I have been hosting trips during the middle of Febuary until late March for the past two years now. It is a great time to be there if you have an intrest in hooking a 15 pound plus Steelhead on a fly rod. The season actually comes to an end around the 15th of April but will still fish good even after. This is one of the most special and facinating places I have been to date. There a multitude of rivers within minutes of each other all holding the possible Steelhead of a lifetime. Most of the rivers are coastal rivers which mean the run directly to the ocean, some have a short piece of river between them and the ocean, but in no regard does that decrease your chances of getting an ocean bright, fresh Steelhead with sea lice all over it. This is perhaps the best place, certianly one of the best places to fish for Steelhead. I have been visiting here for nearly 15 years. I have fished for summer run Steelhead in September and October. I have also fished many times in Feb and March for the winter run Steelhead. The rivers in which these Steelhead live are some of the most beautiful that I have encountered. This destination ranks high on my list for places to fish if you are an avid fly fisherman. It is a must do considering any Steelhead landed on a fly rod is a prize.
Your fishing day begins at about 6:30 am. Gray Struznik (picture left), owner of Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing, will arrive to pick you up between 6:30 and 7 depending upon conditions. I have had the pleasure of knowing Gray now for over 15 years and working with him for most of that time as well. He is an accomplished fly fishermen with both single and double handed rods. He is an expert fly tyer and one of the few fly fishing guides that are were actually born and raised in Forks. Gray knows the area very well and is one of the best on the Peninsula. Depending on what suits you, you will either nymph or swing for Steelhead. Nymphing is very similar to any nymphing that you have done in the past. The only difference that you may notice, is the indicator will be set higher to allow the fly to sink better to the zone in which the Steelhead hold. The casting is more difficult but, with just a little practice, it will work itself out and you will be casting effectively in no time. If you have an interest in swinging wet flies for Steelhead you may bring your own Spey Rod and Tips. If that is not an option, Gray will be happy to supply you with the proper equipment for both Spey Rods and single hand fly rods. If you plan to bring your own equipment, please call me directly or e-mail. The equipment will vary depending upon your skill level and experience. I will be able to further assist you in properly fitting you with the right set up after corresponding with you more. I strongly suggest practicing your casting no matter your skill level prior to arriving for your guided fishing trip. Its much better to work out your kinks while at home rather than when fishing for that fish of a lifetime.
Depending on the drift that you have embarked on, your day can end anywhere from 4:30 to 5:30. Gray and I are in contact throughout the day so I have a good idea as to when your going to arrive to the cabin. You can expect to arrive no later than 6pm.
Your typical day fishing for Steelhead is usually comprised of lots of casting with minimal results. A good day of Steelhead fishing, if your nymphing, can exceed six fish hooked or at times, none. A good average is one to three fish hooked per day. If you would like to use a Spey Rod and swing flies to Steelhead your numbers will decrease to a possible "grab" or bite being a good thing to hooking perhaps one or two fish. This makes each fish a reward and hard earned. Some of the most memorable days of my life have been when I have hooked several Steelhead in a day on a fly rod. It certianly is not an easy thing to do and is not for everyone. I find that the angler with a passion for something that requires more patience, focus and determination. An angler who enjoys a real challenge is more apt to enjoy Steelhead fishing. There is a seperate catagory for a true Steelhead angler and it sits all alone at the near the top with few others. Just fishing for, nevermind the feeling of a wild Steelhead in your hand can change a man, sometimes forever.....
The rivers in which these fish reside are unique and special just on their own. You will be in the heart of one of the only temperate Rainforests in the world. In every direction there are hanging mosses and lichens. Ferns sprout out of trees, various different species of ground weaving mosses form carpets on the floor that reach up into the trees and hang from the limbs. Elk and deer are abound, along with Bald Eagles and Osprey. The environs alone are the reason that most visit the area. If you combine the opportunity to catch a Steelhead on a fly and spend your time in the Rainforest doing so, there is no better match. This is and always will be one of my favorite places to fish. It has taken a piece of me and for that I will always return.
The two photos below were taken off the back of the house where the SolDuc River is directly below each deck. If the weather permits I enjoy doing some meals on the grill for guests while enjoying the views.
The two photos below show the living rooms for each house.
The pictures taken and shown below allow you to see the layout of some of the bedrooms.
I will be hosting and present for the entire trip. I will be doing all of the cooking, cleaning and housekeeping. I will be available to field questions and help with fishing gear. The overall service you recieve will be above average. However, I am not a five star service. This trip is for fishermen and most of your time will be spent doing so. These trips have been a great success in the past and I will continue to provide the service that will keep guests coming back happy and looking forward to the following season. This trip is unique in the fact that I can not host a trip exceeding 4 guests. If you want to have a house all to yourself with just two guests, that is possible. The best experience I have seen throughout the years is 4 guests in one house. I suggest only doing this combination if you know each other well and have spent significant time with them before. You will all be together for the remainder of time you choose to stay. A good friendship prior to arriving is of importance. The houses are available most of the time. I have not had a problem in the past reserving them for the time needed. However, at times, I have not been able to get the exact house requested due to last minute reservations. Booking ahead is a good idea and will always provide you with a better opportunity to get what you desire. Exact room details and bed assignments will be discussed prior to arrival.
The meals that I prepare are 95% organic and sources out of the Pacific Northwest. I do some specialtiy appetizers ranging from Razor Clam fritters to Smoked Salmon that I made myself in Alaska. Main courses sometimes include fresh fish caught locally in season. I sometimes find crab and other sea fare. A normal day is started at about 5:30 am with a continental breakfast and eggs to order. I typically serve breakfast with a breakfast meat as well. There will be plenty to choose from as far as cereals, oatmeal, fruits, yogurt, breads, cakes and more. Your lunch will be provided to you on the river by your guide. Appetizers are served upon your arrival in the evening and dinner is served at about 7 pm. Typical dinners range from Roasted Chicken with roasted butternut squash and broccoli to grilled Steaks with mushrooms, onions and sweet potatoes. Desserts are simple yet good ranging from banannas foster to asscorted fruit,chocolate and cookie platters. I also provide one case of wine, with a selection of red and white in each along with a case of beer for every two guests. If guests would like to purchase liquor I will be happy to pick some up at the local store. All of these times and items are negotiable. I enjoy when people make themselves at home and relax. In order to do so I am not strict on any one thing. I prefer you enjoy your experience and expectations will be discussed prior to your arrival.
Yes, weather gets it's own heading here.....Since this destination places you in the middle of a Rainforest the rainfall can be significant. The rivers each have their own personality depending on the amount of rainfall they recieve. When rainfall reaches it highest peaks it can sometimes "blow out" a river system. When this occurs to all of the rivers in the surrounding area it then leads to a "blow out day." This basically means that there is no fishing to be done that would at all be effective to a fly fishermen. The rivers are moving much too fast and the water clarity is that of chocolate milk. On these days I have done anything from going to dig razor clams with guests, touring the Hoh Rainforest, shopping in Forks, (the local town) casting lessons and watching movies. The options will be discussed prior to a blowout day....yes, you will most likely have one or two.....maybe more? When this situation occurs you will be refunded for your fishing day which is $500. You will not be charged for a act that you were not able to accomplish due to weather. I have not had a trip yet where at least one rain day did not occur. It is a tempermental environment that recieves an incredible amount of rainfall throughout a season. This is why it is always so green there and allows for Steelhead to move to and from the ocean. Bring your rain jackets, it will rain while you are here....have no doubt.
To turn to the other side of weather, I have seen some absoutley gorgeous days right in the middle of extreme rainfalls. You will most likely see one of them too. Its not all rain here. There are times when the sun is shining, skies are blue and your catching bright chrome Steelhead!
Prior to last year I would suggest that all guests fly into Seattle(SEA), from Seattle to Port Angeles. I would then meet everyone at the Port Angeles Airport and it was a short one hour drive from there to the cabin. Unfortunately, that flight path has been cancelled. I have heard that another company is going to buy the route, but to date, it has not come to fruition. So, what guests did this year was fly to Seattle, rent a car then proceed to Forks, Washington where I will be awating your arrival. I hope that in time the convenience of having a flight to Port Angeles is available. I will be sure to let you know if that opportunity arises again. Travel directions and plans will be discussed prior to your travel day.
*Arrival and departure days are calculated as $200.00 per person since they are not full days.