Mouth of Klamath River.
The Klamath River system, including the Trinity River, is California’s most productive coastal river for chinook salmon and has excellent steelhead fishing. From Iron Gate Dam east of Yreka, the Klamath flows 185 miles to the ocean. The Lower Klamath River — from the junction with the Trinity River to its mouth below the town of Klamath — is one of California’s best fishing rivers. Anglers often catch and release several salmon and sometimes double-digit numbers of steelhead — they are very numerous albeit somewhat smaller than steelies in other rivers — and you may catch a few coho salmon that must be released.
Many of the fish are naturally spawned but a hatchery at the Iron Gate Dam spawns thousands of chinook and steelhead in most years. The Trinity River Fish Hatchery below the Lewiston Dam produces salmon and steelhead to supplement catches on the Trinity and Lower Klamath rivers.
The Lower Klamath (from its mouth to its junction with the Trinity River) has several boat launches near its mouth as far inland as Klamath Glen. Then there are no public launch sites, even for drift boats, farther upriver so anglers fish from power boats and run as far as 10 miles upstream to Johnson Hole. This river is best fished by shallow-draft power boats that quickly take you from hole to hole to find a productive one then power you upriver to make additional drifts through the same hole when fish are located.
The river clears moderately fast after a rain but doesn’t suffer the “great or nothing” fishing syndrome that some other rivers experience. Fishing here is good most of the salmon and steelhead season and great when conditions are perfect.
The Golden Bear statues at each end of the Highway 101 bridge across the Klamath River are landmarks in the area. The towns of Klamath and Requa at the mouth of the river and Klamath Glen a few miles inland have services and several places to launch a boat. Highway 169 goes east from Klamath but stops about two miles east of Klamath Glen.