Good news out of Willow Creek

Don Terbush

For the Times-Standard

Increased flows from the Trinity River and Iron Gate have helped the lower Klamath River temperatures drop 10 degrees and now seem to have averted another fish kill, as well as bringing in some fresh run salmon. That is the word from Willow Creek guide Ed Duggan.

He goes on to say that now that the river has reached the full flow of 1,650 cubic feet per second, it has begun to ramp down by 60 cfs every other day, continuing to 1,050 about September 11, then returning to 450 cfs on Sept. 14.

Hot temperatures in the valley haven't matched the hot fishing on the lower Trinity and lower Klamath, according to Ed. Lower Klamath temperatures have dropped and the salmon and steelhead have begun migrating up the river. Half pounders and adults are really hot around Johnson to Weitchpec.

Fly fishermen and hardware anglers are doing great in the lower Klamath. The Learnmouth family from Orange County hit the jackpot last week below Johnson and hooked or landed 64 steelhead in one day, the largest adult being 10 pounds. They were fly fishing and caught and released 20 adults over six pounds along with several half pounders.

"We are seeing similar results in the Weitchpec area as well," Ed noted. "From the mouth of the Trinity up into Hoopa the same results."

Up into Douglas City to Del Loma, fishing has improved with the increased flows. "A whole slug of fish that were trapped in the Greys and Burnt Ranch Falls area were released with the higher flows and have made their way above the Cedar Flat section of the river and are showing up around Junction City and Del Loma. It's time for bank anglers to break out the tuna balls and hit the water. Mornings are the best bet," Ed added.

Note: the Falls area from the Hawkins Bar bridge up to Cedar Flat bridge closed to fishing on Tuesday, August 31.That means no fishing in the area until November.

Guides John Klar and Tim King report big fishing days on the Klamath as well. Tim had three boats on the Klamath on Sunday and all landed nice adult king salmon.

Meanwhile, sport salmon anglers fishing off Eureka and Trinidad have been scoring big time. Gisela Kinder of Johnny's Marina reports "fishing for salmon off the stacks has really been good all week."

Rex Crow and Chris Jensen brought in 3512 and 33-pound kings, respectively, while fishing in the same boat Sunday. Each caught two kings apiece. Crow caught his largest fish using a steelhead rod and 20-pound test line. Jay Harris got a 33-pound salmon.

"We had some good and bad days but always got fish," said Coral Isle charter boat owner Larry Williams. A 34-pounder was boated along with a number of salmon in the 20-pound range. "We fished off the tip of the jetties today (Tuesday) in 30 to 60 feet and there were fish all over. Our biggest was 24 pounds. My advice is don't stay home."

The charter boat Shellback was idle until Tuesday when skipper Phil Glenn fished in 60 feet of water north of the stacks. Four anglers brought in eight salmon, the largest being 23 pounds. A couple of boats fished for albacore 40 miles southwest and returned with over 30 apiece.

"From what I've seen there appears to be plenty of fish until the end of the season (Sept. 12)," said Phil.

Salmon fishing has been good in about 120 feet of water north of the Whistler off Trinidad, reports Ruby Rollins. There has been a good grade of kings up to 30 pounds.

Jeff Self claimed first place in the Salmon Derby for August. He brought in a 3412 pound king. Dan Jenkins won the Lingcod Derby with his 24-pounder.

Gary Howard leads Salty's Big Fish Wins Derby with his 33-pound king. The jackpot stands at $470. Brannan Thoma notes that fishing "has been great about two miles out and south of Trinidad. Two 30-pound kings were brought in."

An occasional salmon and lots of lingcod. That's the report from Shelter Cove launch operator Ken Vallotton.

Charter boats have been bringing in lingcod from 20 to 35 pounds, but the salmon fishing has been a little tough, according to Ken. The charter boat Bite Me brought in 35 albacore Tuesday and 28 Monday.