Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Report – Updated Wednesday, August 10th, 2015
OVERVIEW -If you are a saltwater angler then the summer has been a good one and it should continue through the fall. If you are a river addict then things have not been grand all summer and the rest of the summer and early fall is uncertain at best
The Olympic National Park just shut down the following:
“Bogachiel, South Fork Calawah, Sol Duc, North Fork Sol Duc, Dickey, Queets, Salmon, Quinault, and North Fork Skokomish Rivers (including East and North Forks) and their tributaries and Cedar, Goodman, Kalaloch, and Mosquito Creeks in the Pacific Coastal area. The Elwha, Hoh and South Fork Hoh Rivers are already closed within the park to protect salmon populations.”
Paired with WDFW closure of the Quillayute River system tributaries that leaves us with a few options. You can still fish the lakes, the salt, and for now the Hoh outside of the Olympic National Park .
This is a great time of year to hike the high country and fish the lakes that see very little fishing pressure. We can still spend time on the rivers even when they are closed to fishing. Use the time to hike into favorite spots and see what the contour of the river bottom looks like during these low flows. That can really help your fishing during high flows. Hike into new spots for future reference or just to enjoy a peaceful stroll on what can be very crowded rivers during prime time.
|SOL DUC – Closed
BOGACHIEL / CALAWAH– Closed
HOH – Closed in the national park all summer through October 31st. The state water has fished pretty well with a few coho, sea-run cutts, and hatchery steelhead being caught. It’s been pretty gray on the upper river, so fishing the lower may give you a better shot.
|ELWHA – Still closed to all fishing but the river is finally FREE! With both dams completely removed, fish recovery is really taking off. There have a pretty fair number of steelhead spawning in the middle river this spring. All checked there have been wild and it seems the brood stock raised hatchery fish have all remained in the lower river.|
DUNGENESS – Open above Gold Creek. Should fish a bit better this early season with the low snow pack and warmer winter. Probably better luck going subsurface with stone nymphs and beadheads, but do have a few dries for the possible short-lived surface action.
LAKE CRESCENT – Opens Monday, June 1. 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. There is some dry fly action here at times, mainly just fishing a larger pattern blindly in the chop. The fish are very opportunistic and will cruise in search of anything edible. Streamer patterns like Deceivers, scuplins and black leeches work well.
LOWLAND LAKES – The northeast end of the OP is home to a myriad of lakes, many of which are open year round. Leeches, buggers, scuds, chironomids. Gibbs, Teal, Sandy Shores, Leland, etc.
ALPINE LAKES– Some of the best fishing of the summer can be had in the high lakes in and around Olympic National Park.
SALTWATER BEACHES – Cutthroat fishing is open all year along the beaches! Saltwater salmon fishing has been very good this year. King fishing was good early and it is good again now that the hordes of pinks have moved through the western strait. The cohos have just started to come into the strait in numbers and that will get better as August progresses, and we have started to hear reports of some beach success near Sekiu. There are still lots of humpies from Port Angeles to Port Townsend. Beach anglers have been doing well, but the boat anglers have been racking up some big numbers of fish.