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Destination Overview

Located on what is known as the Lost Coast of northern California, the Klamath River has for over one hundred years been known for its exceptional Steelhead and Salmon fishing.


The Klamath is blessed with both winter and summer runs of Steelhead, and is maybe best known for its runs of Half Pounder Steelhead that follow the Salmon up the river every late summer and fall.   


The Klamath flows for about 200 miles from the edge of the Great Basin, through sagebrush fats, lava beds, pine forests and finally the coastal Redwood rain forest.  It is probably the most diverse river, ecologically, of any in the US and is the destination for fly fishermen from around the world.  


In our search for the best of fishing venues , we at Kienes Fly Fishing Travel have discovered what we feel is one of the finest lodges on the Klamath River. Gold River Lodge is located right where the river enters the Pacific and its central location on Yurok Indian land allows easy access to the river that flows right by the lodge’s back door.


Its location is also close to several other north coast waters such as the Chetco, Elk, Six Rivers and the Smith, which provide options no matter what time of the year or what the current weather conditions happen to be. 


The lodge is practically brand new and was custom built in the summer of 2007 by Jim Bansemer (retired owner of Sacramento based Bansemer Homes Inc.) and his family. The Klamath stole Jim’s heart at a young age and after vacationing/fishing there for three decades he finally moved to the area full time in 1998. 


Jim has a lifetime of experience on the river and finds his joy sharing his home with all of his guests. The lodge is run by Jim and his son Kenton who manages the fishing program. Their passion for fishing carries over to being passionate about making every facet of their guests stay a memorable experience. The goal of the Bansemer’s is make your stay at the lodge such a wonderful experience that you will return year after year. 


At a Glance

Target Fish: Steelhead

Location: Klamath CA

Seasons: July through March

Lodge Capacity: 6-12 guests

Nearest Airport: Andy McBeth Airport (Del Norte County) 

Fishing Program

The Klamath produces Steelhead year round and is one of the most productive rivers in the state.  Your trip starts literally a few steps from the lodge on the lodge’s private docks.  You will embark up river on a 24 ft Boice Jet Boat that can take you as far as 30 miles upstream or you will fish out of a drift boat, guide raft or hike in to some prime locations.  


Along the way, you may spot bald eagles in the sky and black bears and along the river’s banks.  Lunch is included, usually consisting of wild caught Salmon, smoked at the lodge.  Generally 6 to 8 weight rods with a floating line and an intermediate sink tip is perfect for swinging in the early morning when the fish are in the shallower water. 


When the sun comes up and the fish hunker down switching to a clear line with an intermediate sink tip is recommended.  The lodge encourages its guests to use whatever equipment and style of fishing that they feel the most comfortable with, whether its single hand swinging, spey-rod swinging or indicator fishing. 


All that being said you can’t beat hooking into a Steelhead on the swing. Prior to your trip, give the lodge a call to get up to date gear recommendations.


Summer Months

Steelhead season typically starts in July, when the first adults of the summer run return from the Pacific Ocean and begin their remarkable journey upstream.  The Klamath also features a phenomenal “half-pounder” run to keep anglers busy. 


Winter Months

During the winter months the lodge fishes primarily on the Smith and Chetco Rivers.  They are absolute jewels and produce some of the cleanest watersheds in the lower 48 states.  The Steelhead that hit these waters are world class and can weigh as much as 27lbs.   Winter Steelheading usually take place under cooler weather conditions, but the rewards are well worth it! 


Best Fly Fishing Seasons

July through March


The lodge features a custom commercial kitchen and full picture windows.  With full southern exposure, the deck is the perfect pedestal to view local river wildlife.  The lodge is comfortably furnished in a style that compliments the surrounding north coast scenery.


On Site Amenities

Commercial kitchen

Sleeps 6 to 12 people

Open living room with wood burning fireplace

Flatscreen TV and cable service


Office and den area

Full size washer and dryer

2 level wrap around deck

Getting There

From Sacramento:

Take I-5 north to Redding then west on Hwy 299 for about 3 hours to Arcata CA. Then travel north on Hwy 101 to Klamath CA. 

Total travel time 6 hours.


From Bay Area:

Take Hwy 101 north to Klamath CA. 

Total travel time 6 hours.


Included in your lodge package at Gold River Lodge is all meals, accommodations, guided fishing and access to all the lodge facilities.  Private room and shower.


3 nights/2 days: $1,295

4 nights/3 days: $1,885

5 nights/4 days: $2,495


To book any of our trips give us a call to start the process
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