Klamath River Fish Report for 10-22-2010

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

by Scott Caldwell

October 17 thru the 21st report -- The Salmon season has slowed to a crawl this past week. We are seeing Salmon beginning to spawn and very few fresh fish moving up. At the beginning of the week, we were putting 4 to 6 Salmon in the boat, and by Thursday the numbers were down to one. The last two days, my new client Chuck Colwell (Camarillo, Ca) and I targeted Steelhead and fished just a few spots for Salmon. The hal- pounder bite is outstanding; we caught and released over 30 fish the past two days. We would have caught well over 30 Steelies yesterday, but we had an epic battle with a near 20 pound Salmon. Chuck and I were backtrolling a hotshot worm trailer and having great success on the half-pounders as well as a few adults in the 2 to 3 pound class, when Chuck hooked into what we thought was a big Steelie. The thinking and hope that our fish was a big Steelie, was that the 3 pounder we had caught earlier, never jumped and stayed down near the bottom the entire battle. With this in mind, we were fishing well below the heron tree hole, when the fish took our offering, what ensued over the next two hours was a battle that mirrored the Old man and the Sea. Chuck is 83 years young and was as stubborn as that fish. I rowed the up and down the river for 60 minutes while that fish stayed down in the current finally showing herself with a spectacular leap out the water. I was moving to some slower water near the edge of the river and she did not like the pressure and she let us know by launching a good three feet out of the river. This was the other reason for thinking she was a nice Steelie. So back down deep she went and up the river, right into the heron tree hole. This is deep swirling hole which all the fish love, they can stay down deep and fight hard for a very long time, as we found out. We are now 90 minutes into the battle, and you are probably wondering why it took so long to land this Salmon, well, we were fishing with a 9ft custom Rogue spin rod rated for 2 to 6 pound test and a small Pflueger president spin reel loaded with 4 pound Yo-Zuri hybrid line, (we had a six pound leader with a single size 4 barbless Gamagatsu hook trailing behind the size 30 hotshot). I am still amazed that the leader and main line withstood that battle. At this point, Chuck was spent and needed to eat and have a drink, so I held the rod and hoped the fish would stay on until Chuck could recoup some energy. We hooked this fish at 12:20 just before we were going to eat lunch. Finally, Chuck was ready to go 20 minutes later and at 2:25, she finally gave up and came into the net, this was the third time we were able to actually see her. Chuck took a quick pic with his camera and back in the water she went that old girl deserved to live a while longer after putting up one heck of a battle. The main line on reel was toast after inspecting it but that leader did not have one nick in it amazing!!

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