January 13, 2015   Headlines

Winter Klamath Steelies

North Coast Rivers Low Clear and Some Fishing
All North Coast rivers are running low and clear BUT the lower main stem systems are putting out some real quality numbers. On Tuesday 1-13 Tony with Green Water Guide service reported some great action on the main stem Eel. Fishing from the Forks to Stafford Tony says they have seen 3 fish days and some 15 fish per day this past week. Today, side-drifting roe they hooked 14 and released 9 all in the 8 to 15 pound class. Two days ago they hooked four and released three fish to 14 pounds. On the South Fork Tony says he has heard of other guides hooking up to 6 with the best action on plugs but the South fork is low and clear and overall in much need of rain.
Both the Smith and Chetco are low and very clear. The forecast which was calling for rain this coming weekend now looks to be petering out. Tony says that if they see some rain the Chetco would be a best bet and the Smith would need to see at least two inches to color flows and bring it into shape.
Over on the Mad bankies are finding limits and near limits both bouncing roe and flossing from the hatchery to the 101 bridge. Tony says that from the second hand reports he is getting the fishing is solid but not great.
On the Lower Klamath from the Glen to Blue Creek Wally Johnson reports they are seeing 2 to 5 adults and 5 to 10 half pounders per trip. The lower river has great color but the action is spotty. Wally says both roe and plugs are producing but all their action has been on roe this past week.
Both Tony and Wally have dates open for North Coast steelie trips.


North Coast Wrap
The dry weather pattern of the past ten days continues here on Thursday 1-8. The Smith is down to nearly 7 feet and in gin clear and not giving up many fish.
Wally Johnson was on the Chetco on Wednesday 1-7 and reported one dime bright steelie of 9 pounds caught at the end of the day and a dark and tired salmon about 15 caught first thing on a plug. ON Tuesday Wally fished the Smith for one small adult and a couple of half pounders. All were caught on plugs which he tends to go to when the river is this low and clear.
Wally says that until the rains return and the rivers rise and color there will not be much in the way of catching but the fishing should be great.
With the same group on for a second day Wally broke out the jet sled and headed to the Lower Klamath on Thursday 1-8. On their first pass and first cast they got a nice adult about 10 pounds (Blakes, Starwein, the Orchard??? he didn't say) that was released. They hooked a handful of half pounders though the morning and then ended the day with another adult. He said there were more fish around than biting with a few bigger fish rolling here and there but not biting. It sounds like Wally may stick it out here with all other rivers from the Eel to the Chetco low and clear.
For you fellow bankies the Mad is down to 7 feet and is green and fishing. There has been a decent biting below the hatchery this past week and these better water conditions should improve the action for those bouncing roe or tossing spoons. It's not very often that the Mad is in shape for "conventional methods" and this is a good time for bait casters to get out and put on a clinic for the flossers.
The South Fork Eel has dropped out as well. Tony Sepulveda is current doing seminars at the Sac ISE show but did report on Monday that "there are decent numbers of fish in the South Fork but rain and color are both needed". 

Major Step Forward For Klamath River Restoration
One of the nationís biggest dam removal and river restoration efforts got a major boost on Friday with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) announcing that he will introduce legislation to authorize the Klamath River restoration agreements.
Elected officials, Tribal leaders, and farming, ranching, and conservation representatives gathered Friday to celebrate the signing of the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement (UKBCA). The agreement resolves water rights disputes among the Klamath Tribes and upper basin irrigators, and permanently increases river flows, protects riverside lands, and provides $40 million to the Klamath Tribes for economic development.
Senator Wyden announced that he will introduce legislation that authorizes the UKBCA, as well as the two existing Klamath settlement agreements, the Klamath Hydropower Settlement Agreement and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. Together the three agreements will resolve long-standing water rights disputes, increase water supply reliability for upper basin agricultural communities, improve river flows and water quality, restore wetlands, and allow for the removal of PacifiCorpís lower four Klamath River dams. The restoration agreements are necessary to restore struggling Klamath salmon runs.
The agreements, the first of which was finalized in 2010, are the product of years of negotiations among more than 40 stakeholder groups including American Rivers, with the goal of restoring the river, reviving ailing salmon and steelhead runs, and revitalizing fishing, tribal, and farming communities.
Removing the four dams will open access to more than 300 miles of habitat for salmon and steelhead. When dam removal begins on the Klamath Ėscheduled for 2020 Ė it will be one of the nationís largest dam removal projects. Before the settlement agreements can be fully implemented, Congress must pass Senator Wydenís legislation and appropriate funds, and California must contribute an estimated $80 million to augment the $200 million being collected from PacifiCorp ratepayers for dam removal and river restoration. No federal funds will be used for dam removal.
PacifiCorpís four dams, built between 1908 and 1962, cut off hundreds of miles of once-productive salmon spawning and rearing habitat in the Upper Klamath, which was once the third most productive salmon river on the West Coast. The dams also create toxic conditions in the reservoirs that threaten the health of fish and people.
The dams produce a nominal amount of power, which can be replaced using renewables and efficiency measures, without contributing to climate change. A study by the California Energy Commission and the Department of the Interior found that removing the dams and replacing their power would save PacifiCorp customers up to $285 million over 30 years.
Roughly 1,150 dams have been removed nationwide and 51 dams were removed in 2013.

Kamp Klamath
Our favorite campground Kamp Klamath "on the quite side of the river". They offer discounts for those anglers looking to park their RV for a month or more and enjoy a few weeks of this incredible fishery. They have full hookups and the entire campground has free Wi-Fi. Don't miss the Saturday night salmon and chicken B-Q with live music!
Kamp Klamath is a secure, quiet, forested campground surrounded by Redwood National Park and where we have set up our fish camp for over 25 years. Great people and a great place to stay. 707 482-0227
Motor Home Magazine has a feature article about Kamp Klamath and FunBus Tours.

Accommodations & Shops:
"Little Ray's Tackle" in Klamath Glen. For all your tackle needs stop by Little Rays. This is a must stop for anglers new to the river. The crew behind the counter will be more than happy to answer all your questions and point you in the right direction. Located just past the Steelhead Lodge. 707 482-7725

In Seiad Valley sits the Klamath River Side Park a quiet little RV park right on the banks of the Klamath for anglers looking for a quieter stretch of the river away from the crowds.

River Levels:

For river status (low flow closure) updates from Fish and Game please call +1.707.442.4502 for the North coast and +1.707.944.5533 for Central coast streams. Be sure to check out the California Fish and Game regulations before you go. Regulations vary on every river and you need to pay attention to bait and hook restrictions. Due to winter closures on HWYs 5, 101 & 299 we recommend you check Caltrans road conditions as well.

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