Klamath's Native Redband Rainbow Trout are thrilling local anglers in the Klamath Falls area. They are hooking them in lake and river with pleasing regularity. Zak Bowles released a rose red, hook-jawed, 28 inch long 14 inch girth behemoth from the east shore of Klamath Lake at exactly 2:00 PM. "The next three days we got one like that. One day by brother got 2, one bit like 2 feet from shore as he was reeling in to go home. Obviously we didn't leave soon after that."

The Lake offers a laid back approach to target Klamath's Trout. Just about any shoreline you can access can produce this time of year. Double crappie rigs are popular with locals. One ounce or better will hold all this hardware and a couple of big minnows in place. 2 ounces may be needed when the Klamath whips up. Pauline at the Oregon ave. Shell station(541-884-0938) say "We sell quite a few," when speaking of the frozen minnows they carry "10 or 15 bags a day when they are biting. That is about what we are going thru now."

No need to travel far from Klamath Falls. Some of the best winter holding spots are inside the city limits. After stopping at one of the stores on Oregon ave. for minnows, continue out to the nature trail and Putnam's point. Putnam's is one of the most consistent and popular holes on the lake. There is ample shore access from here to "social security point". Best bet is minnows suspended just off bottom. Lures that imitate bait fish can be effective further into spring from Putnam's on down to the Link river(a great fishery itself).

Anglers with more gumption and less patience will want to hit the Klamath River, Keno Reach. You will absolutely not find a more productive 6 mile stretch of big river pocket water anywhere in Oregon. Bill Tennis wood with ODFW in Klamath Falls speaks of electronic as well as hook and line sampling showing the Trout in the Keno reach are much more robust than their downstream brethren. "It far surpasses the fishing down river." says Tenniswood when speaking about the stretch from Keno dam to the top of Topsy aka JC Boyle res. He advises that "It is very different than some may be expecting. The river can be high and turbid which makes it tougher to fish, and nearly impossible to wade." The summer closure is due to high water temperature and low dissolved oxygen, according to Mr. Tenniswood. Most angler's can agree that these fish are most unpalatable during these times. There is a one a day harvest limit on the entire Klamath in Oregon.

It is interesting to mention that studies have shown the Redband to posses much higher temperature tolerances than the run of the mill Rainbow. A 29.6 Celsius extreme has been documented in the Oregon desert near Lakeview. The Keno reach hits this mark and higher nearly every year and still produces an outstanding fishery.

Spoons and spinners are most popular as bait is illegal. Charlene Smith at The Keno Store(541-884-4944-the oldest business in Klamath county) says "quite a few big ones have been coming thru. Even the sucker fish are biting." She fishes it herself with a jointed floating minnow bait in rainbow and black and white. "Earlier it seemed like they all wanted something brite. Now a lot of the guys are coming in for a muddler minnow to throw under a float." Dave at Parker's (541-883-3726) says the fly guys are buying the muddler and sculpin patterns and the best spoons seem to be the big ones in silver or black. "Anything that looks like a minnow". Dave tells visitors to mind the weather when deciding your agenda. "If the river is accessible it fishes best, if not a lot of guys head to the lake."


Keno is on hwy 66, 8 miles west of Klamath falls. Take Clover creek rd. from Keno 2 miles to wagon wheel rd. turn left. Go straight thru the intersections, follow this very bumpy road to below Keno dam. The large hole a couple hundred yards from the dam will produce best in winter.