Rogue River Steelheading - Oregon

Tight Lines Fishing

The Rogue River carves its way through Oregon's rugged coastal mountains to the Pacific Ocean from its origin in the high Cascades near Crater Lake. Drift fish for Rogue River Steelhead. The trip begins 28 miles west of Grants Pass, Oregon. You'll drift 43 miles through the Wild and Scenic section, the jewel of the Rogue River. The take-out at Foster Bar is less than 40 miles from the town of Gold Beach on the Oregon Coast. The guides are excellent instructors, making this a great trip for anglers who want to learn fly fishing.

Fly Fishing the Rogue River

Steelheading the Rogue River

Rogue River Outfitters

Tight Lines Fishing has been guiding anglers since 1925. Their operation on the Rogue is a top-of-the-line Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Expedition. Drift fish for 43 miles through the beautiful and protected Rogue River Canyon. You must have a permit to access this section of the Rogue. The Rogue is a large pool-and-drop river with up to Class IV whitewater. This fishing trip begins below Grave Creek. Soon after entering the water, the guides will line their boats around Rainie Falls, the only portion of the river they can't safely navigate. During the rest of the 43-mile journey, you'll experience a part of the world accessible only through the Rogue River Canyon.

Fish for 4-to 10-pound summer steelhead and the world-famous half-pounders (1 ½ to 3 pounds steelhead - nicknamed by Zane Grey). Steelhead migrate up from the Pacific Ocean to the upper reaches of the Rogue. During your drift, you may see osprey, wild turkeys, bald eagles, otters, turtles, deer, and the occasional black bear. Winkle Bar is a favorite spot for history buffs. You can also visit Zane Grey's cabin on the mining claim he purchased from an old gold prospector in 1926. At his cabin on the Rogue, Zane Grey was inspired to write several novels, including "Rogue River Feud" and "Shooting the Rogue."

Fishing Facts:

Rogue River fishing

Season:  Their season runs from September 1 through mid-November. A wide variety of weather, with a bit of rain to be expected. September temps can reach 90'. Early October into the 80's and then 60's by the end of the month. In November, the temperature drops, but the steelhead are larger.
Boats:  Wooden drift boats have padded seats with back support and ample legroom. You’ll get in at least eight hours of guided fishing each day. Two anglers per boat and guide.
Guides:  Veteran guides provide excellent instruction for all levels of fly anglers. The guides are top boatmen and are able to easily access small pockets of water with no wading or extremely long casting.
Group Size:  Up to 12 anglers per week.
Methods:  The outfitter focuses mainly on fly fishing. Although some lures are welcome, no baitfishing is allowed.
Fishing Equipment:  All fishing gear, tackle, and flies are provided.
Fishing License:  An Oregon fishing license and steelhead tag are not included in the package.
Wildlife and Sightseeing:  You may see osprey, wild turkeys, bald eagles, otters, turtles, deer... Your guide will point out historic sites. You can walk up to Zane Grey’s cabin. Take a short hike to the Rogue River Historical Museum and learn about the Rogue Indians and the first white settlers to the canyon.

Typical Fishing Day:
7:00 a.m. Breakfast is served at the Lodge. After breakfast, the boats are packed up. You'll float and fish the river.
At about 1:00 p.m., a shore lunch is prepared with the hatchery-caught steelhead of the morning. After a nice lunch, you'll float and fish and make it to the Lodge for the night between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. You'll enjoy a hearty dinner and a hot shower, if desired, before bed.

Rogue River Lodging

Rogue River steelhead

Angler with Bright Steelhead

The Rogue River "Twitch" means swinging a wet fly for

Guide-Prepared Shore Lunch

Rogue River Outfitters

Shore Lunch:  Each day, the guides create a nice luncheon with fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables. Shore lunches feature fresh steelhead (only hatchery fish) or salmon when available.

Three Rogue River Lodges

Rogue River Lodging

Lodging:  You'll stay at three comfortable, historic lodges on the Rogue – Black Bar Lodge, Marial Lodge, and Illahe Lodge. Hot showers, a warm fireplace, comfortable beds with sheets, and two guests per room or cabin.
Meals:  You'll enjoy hearty breakfasts and dinners at the riverside lodges. Daily shore lunches feature fresh steelhead (only hatchery fish) or salmon (when available) broiled over hardwood coals with a selection of fresh salads.
Beverages:  Wine is served with dinner, and cold beer is on hand at Camp. Water, soft drinks, and lemonade are also provided. Guests are invited to bring any additional beer, wine, liquor, and mix they wish to drink.

Getting to the Trip Start:

Most guests fly to Medford, Oregon, rent a car, and drive about an hour to Merlin. You'll need to stay in a motel the night before the trip starts. Most of their guests stay at Galice Resort in Merlin on the banks of the Rogue River. The following morning, the group will meet at the put-in at 9:00 a.m. You’ll meet your guides, pack your water bags, get fitted for a life jacket, and take in a short safety speech. (There is a $135.00 shuttle fee to get your vehicle from the put-in to the take-out. Our confirmation packet includes a list of lodging options.)

2023 Rate:

2023 Season:  September 1 - November 12, 2023
3-nights and 3.5-days guided fishing
$2,375.00 per person

The Package Includes:

• Lodging
• Meals
• Guided fishing
• Use of all tackle, rods, reels, and flies.

The Package Does Not Include:

• Lodging and meals in Grants Pass or Merlin
• Vehicle rental
• $135.00 shuttle fee
• Gratuities to guides
• Oregon fishing license and steelhead tag
•Global Rescue
• Travel insurance
• Anything not mentioned under inclusions.

Steve's Trip Report:

We had a great trip!! Jeff is an amazing guide and master boatman, and the history his family has with the Rogue River is an experience I will always remember. It was still early in the season for half-pounders, but once we all learned the art of “twitching” and got further downstream, fishing picked up, I believe, for everyone. All of the people at Tight Lines were exceptional @ rowing a drift boat with low river conditions on the Rogue; that is no easy feat. The guides all worked the fishing holes extremely well. I give them all 5 stars for that and everything they did to make our trip so much fun.
- Steve.

Gerald's Trip Report:

This was an excellent experience. Everything was precisely as the Fishing With Larry catalogue description stated. The lodging was basic but what we expected from "historic" lodges. We slept and dined to our hearts' content. Lots of hot water for showers. The fishing was also as we had anticipated: the "half pounders" were trout-sized but much more energetic than comparably sized rainbows; the steelhead were comparable to Idaho's A-run fish in size -- perfect on my 7wt 10' rod -- and chrome bright -- again, just as described in the catalog. The drift boats were perfect for the job of safely floating and negotiating the "canyon" stretch of the Rogue. The guides knew the intricacies of the river and kept us 98% dry. Wildlife was present and not shy of the floaters. Tim was the consummate trip director. He arranged for one guest who had injured himself to be evacuated. He added caution when appropriate and humor likewise when apt. The meal proportions were super abundant, from the 2" pork chops to the Thanksgiving turkey dinner on the final night. The other guests were the most amiable and entertaining group anyone could have wished.
In short, the trip was a pure delight. I landed approx. 40 fish over the 3 1/2 days of fishing. For me, dead drifting a nymph was most productive. For everyone else, swinging and twitching a wet fly seemed to be preferable. The biggest fish were 5 - 7 pounds with many 20-inchers. The weather was foggy in the a.m. but sunny and warm every afternoon.
Thanks for making the trip available. Diane and I would do it again in a flash if we can get together another couple to join us.
- Gerald.

Fishing Travel Experts

Guy Schoenborn

1-800-205-3474 ext. 1

MT Office:  406-322-5709


Brad Staples

1-800-205-3474 ext. 3

Cell (503) 250-0558