Is the Klickitat River Open for Fishing? Latest Updates and Regulations

Are you an avid angler on the hunt for your next big catch? Well, you’re in the right place! There’s no better place to wet your line than in the beautiful Klickitat River, known for its stunning scenery and abundance of fish. But the question on everyone’s mind is: is the Klickitat River open for fishing? As we all know, the pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, including fishing. Fortunately, we have some exciting news for you – the Klickitat River is indeed open for all fishing enthusiasts!

The Klickitat River is an angler’s paradise, with its crystal-clear water and diverse range of fish species. From Chinook and Sockeye salmon to steelhead and trout, you’ll never run out of options when it comes to fishing in this river. But with the pandemic still looming over us, it’s essential to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others safe while enjoying your fishing trip. We recommend bringing a face mask, gloves, and plenty of hand sanitizer to keep yourself protected at all times.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your fishing gear, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! The Klickitat River is calling your name with its unparalleled fishing experience, breathtaking views, and an opportunity to catch some of the most elusive fish species. With the river open for fishing, you have no excuse not to explore this hidden gem nestled in the heart of Washington State.

Regulations for Fishing in Rivers

When it comes to fishing in rivers, it’s important to follow regulations set by the local government to maintain the sustainability of the river and its fish populations. Here are some key regulations to keep in mind when fishing in the Klickitat River:

  • All anglers over the age of 15 are required to have a valid fishing license and tag for the Klickitat River.
  • Fishing for wild steelhead is prohibited in the Klickitat River.
  • The daily catch limit for salmon in the Klickitat River is 6 fish per person, per day, but no more than 2 adults (16 inches or larger), and the season is subject to change annually based on fish populations.

It’s also important to be aware of fishing gear and methods that are legal in the Klickitat River. Here are some common restrictions:

  • Bait fishing is allowed in the Klickitat River, but only in certain sections. Check with local authorities before using bait.
  • Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon and steelhead in the Klickitat River to increase the likelihood of successful catch-and-release.
  • Night fishing for salmon and steelhead is prohibited in the Klickitat River.

For more detailed information on regulations and restrictions for fishing in the Klickitat River, consult the local fishing regulations manual or visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

Types of Fish Found in Klickitat River

The Klickitat River in south-central Washington state is a stunning destination for fly-fishing enthusiasts. Bordering the eastern border of the Cascade Mountains, the Klickitat is a fun and challenging river that offers anglers the opportunity to fish for a wide variety of species. There are a few types of fish that you can find in Klickitat River.

Species Found in Klickitat River

  • Steelhead Trout: Steelhead trout are the premier game fish in the Klickitat River. These fish migrate from the Pacific Ocean into the river to spawn, and they put up a challenging fight when caught. The Klickitat is renowned not only for the number of steelhead that pass through but also for their impressive size. Steelheads often weigh between 10 and 20 pounds, and the biggest records are around 30 pounds.
  • Chinook Salmon: Chinook salmon are one of the largest and most important fish species in the Pacific Northwest. Klickitat River hosts large numbers of chinook salmon each year. These salmon range in size from 10 to 50 pounds and are a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
  • Coastal Cutthroat Trout: This type of trout is a native species that calls the Klickitat River home. They are a smaller species, but they can still put up a nice fight. Coastal cutthroat trout are a beautiful fish, and many anglers love catching them.

Best Time to Catch Fish in Klickitat River

The best time to catch fish in Klickitat River depends on the fish species you’re seeking. Steelhead trout typically enter the river from November until April, with peak numbers between January and March. Chinook salmon begin to run from June to September, with peak numbers appearing in late July and early August. Coastal cutthroat trout can be caught year-round, although summer months are usually the best time to catch them.

Fishing Regulations in Klickitat River

It’s important to note that Washington State’s Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates Klickitat River, and they set rules designed to protect fish populations and manage the fishing pressure and catch rates. Anglers should check the current regulations before fishing in the Klickitat River.

Type of FishMinimum SizeBag Limits
Steelhead Trout20 inches2 fish per day, 3 fish in possession
Chinook Salmon24 inches2 fish per day, 6 fish in possession
Coastal Cutthroat Troutnone10 fish per day, combined with Rainbow trout

Overall, Klickitat River is an excellent destination for fly fishing enthusiasts looking for challenging and rewarding fishing experiences. With its stunning views and diverse fish populations, the Klickitat River is an accessible and thrilling river for anglers of all skill levels.

Fishing Gear Required for Klickitat River

Fishing in Klickitat River is an amazing experience. However, it is crucial to have the right fishing gear in order to have a successful and memorable fishing trip. Here are some of the fishing gear you should pack before heading to the Klickitat River:

Fishing Gear Checklist

  • Fishing rod and reel – A medium to heavy action rod and reel are recommended for catching steelhead and trout. Make sure to choose a durable and reliable fishing rod and reel that can withstand the river conditions.
  • Fishing line – Choose a good quality fishing line with a pound test suitable for the size of fish you are targeting. A 12-15 lb test line is ideal for steelhead and trout fishing in the Klickitat River.
  • Fishing lures and baits – Steelhead jigs, spinners, and spoons are some of the popular lures used for steelhead and trout fishing in the Klickitat River. Live baits such as nightcrawlers, sand shrimp, and eggs are also effective options.

Clothing and Accessories

Aside from fishing gear, it is also important to prepare the right clothing and accessories to keep you safe and comfortable throughout your fishing trip. Here are some key items:

  • Wading boots – Slip-resistant wading boots are essential for navigating the river and avoiding accidents on slippery rocks and boulders.
  • Fishing vest – A fishing vest with several pockets can help keep your fishing gear and accessories organized and within reach.
  • Sun protection – The sun can be intense in the Klickitat River, so don’t forget to pack some sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.

Rules and Regulations

Before embarking on your fishing trip, make sure to check the fishing regulations of the Klickitat River to ensure that your fishing gear and techniques are allowed. It is important to abide by the rules to help preserve the natural habitat and fish population of the river.

Klickitat River Fishing RegulationsDescription
Fishing seasons and hoursCheck the seasons and hours when fishing is allowed in the Klickitat River. These may vary depending on the type of fish you are targeting.
Bag limitsThere are bag limits enforced by state regulations to help protect the fish population in the Klickitat River. Make sure to abide by these limits.
Special rules and restrictionsThere may be special rules and restrictions on certain stretches of the river, such as catch-and-release only or fly-fishing only zones. Make sure to be aware of any special rules in the area where you will be fishing.

By packing the right fishing gear, clothing, and accessories, and adhering to the rules and regulations of the Klickitat River, you can have a successful and memorable fishing trip.

Best Time to Fish in Klickitat River

Located in south-central Washington state, the Klickitat River is a popular destination for fly fishing enthusiasts. The river is home to a variety of fish species, including steelhead, trout, and salmon, and is known for its clear water and stunning scenery. While the Klickitat river is open for fishing year-round, certain times of the year are better than others for a successful and enjoyable fly fishing experience.

  • Spring: Spring is a fantastic time to fish the Klickitat river, particularly for steelhead. From April to late May, the steelhead run is at its peak, and you can expect to catch plenty of these iconic fish. The river is also relatively quiet during these months, making for a peaceful fly fishing outing.
  • Summer: Summer brings warmer weather and busier conditions on the Klickitat river. However, it’s also a great time to target both trout and steelhead. The river is especially productive during the early morning and late evening, when the water is cooler and fish are more active.
  • Fall: As the weather cools in the fall, steelhead once again become the main focus on the Klickitat river. September and October are prime months for steelhead fishing, with peak runs occurring in late October. It’s also a good time to target salmon, particularly Chinook and Coho.

While these are general guidelines, it’s important to keep in mind that weather, water conditions, and fish behavior can all play a role in the success of your fly fishing trip. Always check current river conditions and consult with local fly fishing guides or shops for the latest information.

If you’re planning a trip to the Klickitat river, consider timing your visit to coincide with peak fishing seasons for the best experience on the water.


The table above provides a general overview of the best months for each fish species, based on historical data. Keep in mind that fish behavior can vary from year to year and that fishing success ultimately depends on a variety of factors.

Safety Precautions for Fishing in Klickitat River

When planning your fishing trip to Klickitat River, it’s important to consider safety precautions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Check the weather forecast beforehand and plan accordingly. Be prepared for sudden changes in the weather and bring appropriate clothing and gear.
  • Make sure to wear a life jacket at all times, especially if you plan to fish from a boat or float tube.
  • Be aware of the river’s current and any potential hazards, such as underwater rocks or fallen debris. Avoid fishing near dangerous areas and always stay vigilant.

Additionally, it’s important to practice proper catch-and-release techniques to maintain the health and sustainability of the river’s fish population. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Use barbless hooks to minimize damage to the fish’s mouth and make it easier to release them back into the water.
  • Handle the fish gently and as little as possible to minimize stress and damage to their scales and slime coat.
  • Revive the fish in the water before releasing them to ensure they are healthy enough to swim away.

Klickitat River Fishing Safety Guidelines

Aside from the safety precautions mentioned above, it’s important to follow general fishing safety guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the Klickitat River. Here are some additional things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure that you have a valid fishing license and any necessary permits before starting your fishing trip.
  • Fishing alone can be dangerous. Always fish with a partner and keep each other in sight at all times.
  • Bring a first aid kit and know how to use it in case of an emergency.

Klickitat River Fishing Hazards

While fishing in Klickitat River can be an exciting and enjoyable experience, there are also certain risks and hazards to be aware of. Here are some common hazards to watch out for:


River CurrentThe river’s current can be strong and unpredictable. Be sure to stay alert and avoid areas with swift or choppy waters.
Weather ConditionsThe weather in the Klickitat River area can change quickly. Be prepared for rain, wind, and other weather-related hazards.
Slippery RocksThe river’s rocks can be extremely slippery and hazardous. Wear proper footwear and take care when moving around on the rocks.
WildlifeThe Klickitat River area is home to a variety of wildlife species, including bears, cougars, and snakes. Be aware of your surroundings and take appropriate precautions to avoid encounters with potentially dangerous animals.

By following these safety precautions, guidelines, and hazard awareness, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable fishing trip on Klickitat River.

Fishing Tips for Beginners in Klickitat River

If you’re new to fishing, the Klickitat River can be an excellent place to start. To help you get started, here are some fishing tips for beginners that could improve your chances of catching a fish.

  • Choose the Right Gear: Before heading out to the Klickitat River, make sure you have the appropriate fishing gear. You will need a fishing rod, a reel, lures, and bait. It’s also a good idea to dress appropriately for the weather.
  • Find a Fishing Spot: A good fishing spot will have plenty of fish, provide easy access to the water, and be comfortable to fish in. Some of the best areas to fish in Klickitat River include Swale Creek, Warner Flats, and Fish Hatchery Park.
  • Know the Regulations: Make sure you are aware of the fishing regulations in the Klickitat River before starting. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has various fishing regulations about types of fish you can catch, the size limit of the fish, and the limits of fish you can take home from the river.

Once you’ve got the basics covered, these additional tips could help you catch your first fish:

Be Patient: Fishing can take a lot of patience and persistence, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t catch anything right away. Try different techniques with your bait and lures until you find what works best.

Use Live Bait: The Klickitat River is home to an array of fish species that are attracted to live bait such as worms, salmon eggs, and baitfish. Using live bait can increase your chances of catching a fish.

Stay Stealthy: Fish are easily spooked by loud noises and quick movements, so it is best to stay quiet and move slowly along the riverbank. Additionally, try to blend in with your surroundings by wearing neutral colors.

Check the Weather: Changes in weather can affect the behavior of fish, so be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out to the Klickitat River. Fishing during the ideal weather conditions, such as a cloudy day, could increase your chances of catching fish.

SpeciesBest Time to Fish

Remember, fishing is meant to be a relaxing and enjoyable activity, and catching a fish is just a cherry on top. Follow these tips, and you might just reel in your first Klickitat River fish with ease.

Benefits of Fishing in Klickitat River

Fishing enthusiasts will find the Klickitat River a perfect place to cast their line. Here are some of the benefits of fishing in the Klickitat River:

  • Variety of Fish Species: Klickitat River is home to an abundance of fish species, including Chinook salmon, steelhead, rainbow trout, and brown trout. This diversity offers anglers a chance to catch a variety of fish.
  • Natural Scenery: The Klickitat River flows through a scenic canyon that offers breathtaking views of natural beauty. Anglers can enjoy the calming effect of nature while they wait patiently for a fish to bite.
  • Chance for Adventure: The Klickitat River is not only a great fishing spot, but it also offers several adventurous activities. Anglers can opt for a thrilling whitewater rafting trip down the river after a day of fishing.

The Klickitat River is more than just a fishing spot. With its natural beauty and diverse wildlife, it’s a place that offers anglers a chance to relax and unwind. It also provides an opportunity for individuals to learn new skills such as fly fishing and river navigation.

For those who are interested in fishing at the Klickitat River, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife issues permits for salmon, steelhead, and trout fishing. It’s important to check the regulations and fishing seasons before embarking on a Klickitat River fishing trip.

Fish SpeciesBest Time to Fish
Chinook SalmonJune – July
SteelheadNovember – February
Rainbow TroutYear-round
Brown TroutYear-round

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just trying your hand at fishing for the first time, the Klickitat River offers a unique experience that combines the thrill of adventure with the serenity of natural beauty. So grab your fishing gear, get a permit, and head out to the Klickitat River to catch some fish and enjoy the great outdoors.

FAQs: Is the Klickitat River Open for Fishing?

1. When does the Klickitat River open for fishing?

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife typically opens the Klickitat River for fishing on June 1st each year, with regulations and limits in place to protect fish populations.

2. What fish species can be caught in the Klickitat River?

The Klickitat River is home to a variety of fish species, including steelhead, Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and rainbow trout, among others.

3. Are there special regulations or requirements for fishing in the Klickitat River?

Yes, there are specific regulations and requirements for fishing in the Klickitat River, including restrictions on gear types, catch limits, and seasonal closures. Be sure to consult the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations before fishing.

4. Do I need a license to fish in the Klickitat River?

Yes, a valid fishing license is required to fish in the Klickitat River, along with any necessary endorsements or tags.

5. Are there any restrictions or closures in place due to COVID-19?

As of writing, there are no specific closures or restrictions in place for fishing in the Klickitat River due to COVID-19. However, it is always a good idea to check for updates before making plans to fish.

6. Where can I find more information about fishing in the Klickitat River?

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website is a great resource for information on fishing regulations, stocking schedules, and more.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to read about fishing in the Klickitat River! Remember to always respect the regulations and guidelines in place to protect the river’s fish populations and preserve this beautiful natural resource for generations to come. Please visit again soon for more outdoor adventures and tips.