ROGUE RIVER, MICHIGAN

March 28, 2006

Down from Packer, I caught a incredibly colorful buck after JR gave up the spot. I returned the favor a short while later and got a female on the last cast of the night. Naturally neither of us brought a camera.


Summer trout

JR, Jay and I fished around 12 Mile Road, both above and below the bridge. I think we all got into some fish on the usual assortment of flies. I do remember fishing a straight stretch up from the bridge that held a lot of trout. I would normally skip over this type of water. A good lesson learned.


March 2005

I made at least two more trips here for steelies, but as I write this a year later, the details escape me.


Sunday, March 6, 2005

My first steelie of the new year! I really think the best way to break a fishing jinx, is to leave behind the net, leave behind the camera and just go with no expectations (and sometimes no witnesses). Any how, I found some good access through Rogue River Park. The fish came from the run below the island. Two other guys fished the heart of the run immediately before me and got nothing. I was fished the top of the run and slid down when they took off. After ten minutes, I dropped my indy rig down another six inches. Next cast, fish on. I tailed it in the shallows and found this female took a nuclear egg (orange inside, chartruse outside). It was somewhat lethargic, but dime bright! Beautiful.


Sunday, December 12, 2004

JR and I figured if we were going to get skunked, we may as well do it close to home. That was a good plan. We fished from Packer Bridge, hitting a nice run upstream. After we thoroughly flogged that water, we moved downstream. Found that Kent County parks created a nice riverside trail with access to several good spots including where I landed a winter steelie a couple years back. Of course, we got nothing, not even a trout. Pretty cold and just a little snow. Several other groups out as well.


Saturday, May 1, 2004

A week after opening day, I waded down from Algoma to 131. Just a few steps into the water, planters struck anything I threw in the water. I quickly bypassed these fish to get to any holdovers. Very few bugs came off the surface and I only saw a very few fish surface. I switched between dries with a dropper and a streamer. The streamer got me nothing which was disappointing but fun nonetheless. The dropper got me about a half dozen fish, two of which were pretty nice - both browns. Best luck was in the fast water at the first sharp bend and in the slow water just below the island. Still nothing at the creek.


Sunday, June 15, 2003

I waded down the same section as last month, but didn't catch quite as many fish. However, one productive stretch again yielded a bunch of trout and a little bigger than last month. The river level was down a little bit. Still couldn't get through the one hole.


Monday, May 26, 2003

Targeted trout today and had a great time. Caught a dozen 6-10 inch trout by the end of the day. A nice mix of browns and rainbows. Certainly some were planters. Others, who knows. I waded downstream from Algoma/12 Mile to the road next to 131. It took about 3 hours taking my time. It took 20 minutes to walk back along the road. Only one place was too deep to wade through. That was near the houses by Algoma. Another spot or two was high, but could be waded deeply. The river level was between 4.3 and 4.35 ft., discharge about 210 cfps.


March 16 & 23, 2003

I'll lump both days together because they were pretty much the same. I didn't get or see squat. On one day, I saw a guy take two steelies out on a stringer. Conditions seemed to be pretty good with the exception of a bit too much sun. Fished indy both times, didn't even get a trout.


Sunday, December 15, 2002

I got to the river in the afternoon, hoping the water would warm up a bit and I could get a steelhead to bite. I used my indy rig downstream from Childsdale. Fished hard all afternoon, but couldn't get a thing to bite. I was hoping for at least a trout. At any rate, I only saw a couple other anglers at the bridge and they had all struck out. The fall run just seemed to be real, real slow.


Sunday, April 7, 2002

Crowded. Big-time crowded. I got to the river while it was still dark, and there were 8 cars parked at Childsdale. As the day wore on, I saw people everywhere -- spending the night, burning fires.

I fished pretty hard all morning. Had a couple of opportunities, but came up very empty-handed. Cold and windy. No snow.


Sunday, March 3, 2002

On this snowy and blustery day, I spent some time with David Hise from the Thornapple shop. He guided me to a couple of good steelhead spots and helped me with my rigging. Our first stop was downstream from the Packer Drive bridge. Caught one nice hen using his special wax worm fly. The water tem was about 34 degrees, so the fish were in the slower water down deep. The second spot was a familiar hole near the power lines. Didn't get anything there. I was suprised how many anglers were out considering we got a lot of wet heavy snow the past day and night.


 

2001 Trips blown out


 

Thursday, July 13, 2000

Went back to one of my favorite holes downstram from Jericho, but had a much different resul this time. First I caught a smallmouth bass on a small grasshopper, then a shiner, and finally late in the evening a trout.

Hardly any hatching was going on, so very few trout were surfacing. The one trout I got was on a BWO. It seemed that fewer trout overall were in this area. Maybe people are catching and keeping. The good news is that twice I saw a very large trout leap out of the water in pursuit of something. It had to be 20 inches. I tried to catch it, but never saw it surface while I was trying.


 

Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Fished downstream from Jericho on this hot and muggy evening. A few small hatches came off early, while a blizzard of midges? came off later. Using a parachute BWO, I targeted rising fish. My success rate for strikes was about 80%, while my landing rate was more like 50%. All of the seven trout I landed were very fiesty, even though I suspect they were all planters. The largest was 11 inches.

The blizzard of midges (that's my best guess) sent the trout into a feeding frenzy. Mostly they were gulping just below the surface. I tried matching the hatch, but it wouldn't work. By far, this was the most activity of the evening, and I could only manage one strike. There must have been 10 trout working the surface within casting range. Another of the many lessons I've failed to learn.


 

 

Sunday, April 30, 2000

Spent most of the afternoon wading from 131 down to Summit and 12 Mile, trying to avoid the stocked fish. Going down took 2.5 hours, walking back took 20 minutes. The wading was very nice with a stream level of 4.4-4.5 at Packer Bridge.

It looked like some combination of little black stoneflies, BWO 's and Hendrickson's were coming off sporadically. They didn't matter much because everything I caught hit my nymph droppers. Landed four or five, and had many more hits. All of them were fairly small, but none had fin clips. Could they all have been holdovers? Or even naturals? Maybe.

Also went further upstream to Algoma and 12 Mile where the action was even slower. Great day to be out. Bright sunshine, high near 70.


 

 

Wednesday, April 19, 2000

The stocking truck has delivered its load! Thousands of little rainbows and browns were dumped off the Jericho bridge, eager to eat anything that came their way.

Jim and I showed up there after work and headed downstream aways because an angler was firmly planted just below the bridge. We fished some of the deeper holes and holding water with bead head nymphs. I caught one rainbow and one brown -- both may have been around for a while since neither had a fin-clip.

The rain and lightning delayed our fishing for 20 minutes or so, but we soon moved back upstream toward the bridge. Once there, it was hard to keep the twinkie trout off our hooks. It was great fun to catch 'em and let 'em go.


 

 

Sunday, March 29, 2000

With steelhead season upon us, Jim and I floated the canoe from Childsdale Bridge to the Grand River. We launched just after 7am in search of some of the holes that are hard to find on foot. Already there were a dozen cars parked around here, although it seemed the anglers were pretty well spread out.

Rogue River SteelheadIt didn't take long to find our first targets. I hooked and landed an 8 pound male after my fifth cast of the day. What a great way to start! He took a pink egg right in the corner of his mouth.

We stopped at many promising holes and pretty much anywhere we could spot fish. We saw a fair amount of fresh gravel, but no steelhead were working it. Probably because it was a clear, sunny day. Most all the fish we spotted were holding in deep runs or cruising in deep pools. The water was low for this time of year, which means we banged into many of the rocks but not most.

Both of us had a few other hits during the day. They were hard to come by as the steelhead were spooky and began thinning out as we approached the Grand.


 

 

Sunday, October 24, 1999

Jim and I floated in the canoe from the dam in Rockford to the Grand River looking for good pods of salmon. We found some here and there, but the low water made the fishing difficult. It seemed that whenever we got out of the boat, the fish would disappear. The ones that hung around were always "whitetails."

While we saw a fair number of salmon throughout the river, they were mostly dispersed. Just two or three at a time, with at least a bend in the river between them.

The weather was pretty nice, getting up into the 50s and mostly sunny. The low water also made canoeing a bit difficult. We ran into plenty of rocks and scraped bottom frequently.

A reminder to myself and all others who go on a float trip -- don't forget the keys to the car you dropped downstream.


 

 

Wednesday, June 9, 1999

Between the lightning storms I hit the water below Childsdale. I had hoped that the river was still low, but the early evening rain had done it's job. The river kept rising as I kept casting. Saw a decent hatch of light cahills, but nothing was coming to the surface. Using a bead head pheasant tail, I landed a few small rainbows. I was looking for some of the big trout I saw here when I canoed past them earlier this week.


 

 

Monday, May 10, 1999

I followed that hatchery truck once again. This time at Jerico Road. Finding trout just shouldn't be this easy. From what I can tell, the DNR dumps about 34,000 steelhead, 2,000 brown and 2,000 rainbow trout off the bridge every spring. Why fish at a hatchery, when they bring the hatchery to you?

Did I catch trout? Of course. I caught more 7-inch trout than I could keep track of. They're everywhere. The neatest part was to look at what kind I caught and to see if their fins were clipped.


 

 

Tuesday, May 4, 1999

Fished around the 12 Mile and Algoma Road area. Saw quite a few guys around here. That's unusual for an are that normally doesn't get a lot of attention. Plenty of room for everyone though.

When I got there around 6:30, the trout were surfacing actively. In retrospect, they seemed to be taking emergers, because my dry fly, a cinnamon caddis, got no attention. While my dropper, a bead head hares ear got more attention from the frisky hatchery-raised trout. Landed just one 7-inch rainbow with that rig. I should have tied on an emerger.

After that initial burst of activity, things quieted down for about an hour or so.

Surface feeding resumed as the sun went down. I had a hard time getting anything to hit my dry flies, despite trying several kinds. I found the right fly with a spent-wing pattern. A tough 11-inch brown hit it hard. He went back in the Rogue to be caught again.


 

 

Wednesday, March 17, 1999

Went out to scout the area around Childsdale Bridge for steelheading. The water looked really good, about normal height and fairly clear.

Lots of other guys out today. I counted 14 cars parked in the area, and ran into about ten anglers. Nobody had anything good to say about the fishing, other than it being a 60 degree day. Nothing wrong with that.

I didn't get any hits, or see any fish. But I found a couple of nice pools worth trying again.


 

 

Tuesday, August 25, 1998

Fished another new spot on the Rogue for me. There's a bridge on 11 Mile Road, just west of Jewel street, that offers easy access to a number of riffles above and below the bridge.

The water was very clear, and even seemed a little low, despite the recent rain. Didn't see any hatch activity, but that wasn't a suprise.

Using a small hopper as an indicator and bead head hare's ear as a dropper, I caught four small rainbows within 20 yards of the bridge. The biggest was probably 7 inches. Nothing to brag about, but a nice way to spend an hour on a warm summer evening.


 

 

Thursday, July 9, 1998

Fished downstream of the new and improved boat launch near 12 Mile Road. It was a new place for me. After a 1/4 mile walk through the woods, I found the gravel I was looking for. I had never fished here before but I recognized as the place where Sue and I and the dogs tipped our canoe on its maiden voyage.

The fishing was a bit slow on this warm, humid evening. I saw no hatch activity so I used a royal wulff as an attractor/indicator and a bead head pheasant tail as a dropper. I actually had one strike on the royal wulff, but didn't catch anything until switching to a parachute adams. I found one nice pocket of water behind a log and caught two small trout on the adams. I hung out after dark waiting for something to happen, but nothing did.


 

 

Thursday, May 28, 1998

Returned to the state land near 12 Mile and Algoma and saw a few less surfacing trout than on other trips. Perhaps not everyone is catching and releasing.

There didn't seem to be a consistent hatch on, so I tried all the nymph, emerger and dry fly patterns of a sulpher mayfly. I got a few strikes, but nothing that would stick.

Out of desperation, I tied on an ant pattern and tossed at a rising trout near the bank. Because the water is so still through this section, he got a really good look at it and hit it hard. A few minutes later, I landed a fiesty 12" brown trout.

Just for fun I also tried a royal wulff and got a strike but no trout.

Weather today was very warm and sunny so the mosquito count was tolerable.


 

 

Tuesday, May 12, 1998

Headed out to the river on this warm evening to try some dry fly action. As soon as I saw the river at the state land near 12 Mile and Algoma roads, the trout were surfacing.

I tied on a Hendrickson and soon landed one rainbow and three browns. The largest was about 14 inches. All put up a good fight.

Most of the active fish were in the "flatter" parts of the river near an open field, rather than in the wooded area. This was great for me because the mosquitos in the woods were tenacious. At least in the open they were tolerable.

I also tried a Hendrickson emerger for a while and it produced a few strikes, but I couldn't get anything to stay on the line.

The water was at about normal levels and slightly discolored, so wading was easy.


 

 

Monday, February 23, 1998

One of the many mild days this month no snow and some sun. I fished upstream of the Childsdale bridge for steelhead. Didn't see any and I didn't see anyone catch any. I've been reading reports of people hooking up, but ...

Anyways, I went farther upstream than I had before. You can walk along the bank opposite of the paper mill for at least a half mile and maybe longer. Above the riffley area around the bridge the water flattens and slows. There are quite a few springs entering the stream here. Around another bend there is a good area of fast water and some deep holes. I thought this looked like the most promising spot for some summer trout.

I didn't go upstream any further because there were a bunch of guys fishing. I'll have to explore a little further next time.


 

 

Tuesday, September 16, 1997

I took Tanner out to the lower portion of the river on a warm, humid evening. We went upstream of the Childsdale bridge. Wading was a bit slippery but usually pretty shallow. There were a few deep holes to watch out for. Some of the water was really quick while other parts were almost still. It was a neat are to fish even though I felt it might be a bit dirty. I ended up catching three rainbows. The smallest was about 6 inches while the biggest was about 12 inches. I had a couple other hits from fish in this range and lots of hits from fish that were much smaller. In all, a nice place to fish. No sign of salmon yet.


 

 

Saturday, June 14, 1997

Sue and I went fishing with the dogs on a perfect summer day. We only saw one fish surface, and I caught that 12" brown trout. The dogs loved splashing in the low, warm water. They probably scared off more trout than we'd want to know about. We also fished in the bluegill pond for a while. I caught lots of little ones and a nice 1 pounder. Sue caught one small bluegill. On the way home, we stopped for ice cream at Rocky's in Rockford.


 

 

Sunday, May 11, 1997

First time out on the Rogue this year. I could see how high the winter flood had gotten. The water was a bit on the high side even now, maybe a foot or so, probably from the recent rains. Didn't see much hatching tonight. Caught two rainbows using a green bead head caddis. Good sized fish, probably planted last year. I caught both in the same hole I had luck in last year. Uggg, even got a few mosquito bites.


 

 

Wednesday, August 7, 1996

Took Redwood out after work to cool down. It's well into the 90s today. I caught one lazy rainbow under the logs by 12 Mile and Friske. The water was fairly warm, low and clear. Didn't see much action on the river, but the water was refreshing. Mosquitos were as wicked as ever.


 

 

Saturday, June 24, 1996

Went out early this morning to beat the heat. I fished the upper strech of the river, north of 20 Mile Road in the State Game Area. The water was very discolored and high from the rains about a week ago. I had hoped the water would be lower this far up. Couldn't even tell if it was worth going back to again. I did see something large swimming around it was probably a bass or carp or something like that because it seemed to be rooting in the mud. Not too many bugs, but the foliage is thick and it's hard to get around.


 

 

Tuesday, June 11. 1996

Went back to the same spot again by 12 Mile and Friske. More rain had turned the water even darker and it crept up a few inches. Only caught one out of the pool behind the logs, but caught one along the bank upstream. Some guys were shooting off guns in the nearby field for an hour.

I forgot to mention the mosquitos on Sunday. They were just as bad today. Constant buzzing and biting. At least today I wore bug spray. That helped, but my wool gloves helped more. I need netting for my head.

Fished at the pond for a little bit and caught a 3-inch fish. I believe it was a bluegill. It was the biggest one I saw. Lots of them were 1 or 2 inches. They all tried to bite at my nymph but couldn't get it into their mouths. Also saw lots of sign of deer around the river and heard one snort by the private property.


 

 

Sunday, June 9, 1996

Took Redwood out this afternoon after the morning rains ended. I parked near 12 Mile Road and Friske Drive and fished the state land upstream from the bridge. Water was pretty high and discolored so it was hard to locate any trout.

Finally started seeing some surface a quarter mile upstream. Caught one rainbow there and moved further upstream to where several logs crossed the river. I had to cross the river myself to fish it right. Ended up catching six or seven rainbows and brookies in one hole. Used a hares ear bead head to catch them all. Used some dries for a while but there wasn't much surface action.

An easier access to this spot can be found by parking next to the field along 12 Mile Road and walking to the river. There's also a pond there that looks like it might hold fish.

All the trout were pretty much the same size, from 8 to 12 inches, obviously planted. It took only 15 minutes to drive to the river.


 

 

Saturday, February 10, 1996

Still the middle of winter, but the temperature got up to nearly 50 degrees today. A few inches of snow on the ground and the river was 2/3 frozen over. The water looked like coffee very dark, couldn't see the bottom. I could only fish from the ice because the flowing water was deep and raging.

Redwood had a good time running around. We hiked maybe a mile upstream to where there are signs indicating private property. There looks to be some good holes up here. Saw two other guys who were looking for somewhere to fish. When they saw me, they took off downstream and I never saw them again. Still haven't seen any fish through here.


 

 

Sunday, December 17, 1995

Got on the river at Childsdale Avenue Bridge. Ice covered about 1/2 the river. It was hard to see where the fish would hang out because of the ice. Supposed to be steelhead in here right now, but I didn't see any.

I left Redwood at home because I thought there would be homes close to the river here. Next time, I'll bring him because there is lots of land on both sides of the river for him to run.

Spoke to a guy there who said steelhead is much better in the spring. Easy to wade even with the ice. The guy said the water was higher than normal. He was about my age and a hard-core fly-fisher.

On the way back, I drove past my new home on Dale. The river access is 15 minutes from the house. Excellent!

Rogue River Map

Downstream from Rockford

Rogue River Streamlevel Data:

Rogue River near Rockford

Related Michigan Information:

Fly Shops and Guides
Fishing Reports
Dave's Fishing Trips
Fly-Fishing Links
Blue Ribbon Trout Streams
Designated Trout Lakes
1998 Trout Stocking
Hatch Chart
Wild & Scenic Rivers
Pere Marquette River Map
Muskegon River Map
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Trails to Trout Home Page

 

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