June 12, 2013
KLAMATH AND AGENCY LAKES: redband trout and yellow perch
Fishing has been fair for all methods. Anglers are successful trolling lures, using dead minnows near the bottom and casting flies and lures. Redband trout are scattered throughout the lake. ODFW encourages catch and release as this fishery is managed for trophy trout. It is unlawful to continue to fish for the same type of fish after taking and retaining a catch or possession limit. Redband trout will start moving out of the lake this week with the increasing water temperatures. Algae is dense in most of the lake especially during light wind conditions.
KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout
Fishing with flies or lures has been fair. This is the last week you can fish from Keno Dam to Topsy Reservoir as this stretch closes on June 16 and reopens on October 1. Look for blizzard hatches of mayflies and caddis flies. The current flow level of 752 cfs below Keno Dam provides very good fishing opportunities. Make sure you check the flows before you go as they change almost daily and will likely increase later this week as rain subsides. Typically flows are decreased in this section of river when flows are being met at Iron Gate Dam from increased precipitation below Keno Dam. The river remains turbid. The water temperatures are ideal for redband trout at this time. Anglers should wear wading belt, studded wading boots and carry a wading staff. The Klamath River below Keno Dam is turbid and the substrate is composed of large, angular boulders with bedrock drop-offs. Large trout over 20 inches are abundant.
The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers excellent spinner fishing as well as good dry fly fishing with small flies. Most fish in this section are small and average 10 inches. This section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow. Salmonflies and golden stoneflies are hatching. Try size 12-14 elk hair caddis or stimulators. The smaller fish in this section usually can’t take larger salmonfly adult fly patterns.
Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reach and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day. Fishing trips should be planned when flows are lower.
If flows are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Look for blue winged olive mayfly hatches around noon. Look for back eddies and rising fish. Dead drifting rubber legged stonefly patterns can be good. A four wheel drive vehicle is currently needed to access this area. Most fish are in the 6-8 inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum. Currently, operation at the hydro system below the powerhouse has operated with high flows (peaking) throughout most daylight hours. Lower flows might be encountered in the morning before 8 a.m. Fishing is slow. Salmonflies and golden stoneflies should are hatching.
Flowing for 263 miles southwest through Oregon and northern California, the Klamath River drains an extensive watershed of almost 16,000 square miles. The water basin of the Klamath ranges from high desert country of the Great Basin to the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Coast of California, passing through the Cascade Range on its journey to the Pacific Ocean. The National Geographic Society has called the Klamath “a river upside down” because of the variety of geographic surroundings along the river. The majority of the Klamath flows through northern California and is the second largest river in California after the Sacramento River.
The latter days of the California Gold Rush brought an increasing number of miners to the Klamath River region in search of gold. During this time steamboats operated briefly on the large lakes in the upper watershed of the Klamath before agriculture became a large economy in the area.
Upper Klamath Lake, located in Klamath Falls, Oregon is the main source of the Klamath River. The headwaters of this lake however begin over 100 miles away and as far away as Crater Lake to the north and the Oregon-Nevada border to the southwest. The first mile of the Klamath River is known as the Link River. The Link River flows into Lake Ewauna, and 18 mile long reservoir located near Klamath Falls. Here it is connected to the B Canal. The B Canal is used to divert water between the rivers in either direction. After leaving this reservoir, the Klamath passes through three more man-made lakes before it crosses the Oregon-California border.
The majority of the river’s path runs through the High and Western Cascades and the Klamath Mountains. The surrounding eco system of the Klamath River varies from high desert country to lush, green forests full of redwoods and underbrush. The Klamath is known for its fall Salmon runs and is also fishable for trout and steelhead in the right seasons.
Trails & Waterfalls
Klamath County provides few waterfalls and trails and the majority of those falls are near or in Crater Lake National Park. Annie Falls is one of three named falls within the Crater Lake park area. The falls cascade over rocks and boulders for 53 feet down a sloped step in Annie Creek Canyon. The falls are surrounded are by walls of petrified volcanic ash from what was once known as Mount Mazama, and is now known as Crater Lake. The falls can only be viewed from the Annie Falls picnic area. There is no trail to the falls and trying to approach the falls is not suggested. The steep, crumbly, unstable walls of the canyon are dangerous and trying to get a closer view would most likely result in serious injury.
Crater Lake National Park
In the Crater Lake National Park area there are more than 90 miles of one way and loop trails to explore. These trails include 33 miles of the Pacific Crest trail and hikes up Mount Scott, Garfield Peak and Crater Peak. There is also the Cleetwood Trail that takes hikers to the surface of the lake in the bottom of the crater. These trails are usually snow free from mid July to early October.
The trails in the Crater Lake area are not open to bicycles or motor vehicles and dogs are prohibited on the trails. Although extremely steep, The Cleetwood trail is the only legal access to the lake’s shores and is well worth the hike to be able to get close to some of the cleanest, purest water you will ever see.