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Wood & Williamson Rivers

A rainbow trout on the Williamson River
Guided Fly Fishing Trips
$575 for 1-2 Anglers
  • Year-round
  • Walk/wade

The Klamath Basin offers a lot of great fly fishing opportunities. The Williamson River is the largest local river and should be thought of as the headwaters of the Klamath River. Large fish from Agency Lake enter the river each year seeking cooler water during the summer months. These lake-run fish behave much like steelhead and frequently top the 5 pound mark. The nearby Wood river is a narrow, meandering meadow stream that's just big enough for drift boats. Sinking lines techniques and summer hopper fishing are very popular here.

Dylan Woodrum is our go-to guide on the Wood and Williamson Rivers. He uses a 16 foot drift boat on both rivers. He also does jet boat trips on Agency Lake, fishing stillwater techniques in the springs.

Recent Klamath Basin Fishing Reports

Klamath Basin Fishing Image
June 30, 2022
Klamath Basin Report by Andrew Harris

This is a guest report from Rich and Kathleen who fished with Dylan the last 3 days in the Klamath Basin: "Rich and I had a great time fishing the Williamson with Dylan.  Biggest trout we both have netted.  Plus good conversation and assistance with learning  new techniques.  Totally awesome!"

Klamath Basin Fishing Image
June 9, 2022
Klamath Basin Report by Dylan Woodrum

We are off and running with our summer fishery in the Klamath Basin. We have had a wet and cold spring this year bringing much needed precipitation to the Klamath Basin. The added moistures has raised the rivers and cooled the lake. I would expect the first batch of lake fish to start their migration up the Williamson River in early July. When they first show in the river it takes them a while to shed their feeding habits established in the lake. This provides a great opportunity to hook one of these lake brutes on the swing. When the fish first show up I typically like to target fish with leeches, minnow patterns and damsels nymphs. Fished with a clear full sink intermediate line on the swing. The first two weeks of July conveniently also marks the beginning of the famed Hex hatch on the Williamson River. Just in time for the newly arrived lake fish. For the stillwater enthusiast out there, July marks the beginning of our season to  target large redband trout in Pelican Bay and Agency lake. We will use a variety of strategies to catch these picky fish; Chironomids, balanced leeches, seal buggers, minnow patterns in lowlight and caddis pupa are all used this time of year. though relatively unknown and unpressured, Upper Klamath Lake and Agencey Lake are one of the premier stillwater fisheries in the nation.  We have plenty of open dates in July or August if you want to test your skills against some of the biggest trout in the lower 48.  

Klamath Basin Fishing Image
April 8, 2022
Klamath Basin Report by Dylan Woodrum

Summer Synopsis for the Klamath Basin Williamson River:The Redband Trout of the Klamath Basin are well into their annual spawning season at the moment of this writing. Redband, have migrated out of the lake and into several tributaries to pass on their genes- many of those fish choose to migrate up the Williamson River. Klamath Basin Redbands have been documented spawning 11 months out of the year, however the majority of fish tend to spawn in late winter and early spring. Many of these fish choose to stay in the river after their spawn to feed on Shortnose Sucker eggs, who have also migrated into the river system to reproduce. This double run of both trout and Shortnose sucker is the key to understanding fishing the Williamson in the first couple weeks of the season.  This year the season opens May 22nd, and from late May through most of June trout can be found in the riffles of the Williamson River feeding on sucker eggs, golden stone nymphs and mayfly nymphs. June can be an extremely productive time to fish the Williamson, especially if one enjoys nymphing. When the weather warms, the temperatures in the Upper Klamath Lake rise to a level that Redband are forced to make a second run into cold water tributaries. July and August fishing on the Williamson River is dictated by this second run of lake fish. Like most of the West we are in the middle of a terrible drought. Upper Klamath Lake has broken another record for low water intake this winter. Unlike other fisheries, the harsher the drought and hotter the weather, the better the fishing is in the Williamson River. If the lake warms earlier than usual, that simply means that there are more fish in the Williamson River earlier. Also, unlike other fisheries that are at the whim of mother nature, the Williamson River is spring fed. Meaning: cold water, year round! Fish in the Williamson are hot and healthy throughout the summer. Never have I had to deal with “Hoot Owl Rules” and if played correctly, and handled with care, these fish swim off after the release with gusto no matter the temperature outside. July and August are prime time to fish the Williamson. We spend a lot of time swinging small leeches, damsels and streamers using a full sink intermediate line during this time of year. It can be challenging, even to the experienced fly caster, but the rewards are well worth it. It is truly the pinnacle of blue ribbon streams in the lower 48 if one is looking for a trophy Redband Trout. Wood River: The same story can be told of the Wood River with weather, drought, spawning and a second run of fish making the great escape from the harsh water temperatures of the lake. The Wood River, however, has a completely different makeup that is characterized as a true spring creek that meanders through marsh, meadow and pastures. Undercut banks aplenty provide ample opportunity for a Redband or Brown trout to take refuge and feed on PMD’s, Grasshoppers or a well placed streamer. One of the more idyllic places in the Klamath Basin, it is one of my favorites haunts.Upper Klamath Lake:Not to be left out, the mythical stillwater enthusiast has a place in the Klamath Basin. Pelican Bay is located on the Northwest portion of Upper Klamath Lake and is fed by several cold water springs that provide a sanctuary for Redband Trout throughout the Summer months. June, July and August we target these picky fish with leech, damsel and minnow patterns, primarily using a full sink intermediate line. Pelican Bay is the birthplace of the renowned seal bugger and is still a go-to pattern used while fishing this water. Few stillwater fisheries can compare with Upper Klamath lake, where a 20” fish is not a trophy, but the norm. Here, anglers measure not in inches, but in pounds. Every Summer multiple ten-plus pound Redband Trout find their way into the net at Pelican Bay. If you style yourself as a stillwater fisherman and have not yet fished Upper Klamath Lake, this place better be on your bucket list!

Klamath Basin Photo Gallery

Guide Dylan Woodrum and guest with a Williamson River rainbow
Guide Dylan Woodrum on a day off with his son on the Williamson River
A large Williamson River rainbow.
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