Smith River Fly Fishing

The 7th most popular fly fishing river in California.

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North of Klamath and Crescent City, the Smith River is a premier chinook salmon fishery and is also known for steelhead. The 175 mile Smith is the longest undammed river in the state. Its headwaters are in the Siskiyou Mountains and it drains all the way down to the Pacific. The main section for fly fishing is the last 15 miles from the confluence of the Middle Fork of the Smith down to the ocean. Expect to find really big chinook and steelhead. The river is bordered by a magnificent forest of rhododendron, ferns, spruce and redwoods.

The salmon runs are from late October through December. The steelhead runs are from mid-December through April.

Overall, Smith River is the 7th most popular fly fishing river of all 17 fly fishing spots in California.

Smith River (CA/US)

Smith River (CA/US)

Smith River (CA/US)

Smith River (CA/US)


Local Contact(s):  Smith River National Recreation Area (707) 457-3131; SRNF (530) 627-3291; CA Visitors (800) GOCALIF.

Recommended Book:  "Fly-Fishing Northern California" from Lily Tso

Base Camp:  NFS Panther Flat Campground

Breakfast Restaurant:  Forest Cafe, Klamath

Reference Source:  click here

GPS:  41.825604, -124.113836

Date Published:  12/27/2015

Date Updated:  6/28/2016

ID:  19653


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For fly fishing the Smith River in California, our printable fly fishing guides offers river descriptions, maps, lodging suggestions, driving directions, levels of difficulty and points-of-contact.