The Williamson River is a blue-ribbon, trophy trout spring creek located in Southern Oregon, 30 miles north of Klamath Falls. This is the river made famous by E.H. Polly Rosborough in his book, Tying and Fishing the Fuzzy Nymphs. "Polly" was a West Coast pioneer in fly design and matching the hatch, and dedicated most of his life and writings to understanding this complicated fishery. Dick Winter, a former tyer of Polly's, still fishes the river today and has developed his own great series of flies for taking trout such as his Black Drake Spinner and Hexagenia patterns.
The river originates in the Winema National Forest and is divided into two sections: the upper river above Klamath Marsh and the lower river flowing through Chiloquin and into Upper Klamath Lake. These two distinct river sections are quite different as fisheries.
Lower River: Most of our guiding occurs on the lower river and is concentrated on catching large migratory Upper Klamath Lake Redband Trout which have genetic links to steelhead. Average catches range from 4-7 pounds with 10 pound (30 inch) fish not uncommon. Highlights include the emergence of Hexagenia (large yellow mayfly) and PMD's in June and July, Tricos in August, and Mahogany Duns and BWO's into fall. Streamer fishing is by far the most productive method for catching these large predators. We use full sinking lines much of the year and our best streamers are seal buggers, various leech patterns. Soft hackles and nymphs are also productive.
Stalking on the Upper Williamson
Upper Williamson: The upper river is equally exciting with abundant hatches of Hexagenia (July) and Black Drakes (June) for slightly smaller redbands and brook trout. This is a walk-in fishery, quaint in size and character. The drive to this location is about an hour- and- a half from Chiloquin. This is a great way to spend a day stalking spooky trout feeding in tight bends and small channels, examining hatches and eating lunch under the giant Ponderosa Pines.