About this blog

This blog is all about fly fishing for native trout. On it I cover trip reports, fishing tactics, conservation, the latest news about native trout species and much more. This site provides a companion to my web page Nativetroutflyfishing.com.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Summer in the Olympics: Part 1

With the challenges that 2020 presented, I remained local over the summer and decided to explore some of my old favorite spots as well as some streams in the Olympics that I had not had a chance to check out yet. One of the old spots that I visited for the season is one of my favorite rivers in the Northwest and without a doubt the stream that I have spent the most time on as I did much of my research for my Masters Thesis on it.  The upper river is full of great pocket water and lots of small native Coastal Rainbows that eagerly rise to any dry fly. 

An overcast day in the Olympics

A small native rainbow

As usual the spot didn't disappoint and a couple hours yielded over a dozen 6-12" spunky native Coastal Rainbow Trout.

Since I moved to Olympia a little over a year ago, I have been trying to learn some of the local beaches a bit better. One of these is only 5 minutes from my house, so I was able get out to it a few times in July when the tides we favorable and found a few sea-run Cutthroat that were feeding on polychaete worms.

The beach

A decent sea-run Coastal Cutthroat

The next trip out, I wanted check out a river in Olympic National Park that I suspected might have a good Rainbow Trout fishery and potentially some summer Steelhead. With that my buddy Chris joined me and we made the drive out to the Peninsula. Just before we arrived at the trailhead, a black bear darted across the road, as if to indicate that we had entered the wilderness. Based on our scouring over maps, there was a promising stretch of river through a small canyon about four miles up the trail so we got our waders on and hit the trail. The day had started of gray as so many on the Peninsula do and the hike through the old growth forest was a pleasant one, especially with a the bumper crop of huckleberries that this summer had presented. 

 A beautiful stretch of water deep in the Olympic 

When we got to the river, we geared up with big nymphs and streamers, the favored flies for big Rainbows and summer runs in the Olympics in my experience. One of the first holes that we came to, Chris spotted what looked like a nice summer run sitting the tail out. We first tried our nymphs to no avail, however a swung streamer resulted in a ferocious take for Chris. Pretty quickly by the way the fish was fighting it became apparent that it was not a summer run but a big Bull Trout, which Chris quickly landed and we sent it on its way again.

Chris' big Bull Trout

From this point on, we got a take in almost every hole, but didn't find the big Rainbows or summer runs we were looking for. Instead it seemed that Bull Trout and Whitefish were the predominant fish in the stretch of river. Once we were out of the canyon, the fishing pretty much died on us, so we hit the trail and headed back with thoughts of our next outing already on our minds.