Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Report

Updated 17 January, 2016

OVERVIEW – The rivers are finally open!

Sol Duc, Bogie, Hoh, Calawah are ready to fish. Also the Queets is open as of Dec 1st, so you have plenty of options. Due to a combination of melting snow and the forecast of heavy rains our OP rivers are expected to blow out of shape likely throughout the week with prospects of rivers beginning to come back into shape as late as Monday the 23rd of January.

There are still a few dark salmon making their way into the rivers and sitting on Redds, oh and with the odd late to the party January Coho. So do be mindful of where you wade in the river. You’ll find Redds (spawning bed) typically in Pea gravel or just any loose gravel bottoms right along the side of the river bank, slow pockets ahead the lip of tail-outs or just anywhere there is a slower gentle current. So if you see any basketball or larger sized color changes in the sediment do be aware and avoid tromping through your future generation of Salmon.

But there have been quite a few bright steelhead coming in here and there. The hatchery steelhead are in with some wild fish mixed in the lot. The season is just about to hit full swing as historically our winter steelhead start making their big push during the month of February leaning into March! Still lower numbers than what we like to see but if you dedicate a full day and cover water, you stand a fair chance of running into steel.

SOL DUC

 

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As of Dec 1st the Sol Duc is open from the Klahowya Camp Ground down to the confluence of the Quillayute. No outstanding reports of steelhead. The Sol Duc is a good bet if the Hoh picks up any color or the Bogachiel becomes a chocolate milk shake (no thanks to the land side on the upper river). Lower numbers of steelhead than historically seen in January. With that being said, some anglers still have been finding fish, not in great numbers but there are a few fish in the river!

 

BOGACHIEL / CALAWAH

As of December 1st the Bogie is finally open above the hatchery – down to the confluence of the Quillayute.

As of Dec 1st the Calawah is open from confluence to the Park Boundary on the south fork of the Calawah. No outstanding reports at this time. A few hatchery fish have been caught with the hatchery run nearing its last leg as we lean more into the month of February. Low reports of Steelhead at this time.

 

 

HOH

Open! With the abnormally cold water temps throughout the month of mid December through January, the fish where lethargic and slower to be provoked onto the swung fly. With most of the pressure being on the Hoh as of late we received fair reports of wild fish with some hatchery fish mixed in the bag. The Hoh had been absolutely beautiful as of late but with the impending heavy rains and a rush of melting snow expect the Hoh to be blown out throughout the week perhaps as late as the 24th of January – if the rains cease.

Braving a brisk morning and frozen guides on the Hoh pays off! (have you ever noticed no matter how cold, we never mind dunking our sleeves in the frigid water when there’s steel at hand?)

 

Protected Species: Bull Trout – Salvelinus confluentus which is a member of the Char family (sometimes mistakenly called “Dolly Varden” Salvelinus malma) Loads of Bull Trout are being caught incidentally on the Hoh this Month. You may find that these aggressive Char will take many of the same presentations used to catch steelhead. Bull trout are fun and brake the monotony of a slow day while fishing for steelhead and some days you may catch as many as a dozen with some upwards of 5lbs! Just remember these are a protected species within the Olympic Peninsula so keep them wet, minimize your handling and release all Bulls back as quickly as possible.

Beautiful Hoh river Bull Trout. The welcomed heart stopping tug from a unexpected Bull keeps us warm and from becoming complacent in our search for winter steel. Keep them wet and let them swim 🙂

 

Click Here for real-time Hoh River flows

 

QUEETS

Opened Dec 1. Has been receiving pressure around the confluence of the Salmon river with some nice Wild fish being caught. Looked great throughout the last week but with the forecast of heavy rains you better bet the Queets will be out of shape!

 

 

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.sol-duc-rainbow.jpg-nggid03187-ngg0dyn-320x240x100-00f0w010c010r110f110r010t010

DUNGENESS

 

 

 

upper-dungenessClosed as of Jan 1st, 2017

 

LAKE CRESCENT

Closed until June 1st

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LOWLAND LAKES
Waters are cold, fish are lethargic so fish it slow and get it to down to the fish and be patient.
ALPINE LAKES

 

Closed. Frozen

SALTWATER BEACHES
Been hearing more good reports about Coastal cut fishing than in recent years. Sequim Bay has been good and even the limited beach fishing around Port Angeles has been decent. With the Strait cooling down this winter Cutties are shallower providing easier target opportunists for bank anglers so don’t over look the sweet spots right at the edge of the beach. Sometimes you’ll find these Cutt’s in 2 ft of water. Try long fluorocarbon leaders (9ft 3X) and delicate presentations. Floating fly lines and Clear intermediate fly lines get the job done in the winter.