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Fishing the Klamath below JC Boyle Dam

By Trouteagle
03/02/15 -- Year round trout action can be found on the Klamath River within the 20 or so miles of free flow within Oregon and California. While fishing below the flumes at the JC Boyle powerhouse, it can be difficult to know just when you have crossed the border. When flows allow proper presentation, this wild and scenic section will take you as far away from civilization and into as many fish as your soul desires.

First of all find out when flows are down while water is not released for power generation at by visiting this website. Flows swing between 300-1500 cfs daily. Fishing below the powerhouse is only good at times of low flows. Note: A fishing license from both Oregon and California is required depending on where you fish.

The de-watered section above the powerhouse is a great safety valve and fishing alternative when too much water is coming down the flumes. The fish here are smaller than the rest of the river but can be had nearly anytime.

JC Boyle Dam below Keno, Oregon with gates open, Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
JC Boyle Dam below Keno, Oregon with gates open. Anglers should not attempt to fish here during high flows. Check the website below for more information. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Otherwise, plan trips for the low cycle of release through the turbines. Below 500 cfs is preferable, although fish can be caught at much higher flows. Good fishing for native Redbands from six inches to 10 pounds can be found year round. Thirty-fish days are common for well-timed trips. These are some of the prettiest trout ever seen.

Throw spoons and spinners in silver and brass. Fly guys match multiple species with muddler patterns. The muddler also represents minnows, which is probably best bet for targeting lunkers, along with crawdad imitations. The Klamath's five-plus pounders are caught most often on crawdad patterns.

 Brian Buckingham with one of the larger fish from this section. This trout, estimated at 2 lbs., was caught near the BLM campground on the west shore six miles down the JC Boyle Dam on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon. Photo by author
Brian Buckingham with one of the larger fish from this section. This trout, estimated at 2 lbs., was caught near the BLM campground on the west shore six miles down the JC Boyle Dam on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon. Photo by author
Hunt some up. They can add to your dinner as there is a one trout limit. Artificial flies and lures only.

Take the well signed J.C. Boyle Powerhouse turn off from Hwy. 66 just west of Topsy, Oregon. It is two miles to the flumes and turbines. Camping is available at the BLM campground four more miles down this extremely bumpy road. From below this campground to Copco Reservoir in California is found world-class redband trout fishing like nowhere else.

About Trouteagle: Although Trouteagle wishes to remain anonymous, he harbors the deep-seated belief all anglers are brothers and sisters. Four lifetimes of fishing knowledge in Jefferson State come to bear in his wish to share his passion for the outdoors and love for chasing the elusive lunkers most people call a fish of a lifetime. Happy to share many secret spots and techniques, he only asks you do so responsibly. In one way or another, leave the resource better than you found it.


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