Middle Klamath and our weather
I was thinking of heading up to the middle Klamath (Somes Bar area) next Monday and was looking for some of your insight into how well the Middle Klamath holds up in our current weather conditions? Does it get blown out easy and does it clear fast?
Zilla, this recent bout of rain has risen the river. However, it is definitely not blown by any means. Ideal wading flows IMHO are 1600-1800cfs (at Orleans) in the Somes Bar area. Flows now are at 2300cfs. Still wadeable, but tougher. Clarity should be fine. Probably some color, but fine.
However, the further you travel upstream from Somes (where the Salmon dumps in a good amount of water), you'll find more wading-friendly water. Go to Green Riffle and walk all the way up and you'll find some primo stuff. Or walk up the Halverson Trail to Ice Cream riffle area and fish back down to the bridge. Great water up there if you just take the time to walk way upstream....about 40min walk on an easy good trail.
Get the Streamtime map for the Klamath if you don't have it already. It's a must have!
Agree with Jeff that when the Klamath starts to go out, it's usually because the flow puts the river into the treeline and that becomes a factor before you usually lose clarity.
For years we had baseline flows of 2100-2300cfs so I'd say the river at it's current flow is pretty close to ideal. It can still fish very well at flows significantly over 3k (particularly on a falling flow), but you've got to pick your spots carefully.
Here's what this years two rain events did to the flow:
The first storm (1.5") that bumped it to 2k curtailed the bite somewhat for a day or so on the rise and apex, but it was back to business as usual on the somewhat stabilized falling flow from 10-18 to 10-20. The first storm did next to nothing in terms of turbidity.
You're currently looking at 2k and falling rapidly. Should be perfect IF we don't catch significant rainfall between now and then. Unfortunately, the forecast shows a significant chance of precip most days between now and next Saturday. And the projected percentages shown for rain @weather.com at Orleans have increased for the last three days for the days they're predicting rain. I'd monitor the flows closely over the W/E.
It generally takes a lot of sustained rainfall to blow out the Klamath out. But when it does go out and the flows head up over 7K, I pretty much resign myself to the fact that I'm going to be trying to shoehorn myself into a riff on a certain valley river, casting at finless, hatchery frankenfish for a few weeks.
Thanks for all of the help
Thanks for the help and advice, I'm keeping my fingers crossed
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