For spey anglers keen to get off the beaten path in search of hot, bright winter steelhead, consider James and Kait Sampsel's wonderful new program in Agness, Oregon. Agness is not a place that one stumbles upon but rather a tiny old frontier town that must be sought out to experience. Located roughly 50 minutes upstream from where Oregon's Rogue river meets the sea at Gold Beach, Agness was established in 1897 and shortly thereafter, in 1912, Lucas Pioneer Ranch was built. Today the ranch is being run by the seventh generation of the Lucas family and is the headquarters for the Sampsel's remarkably authentic winter steelhead program. Located near where the Rogue's largest tributary, the Illinois, meets the main river, this is a wild and impressive area with a great array of attractive and productive swing fishing water. Guests will float different sections of the river in drift boats getting out to fish prime runs. At days end they will return to a down-home, family-style dinner and simple cabin accommodation on the 150 acre Lucas Ranch.
Lower Rogue Pioneer Ranch is located on the banks of the Rogue River in Agness, Oregon.
Both Kait and James Sampsel are extremely skilled and personable guides with a great gift for working with anglers of all experience levels. Each morning they will trailer their drift boats to nearby put-ins and spend the day floating between wade fishing spots. All fishing will be traditional down and across swing fishing, typically with spey rods, Skagit heads and sink tips. This is relatively big water but it has lots of structure and character and the surrounding area and accompanying views are rather spectacular. While guests are hoping to connect with adult winter steelhead, one of the things that makes this trip special is that encounters with smaller "half-pounders" are common and tend to keep the excitement levels high.
Accommodations and Meals:
Lucas Lodge is one of the most eclectic and unique operations that we represent. In its first fifty years, the lodge was a popular stopover for miners, loggers, trappers and anglers and today it remains steeped in its own rich history offering guests an unvarnished and utterly authentic Oregon experience. The property has a wide range of simple cabin accommodations that are clean, simple and dated in the most appropriate fashion. The main lodge is the definition of homey and brings together elements of a roadside curio shop and miniature historical society museum. Hearty, delicious meals are served family-style and have a distinct country flair and at the same time, they are able to accommodate a wide range of dietary requests with advance notice.
Day 1: Arrive Lower Rogue Pioneer Ranch, get settled in and prepare your gear for the following day's fishing.
Days 2-3: Two days of guided fishing.
Day 4: Depart lodge for home or points beyond. Note that longer stays are welcome.
Typical Daily Schedule:
7:00 AM- Breakfast at the lodge and meet guides
7:30 AM- Head to the river for your day of angling
12:00 PM- Lunch on the water.
5:30 PM-6:00 PM- Return to the lodge.
6:15 PM- Cocktails and appetizers.
7:00 PM- Dinner
2020 Rates: $2,200 per person for a 4 night/3 day package
Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, guided fishing, riverside lunch, transportation from the lodge to and from put in/takeout, fishing tackle and flies
Not Included: Round trip airfare, transportation to and from the lodge, gratuities, alcohol, waders, wading boots, personal items, fishing license and steelhead tag
Species: Winter steelhead
Capacity: 4 anglers