There are seven rivers with fighting steelhead within a five-minute to one-hour drive. This includes the Rogue River along with the Sixes, Elk, Pistol, Chetco, Winchuck and Smith Rivers. Make Gold Beach and Port Orford your home base and hit them all! Guides, boats, licenses and supplies are available in Gold Beach and Port Orford.
If you would prefer to ocean fish, Gold Beach offers the best ocean bottom fishing opportunities year around. Be certain to call in advance and reserve an Ocean charter (see charter listings).
Fishing the Rogue River
The Rogue River was designated as Wild and Scenic by the US Government in 1968 and is famous worldwide for outstanding fishing.
Fishermen should make plans to stop and fish, either by renting a boat, or signing up with one of the highly skilled river guides. Information about fishing guides are listed below on this webpage.
Spring Chinook are fished from March through June in a section of the river from Gold Beach up through Agness.
The mouth of the Rogue, near the Port of Gold Beach, is where fall Chinook Salmon stack up in the cooler water. These same Chinook head upstream in late summer and early fall as the Rogue cools down. Trolling from smaller jet boats, anglers catch salmon up to 60 pounds.
The Rogue also receives a healthy run of Coho Salmon in September through December.
Steelhead are sea-run rainbow trout hit their peak between December through March.
The mouth of the wild and scenic world famous Rogue River is in Gold Beach. The river travels roughly east for about 215 miles (346 km) to its headwaters at the base of Crater Lake National Park.
Fishing at Cape Blanco Lighthouse and State Park
The Cape Blanco Lighthouse is a favorite location for whale watching and offers spectacular views. The Wild and Scenic Sixes River passes through the State Park while the Wild and Scenic Elk River passes by just to the south.
Both the Sixes and Elk Rivers are about 50 miles long and flow from the Siskiyou National Forest. The Elk has more King Salmon holding water holes per mile than any other stream in Oregon. The Sixes river has a gentler gradient and sees a bit less action than the Elk.
Cape Blanco State Park is located 4 miles north of Port Orford. Turn west on Cape Blanco Road and drive 2 miles to the park entrance. All campsites are first-come, first-served. To reserve cabins, horse campsites or the group camp, call 800-452-5687.
The Cape Blanco Lighthouse is located just north of Port Orford.
Crabbing in Gold Beach – Port Orford
Dungeness crab, thought by many to be among the sea’s finest delicacies, are caught in this area from midsummer to late fall, and into the winter (commercial crabbing is closed Aug. 15 to Nov. 30). The best crabbing is done from a boat in the ocean but area crabbers know they can drop a cage off the Port Orford Pier and sometimes grab a few for dinner.
Crab ring rental is available at The Rogue Outdoor Store, 29865 Ellensburg Ave, Gold Beach, (541) 247-7142.
Agness is a charming tiny (population: 113 in 2007) community located near the confluence of two Wild and Scenic Rivers—the Lower Rogue River and the Illinois River. The Agness area is popular for fishing and hiking. Agness is in the Siskiyou National Forest and was threatened by the Biscuit Fire in 2002.
Agness is served by one of only two rural mail boat routes still operating in the U.S. (The other is on the Snake River in Idaho). The mailboat runs on the Rogue River between Gold Beach and Agness during the summer months. The mail is delivered by road for the remainder of the year.
Rogue River Ranch, east of Agness, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The travel to Agness is about 50 minutes from the Oregon Coast, but the drive has the added benefit of beautiful views of the Rogue river. From Gold Beach, turn east at the south end of the bridge to Jerry’s Flat Road (route 595 to NF-33). Follow for about 30 miles across the Illinois River bridge and the Rogue River bridge; turn left onto the Agness-Illahe Road for about 3 more miles.
An excellent way to visit Agness is via the Jet Boats. Try to eat lunch at one of the restaurants on the north side of the Rogue, as that is where Agness is located. There is usually enough time after eating to explore much of the area. The Old Agness Store is a moderate walk from the restaurants. While there, don’t miss the Agness-Illahe Museum, 34470 Agness-Illahe Road. Phone: 541 247 2014. Hours: 11 AM to 2 PM Daily May through September.
Agness has a K-6 “one-room school” that closed in September 2009.
Gold Beach Visitors Center
The Visitors Center is located on the beach at the southern end of town. It is located on beach and offers information about area artists, art galleries, events, hiking, camping, etc – open 7 days a week in the summer, closed Sunday during the off season. There is ample parking, RV turnarround and easiy access to the beach. Restrooms and Internet access.