A Good Day on the Upper Klamath

I’ve been reading some amazing reports coming out of the upper Klamath lately, that made me very intrigued in a fishery that I’ve never tried. The fall salmon run has been in full swing all October, and it has been a banner return. Last week guides were making comments such as “We set a new boat record for number of fish caught in a day” or “We lost count of how many fish we hooked”. With those kinds of reports I made plans with my new fishing partner, Jeff, to hit the upper Klamath on Sunday.

Jeff fighting a Klamath River fall salmon

Things almost got derailed on Saturday, as I came down with a case of the stomach flu. I started to feel better that evening, and decided to not let it derail our plans. Not eating for 36 hours wasn’t going to make me miss an awesome fishing opportunity.

Sunday morning finally arrived, and after a 50 minute drive south from Medford, we arrived to the upper Klamath River. It took us a little bit to get things dialed in, but once we did it was pretty consistent action. We fished from 7am-4pm and landed around 15 salmon a piece. We also lost at least that many, as the barbless hook restriction made them tough to land.

The large majority of our fish came on drifted roe, but we also caught fish on tuna balls, and XFactor egg clusters. The fish are extremely aggressive and we had many back to back casts where we hooked fish. I even had a streak of six casts in a row. The most exciting moment of the day came when I tried float fishing for a bit. I never had a bite on the eggs, but did have a king attack my bobber. It really made me wish I had some topwater poppers to try out.

Jeff unhooking an average size Klamath king

The average size salmon is definitely on the small side. Our average fish went right around 24 inches with the largest being around 29 inches. There were some larger fish up to 20 lbs caught around us, but we didn’t get a good hook into one. The salmon are also on the very dark side, so it’s mostly a catch and release fishery. We released all but one that was bleeding very badly.

If you’re looking for a great time I definitely recommend the upper Klamath fishery. It’s a fairly short drive from Medford, and a 1 day California license isn’t very expensive. What the fish lack in size they definitely make up for in numbers. Just remember to bring your steelhead gear to provide a full day of entertainment. The run starts to taper off by the end of the month, so you’ll want to hit it soon.

Jeff hooked up again

Tight Lines….

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