The Klamath River starts up in Oregon up in the Klamath Lakes Basin. From there it flows down into California into Copco and Iron Gate Reservoirs. It then becomes a tailwater fishery below Iron Gate Dam, where large numbers of resident trout and steelhead live. During late spring, typically in May and June, there is an incredible stone fly hatch in which large numbers of steelhead and trout can be caught using dry flies. Starting in early October, the middle section of the Klamath River becomes by swinging flies such as the adronamous-amphibian. Also, nymph fishing here with a floating line and an indicator will put you on the fish all day long. Standard egg and stonefly patterns in sizes #10-14 will get the job done. Popular sections of the river here include Somes Bar, Happy Camp, Orleans, and the Seiad Valley. Of these, Happy Camp is the most polular and easily accessed area. On the lower section of the Klamath River, from Happy Camp to the mouth, jet boats are often used because of the distances involved and the size of the river. It is not unusual to see a bear or two walking along the shoreline, or a cruising bald eagle as your jet boat flys up the river. Fly fisherman can fish on productive gravel bars such as Blue Creek, Starwin, and Blakes by wading out after parking the boat.
The steelhead season usually begins in July or August when the steelhead run up the river from the Pacific Ocean. This run continues well into March, especially if it has been a cold, wet year. The upper section of the Klamath fishes best for steelhead from October through February. Good trout fishing starts in late spring and early summer when the giant salmonflies and golden stones hatch, causing many fish to start looking up for a high protein meal. Recommended rods for Steelhead are 6 to 7 weights with lines ranging from floaters to sink tips. For trout, any standard 9' 5wt will do.
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