Summer’s winding down, but don’t think the rafting season is over, because September and October are great times to raft the wild and scenic stretch of the Rogue river.
A permit is still required to run this section of river, (the permit season is from May 15 through October 15th), but you won’t have any trouble getting a permit. Every remaining day of September and October are loaded with unclaimed river permits.
All you have to do is figure out which days work for you, call the BLM office on the link above and grab a permit.
This is one of the greatest times to float the Rogue River because not only are you getting a great whitewater rafting trip in, but you’ll also probably hit some great Steelhead fishing too. Lots of folks choose to bring their Drift Boats instead of their rafts just so they can fish more efficiently.
Summer’s Last Gasp
This time of year in Southern Oregon is what they call Indian summer, in short, there’s not much precipitation and the days are warm. You’ll need a coat and long pants at night, a cozy sleeping bag and probably a tent, but the days can be wondrously warm.
Of course the days are shorter and the nights longer, but you’ll still have plenty of time to get to your next camp without having to work too hard.
If you want to maximize your time on the water and don’t want to camp at all, you can look into booking a couple of nights at one of the lodges in the river corridor. They provide a huge family style dinner, clean sleeping areas and a send you off with a hearty breakfast.
You won’t be spending as much time swimming as you would during mid-summer, because the water temperature drops fairly quickly with the cooler nights. The time you would have spent swimming is easily taken up fishing, or watching the wildlife scurry around readying things for Winter.
Trip I’ll Never Forget
I took my family down in early September last year, just before the kids went back into school and had one of the most memorable trips of my life.
My fishing guide brother told me the half pounder steelhead were in, so I took a Friday off from work, and got a permit. We pushed hard the first day hoping to get down to where the fishing was reported as being hot.
We ran into the fish where we expected and fished from our raft. We zinged steelhead after steelhead. We finally got to camp, put up a tent, set up the kitchen area then went back out and fished some more.
You can keep 2 hatchery steelhead a day per person. We had all caught our alloted 2 within an hour and rowed back to shore with dinner. We served salad, bread and fresh caught Rogue river steelhead.
In the morning we awoke early and while sipping coffee caught and kept 4 more fat fin clipped steelhead. We ate them for breakfast, along with cereal and yogurt.
The next day’s temperatures were in the 90s, we floated and fished all day. Lots of guided trips passed us throughout the day and we certainly turned lots of heads.
The guides have drift boats, and generally the paying passengers sit in front decked out in Orvis and Cabelas gear. They’ve paid top dollar for the trip, they’re catching fish, but not like we are. They marvel at my beautiful wife in her bikini catching fish after fish from our unorthodox raft.
I just wave and grin as another rod tip bends with the vicious hit of another Rogue River Steelhead. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
Finally we got to the takeout and packed up the trip. It was the last time we got on the Rogue that summer, but it’s a trip i’ll never forget and one i’d like to duplicate many times in the future.