Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Report – Updated Thursday, July 17, 2014
OVERVIEW – July has been beautiful with days that go from cool early mornings with marine fog to bright sun shining on amazingly clear water. This is the case on the Quileute System (Sol Duc, Bogachiel/Calawah), but the Hoh River is the exception, as snow and glacial melt have been providing a lot of color (a little too much at times). Trout fishing in the Quileute System has been the most reliable and steelhead fishing remains spotty with some challenging conditions. But our string of warm sunny days is changing now through the weekend, with temperatures cooling off and the chance of a shower on Saturday. This will allow the Hoh to clear up and it should also provide an edge while fishing the low clear water of the Sol Duc and Bogachiel.
There are also other options this time of year like the beaches and lakes. Hiking into a pristine alpine lake in the heart of the Olympics for some brook trout is a nice way to spend a day. Or give Lake Crescent a try – stop by the shop for a little info on how to fish this deep lake.
Saltwater salmon fishing has been good on the coast and through the Straits for the boat anglers, and now they’re pushing east and giving the beach angler a shot. Catching a salmon from shore with a fly rod earns high marks and to land a Chinook is the ultimate! Things are just getting going and it should be good into the fall. Kings will run first followed by Coho a little later on . We’ve got a great selection of saltwater salmon patterns and some local knowledge to go with.
Check out river flows and creel reports at the bottom of the page.
| SOL DUC – It’s not floatable right now but the water is low enough to wade just about anywhere. If you like to hike and explore, this is a good time of year. Trout can be found from the mouth all the way up into the park. They can be a little spread out so try and cover some water. Drakes and Stones are still staples, with terrestrials picking up. Skating a dry fly can also get good results, especially in the evenings. Streamers should move some fish if they aren’t eating dries.
BOGACHIEL / CALAWAH– Steelhead numbers are still down and low flows have added a degree of difficulty. It’s not impossible but long leaders and good presentations and are recommended. It’s low enough now that floating it has turned into dragging/pushing it, even in a raft. The trout fishing has been ok at times. Fish it the same as the Sol Duc.
HOH – The cooler weather this weekend will help it drop and clear. If it heats up again, the visibility will be affected. It will be this way all summer. Reports have been a little slow, but it’s still early and it things should pick up soon.
|ELWHA –The lower dam is completely gone and the river runs free again! You can watch the progress by Clicking Here. The entire river will remain closed to fishing during the recovery period. Removal of the Glines Canyon Dam might be done as soon as this spring. Salmon and steelhead have already been migrating past the lower Elwha Dam and up into the tributaries to spawn! It’s pretty neat to see Chinook salmon rolling in holes that they haven’t had access to in a hundred years.|
DUNGENESS – Open for trout above Gold Creek. The water is dropping but is still a touch high. It’s very fishable though and will just get better. There are not many big trout, but it’s a pretty spot and if you like to hike, odds are you won’t see another angler all day.
LAKE CRESCENT – Crescent opened on June 1st and so far we’ve had good reports. This has to be the most unique lake in our area and it’s also way under-fished. Fish over twenty inches are not uncommon and there is a healthy population of mid-size fish as well. This large, deep lake is crystal clear with incredible visibility. This is not your typical lowland lake and neither are the inhabitants. A unique strain of rainbows called Beardslee trout, and a sub-species of cutthroat (Crescenti trout) are both native to the lake. Stop by for some insight on tackling this beautiful spot.
LOWLAND LAKES – With all of the lakes now open, anglers have a lot of options. The northeast end of the OP is home to a myriad of lakes and if one isn’t fishing well it doesn’t take long to hop over to another. Chironomids have been working well along with the standard streamers like buggers and leeches. This will give way to Mayflies, Caddis, and Damsel Flies. Your choice of fly line can be as important as anything so don’t limit yourself to just a floating line. Intermediate sink lines are awesome for Stillwater, and a fast sink line can save the day if the fish are deep.
ALPINE LAKES–We are entering prime time for high lake fishing. Most areas are now accessible or will be very soon. Hiking ONP trails to pristine waters and watching brook trout eat dry flies is a fine way to spend a day. We have good trail maps and info if your heading up.
SALTWATER BEACHES – As mentioned above, it’s salmon season on the beaches. Cutthroat fishing is still a good option but if your looking for that next challenge, try some points and beaches along the northeast flanks of the Peninsula. Chinook are starting to run and the Coho will be here before we know it.