River Fishing Report 12/5/2014


Rain is abundant and reports indicate more in the forecast into next week.

River flows have been up but coastal rivers are blown out for fishing. Winter steelhead should start moving up the rivers soon after. See River Flow page.


Fly fishing– Golden Stone Rubber Legs, Copper Johns, Brindle Bugs, Burlap Specials and Silver Hiltons. For nymphing, use a Black Rubber Legs or Golden Stone Rubber legs with a Copper John under it.

Hardware- Little Cleo’s (blue, silver, maroon, copper), Kwikfish, Spinners #3- #5’s(blue, silver or copper blade with an orange, blue, pink or chartreuse body).

Bait- Roe or night crawlers with a puff ball in front of your worm to float off of the bottom.


CDFW reminds anglers that a salmon report card is required when fishing for Chinook salmon in anadromous portions of the Klamath basin. See Regulations page for more.

Low Flow River Closures

CDFW shall make information available to the public by a telephone recorded message updated, as necessary, no later than 1:00 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as to whether any stream will be open or closed to fishing. It shall be the responsibility of the angler to use the telephone number (707) 822-3164 designated in the sport fishing regulations booklet to obtain information on the status of any stream. See Low Flow Restrictions page for more information.

River Fishing Report

Chetco River

Temporary regulations have been adopted for the Chetco River starting Sept. 1, 2014. Anglers should check these regulation changes prior to fishing the river. Temporary gear restrictions are no longer in effect. As of Nov. 4, anglers can fish the Chetco River per zone regulations. Chinook anglers are still under bag restrictions of 1 wild adult Chinook per day and 5 wild adult Chinook year.

There was a little surge of new fish in the river but there are a lot of fish that are dark and should be released as their meat is past the prime by a long ways. We are seeing a few steelhead including a 15-pound hatchery male caught by a plunker at

There have been reports of some fresh salmon entering the river last week but many of the fish were dark.  A few winter steelhead have been caught in the lower river. Anglers will want to check rivers conditions before heading out.

See Chetco River flows.

Smith River

There were reports of many salmon and jacks last week, but the bite was not so good. Reports of many jacks indicate that the salmon season is not over yet and we should see some more action when flows come down! The steelhead bite was very limited with very reports of any action.

With more rain in the forecast, the current Smith River flow of 3,000 cfs is projected to rise to 8,000 cfs on Saturday morning.

Klamath River (Lower)

The lower Klamath River is catch and release for salmon. There have not been any new reports of fishing and most fish have moved up river.

Lower Klamath River flow is about 12,000 cfs and projected to rise above 17,000 cfs on Saturday.

Klamath River (Mid)

Several weeks ago, the Klamath was seeing salmon and steelhead in spurts after each rain and coming in small groups of 15 – 20 running up river. The Klamath reports above I-5 have been good for steelhead.

The Klamath River flow at Orleans is about 4,000 cfs and projected to rise above 9,000 cfs on Saturday.

Mad River

The recent flow increase brought in some bright salmon and we should see the first push of winter steelhead following the current rain storms. See Mad River flows.

Trinity River

Fishing reports are slow on the lower Trinity River but Salmon, Steelhead and Brown trout are still available. Last week, 2 to 4 adult steelhead were landed per trip using roe, plugs and fly fishing. Fishery crews mapped 86 redds in the Reaches from Lewiston Dam to Bucktail River Access, Round House to Pigeon Point, and Big Bar to Cedar Flat. Chinook Salmon spawning activity in the up river reaches is slowing as it normally does this time of year. Conditions permitting, crews will attempt to survey the river downstream of Hawkins Bar this week where the spawn timing of Chinook Salmon is later and should still be going strong.


The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces that the Trinity River Hatchery has met its adult fall-run Chinook salmon take of 4,800 fish.

Beginning Monday, Nov. 17 the Trinity River downstream of the Old Lewiston bridge to the mouth of Indian Creek is open to the take of chinook salmon over 22 inches.

The daily bag limit in this section is three Chinook salmon, of which one may be an adult over 22 inches. The daily bag limit for the rest of that section below the mouth of Indian Creek down to the Highway 299 west bridge at Cedar flat is three Chinook salmon under 22 inches.

The fall-run Chinook salmon quota on the Lower Trinity River is 681 adult Chinook salmon from the confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar flat. This sub-area quota has not been met yet, and anglers may retain one adult Chinook salmon as part of their three fish daily bag limit.

CDFW reminds anglers that a salmon report card is required when fishing for Chinook salmon in anadromous portions of the Klamath basin.

Steelhead fishing remains open in all areas, with a daily bag of two hatchery steelhead or trout and possession limit of four hatchery steelhead or trout. Hatchery steelhead or trout are defined as fish showing a healed adipose fin clip (the adipose fin is absent). Anglers are also required to possess a steelhead report card when fishing for steelhead.

Anglers may keep track of the status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling 1 (800) 564-6479.

Eel River 
The river has been blown out but there were some reports of steelhead in the lower river last week.

Van Duzen River

There were some reports of some steelhead in the river last week.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *