The Williamson River and Klamath Lake are famous among serious fly fishers. These waters have been featured in fly-fishing magazines and numerous books on fly fishing destinations, emphasizing opportunities to catch exceptionally large trout. Bank fishing on the Williamson is extremely limited. Consequently, 98% of river fishing is done from a boat.
There is only one public river access on the upper river. It is located just below the town of Chiloquin, very near the confluence of the Sprague and Williamson Rivers. The take out for private boaters is at the Water Wheel Campground, just below the Highway #97 bridge, about 6 miles down stream.
The Lodge has private access to the river near the public access, as well as bank fishing opportunities. The WRR also has a private ramp providing access to the lower river and to Klamath Lake.
Hiring a local guide is highly recommended for anglers who are not familiar with this fishery. A list of local guides is available upon request.
Fishing season runs from Memorial Day until the end of October. Access to productive water from the bank is limited due to private property along both sides of the river. There is only one public access on the upper river. It is located at the public park on Chiloquin Boulevard, just below the town of Chiloquin, very near the confluence of the Sprague and Williamson Rivers (the Blue Hole). At this location one can fish the water up stream to the confluence. Once below the first riffle the angler and boat are committed to float down stream to the take out at the Water Wheel Campground, just below the Highway #97 bridge
The WRR has private access at the Cable Hole, down stream from the public access. We also have a private ramp providing access to the lower river and to Klamath Lake. The majority of fly-fishing on the Williamson is done using an intermediate line. A number of patterns can be productive. They include but not limited to; nymphs, leaches, wolly-bugars, damsel nymphs, may fly emergers, caddis pupa and minnows. Effective wet fly sizes typically run from #16 to #6, depending upon the pattern and time of year.
Dry Fly Fishing
Can be effective beginning in early July. The Hexigenia mayfly begins to appear in early July and can last until late August. Sporadic BWO/PMD hatches occur during July/August. Trico hatches appear during August/September. The Williamson is not noted for dry fly fishing but there are times when the hatch, angler and location all come together for good dry fly action.
Trout enter the river starting early spring. The greatest concentrations of fish move in during July and August. As the summer water temperature in Klamath Lake increases, fish migrate in greater numbers. During 2008/09 the Sprague River dam was removed resulting in lower river temperatures. The long-term impact on fishing resulting from dam removal should be positive.
The optimum months to fish this river are from mid July to September. The Hexigenia may fly hatch starts around July 4, increases through mid August, and then tapers off. Hexes can be observed on the water sporadically during the afternoons of August and September. It is not unusual to see trout take a Hex on a mid-summer afternoon. Fishing with a local guide is always recommended unless one has experience on this water.
As a general rule, the best fishing on Klamath Lake occurs between March and November. Fishing success is influenced by water temperature and where fish gather. Late March, April and May are typically the best times to fish along the shoreline of the main lake, although there are exceptions. Once lake temperatures pass 45 degrees in the spring, trout, minnows and insect life become active. As the water warms, minnows appear along the shorelines in good concentrations. It is not unusual to see trout actively feeding on minnows in shallow water next to drop offs. The odds of catching a trout increase greatly when an angler can spot the surface activity of feeding fish.
Beginning in June, lake temperatures begin to climb significantly. As the lake gets hotter fish move to into cooler water. Some fish congreate near cool springs on the lake floor. Finding where these springs are located can be a challenge. Knowing where the springs are does not guarantee good fishing, but it does increase the odds. Fishing with a local guide is always recommended.
Pelican Bay is open to fishing all year although most years it freezes in winter. The most productive months are June through September. Trout move into the bay as the main lakes heats up. The bay waters are clearer than the lake and full of aquatic growth. Shallow portions of the bay get quite choked up with weeds as summer progresses. Fishing an intermediate or floating line is most effective way to avoid becoming tangled in the weeds. Finding fish activity on the surface is key to success in this water. Good fishing is primarily influenced by weather conditions, time of day and discovering the trout’s primary food source on any given day.
A mirror smooth lake surface is not the fly fisher’s friend. Any breeze or even a wind helps a great deal. Also, time of day can be very important. Starting at first light, has been known to increase an anglers productivity.
Agency Lake is open to fishing all year. However, it freezes in winter most years. As a general rule, it is fishable from April through August. Agency Lake is part of Klamath Lake and is connected to the main lake by The Narrows at the north end. Agency Lake receives cool water from the Wood River. It also receives cool water from springs on the lake floor. Agency typically fishes better in the summer months than Klamath Lake, probably due to the lower water temperatures. Anglers who are unfamiliar with this water should consider hiring a local guide.
The season on the Wood starts in April and runs to the end of October. This river has all the aspects of a Spring Creek, which in fact, it is. It is a cold, clear stream with a variety of insect hatches. Public bank fishing is not possible due to private property along the entire river with exception of the County Park, upstream of the productive water. A boat, canoe or pontoon boat is essential for fishing here. A guide on this river is highly recommended.
Watch one of our guests catch a 30 inch rainbow trout!
Another Rainbow takes a fly.
Beautiful Catch and Release.