The Willamette and the Columbia rivers are off to a great start for spring chinook season. I called my dad today, Denny Hughson and the Rogue is no exception ,he told me that they have been catching springers with regular constantly since early march and the pictures that he has sent me tell the story. If memory serves me right mid april through mid May is peak season for the lower Rogue and there is a big shot of fish that constantly show up in early June. I don’t want to down play the Willamette or Columbia spring chinook but in all honesty the Rogue fish average a couple pounds larger and as a table fish are probably the king of the kings. My dad fishes from Agness to gold Beach for these spring chinook ,at a maximum they are 34 miles from the ocean, the closer to the ocean the better the fish, in fight and food. The Rogue has suffered from a couple of low run years, as well as a poor percentage of fin clipped fish this year is predicted to be a very good run and all the hatchery fish will be fin clipped ,if we remember it took a couple of season before our Willamette and Columbia hatchery fish were all fin clipped.
I vividly remember a week were I caught 27 fish in a row in the Willamette and had to release every one of them because ODFW had not clipped all hachtery fish at this point, now 97% of the run are fin clipped. The Rogue has suffered the same issue but this year all hatchery fish will be fined clipped with a greater percentage of keepers for the angler. If you want to take a short trip, fish a beautiful river and catch an awesome fish give Denny Hughson a call at 1-541-698-7395. It is really exciting to write about an awesome Springer season on the Rogue, the Rogue had a great winter steelhead run, a great Springer run and history shows that the fall steelhead and fall chinook will follow suite. This is exciting for our Rogue canyon fishing season, we should have a great number of fish to fish for this fall in salmon and steelhead both, I can’t wait!!