HORNBROOK, Calif. The salmon run was pitiful on the Klamath River near Yreka this year. Fortunately, the same disappointment isn't predicted for the steelhead run.
"It's going to be better than last year, we know that," said Guy Ives of The Tackle Shop (530-841-1901).
"According to Fish and Game it's suppose to be a good run of steelhead. I believe them on the steelhead part."
Ives predictions stem from time on the water this season.
"Even when we were salmon fishing we were catching pretty good steelhead, and I saw other boats catching good steelhead, so I think we're going to see some good fish and good numbers of fish," he said.
"There's supposed to be a run of steelhead coming in right now, and we're hearing that there are more fish coming up from the Orleans area. All indications are that it's going to be a good run. I think that the Klamath River steelhead is coming back. It should. I mean you can't keep anything, except for one. It should."
As for the size of the steelhead this year, that's still up in the air.
"I don't know for sure, but I'd have to say they'll be better than last year, because they weren't that big last year," Ives said.
"I have a feeling this year, from what we're seeing now and from what other guys are telling me there's some good fish in there."
From the Interstate 5 Bridge to Iron Gate Hatchery, anglers will notice that great shoreline access is tough to find.
According to Ives, you can fish from the grounds of the Fish Hook Restaurant (530-475-3787), but you have to ask them first.
It's a good run if you're fly fishing or spin fishing, he said. The only other easy access here is the Mitchell Hole, where anglers must pay $10 to fish. The fee can be paid at the market (the old Mitchell Store).
However, there are a few better options, mainly the 1-mile section beginning at I-5 and accessible by taking the frontage road from the rest area. That's pretty much the only fishing that you'll find from shore along this stretch of the Klamath.
"Most of it isn't fishable. It's frog water that isn't fishable. The fish bust through that," Ives said. "But there are a few good holes in this section."
Boat bets: From a drift boat it's another story.
"From a boat I know people go from the Klamathon Bridge down to I-5, I've never done it. It looks like a waste of time to me," said Ives, who advises anglers to take either the 1-mile drift from the dam to the Fish Hook Restaurant or all the way down to the Klamathon Bridge, a 5-miler.
On the Klamath it's standard to bounce Glo Bugs on the bottom or use a worm and a Corky. Plugs such as Hot Shots, Brad Wigglers and Rebel Craws are effective.
"I put scent on everything. I put them on Glo Bugs, the crawdad plugs, pretty much everything," Ives said.
"Sometimes I'll use roe, but up here you catch a thousand of those damn tiny trout."
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