Steelhead fly fishing on the Klamath River this month continues to be exceptional with fair weather in Northern California and perfect water conditions. Fresh fish continue to trickle in sparking the bite, despite the lack of weather. All of our guests have enjoyed multiple fish days, including several adult fish showing in the net each day. Fishing pressure has been very light, including many days when we’ve had the place to ourselves. While the grab has been best for the typical small adults in the 16-22 inch range, a few larger fish are most often hooked each day if not always landed. Trout sized half-pounders continue to provide nearly constant action in between bouts with their larger relatives.
While those committed to swinging flies continue to enjoy some success, water temps in the upper 30’s and lower 40’s means nymphing has out produced swinging by a noticeable margin. Swinging small leeches and dark classic wets slowly on sinking lines on a warm sunny day can be relaxing and truly enjoyable when the grabs come. The fish have tended to be podded up, so where we find one, we often find it worthwhile to make another pass.
Nymphing anglers are finding fish on most every fly imaginable. Rubberlegs and eggs continue to produce as well as a host of nymphs including Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns, Birdsnests, Fox Poopahs, Pheasant Tails and Micromays in sizes large to small. Be sure to fish heavy wire hooks as the occasional brute will often open the bend on trout sized irons.
The National Weather Service Forecast is calling for more sunshine with a slight chance of showers and rain next week which hopefully will get even more fish on the grab! Flows below Irongate Dam dropped from 1280 to 1040 cfs on December 17th, further concentrating the steelies making them easier to target. It is best to be familiar with a drift at these flows as this is about the lowest optimum flow for fishing, but can leave unsuspecting boaters stranded in the shallows or perched on rocks midstream.
While mornings and evenings have been cool, afternoons have been unseasonably warm and comfortable, requiring a second application of sunscreen. No need to get an early start as the action picks up as the sun hits the water and slows as the sun disappears over the horizon. Not often that we enjoy sunburns with steelhead this time of year, we recommend you get here now. Drop us a line for the latest conditions or if you are seeking guide service schedule one of our fine local guides who spend more time individually on the Klamath River than our competitor’s guides spend collectively.