in Southern Oregon
Pursue the legendary Northwest salmon and steelhead, several species of trout or a variety of warm water fish in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. The Rogue River is the area's crown jewel of fishery resources, heralded by sport anglers since the late 1800s. This famous river cuts through the heart of both National Forests and is the region's main fishery. However, more than 2,000 miles of fish-bearing streams are found on the two forests, and many of these are open to fishing. Five nationally protected Wild and Scenic Rivers (including the Rogue, Illinois, Chetco, and Elk) are found in the forest, providing pristine environments and spectacular scenery for anglers to enjoy while pursuing their quarry.
The diverse streams, rivers and lakes of the Umpqua National Forest support dozens of species of fish, predominately native coldwater fish species, such as Pacific Salmon, Trout and Char, as well as warm water fish, largely introduced from Midwest and Eastern states. Salmon and Steelhead of the Umpqua National Forest are world renowned. Known for their indomitable urge to swim upstream to spawn, these fish are truly a marvel of nature. Salmon and Steelhead also have great cultural importance to Native American tribes throughout the Northwest. Chinook, Coho, Chum, Pink, and Sockeye are the five species of Pacific Salmon that inhabit many of the Pacific Northwest National Forests. However, only Spring- and Fall-run chinook salmon, coho salmon, and Summer- and Winter-run steelhead inhabit the Umpqua National Forest.
Upper Klamath Lake is famous for trophy redband trout, a type of rainbow, often weighing in at 8 pounds or more. As the lake warms up each summer, trout are drawn to the cooler waters of Pelican Bay and Agency Lake, the Williamson and Wood River , and to the spring-fed marshy creek channels of the Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. As summer progresses, feisty yellow perch move into the same creek channels and provide excitement for young and old. The mountain lakes such as Fourmile, Lake of the Woods, Fish Lake, and the wilderness lakes also offer excellent fishing opportunities. Resorts on the lakes and rivers offer great advice on what you might catch when, and many rent boats or offer fishing from the bank for free or a small fee.
The Williamson River and Klamath Lake are famous among serious fly fishers. These waters have been featured in fly-fishing magazines and numerous books on fly fishing destinations, emphasizing opportunities to catch exceptionally large trout. Bank fishing on the Williamson is extremely limited. Consequently, 98% of river fishing is done from a boat. There is only one public river access on the upper river. It is located just below the town of Chiloquin, very near the confluence of the Sprague and Williamson Rivers. The take out for private boaters is at the Water Wheel Campground, just below the Highway #97 bridge, about 6 miles down stream. The Lodge has private access to the river near the public access, as well as bank fishing opportunities. The WRR also has a private ramp providing access to the lower river and to Klamath Lake. Hiring a local guide is highly recommended for anglers who are not familiar with this fishery. A list of local guides is available upon request.