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Local steelheaders report good fishing

TOM CULLIGAN holds one of several nice steelhead he caught recently when he and his wife, Katherine, fished the Rogue River with guide Jim Andras. Submitted photo

TOM CULLIGAN holds one of several nice steelhead he caught recently when he and his wife, Katherine, fished the Rogue River with guide Jim Andras. Submitted photo

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Tom and Katherine Culligan just returned from a two-day steelhead fly-fishing excursion with guide Jim Andras on the Rogue River in southern Oregon where they had a lot of action and great fun.

Jim, who is an outstanding guide, took them through waters teeming with huge spawning king salmon. They found big trout and steelhead feeding on the eggs that drifted down from the salmon redds (nests) and that is where they had most of the action.  They also enjoyed watching the salmon jumping and rolling on the surface as they guarded their redds.

They both caught lots of half-pounder-sized steelhead, trout, and Tom landed several steelhead that ran up to 31 inches. Katherine not only caught some nice steelhead, but also hooked a large salmon that was well over 30 pounds. After she got the fish close to the boat and saw that it was a salmon and not a steelhead, she intentionally broke the fish off, which is what you are suppose to do when you hook a salmon there this time of year.

They fished in sections of the Rogue just north of Medford and stayed in Ashland where they enjoyed two nice plays as well.

This is a great time to fish the Rogue and Trinity rivers. Jim Andras is by far the best guide for this rivers. Jim and  his wife, Rachel, live in Talent, Ore., just north of Ashland. You can call them at 530-722-7992.

My fishing buddy, Steve Kyle, sent me an email from the Babine River in British Columbia Wednesday. He caught one nice eight-pound steelhead during his first day fishing, but after that, warm weather caused lots of runoff from the glaciers and made the river almost too murky for fishing. He said the silt was so heavy the visibility was barely three inches in the water. One guy at the lodge did land a beautiful steelhead that measured 38 inches, but otherwise, fishing has been tough on the Babine this week, Steve said.

Bob Grace, at the Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir, said the fishing on the Upper Sacramento River and McCloud River has improved slightly this week. Water is low, and action can be hit and miss, but the nights are cooling down and the river canyons are beginning to have the feel of fall. It is a great time to fish these rivers, too, because there are few others on them. Bob can connect you with a guide if this is your first time up there. Call him at 530-235-2969.

Closer to home, there is pretty good striped bass fishing in San Francisco Bay this week along the Marin Shoreline and around the Sisters, Brothers and Red Rock, reports Kevin Wolf, of Loch Lomond Bait Shop. Kevin also said that salmon fishing has been good at times this week at Cal City (off Tiburon). He books party boats for Bay fishing. Give him at call at 415-456-0321.

Speaking of salmon, the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA) is hosting its third annual Marin County dinner at Marin Catholic High School on Saturday, Oct. 5. The evening includes hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dinner, silent and open auctions, and the chance to compare fish stories with all the folks we share the water with and raise some funds for GGSA.

Tickets are $75 a person, available by calling 855-251-GGSA (4472) or by visiting goldengatesalmonassociation.com.

Golden Gate Salmon Association is a coalition of salmon advocates that include commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, tribes, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon. GGSA’s mission is to protect and restore California’s largest salmon-producing habitat comprised of the Central Valley rivers that feed the Bay-Delta ecosystem and the communities that rely on salmon as a long-term, sustainable, commercial, recreational and cultural resource.

Salmon fishing off the coast has been hit and miss this week, but the rock and lingcod action has been hot, as has the albacore tuna fishing. Capt. Rick Powers, at Bodega Bay Sportfishing, has been having great scores for his clients on the rock fish, and then he took his new luxury party fishing “Surf Scooter” out last Thursday and came home with 36 albacore to 25 pounds for six anglers. His boat is well equipped and comfortable for overnight custom charters. Call Rick at 875-3344 for more information and to book a trip.