Klamath River Fishing Report

More than a river, the Klamath is part of a regional watershed that includes three of its principal tributaries – Wooley Creek, Scott River and the Salmon River.  It is one of only three rivers that bisect the Cascade Mountain Range, traversing a wide range of topography from high desert to coastal rain forest. Beginning approximately three-quarters of a mile below the Iron Gate Dam, the river runs through until it reaches the Pacific Ocean. Administration of the river is split. The upper, 127 miles are managed by the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The State of California, in concert with the National Park Service and various Native American tribes, manage the remainder. All of its tributaries, except a small portion of the Scott are under the purview of the US Forest Service.

The most notable characteristic of the Klamath is its variety of androgynous fish, supported by the river throughout most of their in-river life stages.  These species include Chinook salmon (spring and fall runs) coho salmon, steelhead trout (summer and winter runs) coastal cutthroat trout, green and white sturgeon and Pacific lamprey. The river is also home to a genetically unique population of rainbow trout that have adapted to river’s high temperatures and acidity.
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Considered by ecologists to be important to the area’s bio-diversity, the Southern Oregon and Northern California Coast coho are federally listed as endangered species and the Klamath River is a designated, critical habitat.  This habitat also provides a home for other endangered fish including Lost River and short-nose suckers. Despite this designation, the river supports a thriving sports fishing industry as well as myriad other uses including white water rafting, birding, hiking and camping. 

Upper Klamath Lake
Pacific Ocean
263 miles
Fishing Trips
  • Expert guide
  • Flies, tippet, and leader
The Klamath River is very scenic and abundant with wildlife including black bears, otters, deer, eagles and other birds of prey. During the fishing season it's not uncommon to encounter ... moreone or all of these animals during your trip. The Klamath sports two separate runs of king salmon. Springer's which enter the river from mid-May through mid-July, and the fall run which begins in early August and continues through late October. These salmon average 8 to 15 pounds but can reach weights in excess of 40 pounds.

Steelhead begin showing up in the river in July and average 5 to 8 pounds with some reaching the mid-teens. There are also an abundant of 12-18 inch steelhead called half-pounders during the salmon season which can make for quite a fun filled day of fishing for beginners and seasoned anglers alike.

Our guided fly-fishing trips include 8 hours or more spent pursuing steelhead. Your leaders and Fly's are included in the price of the trip. You are welcome to bring your own tackle if you prefer.

Fishing the rivers of the North Coast we utilize several different methodologies to pursue steelhead. The most poplar and most widely practiced is utilizing one of many fly's such as a Copper John or similar type offering with a dropper and a glo bug. We utilize 4-6 weight rods.
  • Expert Guide
  • Lunch
  • Beverages and snacks
  • Flies and tackle
The Klamath River is in prime shape for fly fishing in September and October. We fish the Klamath from a jet boat, which allows us to sample many productive runs in a single day. We ... morecan also ferry our guests in to Rivers West Lodge and use that as a home base. The Klamath River is a classic swing fishery and is best fished with a spey rod. We typically catch a mix of adult fish and half-pounders.
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