Current Klamath River Fly Fishing Report: 12.01.2023
December never disappoints on the upper Klamath River. As the Trinity River garners more and more attention, this river sees a decrease in angling pressure. There is less boat traffic, more water that hasn’t had flies thrown into it. This river offers in many respects, a better experience for those interested in solitude and elevated opportunity.
Is the fishing good?
Yes! Of course! Water conditions remain good and the numbers of steelhead in the system should stay steady through the month.
Keep in mind conditions and fishing will be impacted as Iron Gate Dam is scheduled to be removed soon. We will see the reservoir abovr Iron Gate start to be drawn down in January and that will most likely increase river volume. Will that create poor conditions? Maybe. But I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if we find better conditions for finding steelhead in sections of the upper river we skip though when drifting down river. I have a more wait and see attitude. Steelhead are a resilient and durable fish. So are steelhead anglers.
For now, no changes to the hot fly list.
- #8 Brown Rubber Legs
- Just about any small nymphs in brown or black. Think #12 ~ 14
- Red Copper Johns in #14 ~ 16
- Black A.P. #14
- Poxy Back Hare’s Ear
- Glow Roe beads in 8mm
- Various Micro-Spawn Eggs (Colors: Shrimp Pink, Peachy, Salmon Egg)
The Klamath is a rugged river. Giant lava rock and deep holes make wading difficult. Best wading access is along the lower river from October through early winter when conditions allow. The upper river provides good water and endless opportunity form long deep glides and pool to shallow holing water that produces excellent Salmon Fly conditions in the early Summer (top water Salmon fly bite). The most productive fly fishing approach along the upper river is via drift boat. From Iron Gate down to where the Klamath runs below Interstate 5, there’s two to three days of fly fishing available.