The river is open to trout fishing through the end of the year. Only hatchery trout may be retained, 2 per day. All wild rainbow trout and cutthroat trout should be immediately released unharmed.
Winter Steelhead fishing opened on Jan. 1. The Applegate on average has a later returning run of winter steelhead with fish typically not showing up until late February to March, but with the good river flows so far this year, don’t be surprised if some early winter fish start nosing into the Applegate in the next few weeks. Only hatchery steelhead may be retained in the Applegate.
There is limited public access on the Applegate, and often anglers will float in small rafts or pontoons. However, anglers are reminded that there is no fishing from a floating device allowed, but bait can be used. There are public lands available for access such as Jackson Campground, McKee Bridge and small BLM parcels in the vicinity, Bridge crossing just upstream of the Little Applegate, Cantrall Buckley, an ODOT gravel pullout upstream of Murphy, Fish Hatchery Park, and the highway 199 bridge.
Often anglers that float from Fish Hatchery Park or the 199 bridge will take out at White Horse/Lathrop County Park on the north bank of the Rogue. Flows around 600-1000 cfs at Wilderville are good water levels for floating. Just be aware of tight corners, snags and private property. The Applegate River has never been adjudicated for navigability, so keep that in mind when pulling over to fish pools and riffles. It’s best to stay below ordinary highwater, not be confrontational with any landowners, and have a GPS to locate landlocked public parcels to fish from unless you have permission from landowners.
As of Wednesday morning, the Wilderville stream gage was reading 1,280 cfs and dropping (from a peak of around 2500 cfs/5.06 ft on Monday). Expect a small bump in flows later in the week/early weekend. Water temperature is 41 degrees F and 152 cfs coming out of the Dam. You can check the USGS stream guage flows on the Applegate when planning a trip.
ROSEBURG, Ore – ODFW asks anglers who harvest a hatchery winter steelhead to put the snout in specially marked collection......