Northern CA Freshwater Fishing Report

Salmon still jamming the upper Klamath River

BY JIM JONES/WON Staff WriterPublished: Oct 18, 2012

IRON GATE — It’s still very easy to catch a dozen or more salmon per person per day at the upper end of the Klamath River, and, according to Phil Desautels of Smiling Salmon Guide Service, lots of them are still in surprisingly good shape, with nice meat.

That’s quite unusual for that high up on the Klamath and for this late in the season. After all, salmon fishing is typically just about ended by this time just below Iron Gate Dam.  

“Fish keep coming in and there are still some really clean ones,” he said.  There are some really big fish being caught, too, with some weighing up to 30 pounds.  Dan Hacker from Idaho caught a 26 pounder, and Dave Dashiell  of Auburn caught one weighing just shy of 30 pounds among their catch of 29 in a day of fishing with Desautels. They were back-bouncing roe held off the bottom with orange Fish Pills.

Desautels said it’s really easy fishing, and even bank fishermen have been getting their share of kings. He said that a few trout/steelhead are being caught “here and there,” while fishing for salmon, but very few anglers are targeting them yet.

Over on the Trinity, there are plenty of salmon in the river from Del Loma upstream, but some are getting darker now, and smolts are still a nuisance.  However, fishing pressure is easing up.  

Some really nice steelhead are showing up around Willow Creek, according to Ed Duggan of “D” Guide Service. One of his clients and long time buddies, Ed Trujillo of Sacramento, caught — and released -- a giant 14-pound native buck steelhead on a plug in a drift boat run from Salyer to Willow Creek.  

THE KLAMATH RIVER is kicking out the kings, and Kristin Young of Covington, GA., caught this beauty with guide Steve Huber while fishing the lower river, before he moved back up to the Trinity River where the fish are now plugging up the river.

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