Klamath Falls
A view of upper Klamath Lake

Where to Fish in and near Klamath Falls

A view of upper Klamath Lake
Rex Trulove's image for:
"Where to Fish in and near Klamath Falls"
Caption: A view of upper Klamath Lake
Image by: Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

Klamath Falls, Oregon, isn't an especially large town. However, it boasts some of the best fishing in the state. Within 50 miles, you can catch bluegills, crappie, bass, sturgeon, trout, or catfish. No matter your pleasure, it is there for you and is just waiting.

Klamath Falls borders Klamath Lake. Many rivers enter into the lake, but let's start with the lake itself.

Klamath Lake is a relatively shallow body of water, but it is also quite large. All the fish species previously mentioned can be found in the lake. Red band trout, a subspecies of rainbow trout, can grow quite large and often average over 5 pounds.

Eagle ridge, accessed off highway 140 west, and Modoc Point, roughly across the lake from Eagle ridge and off of highway 97 north, tend to be very good for red band trout, particularly in the spring.

Large trout and warm water fish are also often caught in Link River, which flows between Klamath Lake and Lake Ewana near Veteran's park. This area is usually best when fished after temperatures increase and water flow lessens.

One of the rivers that feed Klamath Lake is Williamson River. Much of the year the waters of the Williamson are cold and ideal for trout. All of the tributaries of the Williamson, such as Spring Creek, are also good trout streams and many are planted. A record sturgeon was also caught at the mouth of the Williamson, where it flows into Klamath Lake. At over 1,900 pounds, it shows that the potential for large fish isn't an illusion.

The town of Chiloquin, about 42 miles north of Klamath Falls, borders Williamson River.

Twenty miles to the north of Klamath Falls off highway 62, is the Wood River valley, centered on Fort Klamath. Anne Creek, Fort Creek, Seven Mile Creek, Crooked Creek, and Wood River all flow through the valley and several merge before flowing into Klamath Lake. These cold-water streams harbor rainbow, brook, and brown trout. Eight miles west of Fort Klamath where the road crosses Seven Mile Creek has for years been an excellent spot for fishing, particularly for brook trout.

There are also many small mountain streams flowing in to the west side of the lake that can be found by taking the access road from Fort Klamath to highway 140. These tend to have smaller fish, however they are worthwhile fishing for.

Eight miles east of Klamath Falls is Lost River. This is an excellent site for catfish, bass, and bluegill. This river also borders Highway 140 east, and another excellent fishing site on the river is Stevenson's park, which is maintained, has picnic tables, and permanent outhouses.

Klamath River, which is the outlet for Klamath Lake, is another excellent place to fish. In some areas such at Keno, a town east of Klamath Falls, the river is easy to get to. Trout, bass, bluegill and bullhead catfish are all available in the river, though the farther downstream you go, the fewer warm water species there are.

Klamath River canyon is more difficult to access, however the fishing luck there is often great. Note that the canyon is closed during the summer months due to rattlesnake populations; so be sure to check the fishing synopsis before planning a trip to this location.

There are also numerous campgrounds to be found within 50 miles of Klamath Falls, many of them having lake or river frontage, making them good for fishing as well as camping. Many of the sites are pay sites, however the amount per night is rarely very much. Some sites in more popular areas such as Lake of the Woods and Fish Lake tend to charge more for the privilege of camping, however they also usually offer access to food and gasoline, plus other amenities.

Some campsites are free use, such as Anne Creek Campground, about a mile and a half from the Crater Lake National Park south boundary, and Four Mile Flats Rock Quarry, off highway 140 about 8 miles east of Odessa. These are unimproved campsites maintained by the US Forest Service, so please take care of your campfire, and don't litter.

Rivers, lakes, and streams near Klamath Falls abound with fish. Many are easy to get to; others require a little more work. All of them provide plenty of sport in the spring and summer. Whether it is a day outing or a weekend camp trip, there are so many choices available it wouldn't be worthwhile to list them all.

More about this author: Rex Trulove

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