Olympic Peninsula [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Olympic Peninsula

New Spey
08-03-2002, 02:59 PM
I am going to be in the Olympic Peninula for a day, or two. If
anyone has any suggestions for an easily accessible River that has
steelhead in it I would sure appreciate it. We are basicly going up
to see Buschart Gardens, but I am hoping to spend the night on
one of the rivers on the way back down.
It doesn't have to be one of the hottest rivers, just a nice river to
wade and spey cast through.
We are going to be coming out of Port Angellas.

08-03-2002, 06:57 PM
For ease and convenience I would have recommended the Elwha but I hear there may be some closures due to the chinook harassment going on lately. I believe it's closed below the single lane bridge, which would leave a short run above open from the west shore (river left) but you'd be better of going on to the Sol Duc. The Duc is not a big river and you'd be best fishing with a light (7-8 weight) Spey rod or single hander. You really need to know where the good pools are this time of year but there are usually enough fish in the river to keep it interesting if you poke around.

You might consider staying at Bear Creek Motel, Granny's, or further up the road in Forks (most conveniences).

If in Forks, find out if the upper Hoh is in shape and if so I would take advantage of the no-license policy within the federal park boundary (Hoh rain forest), since you are just fishing for the day. Keep in mind you will need a steelhead punchcard to possess what the ranger could construe to be steelhead gear on the river.

The upper Hoh is a marvel of wild American wilderness and great Spey casting water. Others may offer suggestions as well....

New Spey
08-04-2002, 12:37 PM
Thanks Juro. I will be checking those out. Will I be able to get a punch card at the Forks?

08-04-2002, 12:58 PM
There is a tackle shop in forks where you can get a punch card, but since you are coming from Port Angeles, why not stop in one of the two ( I think there are two) fly shops there? That way you could get the latest info on good Fly water everywhere between Port Angeles and the Hoh.

Can defenatley vouch for the Bear Creek Motel. Camped there years ago. ate at the restaurant. good food, good people.


08-04-2002, 02:39 PM
JD's definitely got that right! I am going to refer one I really like, and yes I will contact Dave Steinbaugh about a sponsorship :)

You MUST stop by Waters West, right on the same strip as the ferry terminal to the west (right looking at land from the straits).

Waters West Fly Fishing
Phone: (360) 417-0937
Address: 219 N Oak St
Port Angeles, WA

FYI - Quality Fly Fishing is gone... Manuel Bernardo sold the building and Middlestat must have moved on somewhere. A shame really, but thanks to Waters West there is a kick-ass flyshop in PA.

Also, there is a breakfast place in downtown Port Angeles that is incredible. Definite brownie points w/ the better half too. I'll look it up.... (doublespey, do you recall the name?)

If you're too late for breakfast, hit Bonnie's Bakery for a nice soup/sand on homemade bread with a fresh baked pastry and a Torrefazione espresso before heading out to the sticks for a steelhead sortie.

You can pick up a punchcard at Swain's in PA if Dave doesn't sell them. If you don't get a chance there, just stop in at Olympic Sporting Goods (Bob Gooding). Since Shop Rite's just a diner now, you might also try the Thriftway down the road.

In any case give Dave Steinbaugh a call, and tell him I sent ya!


New Spey
08-04-2002, 06:34 PM
That would be great Juro, and thanks JD. Yes I need to make sure I take care of my better half. I'm sure that since this is my first time to the area, I will be doing more exploring than fishing. I need to make sure she has a good time, so I can do some serious fishing on a return trip.

08-04-2002, 08:02 PM
I believe the breakfast place was called "Front Street Haven" but could be wrong. In any case it was a couple streets off the water from the ferry terminal, a small rustic place with a beautiful ceiling motif and fresh squeezed orange juice, amazing breakfast.

Brian help me out here!

08-04-2002, 11:14 PM
Give up man...no one knows!! I think you will have to make a quick visit to Sekiu for silvers so that you can have breakfast at that cafe and thus remember the name of the establishment.

And then you can report back to New Spey so he can enjoy an excellent breakfast in PA! :hehe: :devil:

08-05-2002, 01:50 AM
New Spey,

I used to live in Port Angeles and fished all the northr penninsula rivers and I still have some close friends there who I go and fish with when I get time. The Elwha is closed until October. The Dungeoness (which used to be a favorite of mine for summer runs because very few vothered to fish it) is also closed until October. These are closed to protect the Chinook.

Manuel, who is a dear friend who now lives in Fortuna, CA where he grew up, has sold his shop, since the kid he practically gave it too (Middlestat) gave the business away because he didn't want to put any time in behind the counter. A shame that Ben gave the business away after having the chance of a lifetime given to him. It is now called Rocky Brook Rod and Hackle and you will find either Elizabeth or Dan (the owners) behind the counter 7 days a week.

Dave's place, Waters West, is also still very much in business and Dave is an excellent 2-handed caster and steelhead flyfisher. Dave will give good advice on where to go and how to get there.

You might want to try the Lyre River, which is about 14 miles from Port Angeles. It has a very good run of summer fish and has good accessibility. There is a state campground right on the river about 1 1/2 miles from the mouth. The best fishing is south of the highway though toward or into the canyon. The fish a blocked by a falls about 5 miles from the mouth, above which is Crescent Lake.

The Calawha at the north ponds hole area, and the Bogachiel below the confluence with the Calawha always have summer fish in them. Be forewarned though, this area gets a lot of pressure from gear fisherman fishing from the bank. A short walk up or downstream gets you sway from the bankies and the fishing can be superb.

The upper Hoh is a favorite and as has been pointed out, it is in the national park as doesn't require a license. The Queets is another very fine summer run river but it is about 2 to 2 1/2 hours west and south of Port Angeles. The Queets also is in the national park and doesn't require a liscense. Be forewarned about the Hoh and Queets, they are sugject to glacial melt and can color up rapidly when the glaciers are melting.

The Sol Duc is a favorite of mine and all the summer fish are wild to boot.

This should provide you with a good overview of the area and hopefully it provides you with the kind of information you are looking for.

08-05-2002, 11:05 AM
Sorry guys, I don't remember the name of that cafe. But *everybody* we asked knew of it, so NewSpey shouldn't have any trouble locating it.

It's incredibly easy to find. Where you turn left to follow Hwy 101 in Port Angeles (traveling west), you continue straight and it's less than a block on your right. It's disguised - it shares a door with another establishment and isn't well marked but it's the only breakfast establishment on that block.

Definitely gets 4 stars in my book and certainly a way to win points with your "better half"!

Good Luck!


New Spey
08-12-2002, 09:25 PM
Hi guys,
We returned thursday from the Olympic Peninsula. I just wanted to thank all of you for the great info.
I ended up fishing the Sol Duc and the Hoh. Dave was very helpful in Port Angelis. Alas I didn't touch any fish, other than some smolts who's eyes were bigger than their stomach. I fished at the Bear Creek Campground, and heard stories of searun cuts being caught, but I only raised one of these, or at least it sounded big. It spashed my fly, while my head was turned.
I am not sure, but I think I may have had better luck up higher. I read something on another web page after returnng that led me to believe this.

I was only able to fish the Hoh for a couple of hours in the middle of the day, but it was good practice and a beautiful river. I saw what looked to be a bigg chinook race past me, but that was it. I just grabbed the first turnout in the National Park that looked good, but had no idea if it was a hot spot or not. I didn't see anyone else fishing either River, except for one spin fisherman just before dark on the Sol Duc.

Well thanks for helping us have a great time.

08-14-2002, 01:34 AM
New Spey,

The Sol Duc fishes best in the two lowest sections during July and August. To fish them means you will either have walks of several miles to get to the best water, or drag the boat over some rock gardens. There are some huge cuttroat in the Sol Duc. I've caught them up to 5 punds and have seen some caught that were 6 pounds. Friends of mine and myself have caught them on #4 bombers that we were fishing with a hitch for summer runs. Truly a wonderful cutthroat fishery.

Anywhere on the Hoh in the part is good water. That first turn-out is a very good place to start.

Also, glad you connected with Dave, he is a very nice and very knowledgeable man when it comes to the Penninsula rivers.