Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Klamath River California
The Klamath River starts in southern Oregon and flows
into the state of California and finally into the Pacific
Ocean. After years of problems caused by dams and
many other adverse things that affected its salmon and
steelhead runs, thanks to reclamation efforts, it again has
become one of the best steelhead rivers in California. It
also has a good population of resident rainbow trout.
The Klamath River fishing begins in California at Iron
Gate Dam below Iron Gate Reservoir and from there it is
un-damed for two-hundred miles to the Pacific Ocean.
After a short run from the dam, the river flows along
Interstate 5 from near the Oregon border southward. The
Shasta and Scott Rivers join this section of the Klamath.
From Happy Hollow downstream is what's considered the
middle section of the river. The best fishing in this section
takes place during October. The Salmon River is another
tributary stream that enters it in this section. The Trinity
River joins in on the flow below Keitchpec. The section
from that point downstream to the Pacific is considered
the Lower section of the river. The steelhead fishing is
usually good in September and October in the Lower
section. Salmon come into the river in small quantities
during this time. The summer runs of steelhead come into
the lower river in July and August but the water is warm.
The fish tend to hold up near the mouths of cooler
The older, mature steelhead average about six pounds
but the river is usually full of small ten inch size younger
steelhead. Most of the catch is likely to be the smaller
ones. These are very plentiful and easier to catch than
the larger, more mature fish. These are hard fighting fish
that offers a challenge on fly gear.
The steelhead fishing gets good in the Upper section of
the Klamath in the month of November and last on
through the Winter into March. Late September and
October can be okay but it'ss dependant on many things.
The run peaks in December and January. Get ready for
some typical cold weather steelhead fishing if you plan on
fishing the Upper Klamath River.
There are sections of the river that wading anglers can
fish but the best and most popular way to fish the Trinity
River is from a drift boat. Most of the steelhead fishing is
done with nymphs or swinging flies in the current. The
trout fishing is also mostly done with nymphs in the Upper
section of the Klamath River.
The season is open year-round but it's species dependent
Spring is the best time to catch the Klamath River's
Summer is the best time to fish Lower section of the river.
Salmon come into the river during this time.
Fly fishing the Klamath River is great during late Fall
because of the steelhead runs.
The winter months are prime months for steelhead
fishing. The best fishing in done then in the Upper section.
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