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Trouts Journal

Road Trip: Steelhead Part III

Ivan Orsic / Oct 29, 2012

The Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula is the westernmost point of the contiguous United States and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and to the east by Hood Canal. It is also home to big and wild steelhead.

Hub City: Forks, WA (forks, 300 miles from Portland, OR)

Rivers: Hoh, Sol Duc, and Bogachiel, and Calawah

Winter Steelhead Season: hatchery run begins in November, wild steelhead runs begins in January and runs through March/April

Peak Season: February-April

Average Steelhead Size: natives 10-12 pounds (fish up to 20 are caught occasionally)

Primary Technique: wet fly swing while wading; nymph fishing from a drift boat

Guide Service: Bob Ball - rlball@olpen.com or 907.260.5362

Guided Float Trip: $300 for one angler, $400 for two

The Lowdown: the OP can be an intense and extreme fishery – not for the feint of heart. If you are going to visit the Olympic Peninsula, it probably makes the most sense to spend some time there (3-5 days). This way, you’ll have a good shot hitting a few pockets of calmer weather and rivers that are in shape (these rivers can fluctuate pretty drastically). Out of the three areas we have talked about, the Olympic Peninsula is the toughest to reach – but the fishing and scenery is phenomenal.

We hope you enjoyed this series. Again, the intent was to give our customers an overview of steelhead fishing and the basics to begin the travel research. This is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to steelhead fishing, or the Pacific Northwest. If you do have any questions about the areas we have fished or the guides and outfitting services we have recommended, do not hesitate to give us a call or stop in the shop.

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