How Many Fly Rods And What Weight Rods To Bring
Fly Fishing Gear First and foremost, note that our Marble Mountain Ranch fishing signature is targeting steelhead on a SWUNG fly. We very rarely dust off our indicator rigs for fishing this remarkable stretch of the Klamath River, which is perfect for the classic “greased line” swung fly.
For the mid-Klamath we suggest you bring rods in a 5 wt – 7 wt range. Our boat rods, which you may use, are 7 wt Sage Z axis rods with type 3 (sinking about 3″ per second) or type 6 lines (sinking about 6″ to 7″ per second). You might also consider bringing a second rod with a stealhead floating line or intermediate sink tip (1.5 ” per second rate). Our strategy in fishing from drift boats on the mid Klamath is based on covering a lot of water while probing for fish pods. In doing so, we move place to place and quickly choreograph casts from the boat or sample wade fished gravel bars. Moving downstream we fish different lies, until we locate fish and then more thoroughly fish that location. Because of the quick movement downstream, we do not usually have time for lots of line changes, tip changes, gear modifications, and line trade-outs. In our experience, two rods with differing sink rate lines is a nice compromise that allows some flexibility as we “caddy” your rods in different water conditions. We hope to avoid getting too bogged down in the technology of fly fishing while moving to constantly changing types of holding lies. A quick swap out of a ready-rigged rod, and fly/tippet changes allows us to focus on the aesthetics of the day and not the gear of the moment.
Sink Tip Fly Lines – Suggestions For Steelhead On A Swung Fly
The Rio OutBound is great for fishing from drift boats. It’s short head is nice for easy one-shot casts to the bank or to pocket water, and it can carry larger weighted flies. Another good suggestion is the Rio Streamer series (try cutting off about 6 feet of the 24 foot tip on the type 6 line), or a Teeny 200, or any quality type III-VI line. The most effective Klamath River all-around sink tip lengths are around 15 feet long. If we are fishing deeper holes or in late season higher/colder water, the 24 foot tips are a bit more appropriate. The Rio VersiTip is also a very popular sink tip line and allows some great flexibility with limited gear. It comes with five tips: a floating tip, an intermediate sink tip, and the type 3, 6 & 8 tips. All of the tips are 15′ long and perfect for the mid Klamath.
Floating Lines And Dry Flies For Klamath Steelhead
Our normally fished seasons on the Klamath give us water in the 45F 65F range. If you are coming in the warmer Fall season, when the steelhead might be more likely to come to a surface presentation, a floating line such as Rio’s Steelhead taper or Gold taper are two good suggestions. The Gold taper is better for overhead casting and the Steelhead taper is more appropriate for roll casting and spey casts. These floating lines might allow us to cast dries and skating flies in conditions when steelhead are more active. A word of caution though: We generally do not break out the floating lines, until we have satiated our needs for fish quantity while fishing with sink tips. Steelhead on dries, is about as good as steelheading gets, but it requires a unique combination of fish numbers, water temperatures, proper lighting, and water speed.
Steelhead Fly Patterns and Leaders
Suggested fly patterns are all available on-line or from our ranch gift shop. Our staff is also prepared to supplement your inventory of missed patterns from our stock and this service is included in your trip fare. We will not “nickel and dime” you for tippet or flies. Some of our favorites are: assassins, herniators, muddler minnows, silver hilton, wooly bugger, brindle bug, skunk, mossback, purple peril, and freight train (in sizes 8 – 10 with and without bead heads).
Leaders for steelheading the mid Klamath are easy. Since the Klamath has some color to the water, the fish are generally not leader shy. We suggest simply running a 6-8 foot length of straight 10# monofilament or 10-12 # fluorocarbon. There is no need to buy $4.00 tapered leaders when a 5 cent item will do. Just tie a perfection loop to one end of your straight leader, attach it to your butt-section loop, and tie the flies on at the terminus. We want short leaders to stop the fly from rising up too much, after we have gone to great effort to get the fly to sink.