Wednesday I had the privilege to fish the upper Klamath with Scott Caldwell of SC Guide Service for steelhead and trout. We fished the stretch just below Iron Gate Dam in Northern California, which is a very short drive south from Medford here in Southern Oregon. It was a bone-chilling 24 degrees when we hit the river, which left us, and fish, begging for the sun to come out.
Fishing started out very slow in the morning. We had to slowly back a night crawler behind a diver down through the holes to produce any kind of bite. The trout we were finding were all on the small side as well. However, once the sun started to poke out from behind the clouds, the bite picked up and so did the size of fish.
|One of our first half pounders after the sun came out.|
After finally landing a couple of nice half pounders, Scott had a trick up his sleeve. For this hole we dropped cured shrimp, which Scott had never used, to the bottom, and slowly lifted them up and down. On the first drop I instantly started feeling the tap-tap-tap of a fish, and after waiting for a solid take, we had another half pounder to the boat. The next pass through the hole produced the exact same result. Our third pass also followed suit, but this time there was a real fight on the other end. The small adult steelhead proved that Scott’s newly found bait was a winner.
|A beautiful adult steelhead finished off the streak of 3 fish in a row out of one hole.|
The rest of the early afternoon continued to provide plenty of action on both the night crawler and the shrimp. It wasn’t until the late afternoon though, that things really started to heat up. As we started to near the end of our drift the big boys came out to play.
With the water warming up, we started using a crawdad shaped plug to aggravate and entice the bigger, more active fish. We were following another guide who was using almost the exact same plug, but we were able to find two buck steelhead behind them, when they had caught nothing. The second to last fish was extremely hot, making several aerial displays, and even tail walking 10 yards across the top of the water. It was one of the most fun fights I’ve ever had, and was even better on the ultra light rods we were using.
|My guide Scott Caldwell with our final steelhead of the day.|
Despite still being frozen at the end of the day, it was a very enjoyable trip. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, and highly recommend Scott to anyone. Our final tally for the day was 4 adult steelhead, a few half pounders, and plenty of smaller trout to keep things active. If you would like to fish the Klamath River with Scott check out his website: Caldwell Fishing, or you can find him on Facebook: SC Guide Service.
You can find all the pictures from our day on my Facebook Page: Southern Oregon Fishing.