John is awake before the alarm goes off. He is going fishing! We leave the campground. We turn left. We go over the bridge into Gold Hill. We turn onto Route 234. “John, this is the Umpqua Rogue Scenic Byway.” Of course, it is 3:30 in the morning and DARK!
We have no trouble finding Shady Cove and the fish hatchery. We miss one turn but it is an easy turnaround. Not bad for us. We do not normally drive in the dark.
Anglers are crazy. You are not allowed to fish until one hour before sunup. Wading anglers are lined up in the water fishing. It is dark out! The ladder gates at the reservoir are closed at night. The salmon stack up until the gates are open.
We float through the gauntlet of anglers with no problem. We find our first stop. Spring Chinook are here. We can see them jump and roll on top of the water.
There are two methods of fishing for Spring Chinook. One requires putting the rod in the rod holder and waiting for a bite. I know this is not going to make John happy. The other way is called “bouncing” You bounce the bait off the bottom while moving through the rapids. This is better for John.
I am surprised at the rapids we are going through in a small aluminum boat. I thought the whitewater trip was yesterday! There is one turn that makes me wonder why we do not have our life jackets on. We are fine.
John hooks up one fish. He would have liked to catch more but this one is a beauty. It puts up a good fight! It is a native fish. That means it was not bred in the fish hatchery. John and the guide can tell the difference.
I do not see as much wildlife as yesterday but it is still a great day. This section of the Rogue River is further upstream than yesterday. It is a great morning.
Tomorrow we move to Diamond Lake. Our new park will put us in range of Crater Lake. The north entrance and the west rim of Crater Lake are open.
Campground: Medford/Gold Hill KOA