May 22, 2015 Leave a comment
Rogue’s Roost and many other spots on the Rogue River were known for excellent steelhead and salmon, so to provide their guests with a fishing map, Nion and Phyllis Tucker hired sketch artist, Ray Minehan. He drew a limited amount of sketches that are all numbered. This is #22. It is supposed that the maps were drawn in the late 30s or early 40s. The Roost had been purchased by the Tuckers as a picnic site from Walter and Alice Bowne in the 1930s. At that time, there was only a small cabin, and nothing to suggest what would become the magnificent Rogue’s Roost. The Tuckers then bought other parcels from different landowners to complete the finished residence. Joseph Chevigny was the chauffeur and fisherman in residence. He and my Dad used to go fishing together. It was Joe who taught my Dad about the art of fly fishing. The area near the Roost boasted a huge spawning bed and great steelhead fishing. Joe created his own fly that he called the Chevigny fly. My Dad copied it, and made numerous flies that he gave to friends. He renamed the fly, The Rogue River Special, and the name stuck. It is still used by fishermen today. The upper left of Ray’s map shows the elegant Roost with its spacious lawn. The main building in the center opened out to a deck over the river. It was not unusual to see Jack salmon or steelhead jumping in the sparkling water.The lower left of the map shows the end of a fisherman’s efforts: a large, tasty fish ready to be eaten. A few comments regarding some of the places mentioned on the map: 1. The town of McLeod no longer exists. It was subsumed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a visitors’ information center for Lost Creek Dam. 2. Casey’s Camp was an extention of the original Casey’s Auto Park. Today it is called Casey State Park. 3. Round House(a stone house) was built by Emmett(Sno-Cat) Tucker(no relation to the Tuckers of Rogues Roost), and eventually became the famous Obstinate J Ranch until it was sold and the name changed. 4. Beagle was a pioneer community that began in 1885 and ended in 1941 when the U.S. Army took it over to establish Camp White. 5. Sunset on the Rogue included a gas station, store for food and fishing, and cabins. It still exists today! 6. California on the Rogue offered a gas station and cabins. The name has been changed, but the buildings remain. I knew the owner during the 60s, Mr. Sullivan. I brought a geode to him from the North Umpqua region and asked him if there could any crystals. He said, “Nah!” When I got to the Obstinate J Ranch, I split the geode and found it full of reddish-brown quartz crystals! 7. Captain Black’s refers to what became Black Oaks. The place currently belongs to the Donald L. Donegan family and encompasses some of the best steelhead water between Dodge Bridge and TouVelle State Park. 8. Dowden and Hardy’s should be reversed. Hardy Rapid Class 2+ contains an enormous hole in the middle of the river that must be avoided. Dowden refers to Dowden Falls, today known as Gold Nugget Falls Class 3+. Every summer rafters and kayakers float the left channel of the falls that includes two large drops, especially the last one! The campground provides a beach with great views of the lower drop. A great place to relax and reflect on nature’s wonders.