OUTDOORS: Double whammy potential on West End rivers

By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News

WITH REPORTS OF spring chinook entering West End river systems, coupled with the tail end of the winter steelhead season, potential exits.

Potential for what exactly? The rare two-fer or “double whammy,” according to Brian Menkal of Brian's Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim.

“The high water [from recent rains] worked for us and brought the springers in,” Menkal said.

“Right now it's a double whammy.”

Lucky anglers may be able to nab a hatchery chinook for dinner and a wild steelhead for a photo opportunity if they can ply their lines in an enticing manner.

Those interested in doubling up can fish the Sol Duc River from its mouth to the concrete pump station at the Sol Duc Hatchery for hatchery chinook as well as the Quillayute from the Olympic National Park Boundary to the confluence of the Sol Duc and Bogachiel.

Creel reports from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife show 122 anglers caught 64 steelhead on the Bogachiel/Quillayute from March 28-30.

Odds were better on the Sol Duc with 91 anglers reeling in 72 wild steelhead last Friday through Sunday.

Menkal fished the Sol Duc on Sunday and reports that the water was green and a little high but still pretty solid overall.

Flow charts show these rivers are dropping back in line, so take advantage.

The Hoh River was basically devoid of fish last weekend with 17 anglers unable to catch anything on the lower portion from the Oxbow Campground to Barlow's and 20 catching three wild steelhead on the upper portion from Oxbow to the Olympic National Park boundary.

A reminder: steelhead fishing closes April 15 on the Hoh, Quinault and Clearwater rivers and April 30 for the Quillayute, Dickey, Bogachiel, Calawah and Sol Duc.

Blackmouth slowing

Hatchery chinook fishing has slowed in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, with the waters around Port Angeles the best bet saltwater-wise.

Women's fly fishing

A free fly fishing education, fitness and wellness program for women is being offered by Therapeutics Associates Physical Therapy here in Port Angeles.

The aim of the program is to provide women in the community the opportunity to learn a new hobby, gain knowledge about upper body fitness, go fishing, meet new friends and have fun.

Interested women can attend an informational session at 1108 E. First St. in Port Angeles, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and a field trip to a nearby lake is planned from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 13.

All equipment will be provided and carpooling will be available.

Instructors will include: guides from Waters West Fly Fishing Outfitters as well as guest speakers Ron Link and Joe Sandoval.

Those interested should RSVP to Therapeutic Associates at 360-452-6216.

Our Ridge, My Story

What does wintertime access to Hurricane Ridge mean to you?

Winter sports enthusiasts are tasked with creating a 30-second or less video that answers that question for a chance to win a Lib Tech, Gnu or Roxy snowboard or a pair of Lib Tech NAS skis.

Send submissions to hrwac@accesstheridge.org.

There are prizes for the best video submitted each week and the contest wraps Wednesday, April 30.

Contest sponsor is the Hurricane Ridge Winter Access Coalition, a group of citizens, elected officials, organizations and businesses advocating for seven-days-a-week winter access to the park.

Seven-day access

The Hurricane Ridge Winter Access Coalition held an initial meeting with Olympic National Park management last month.

The coalition described this initial meeting as “a positive first step.”

Coalition members have been gathering support for the last month, including more than 1,000 signatures on an online petition.

“I was exceptionally pleased with the tone of the meeting and their willingness to continue the dialog,” coalition member Gary Holmquist said.

Another member, Katy Reid, said, “Our goal is to work towards a solution for keeping the road open that is sustainable.”

Personally, I feel it's a bit of a travesty that such a wonderful recreational and economic opportunity lies dormant for so much of the snow season and I support efforts to broaden access.

Learn more about the Hurricane Ridge Winter Access Coalition at
www.accesstheridge.org.

Fishing the Peninsula

Fishing the Peninsula, a Peninsula College course that intends to help those new to the area become more familiar with the variety of fishing opportunities available here, is set for Friday and Saturday, April 11-12.

The course is taught by Ron Link and consists of a three-hour classroom session from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. that Friday, followed by a fishing excursion on Saturday.

Cost is $76.50.

To register, phone 360-452-9277 or visit pencol.edu.

Link has been a recreational fishing instructor with Peninsula College since 1999, and also has been a licensed fishing guide and commercial fisherman.

Send photos, stories

Have a photograph, a fishing or hunting report, an anecdote about an outdoors experience or a tip on gear or technique?

Send it to sports@peninsuladailynews.com or P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

________

Outdoors columnist Michael Carman appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at mcarman@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 04. 2014 1:16AM
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