Fishing Siskiyou, California’s north, is home to some of the best fishing anywhere. Siskiyou’s wild rivers, streams and high mountain lakes offer clear water and plenty of fish both summer and winter. Whether it’s a fast current or still water that’s calling your name, here are some great fishing options, with even a couple of fish adventure options for kids. Come make a weekend fishing in Siskiyou with great places to stay here!
RIVER FISHING IN SISKIYOU
The Klamath River
The Klamath River is the second largest river in California, running 263 miles from Oregon through California, to the Pacific Ocean. From September through March, Klamath River salmon fishing is at its peak. Plan for a multiple-day stay in Happy Camp or Hornbrook to fish the hard fighting salmon and steelhead. On the scenic drive stretching from Hornbrook through Yreka to Happy Camp, there are as many as eight river access points that provide access to the Klamath. The Klamath River Resort Inn in Happy Camp and the Klamath Ranch Resort & Blue Heron RV Park in Hornbrook also offer front row stay and play access to the river.
Upper and Lower McCloud River
The McCloud River is a designated wild and scenic river that offers a true wilderness experience and has been fished by dignitaries, railroad barons and even presidents. The upper and lower portions are so named by their division at the McCloud Reservoir. The narrow canyon – also famous for its waterfalls – holds deep pools of unpolluted, aerated water meaning great fishing conditions year round, even in the summer months. The McCloud River is also home to one of the most famous strains of Rainbow trout on the planet, exported to stock bodies of water around the world.
Upper Sacramento River
This blue ribbon trout stream begins below Lake Siskiyou and offers 40 miles of angling paradise. Both provide unique access to riffles, pocket water, runs and deep pools — all while featuring impressive views of Mount Shasta and Castle Crags. Nymphing is popular year-round, through the heat of summer and into the cold of winter when the river is open for catch and release. But it’s in the fall when the October Caddis flies return to the river to lay their eggs, when fishing the Upper Sacramento provides one of the most enjoyable ways to celebrate fall outside.
LAKE FISHING IN SISKIYOU
Lake Siskiyou is a reservoir formed by Box Canyon Dam on the Sacramento River, a dam that will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020. The lake is nestled at the foot of the Trinity Divide and fed by five mountain streams, the crystalline lake having become a prime recreational hub with lake front camping and chalets, as well as boating and plentiful rainbow and brown trout.
The McCloud Reservoir
The McCloud Reservoir, on the other hand, feels like your own “private” lake tucked away deep in the Shasta National Forest. Serving as the division between lower and upper McCloud River, the reservoir is home to the famous McCloud River Trout. It is also fed by silt that flows in from Mud Creek that remains suspended in the still water of the reservoir and reflects back the sky. This gives the McCloud Reservoir its typical vivid turquoise hue.
A gorgeous alpine lake near the town of Mount Shasta, Castle Lake offers awesome sights of jagged granite mountains and is surrounded by pine forests. Fishing for trout involves either trolling or recommended fly-fishing from the northern shore. The lake is stocked with rainbows, brook trout and fingerlings, and the drive to get to the lake is a scenic journey on its own.
Juanita Lake is an off-the-beaten path jewel that offers a unique combination of recreation opportunities, and is regularly stocked with trout and has a bass and catfish population. There is a 1.5-mile paved, barrier free trail that circles the lake with 2 fishing jetties for easy access to the lake and is ADA accessible.
Orr Lake is a popular fishing area with a gorgeous view of Mt Shasta. Here you’ll find trout, bass, and catfish. A scenic trail along the east edge of the lake provides access to several fishing jetties and connects the 4 campsites on the east side of the lake with the 4 double sites on the north end of the lake. A boat ramp on the east shore and a hand-launch boat ramp on the north end also provide easy access to the lake.
A high alpine lake on south slope of Mount Eddy, Gumboot Lake is 7 acres wide and about 18-feet deep. The reedy lake is rimmed by a grass shore and pine trees and stocked with rainbow trout. No motorboats are allowed on the lake but it is easily fished from the shore.
Kangaroo Lake is a gorgeous reservoir nestled among rocky bluffs and is located conveniently from Callahan or Weed. It is seasonally stocked and is a hotspot for fly fishing, baitcasting and spinning. There’s no boat ramp but motorless boats are permitted. There are also well-maintained facilities at the adjacent campground and ADA access to part of the lake.
GUIDED ADVENTURES & RESOURCES
Ted Fay Fly Shop is a full-service destination shop with local information and everything you need to fish the Upper Sacramento and McCloud Rivers. Located in downtown Dunsmuir.
Wild Waters Fly Fishing This outfitter and trout specialist based out of Mount Shasta was officially endorsed by Orvis in 2018 as the fly-fishing outfitter of the year. Also partners with McCloud Fly Fishing Adventures.
SC Guide Service Specializing in drift & Jetboat Fishing Trips with food, gear and tackle provided. All you need is a fishing license.
Ironhead Guide Service Specializing in salmon and steelhead adventures on the Klamath River, with peak season September through March.
Jack Trout Fly Fishing Offering guided fly-fishing trips with gourmet meals and unmatched personal attention In California, Oregon & Nevada.
FISH ADVENTURES FOR KIDS
Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery
The Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery is the oldest trout hatchery west of the Mississippi where you can feed the fish. 1 N. Old Stage Road, 530-926-5508, open year-round 8am-sundown. Added bonus: next door to Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum (open March 31-December)
Iron Gate Fish Hatchery
The Iron Gate Hatchery is a salmon and steelhead hatchery that releases fish back to the Klamath River. In the fall during spawning season, it is also a great spot for kids to watch the salmon run.
Just note, to fish you must have a current California Fishing License in full view and be familiar with Dept. of Fish and Game regulations. Local regulations and limitations may apply to specific streams so make sure to check before you go!
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