The Klickitat River is a tributary
of the Columbia River, approximately 75 mi (120 km), in south-central
Washington in the United States. The river was designated as Wild and
Scenic in 1986. It drains a rugged plateau area on the eastern side of
the Cascade Range northeast of Portland, Oregon.
It rises in the high Cascades near Tieton Peak, in northwestern Yakima
County, in a remote corner of the Yakama Indian Reservation. It flows
southeast, then generally south across the Lincoln Plateau. It enters
northern Klickitat County, and meanders south through steep canyons. It
enters the Columbia from the north at Lyle, approximately 10 mi (16 km)
NNW of The Dalles, Oregon. Washington State Highway 142 follows the
lower 15 mi (24 km) of the river. The river is bridged by Washington
State Highway 14 at its mouth.
Other activities on the Klickitat
The Klickitat Trail follows the river on an abandoned railroad grade
from near Goldendale, Washington to the Columbia River just west of The
Dalles, Oregon, nearly 30 miles.
WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
March 3, 2010
Salmon daily limit increased to two fish
on the lower Klickitat River
Action: Klickitat River anglers will be able to retain two hatchery
Chinook, hatchery steelhead, or one of each as part of their daily
Species affected: Chinook and steelhead
Effective dates: April 3 through May 31, 2010. Open Mondays, Wednesdays,
Saturdays, and Sundays only.
Location: Klickitat River from mouth to the Fisher Hill Bridge (located
about 3 miles upstream from the mouth).
Reason for action: This year, 4,500 adult spring Chinook are expected to
return to the Klickitat. Over 70% of the run is expected to be hatchery
After consulting with the Yakama Indian Nation, an additional hatchery
spring Chinook or hatchery steelhead was added to the daily limit. In
addition, the extra weekend day of fishing added last year will continue
in the spring of 2010.
Other information: Night closure and anti-snag rule will be in effect.
Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.
You can get a Washington State boating license to increase your fishing success.
Klickitat River Fishing Reports
by David Perez
Hooked On Fishing
Email The Klickitat River
Washington Fishing Reports
posted by the
Washington Dept. of
Fish & Wildlife
for all regions
Wait for late July, August and September, pick a cool
night when the Klickitat River has a medium flow and
fish this popular Klickitat County river hard the next
morning. That's the key to taking big summer steelhead
from this oft-colored stream. Fed by snowmelt off Mt.
Adams, a warm summer day normally clouds the river past
the fishable point by 10 am. A chilly night might permit
angling to 1 pm. the next day.
Tremendous catches of the late 1960s, ranging past 6,000
steelhead, are only memories now, but 1971 and 1981
fishermen hoisted more than 4,000 sunburnt steelies from
this big river and most years deliver 1,500 to 2,000
fish. The Klickitat fish often are large, and always arc
tough battlers. They fight strong current, steep runs
and frothing falls to reach spawning areas far upstream
and conic into their natal stream packed with ocean
energy for the struggle.
Access to the Klickitat is off Highway 14 at Lyle, where
Highway 142 closely twines with the stream to the mouth
of the Little Klickitat River, 11 miles west of
Goldendale. Anglers from the east side of the Cascades
can drop south on U.S. 97 from Yakima through Toppenish
to reach Goldendale.
There are five widely-spaced boat launches on the
Klickitat. Leidl Campground, reached via the GoIdendale
Glenwood Road, has a developed access and permits a fine
short day's trip to Soda Springs Campground, about eight
miles downstream. Soda Spri Campground is reached by
taking the Soda Springs Road through the upper center of
the Klickitat Wildlife Recreation Area off the
Goldendale/Glenwood Road. Another maintained launch is
at Wahkiacus Campground at the mouth of Swale Creek on
Highway 142. Turkey Farm Campground has a ramp which
should be used as a take-out point for drift boats
coming downriver. No one in his right mind would
consider the canyon between Fisher Hill Bridge and the
river mouth at Lyle passable. Only experienced boat
handlers should tackle drifting the Klickitat, and then
after having floated it with a guide or local boater to
discover its moods and danger spots. The Klickitat River
charges down through lonely, wild country where deer and
wild turkey look at you as invaders of their realm. My
first view of the Klickitat was at dusk, after having
wedged my way through a small group of deer while I was
enroute to the Leidl Campground. That same weekend, a
flock of more than 30 wild turkeys shook me out of a
year's growth by thundering over my head to land and
feed on the opposite side of the 'Chaim! There are
rattlesnakes to avoid, too. Bait, bobber and yarn singly
or used together all produce Klickitat River catches.
Grasshoppers are a local secret weapon for strikes from
bright, strong steelhead. I personally favor long and
slender, but heavy, spoons, such as the Martin Ottogator
or Luhr Jensen Krocodile. Bright patterns have beet/
best in the lower section of the river. Nickel and brass
spinners will take a good number of fish too, as well as
some fine trout.
How To Catch Fish On
The Klickitat River
The Klickitat River is open from the mouth to Fisher
Hill Bridge April 1-Nov. 3010 take trout 12 inches and
or and hatchery steelhead. All wild steelhead must be
released. Then. from 400 feet above the No 5 fishway at
the hatchery. the river is open upstream to its source
for 12-inch Pout and planted godhead only. There is a
Dec. 1-Mar. 31 whitefish-only season on the Klickitat.
Salmon fishermen may take six fish daily. over 10 inches
but not more than two adults, downstream from the Fisher
Hill Bridge to the mouth except that they may fish only
from noon Thursday through noon Monday between April
I-May 31 (see regs). Spin-N-Glo hoes, bobber/bait/yarn
rigs, spoons, spinners. and plugs will draw storks from
Klickitat salmon. Expect half the eon. to be jacks of
Coho and Chinook species, up to several hundred adult
Chinook, and less than 100 adult coho salmon each year.
There are good campgrounds on the lower river, but
floods have changed their locations a couple times the
past 15 years. Klickitat County Park is a few miles
northeast of Lyle on Highway 142, and two Turkey Farm
Campgrounds are 5, and 7 miles from Loll The Klickitat
is an excellent river to fish hard for the first or
three hours of the morning. On one trip I saw a
fisherman beat the heat by plunking from a lawn chair
submerged to sitting level ... and he caught a dandy
six-pound steelhead on a grasshopper bait!
|Klickitat River Fishing Tips
The Klickitat River is a tributary of the Columbia River,
approximately 75 mi in south-central Washington. It drains a on
the eastern side of the Cascade Range northeast of Portland,
Oregon. 10 miles of the river were designated Wild and Scenic
from the confluence with Wheeler Creek, near the town of Pitt,
to the confluence with the Columbia River.
The Klickitat River rises in the high Cascades near Tieton Peak,
in northwestern Yakima County, in a remote corner of the Yakama
Indian Reservation. It flows southeast, then generally south
across the Lincoln Plateau. It enters northern Klickitat County,
and meanders south through steep canyons. It enters the Columbia
from the north at Lyle, approximately 10 mi north-northwest of
The Dalles, Oregon. State Route 142 follows the lower 15 mi of
the river. The river is bridged by State Route 14 at its mouth.
| Klickitat River Fishing Map
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