Road Trippin' : Gone Fishin'
“If you catch a fish in a spot, you gotta fish it for the rest of your life,” Phil Tripp says about going fishing.
Tripp is the owner of Rogue River Sport Fishing. He’s been a guide for the last eight years, taking people out all over southwest Oregon and to Alaska.
“I've been fishing my whole life as a kid in the creeks, running around with my dad and my brothers. My love, my passion for the sport, just getting other people enthusiastic and on board with it is probably why I got into it,” Tripp says.
He grew up in the small town of Somes Bar, California. It’s about halfway down the Klamath River, Tripp says in the middle of nowhere, "all I did as a kid was fish.”
He took that love and created a business, “It took a while in the beginning, I probably did five trips my first year and then it turned into 10 and now I'm out here eight years later, 250 days plus a year on the water.”
Right now, he can be found on either the Rogue or Umpqua rivers catching winter steelhead.
“When May rolls around, I'm on the Rogue River strictly and we're fishing for spring Chinook and they average 18 to 20 pounds, real hard fighting fish, probably the best eating fish we catch all year, just based on the fact that they come up the river really fast from the Pacific Ocean, nice layer of fat on them and that orange meat we all like from our salmon,” Tripp says about his trips.
Tripp loves fishing year round, but he’s especially excited for this summer.
“From July until about the end of October, my customers can come out and have the chance of catching a salmon and a steelhead on the same day and that's pretty unique for a small fishery like the upper Rogue,” Tripp says.
His whole goal is finding his customers the sweet spot on the river to snag the perfect fish.
“There's always a question mark out there, but they seem to come every year, which is pretty special about these fish. They're pretty driven to come back to where they were born and we're lucky for that. You just gotta go fishing to have that good day.”
Most fishing guides will tell you to book in advance, since they're calendars are starting to fill up.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the best bets for fishing right now are surf perch fishing on the Oregon coast, spring trout and spring chinook, especially on the Rogue and Umpqua rivers.
ODFW also sponsors more than 30 free family fishing events throughout the state, where staff and volunteers can show you how to bait a hook, cast a rod and land a fish.