only with artificial flies and lures, with Prince nymphs working well in pools in early mornings and evenings.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to angling, and a few fly-fishers are catching and releasing rainbow trout throughout the Applegate and Jackson Campground area.

KLAMATH - Dry-fly fishing for trout is good below the Boyle Powerhouse, with golden stoneflies still hatching and flying daily. Fly-fishing for trout has been good in the Keno area.