Your Guide to Fishing the Rogue River
By | 09/16/2022 | Fishing, Guides & Tours, Outdoor Activities, Outdoor Adventure, Things to Do

YOUR GUIDE TO FISHING THE ROGUE RIVER

‘The fish bite early’ I justified to myself over a cup of coffee one chilly morning. The clock read 4:00 a.m. and my body felt strained, but my heart was there. I’d heard stories of the fishing out on the Rogue River many times but I hadn’t yet found the chance to chase the famous salmon run myself. As I rolled up to the boat ramp just past Shady Cove, fog still fresh in the air, I knew my fortune was about to change. 

Few things speak to the rich history of the Rogue River more than fishing. The Takelma and other Native American tribes of the region thrived off the great salmon runs of the past and early pioneers likewise recognized the abundance of the region’s fisheries. Over time the Rogue has firmly established itself as a premier destination for anglers of all ages and skill - the perfect training-grounds to snag a huge salmon or steelhead trout. Today you can hire a guide to take you out on the river, show you the ropes, and hopefully help you bag your very own fish! Rogue Valley Anglers lead guided tours out of their fly shop in downtown Medford, or you can find a list of guides online using google. All you need to bring are the essentials for a day outing (lunch, layers, etc.) and most importantly a valid ODFW License which you can acquire at Blackbird or other general department stores in Medford like Walmart or Fred Meyer.

One chilly morning in Spring I found myself with guide Brandon Hiatt of Far West Sporting Adventures

We set off on a shiny, aluminum drift boat on the hunt for ‘Springers’ (spring chinook salmon). Brandon started by coaching me through the technique of ‘bouncing’ my bait. It works with a weight attached to the line that makes a sort of ‘thud’ when coming into contact with a rocky riverbed - once you feel it touch the bottom you lift your rod and let the weight drift and fall to the bottom again and again. The bouncing movement suspends your bait in the current and releases its juicy fragrance for the salmon to come by and take a bite. Unfortunately for us, the fish took little notice as we worked our first few ‘holes’ (places where fish like to hide). I grew in confidence, however, as Brandon guided me in perfecting the bounce with subtle corrections and a welcoming sense of humor. 

Fisherman enjoying time on the Rogue River, fishing, fish, fly fishing, water, trees, forest, outdoor adventure, things to do


My moment came at our fifth hole, a quiet forested bend in the river. After a couple bounces with fresh bait I felt a sharp tug; the hook set and my battle began. For what felt like an eternity (but actually only 10 minutes), my forearms blazed as I held the rod steady. “Keep fighting!” Brandon cheered, “Tire it out!” When we finally pulled it aboard, I dropped the rod with an audible ‘oof’, exhausted from the ordeal but feeling absolutely stoked. My first salmon! We posed with the catch and released it back to its home. I too returned home several hours later, exhilarated and rejuvenated from the experience. For over the day I learned that it’s not all about catching a fish - it’s about connecting to the river and the people we share it with.


FIND YOUR GUIDE

The Wild & Scenic Rogue River is teeming withopportunities for adventure! From small holes to legendary locations, the Heart of the Rogue is ready to invite you to discover its angler's paradise. Begin your adventure with one of the many guides - and allow yourself to be swept away by the Rogue's wonders!


Ready to experience it all for yourself? As described in the article - embark on an intimate, exciting journey with knowledgeable and friendly guides at Far West Sporting Adventures!

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Rogue Valley Anglers is your one-stop-shop to all your outfitting needs, and wonderful guided excursions throughout the Pacific Northwest.

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With over 12 years of experience and 250+ days on the river each year - discover Southern Oregon's most famous salmon and steelhead rivers like a pro with Rogue River Sport Fishing.

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Get hooked on Southern Oregon's prized Chinook, Steelhead and Salmon with Fishing the Rogue's year-round guided trips.

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Seize the opportunity to explore some of the world's most scenic Steelhead runs! With a max load of 3 passengers and your guide, Fishin' Oregon offers fabulously intimate and personal tours of the Wild & Scenic Rogue.

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Offering lake and river tours for all skill levels - NK Fishing Guides offers personal, year-round guided trips all over the state. 

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From the art of casting fly rods to presenting flies to the famed Pacific Northwest Steelhead - enjoy tailored, all-inclusive guided experiences with Humble Heron Fly Fishing.

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With over thirty years of experience as a professional outfitter and a lifetime of experience in the world of sport fishing - enjoy knowledgeable and exciting excursions with Jim Dunlevy Guide Service.

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Experience the thrill of fishing while feeling the joy of being connected to the river with Pacific Northwest Guide Service. All equipment is provided for your excursion, with several accommodations and amenities incorporated into each package just for you.

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Joel's Guide Service has been a premiere destination for anglers for over three decades! Enjoy year-round packages and friendly guides along the Wild & Scenic Rogue and beyond.

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From the river to the lake - explore the Rogue's bounty of Trophy Lake Trout, Kokanee, Salmon, Steelhead and so much more with Todd Logan's Guide Service.

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With several excursion options and seasoned guides, enjoy year-round fishing along the Rogue with Grieve's Guide Services Inc.

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Fish like a true local with Floatin' Rogue LLC's incredibly fun, guided excursions along the rushing river.

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With 34 years of experience on the river, catch legendary Salmon and Steelhead with local's favorite, Wager's Guide Service.

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