Klamath River still gives anglers a shot at salmon

Klamath River - Upper - CA - Hornbrook, CA (Siskiyou County)


9-11-2008

One of the few opportunities for salmon anglers in California right now is the Klamath River, where good to excellent results have been found. Local Chico-area guides Frank Duarte, Kevin Brock and Frank Townley have made the trek up to the Klamath, and are finding good numbers of fish.

Townley in fact was the winning guide on last week's "Klamath Fishing Derby" event, guiding a group from Cloverdale into first place. Conducted by the American Fishing Foundation, the tournament benefits the Klamath Yearling Chinook Program and other area fishery projects. All of the salmon that Townley and crew caught were released.

"Salmon fishing has been great on the Klamath" reported Kevin Brock. "We've been averaging 15 to 20 king salmon per day during the past week. Most are fairly small, ranging from jacks up to about 10 pounds. Our largest his week is 18 pounds, and we've had only two over 20 pounds since the season started.

"All of our fish are biting on the puff ball/cured roe combination. Best choice is a chartreuse puff ball with the Pro-Cure double hot-redd roe cure. We are boondogging [drifting] the rigs with 10-pound test fluorocarbon leaders and size 1 Owner Mosquito hooks."

Brock continued, "The crowds are starting to build up, but it is still only about 40 or so boats spread out over 30 miles of river. After 2:00 or 3:00 PM, there are very few people on the water. The weather has been beautiful; cool in the AM and then in the high 60's and low 70's."

The great results on the Klamath were confirmed by Frank Duarte. "Most of the guides are limiting out every day", observed Duarte. "The limit is three king salmon per day, only two of which can be adults 22 inches or longer. You can also keep one hatchery steelhead per day.

"We are catching our fish via boondogging and side-drifting. I have seen a few people fly fishing; but I don't know what their success was like. Our fish have not been too large, mostly jacks and adults up to about 10 pounds. A 17 pounder is our biggest so far. However, the commercial gillnets have caught 57 and 63-pounders this season. We have also been catching about one steelhead per day, but they have been wild fish which must be released.

"We had veteran Outlaw racer Tommy Rolfe of Chico out with us on Tuesday, and he caught a couple of beautiful kings up to 10 pounds. All of the fish are very fresh and very bright."

Duarte added, "The tribal commercial fishery has reached its' annual quota, so those nets have been removed. Salmon fishing should get even better now, and I would expect that it will remain good well into the second week of October. The ocean out here is full of salmon waiting to go up the Klamath."

Send your outdoor news items to Steve Carson via e-mail to scarson@sunset.net
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