Klamath River Fly Fishing Guide

Klamath River Fly Fishing Guide

Ironhead Guide Service (IGS) offers a variety of fly fishing for Klamath River steelhead including drifting and wading. Whether it is swinging flies with a single or double handed rod, drifting eggs and nymphs from the boat or even targeting a Salmon IGS can provide you with a fly fishing adventure of a lifetime.

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Professional guide Mario Gomez floats and guides the Klamath River all year-round and has been fishing this amazing river his entire life and has over 30 years Klamath River Fishing experience to ensure you fly fishing success on the Klamath River. Ironhead Guide Service’s owner and head guide Mario Gomez is a born and raised Klamath River fisherman and is among the best in the industry when it comes to fishing the Klamath River. Over the past 15 years pro guide Mario Gomez has become one of the top rated fishing guides on the west coast. Take a look at Ironhead Guide Service’s google reviews and see for yourself what people are saying about IGS. If you’re tossing around the idea of wanting to fly fish the Klamath River, it would behoove you to book a Klamath River fly fishing trip with a guide that knows the Klamath River and its fish better than any other guide. From Iron Gate Dam to Weitchpec, CA Ironhead Guide Service provides customers with a quality angling experiences, and pro guide Mario Gomez owns the premier Klamath River Outfitter service and spends more days fishing the Klamath than any other guide in California.

Klamath River Fly Fishing

For thousands of years the native salmon and steelhead have been an integral part of life for the people inhabiting the Klamath Region, including the Karuk, Yurok, Shasta, Klamath, and Hoopa Indian tribes. The Klamath River is the second largest drainage in California and yields strong returns of Steelhead year in and year out. The Klamath River historically hosted one of the largest runs of Chinook salmon on the west coast, but perhaps is best known for its historical runs of half-pounder Steelhead. Half-pounders are steelhead that spend one or two years in the ocean before returning to the Klamath River by the thousands. In addition to the great populations of half-pounders, the Klamath River also has good annual runs of adult steelhead, fish from 4-8 pounds. A typical day of fly fishing on the Klamath River for steelhead often includes hooking a handful of feisty half-pounders combined with one or two nice adult steelhead. The Klamath River is one of California’s hidden fly fishing treasures. The Klamath River fly fishing trips have become a favorite of customers and fishing with a born and raised Klamath River guide is hard to beat. Open all year, the famous Klamath River is one of the least pressured rivers in California, and it has been producing the best annual wild steelhead fishing in the State for many years. The Klamath River is one of the best rivers to introduce someone to steelhead fly fishing because they have a good chance of hooking some fish on any given day.

Klamath River Fly Fishing Trips

Fall fly fishing on the Klamath River can be considered by most to be prime time Steelhead fishing. By September there can be Steelhead spread throughout the entire river system from Iron Gate dam to the estuary. As the Chinook salmon start to spawn and occupy the gravel in October, these steelhead will start to slow down and feed behind the thousands of spawning Salmon. This is when Mario’s clients typically catch the most fish with even mixes of half-pounders and adult steelhead. Because success rates can be high, a fall fly fishing trip with IGS on the Klamath River is the ideal trip for people looking to get into the Steelhead fishing scene. The middle Klamath River is where Ironhead Guide Service operates out of, this rugged, and remote section of the river starts at Weitchpec and runs upstream through Orleans, Happy Camp, and Seiad Valley. Highway 96 parallels the Klamath River through much of this section and it offers lots of fantastic steelhead water.

Winter fly fishing on the Klamath River is when Ironhead Guide Service’s customers typically see the larger fish of the year. The Klamath River is not known for large steelhead, but pro guide Mario Gomez of Ironhead Guide Service can attest, there have been some monster steelhead pulled out of the depths of the Klamath in the winter. These are strong, wild fish that will keep anglers enthralled with aerial acrobatics, and long powerful drag peeling runs. The winter fish will usually start to show up after first big rains in December and can be available through March. As river temperatures drop this time of year, most of our Klamath River fly fishing success for winter steelhead comes on nymphs and egg imitations presented on a dead drift. As most folks don’t prefer to brave the winter elements, you can expect to find a lot of solitude while Steelhead fishing the Klamath River in the winter. Winter Steelhead fishing on the Klamath River can be amazing and IGS will put you on water that sees very little angling pressure and undisturbed fish.

Spring fly fishing on the Klamath River isn’t typically the most productive time to catch big numbers of steelhead. The thing Ironhead Guide Service likes most about spring fly fishing on the Klamath River are the hatches of Stoneflies that will get the fish in the river looking up and eating on the surface. There aren’t very many rivers on the west coast where you can target actively feeding Steelhead on the surface with dead drifted dry flies. From the time flows begin to drop in May until the water grows too warm in July, the Klamath River presents one of the most exciting dry fly fisheries in the region. The Salmon flies and Golden stoneflies typically start to hatch in the middle of May, and the hatch can run into the early part of June, providing weeks of good dry fly fishing. We prefer to fish this hatch from the drift boat, throwing dry flies towards the bank, under and around cover.

Summer fly fishing on the Klamath River can start on the lower river as early as July, but the hot fishing doesn’t get started until the middle of August and runs through the middle of September. There can be some great traditional steelhead fishing on the Klamath River during this time of year. Fly fishing for steelhead on the Klamath in this early season is an exciting adventure.

Klamath River Fly Fishing Techniques

There are two main techniques used to fly fish for steelhead on the Klamath River, swinging flies and nymphing under an indicator. Swinging flies is a traditional method to target steelhead and can be very effective during the early season when water temperatures are warmer, and the steelhead are more active and aggressive. This is the way fish are meant to be caught, once you’ve felt the tug at the end of a tight line, you’ll be hooked. Swinging fly’s, with single or two-handed rods, using various floating lines, sink-tips, and shooting heads is how IGS targets steelhead on the swing. The Klamath River has miles of incredible Spey water for the two-hand enthusiast.

In the colder fall and winter seasons Mario prefers to drift nymphs under indicators on the Klamath, as he has found over a lifetime of fishing the Klamath River that it is far and above the most productive way to catch steelhead this time of year. Nymphing is also very effective for those who prefer to fish from the boat. When the salmon start to kick eggs and bugs loose into the current, dead drifting an egg pattern or nymph can be absolutely deadly.


1 or 2 people $550 a day + gratuity


  • Heated Willie Drift Boat
  • Licensed, Insured, Professional Guide
  • Cooler for Drinks and Lunch


  • State Fishing License and Tag
  • Fly Fishing Rod, Reel, Tackle, and Fly’s
  • Waders and Wading Boots

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