Spent three days on the Klamath with Dan B. this last weekend swinging flies for steelhead. After hearing some stellar reports from a few people here and there, we decided to grab the spey rods and the drift boat and see for ourselves.
This is the look you get from Dan when you take too long to rig-up.
We stuck to the Iron Gate to Klamathon bridge float for all three days. Surprisingly, the most crowded day was the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Saturday wasn't bad in terms of other boaters, and on Sunday it was basically us and Craig Nielson with a client.
The fishing was tough all three days. Dan did all the work catching several half-pounders the first day as well as this wild fish near the end of the day on a chartreuse and black egg-sucking leech.
I didn't touch a fish the entire first day. But, I was satisfied with one solid grab near the take out, and a day of good casts... no... that's a lie... I was pretty butt-hurt about not catching a fish the entire day. It was cool; we had two more days of fishing and things couldn't get any worse....
Day two was nearly a shut-out for me again, but around midday, just as I finished whining about, "All I want to do is touch a fish," I finally hook-up... with a 4 inch fish...
Dan says, "hurry up and touch it...." I wanted to throw it at him.
Day two was slower than day one for Dan. We took the advice of Craig Nielson and started swinging some smaller flies, but I don't think it really made a difference. In fact, Dan said he had fewer grabs on smaller flies than he did the day before using huge leeches. So we switched back to larger flies on day three.
Day three started, again, pretty slow with grabs here and there and an occasional half-pounder... for Dan... not me...
It wasn't until about noon on day three that I finally hooked a fish, and it was still only about 12 inches.
Dan, doin' the D-loop hustle.
We finished the last day with a stop at a long fishy-looking run that lit-up as soon as the sun started to fall behind the trees. Dan and I both had several good grabs and one or two solid hook-ups. Dan landed two or three more half-pounders before landing this beefy wild hen.
Gorgeous fish, except it would have looked much better in my hands. We would've fished the run harder, longer, but we had a 30 minute paddle to the take-out, plus a five hour drive home.
We ran into Craig Nielson again at the take-out who said that his client had several solid fish to the boat as well as a few hot fish that came unbuttoned.... and that's why he does what he does, and we don't... Super nice guy, Craig is. He was generous enough to give Dan and I a couple of his swinging flies for the next trip. Next time, we put Craig in the boat with us and just watch him fish.
Good trip. Lots of fun. I wished the catching was a little better, but that's pretty much how my life goes.
10 hours ago