Klamath River Fishing Guide

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Klamath River Level & Forecast > 

Klamath River Fishing Guide

No other river in California or Oregon offer fish after fish action like the Klamath River, and no other guide in California or Oregon spend more days fishing the Klamath River than Mario Gomez from Ironhead Guide Service. Klamath River Fishing will test your skills when a feisty fish attacks the business end of your line. They will use any method at their disposal to give you the fight of a lifetime including long, fast runs, high aerial displays, and plenty of brute strength.

The Klamath River fishing is as close to the kind of action that lures anglers to Alaska that will find in the lower 48. From September through March, the Klamath River fishing is at its best. The Klamath River fishing season is very popular for customers who want multiple fish days of hard fighting Klamath River salmon and steelhead. Mario Gomez from Ironhead Guide Service will put you front and center on some of the best fishing in the Pacific Northwest. For a fun day on the water and anglers looking for lots of action, the Klamath River is where it’s at. It's also one of the best kept secrets in the West, and overlooked, fisheries in California. The Klamath River is well off the beaten path and the rugged terrain mixed with the secluded location offers adventures that are wild in nature. Don’t let this gem of a fishing destination evade you and come fish the Klamath River with Ironhead Guide Service, you will find it to be very productive.

Mario fishes out of luxurious Willie drift boats, and can fish two to three people with complete comfort. Larger groups can be accommodated with advance notice, Ironhead Guide Service has hand selected some of the top rated and producing guides in California and Oregon to assist with the increasing clientele. A typical trip begins around daylight, and consist of 6 to 8 hours of fishing.

Klamath River Salmon Fishing

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The fall Klamath River salmon fishing is the first stop for pro guide Mario Gomez to make upon his return from fighting wildland fires each year. From September through October, the Klamath River salmon fishing is at its peak, and Mario Gomez will be guiding fishing adventures daily. This season is very popular with Ironhead Guide Service’s customers who want multiple-fish days of hard fighting king salmon. For an awesome day on the river, and for anglers looking for lots of action you want to fish the Klamath River with Mario. The Klamath River fishing is one of the best kept secrets, and is one of the most overlooked, salmon fisheries in California.

One of the best areas to catch salmon is the stretch of river between Iron Gate Dam and Happy Camp, CA. With the beautiful scenery and the local wildlife, this is a great place for the whole family. Bears, eagles, red tail hawks, elk, otters, and deer are all encountered while fishing on the Klamath River. The Klamath River salmon are caught back-bouncing roe, and back trolling lures in the riffles, runs, and pools. The reason the salmon fishing is so good on the Klamath River is because the salmon stack up by the thousands. Steep rugged embankments and private property limit bank access, so drift boaters have the river to themselves.  
While the Klamath River salmon caught in the middle section of the river aren't as bright as the fish caught in the lower river, they fight as hard as ever and provide tons of fun for anglers of all skill levels. The Klamath River salmon meat is good for table fair or smoking. This fishery is especially good for kids and older anglers who simply want lots of action. The Klamath River king salmon are aggressive, hard fighting fish and excellent sport on the light tackle used.

Klamath River Steelhead Fishing

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The Klamath River steelhead fishing stands tall. From early fall through spring, steelhead numbers continue to impress anglers on the wild and scenic Klamath River, which harbors a thriving population of wild steelhead. The Klamath River has strong runs of steelhead and salmon, but is most famous for the run of half-pounder steelhead. While recent headlines highlight the struggles with water issues, dam removal, and politics, the fish certainly don’t know it. The Klamath River is a beautiful and productive steelhead river in a remote and rugged setting.

Half-pounder and adult steelhead start showing up in the middle river in September and October. The famous “half pounder” run peaks in October and double digit days can be had. The adults are also showing then and continue their migration well through March. The Klamath River steelhead fishing is in full swing come November and will produce quality fishing through the winter months. On average, anglers can expect to see a few handfuls of half pounders and a couple of adults are mixed in to a day’s catch.

Fortunately, anglers don’t come to too the mighty Klamath River thinking they’ll land a trophy steelhead. Steelhead to 10 pounds are caught annually; however, you are more apt to catch 3 to 6 pound fish. Anything heavier than 7 pounds is a very good Klamath River steelhead.

The difference between the Klamath River and some of the other popular steelhead rivers is that there’s more fish and less people. The Smith, Chetco, and the Umpqua Rivers have bigger fish, but also have a lot more guides and fisherman betting up the water. You are likely to see more wildlife than other anglers on the Klamath River at least on the middle Klamath River from Weitchpec to the town of Yreka. Happy Camp, CA is the base of operations for Ironhead Guide Service, and for anglers fishing the middle section of the Klamath River. This is one of the river’s most productive sections of water and tends to be kind to anglers.

Klamath River steelhead run from late fall through March, and the action in and around Happy Camp never skips a beat. On the other hand, you’ll need to come prepared. This remote section of the Klamath National Forest might not get overrun by anglers, but the weather makes its presence known from December through February.

Locating the Klamath River steelhead is your biggest battle, but definitely not a chore, and Mario Gomez the owner of Ironhead Guide Service is the best man for that job. He was born and raised in Happy Camp and has spent his entire life fishing for salmon, trout, and steelhead on the Klamath River. Mario and his company spend more days fishing the Klamath River than any other Outfitter.




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Check Fishing Trip Rates >

Klamath River Fishing Trip Lodging

Accommodations are available in Happy Camp, CA.

Klamath River Resort
Call 530-493-2735

The Forest Lodge
Call 530-493-5296

Bigfoot RV Park
Call 530-493-2884


umpqua river fishing trip oregon


With 10,000-30,000 Umpqua River steelhead expected to return each year, this river is defiantly one to hit.  Every year fish over 20 pounds get caught during the Umpqua River steelhead season.


chetco river fishing trip oregon


Chetco fishing is perhaps the best fall chinook and winter steelhead fishing in Oregon. One of Oregon's longest undammed rivers, the Chetco flows through rugged mountain canyons with towering fir and redwood trees.


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The upper reaches of the Rogue River is filled with classic steelhead and salmon water. The Rogue River holds the world record for a salmon caught on a fly, a monster 70 plus pound Chinook. 


Directions to Happy Camp, CA

Get In Touch

Ironhead Guide Service

Mario Gomez
P.O. Box 511
Happy Camp, CA 96039

Phone 530-598-0530

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