A fishing treasure lies tucked away in the Trinity Mountains of northern California. The Klamath River is an excellent fly-fishing destination where anglers can snag giant steelhead or Chinook salmon. The prime place to find these game fish is along the river between Orleans, California, and Happy Camp. The entire family will enjoy the pristine scenery, and all that nature has to offer.
From September through March, Klamath is a prime destination for serious anglers looking for a great fishing vacation, offering multiple-fish days reeling in wily, tough-fighting steelhead and salmon. Find them in the section running from Trinity River to the Pacific Ocean in the Fall, but after November, move to the Upper Klamath River around the Iron Gate Dam for better luck.
September/October is the peak season for salmon. The best spot is the stretch between Happy Camp and Orleans. Use back-bouncing roe and back-trolling lures in the riffles, runs and pools. Bank access is limited, so drift boaters have the advantage.
Anglers have a good chance of catching a 3-6 pound steelhead from October through March though it is possible to catch steelheads up to ten pounds. Steelhead respond well to egg patterns when the salmon are breeding. Because local insect hatches are infrequent, general fly patterns and nymphs are sufficient.
The weather from December through February can be extremely harsh, so come well-prepared for the cold. Note that January and February might be difficult fishing months because the river swells dramatically in high-precipitation years.
Check the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for current regulations. All people 16 and older must have a valid fishing license, and some areas also require permits.
Klamath River Fish:
Klamath River boat ramps:
The following boat ramps provide access to Klamath River.