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Special Report: Upper Klamath steelhead

Article, photos and video by Scott Caldwell
12/11/15 -- The Upper Klamath River continues to fish well despite Mother Nature's best efforts. Recent storms that often blowout many other rivers did not stop Brian and Ken this past week from catching and releasing some nice steelhead in the 1 to 6 pound class.

Man holding brightly colored winter steelhead, photo by Scott Caldwell

Watch Brian fight this Klamath Steelhead - Video

On Monday Brian and Ken fished despite constant weather changes. They started out fishing in the rain and finished the day in the rain, in-between the rain they had to deal with a constantly changing barometer, drops in temperature, and a little wind, we even saw a break in the clouds and some sun but that was just a tease, in the distance. One would think this would put a damper on the fishing.

Klamath River Steelhead in water with lure in his mouth, photo by Scott Caldwell
This is where the uniqueness of the winter Klamath steelhead comes into play. These healthy hard fighting fish are used to these changes in weather and continue to feed and spawn from late October through March. The stretch of the Klamath River above the Shasta River is almost always fishable, even during extremely wet rainy snowy conditions, that blowout many other river systems, including the lower part of the Klamath.
Gloved hand holding steelhead, photo by Scott Caldwell

On Tuesday, the weather was completely different. Brian and Ken went from cold and rainy the day before to warm (mid-50's) and occasional sun most of the day.

2 mean happyily fishing in boat on Klamath River, photo by Scott Caldwell

As I mentioned earlier this did not affect the fishing adversely. I'll just let a few more photos speak for me.

Man holding steelhead, photo by Scott Caldwell
Man holding steelhead, photo by Scott Caldwell

Another aspect of the Klamath that makes this river special and the steelhead that migrate up and down it, is that it allows for the angler to fish it using a variety of methods. I always bring multiple rods and often switch from bait to plugs to flies depending on the area of river we are drifting during the day. On Monday and Tuesday, Brian and Ken switched between back-trolling whole- threaded night crawlers and side casting Rapalas. Both were liberally soaked in Pro-Cure's Super Gel Carp Spit. While fishing both these methods the key to getting bit was a slow methodical back-troll and retrieve. That approach helped Brian and Ken catch and release over a dozen adult steelhead.

Ken landed this fat Steely while back trolling - Video

I have days available for winter steelhead and trout at Lake Siskiyou or McCloud Reservoir, checkout my Booking Calendar to see what works best for you.

Still searching for the best stocking stuffer? A steelhead fishing trip gift certificate from SC Guide Service will fit perfectly in your loved ones stocking this Christmas. Send me an email or give call anytime at (530) 905-0758,

Merry Fish On! Scott

Fishing Reports

A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
A Hot Summer's Day on Chico Creek, Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
07/25/16 -- I’ve been exploring Northern California’s streams -- above and below the surface -- for most of my life. One of my most memorable adventures took place on a hot summer’s day in 1964, not long after my sixteenth...Full Story
Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
05/04/15 -- OK, you went ocean fishing. If your fish is fresh or if you have processed, vacuum packed and frozen your catch properly, there are many ways to enhance your meals. Almost everything taken from the ocean is not... Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek.
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers,
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story


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Website Design Photo Credits: thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of, Casey Allen of Bayside, CA; Jason Haley of Medford, OR; Steve Breth of Burney, CA; Tracy McCormack of Eureka, CA; Grant Thompson of Grand Junction, CO; Richard Bott of Shingletown, CA; Ron Loftus of Yreka, CA; Scott Caldwell of Montague, CA; Lorissa Soriano of Alturas, CA and the late Dave Menke, formerly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

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