Spey Rods and Jet Boats Target Klamath River Steelhead
As the Middle Klamath continues downstream from Somes Bar towards the Pacific Ocean, large tributaries such as the Salmon River and the Trinity River add significant water to the growing flows of the Klamath River. The larger volume of the Lower Klamath flows through an increasingly more open and expansive river canyon. These cumulative effects change how our fishing guides transport clients and change some of our recommended fly fishing tactics. Forget the indicators, this is traditional swung fly turf with larger flies, longer lines, and heavier rods. These fishing trips take you back to the tradition of the “greased line” or tight – line take, with jet boats to move you to the various river bars.
Lower Klamath Fly Fishing Casting Techniques
When we are guiding fly fishermen on the mid Klamath, we need more accurate, somewhat shorter casts. Since wading can be difficult there, we are often casting from a drift boat that is moving downstream through tight boulder gardens and smaller riffles. By contrast, the lower Klamath calls for a quick transportation of fly fishermen that are wade fishing sequential large river bars and broad riffles. Fly fishing the lower Klamath is less frequently done directly from the boat so the jet boat becomes more of a transportation mode and less of a casting platform. The tactical advantage of our jet boat is that we quickly deliver up to six fishermen to successive wading locations that would take far too long to float into via drift boat. Our jet boat enables fishermen to spend more time in the water fishing, and less time drifting to the next river bar.
Lower Klamath Fly Fishing Tackle
With fly fishing trips targeting the lower Klamath, we suggest single-handed fly rods starting in the 7 weight range and spey rods starting in the 12 foot range. Here, a long cast can be more important than an accurate cast required in the tight quarters of the middle Klamath. Simply put, a fly traveling a large arc from a long cast covers more water than a fly in a short swing.
The lower Klamath river bars are prime territory for spey rod enthusiasts. Smaller river cobble mixed with sand and gravel makes wading consistently easier here and the canyon geology allows ample room to move a long fly line in.
Steelhead Fly Fishing – finding fish always on the move
An additional consideration for fishing here is the fact that fish populations diminish in number as they turn off into their successive natal waters to spawn during their upstream migration. When we fish below the confluence of the Trinity, we can guide you to Klamath River steelhead, Trinity River steelhead, and steelhead from all the other minor upstream drainages. There are simply more fish at the start of the journey than nearer the end. The fish we see here are fresh from the ocean, typically more energetic, and represent the size variants from the entire Klamath system.Guided Fly Fishing Rates
Guided Fly Fishing Rates
Rates for “stand alone” guided fishing trips are based on a $200/person/day rate for drift boat supported fishing. Jet boat supported fishing is based on a $225/person/day rate. Our signature fishing trip is based on a complete fishing package with upscale cuisine, lodging, and guide service. Fishing trip rates for these packages are competitive and rival the experience you might find at a fly in resort. We offer these thoughts on finding a fishing lodge or guide service and we hope you will make us your choice for a memorable fly fishing trip.
We hope you can join us on our custom built Rogue Jet boat as we guide you to steelhead on the fly through the remarkable lower Klamath River. For Klamath River weather, road and river conditions, check the Klamath River Report. If you are heading North, we suggest fishing Eastern Oregon’s Wallowa, Grande Ronde and Wenaha for some additional classic steelhead water.