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Reel Deal: Salmon season not over yet

Dan Westeren of Bend, Ore., holds a 32-pound hatchery king salmon he caught Oct. 13 near the mouth of the Chetco River while fishing with guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.
Dan Westeren of Bend, Ore., holds a 32-pound hatchery king salmon he caught Oct. 13 near the mouth of the Chetco River while fishing with guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. Courtesy of Wild Rivers Fishing
Bursts of salmon are continuing to enter the Klamath River periodically, providing decent fishing throughout the Klamath-Trinity River system.

Meanwhile, combination trips of crab and salmon currently available make a fantastic trip in the bay of the Rogue River.

Lower Klamath River

With the mouth of the Klamath River situated in the center of the spit, the river is flowing nicely and there have been reports of waves of salmon entering the river, according to California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

There have been 13,132 adult chinook harvested below Weitchpec by sport anglers so far this season, but a few dozen in the last week.

“The salmon are about two to three weeks late,” said fishing guide E.B. Duggan, adding that reports of fishing below Weitchpec have been pretty good.

Rogue River estuary

Right now, the Rogue River estuary is a great place for combination salmon and crab trips.  Set your crab traps before you start fishing for salmon, and check the pots throughout the day.

“It’s the best thing going on right now,” said fishing guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.

Martin said he had to release several wild coho salmon Friday, but that afternoon, his boat had two hatchery coho and one chinook salmon in the box and the crabbing in the bay was going strong as well.

Martin was trolling for salmon with 5.5-inch anchovies with red spinner blades. The best time to fish was the last hour of incoming tide and the first couple hours of outgoing tide, Martin said.

Crescent City ocean

There are less than two weeks left for ocean bottom fishing on the North Coast, and the lingcod, halibut and rockfish are still biting, according to Craig Strickhouser of Tally Ho II Sportfishing.

Tally Ho’s guests picked up limits of lingcods on some days this week and black and blue rockfish were plentiful.

Trinity River-Willow Creek

It can be hard to avoid catching smolts released from hatcheries right now in Willow Creek, but fishing guide Duggan said that there’s a good chance of hooking adult salmon and steelhead in the Trinity River near Willow Creek when you get past the smolts.

There have been more steelhead than salmon seen in the river at a ratio above 2 to 1, Duggan said.  Roughly 30 percent of the steelhead are hatchery fish, Duggan said. Many of the adult fish are in good condition with plenty of silver skin, Duggan said.

Smith River estuary

A few salmon have reportedly been caught in the Smith River estuary in the past week.

Fishing guide contacts: E.B. Duggan “D” Fishing Guide at 530-629-3554; Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 541-813-1082; Tally Ho II Sportfishing at 707-464-1236.

Reach Adam Spencer at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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