Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

Steelhead and debris both amassing in large quantities along Klamath River; crabs not yet ready for catching

With recent rainfall, Smith River anglers were looking forward to wetting some lines to find out how many fish actually swam in from the ocean with the storms.

Steelhead runs on the Klamath River are reported to be widespread and abundant.

Expect the Chetco River to be blown out for several more days before it's fishable.

Smith River

Before the rains came, salmon fishing on the Smith was slow, but the chinook that were caught were bright and often big, according to fishing guide Don Vecchetti.

Doug Lumgair caught a 35-pound chrome salmon in a half-day trip Sunday before the storm hit. Vecchetti said only a couple other fish were caught Sunday, but when the flows drop to a fishable level, things should pick up.

"I think we got a major run coming through," Vecchetti said. "After this settles down it should be some good fishing."

He predicted that river debris would clear up by today and that water color and flow would be "perfect" for Friday and the weekend.

Fishing guide Jim Mitchell helped anglers find a couple hatchery female chinooks over the weekend, including a 25-pound hen still with sea lice caught by his father, Loren Mitchell.

After a salmon report card was marked incorrectly in the dark morning hours, a game warden almost confiscated Loren Mitchell's fish.

He ultimately kept the fish, but didn't escape the citation - a reminder to always be careful and vigilant about filling out salmon report cards.

Klamath and Trinity

A nice steelhead run in the Klamath River was reported by fishing guide Ed Duggan, but the wind storm pushed lots of debris in the water, making fishing tough.

"We are getting the fish moving, but the problem on the Trinity side is that we have a lot of leaves in the river and it's really, really tough."

Duggan said that storms add some much-needed color to the Trinity River.


B Street Pier continues to be lined with folks throwing crab rings and traps, although the crabs still have some growing to do before they are in prime condition.

Fishing guide contacts: Don Vecchetti of Don's Reel Time Guide Service at 707-487-2309; E.B. Duggan, "D" Fishing Guide at 530-629-3554 or via e-mail at; Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips at 707-464-8482

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