Multi-Day Fishing —Rogue Canyon Salmon/steelhead
THE DAY BEFORE YOUR TRIP
We suggest that you spend the night before your journey at one of the many hotels listed on the Trip Logistics page. Waterproof bags will be supplied to you if you have spent the night around Grants Pass. Packing lists, Shuttle information, as well as the time and location of our launch are here as well. Click below for complete details.
We’ll meet you at Graves Creek at 8:00 a.m. The boats will be in the water and ready to go. Tina will help you finalize your car shuttles, and the guides will assist you in transporting your gear to the boats. After all of the gear has been loaded, your guide will fit you with a PFD, give you a quick safety briefing, and then we’ll be on our way. We immediately proceed to upper and lower Graves Creek Rapids. We’ll go 2 miles to Rainie Falls, which will be a portage. You’ll travel a trail around the falls, pausing to observe the salmon attempting to leap over the falls. The drift boats will be roped through the fish ladder, which will take each guide roughly 10 minutes.
Now it’s time to go fishing for salmon! A deli-style lunch is served at 12 noon, including a full sandwich bar, fruit, four or more homemade salads, cake, cookies, and the morning’s catch—fresh grilled fish. After lunch has settled, it’s time to get back to fishing. We have 7 miles to travel to Black Bar Lodge. We’re going to shift our fishing tactics to focus more on steelhead. We’ll teach you how to do Zane Grey’s renowned Rogue River twitch. By the time we arrive at Black Bar Lodge, we’ll fish a half-dozen steelhead runs and boat through many class 2 and 3 rapids.
We expect to arrive at Black Bar Lodge at 5:00 p.m. where you will be shown to your cabins. The guides will change into their evening outfits and prepare your evening meal. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. Lights go down at 10:00 p.m. since the power comes from a generator. At 6:00 a.m. the next morning, the lights will be turned back on. Your cabin will be served with coffee. Breakfast will be served at 7:00 a.m. By 8:00 a.m., we’re on our way to the boats for another day of excellent fishing.
On day 2 we will travel about 16 miles and we will largely be fishing for steelhead, but there are some decent salmon holes if you’d like to try them – just ask your guide. This section also contains a lot of historical sites: Battle Bar, Kelsey Canyon, Bob Fox’s Cabin, Zane Grey’s Cabin, and more.
At 12:00 noon, we’ll stop for lunch once more. Similar lunch, different sandwich meats, new salads, and fresh steelhead, to name a few things.
We still have about 8 miles to go before reaching Paradise Lodge, with many good steelhead runs and a handful of fun rapids ahead (John’s, Maggie’s, and China Bar to name a few).
Mule Creek was the hub for all the miners during the Gold Rush, and also where we will group up to run Mule Creek Canyon and Blossom Bar. This is 2-miles of spectacular beauty and unique whitewater and one of the most memorable sections of the Rogue.
After making it through Blossom Bar we pass through Devil’s Staircase and one more stellhead run before reaching Paradise at 6:00 p.m. You will be shown to your rooms when we arrive, and your luggage will be delivered. Tonight the staff at Paradise will prepare our meals, so make room for the guides, as we will be dining with you tonight. Paradise operates on a solar system, so no “lights out” tonight. Breakfast will be served at 7:00 a.m., and our goal is to be catching fish by 8:00 a.m.
This is usually our finest steelheading day, covering 12 miles. Today, we have a number of fantastic steelhead runs to choose from, one of which is known as the Generals. General Curtis LeMay’s cabin was located here. Captain Titchener was ambushed by the Rogue Indians at Titchener’s and narrowly escaped.
We will have our final lunch of the day at Ford Hole—fresh steelhead and more new salads. We attempt to keep this lunch stop to a minimum so that we can spend more time fishing before arriving at Foster Bar at 3:00 p.m. You’ll be able to locate your vehicles, unpack your belongings, and return home from here.
More information about our trip
MCKENZIE RIVER DRIFT BOATS
We row McKenzie River drift boats. These boats were designed in the early 1900s by McKenzie River Valley river pioneers to run in shallow whitewater and are easy to maneuver. The drift boat’s bottom has a front-to-back rocker for whitewater and a flat bottom from side-to-side for stability. The “Cadillac” among drift boats, this early design is still the most popular. These boats can comfortably accommodate two guests and one guide.
Our team is exceptional. Our guides are full-time subcontractors who are licensed and insured. All of our guides have their own boats, rods, reels, tackle, and other equipment. Our crew takes immense pride of their knowledge of the rivers on which we operate. They are accomplished rowers, historians, and fishers. It’s a privilege to collaborate with such competent guides.
WHAT FISH ARE IN THE ROGUE?
A variety of migratory fish can be found in the Rogue River. Winter, Summer, and Fall Chinook Salmon, Silvers or Coho Salmon, Winter, Summer, and Fall Steelhead, as well as half-pounder Steelhead and Sturgeon are also available. We will fish for fall Chinook Salmon, mature Summer and Fall Steelhead, and the famed “half pounder” Steelhead nicknamed by Zane Gray during our Fall Rogue Canyon fishing season (September, October, and November).
Rogue River Outfitters specializes in mature Steelhead and “half pounder” Steelhead fly fishing. We come prepared to do whatever it takes to catch fish, even though we prefer to fly fish. For salmon, we’ll use plugs and bait. For Steelhead and half-pounder Steelhead, we troll plugs, cast spinners, side drift, and float fish, as well as fly fish. You are our guests, so please let us know if you have a fishing preference, and we will do our best to accommodate you.
All fishing rods, reels, and tackle will be provided by our guides. We all use high-quality fly rods from Sage, Orvis, Loomis, and Beulah. Fly reels from Lamson, Orvis, Ross, and Hardly. Our spinning rods are Loomis and Lamiglas, and our reels are Shimano. All of our salmon rods and light plug rods are Loomis and Lamiglas with Ambassador and Shimano reels, while our light plug rods are Lamiglas with Ambassador reels. Please feel free to bring your favorite rod if you have one.
Our first night’s stay will be at Black Bar Lodge. The Black Bar is exactly how you’d image a wilderness lodge to be: small log houses set amid the trees serve as the rooms. Each cabin sleeps two people. Two single beds, a heater, and a private bathroom are provided in the cabins. A dining and gathering room, as well as an outdoor cooking and barbeque pit, are available. Your fishing guide becomes a 5-star chef at this lodge.
On the banks of the Rogue River, Paradise Lodge sits on the edge of an 88-acre meadow. Since its beginnings as a farmstead, Paradise has undergone extensive renovations. It’s not rustic, but it’s modern rustic, and it’s lovely. Each room, like Black Bar, sleeps two people in two single beds with a private bathroom. The guides will dine with you because the staff at Paradise prepares all of the meals.
You will be treated to a delicious shore lunch every day at 12 noon while fishing with Rogue River Outfitters. We’ll come to a halt as a group. The fish of the day is prepared and served with Tina’s homemade treats. Your guides transform into 5-star chefs the first night you arrive at Black Bar Lodge. Hors d’oeuvres are served in the dining room at 6:00 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., dinner will be served. Dutch oven biscuits, grilled New York steak, sauteed vegetables, pesto spaghetti, spinach or Caesar salad, and dessert are on the menu for dinner. The next morning, rise and shine at 6:00 a.m. for coffee delivered to your room. Breakfast is served in the dining room at 7:00 a.m. Remember lunch is at 12 noon.
Second night: The lodge employees at Paradise are our hosts and will prepare our meals. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. in the main lodge, and the guide team will join you for dinner. Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., with coffee available at 6:30 a.m. in the main lodge. Lunch will be served at 12 noon.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Your guide will point out historic sites and tell you stories about the past. You can walk up and see Zane Grey’s Cabin, where he wrote many of his western novels. Take a short hike to the Rogue River Historical Museum to learn about the canyon’s original settlers and the Rogue Indians.
From the time we begin in late August to the time we conclude in early November, the weather changes a lot. September is typically still summer, with daytime temperatures in the 80s and overnight temperatures of 55 to 60 degrees. During the day, we usually wear shorts and a light shirt; however, I like to keep a fleece jacket on hand for the mornings and evenings.
Even on a hot day, you will detect cool places where it is shaded. October is still a genuinely pleasant month, and it is not uncommon to experience temperatures above 80 degrees. By mid-October, you should be prepared for possible rain. The daytime temperature is 70 degrees, while the evening temperature is 50 degrees. We start wearing long pants, light rubber boots, and a warmer long-sleeve shirt about mid-October; both months are actually pleasant, usually with little rain throughout the season. We recommend that travelers visit between September and mid-October, when the weather is more predictable.