Klamath River Fly Fishing Guide Trips
The Klamath River is one of the best places here in California to float through remote wild country and catch multiple half-pounders and adult Steelhead on the same float. With plenty of smaller trout sized fish to keep things interesting, along with energy charged encounters with large angry adult Steelhead, the Klamath it is one of Off the Hook Fly Fishing's very favorite fisheries to share with our clients and friends.
Klamath - The River
The Klamath River system has traditionally been one of the most productive on the West Coast going back to pre-Columbian times. Flowing south from the Klamath basin in southeastern Oregon down through California's Siskiyou mountains it was an integral part of life for the regions inhabitants. It has been a source of food, and transportation and enjoyment for many Indians groups who lived along its banks as well as ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts. The Klamath has had its struggles, however we are happy to say that it is on its way back!
Klamath - The Fish
Traditionally the Klamath boasted one of the largest Chinook Salmon fisheries in the entire U.S. Every year millions of Salmon and Steelhead made their return up this great river to spawn in the cool clean tributaries in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Sadly, mining, logging, trapping and agricultural demands had a devastating impact on the fishery. In the last 10 to 15 years things have been making a comeback. The Chinook Salmon have been returning in increasing numbers to this watershed and the Steelhead have become a viable fishery and a lot of fun on a fly rod.
The Klamath is perhaps best known for its runs of half-pounder steelhead. Immature Steelhead or half-pounders as they are called in the 16 to 18 inch range only spend one year in the ocean before returning to the Klamath by the thousands. This coupled with the good numbers of adult steelhead in the 4 to 8 lb range can make for some great fishing opportunities. On an average day it is common to hook a dozen or so trout sized half-pounders as well as a couple hard fighting adult steelhead(if not more). We feel the Klamath is one of the best places in California to introduce anglers to fly fishing for steelhead because throughout the course of a day they will get good practice on the half-pounders and more likely than not hook a nice adult fish or two as well.
Klamath - The Fishing
There are two main techniques we employ to fly fish on the Klamath River: swinging flies and nymphing. The traditional method of swinging flies works best on the middle to lower sections of the river in the early season (August through September) when water temps are warmer and fish attack flies aggressively. In the colder fall and winter seasons (November-February) we prefer to dead drift nymphs under indicators in the upper sections. We have found that the upper Klamath's long runs, deep pools and channels are best fished this way during the Winter months.
Klamath - The Seasons
Summer - Fly fishing on the Klamath can start as early as July in some years, however recent warmer temperatures due to low water makes fishing in late Summer and Fall a better option and less stressful on the fish. Fish can be found in the lower reaches of the river from the mouth up past Johnson's bar to the confluence of the Trinity near the town of Weitchpec early in the season. They can vary in size from smaller half pounders all the way to 12lb monsters.
Fall - We generally don't begin fishing the Klamath until late September. This time of year we generally spend most of our time on the "middle Klamath". In this section the river flows through remote and rugged country. Highway 96 follows the river for most of this stretch, however we often have the river completely to ourselves through November.
Winter - By the middle of November Steelhead have made their way to the upper reaches of the Klamath River. Along with the ever present half-pounders, large wild adult steelhead can be found with regularity during this time. Their heart stopping hits and blistering runs are enough to put a charge in the most jaded of steelhead anglers. We commonly bring to net fish in the 10lb. range and fish to 12lbs. are caught each
Spring - In the late spring until water drops and becomes too warm for fishing in the summer anglers can expect great dry fly action on the upper Klamath. Hatches of large Salmon flies and Golden Stones make for some fun fishing for 10 to 16" trout and fish to 20 inches are not uncommon. This can be a great alternative for those looking to get away from the Spring crowds.
Klamath River Fly Fishing Guide Rates
Driftboat Trips - Consist of 8 hours of guided fishing and instruction with lunch and drinks provided - $500 (1 or 2 anglers)
Guided fly fishing trips with Off the Hook endorsed guides include rods, reels, bottled water. In addition we offer a limited supply of boots and waders available at no additional cost! So call now to reserve your guide and gear! Call toll free (877)CATCH-77(877-228-2477) or (707)287-2939
Note: California fishing license, Steelhead report card, transportation and Gratuity not included.
If you would like to learn more about the Klamath River and experience the excitement of these hard fighting half-pounders and steelhead for yourself call 707-287-2939. We are also available via email at Info@offthehookflyfishing.com should you prefer to correspond in this way. We specialize in groups, fly fishing classes and corporate excursions. Our gift certificates are popular gifts as well.
Klamath - Getting Here
The Klamath is located about 1 1/2 hours north of Redding up Interstate 5. It is 4 and 5 hours from Sacramento and San Francisco respectively. Anglers can stay in Yreka or over the hill in Ashland Oregon and easily access this fishery.
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