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Peninsula Daily News
BLACKMOUTH FISHING HAS picked up along the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the last week.
The Winter Hole is a good spot, as it usually is, but Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said areas on the eastern end of the Strait, such as Protection Island and Diamond Point, have been producing, too.
Now, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of pressure, but those anglers who are going out are finding a little more success than in previous weeks.
Even better, the quality of fish being caught has improved.
“The bigger fish are starting to show up,” Bob Aunspach of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles said.
Proof of this is the 21-pound, 8-ounce blackmouth Lyle Newell caught Tuesday, which puts him atop the Port Angeles Salmon Club’s monthly derby ladder at Swain’s.
Newell, you might recall, won last month’s derby with an 11-pound, 6-ounce fish.
Currently in second place in this month’s derby is Dan Roening with a 9-pound, 11-ounce salmon, and in third is Curt Madison with an 8-pound, 9-ouncer.
Menkal recommends using small lures and small Coho Killers because the bait the blackmouth are feeding on is small.
Adventure slide shows
Montana-based mountain photographer Jason Thompson and area mountain guide Tyler Reid will be presenting slide shows Saturday at Wine on the Waterfront in Port Angeles.
The presentations are part of the Second Saturday series of adventure sports presentations that benefit the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club.
Thompson and Reid are both familiar with the Olympic Peninsula, having been raised in Poulsbo and Port Townsend, respectively.
Reid will begin the evening with a presentation on guiding in Alaska’s mountain ranges.
Thompson’s presentation will focus on skiing in Patagonia and other destinations around the world.
His work has been published in outlets such as Powder magazine, Alpinist, Backcountry, Men’s Fitness, National Geographic Adventure and the Patagonia catalogue.
You can view more of Thompson’s work at www.jthompsonphotography.com.
The presentations begin at 7 p.m., and the suggested donation is $5.
Wine on the Waterfront is located at 115 East Railroad Ave.
Dinner and auction
The North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Puget Sound Anglers is holding its annual dinner and auction fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 22, at SunLand Golf and Country Club in Sequim.
The proceeds from this auction provide the majority of funding for the annual Olympic Peninsula Kids Fishing Program held at the Sequim water reclamation pond.
The event kicks off with a silent auction at 5 p.m., which features a wide assortment of sports merchandise, and runs through the evening.
Dinner will be served from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and will consist of the usual spaghetti dinner with red or clam sauce, garlic bread and tossed salad.
There will also be a “no host” cash bar for the purchase of spirits, wine, beer and soft drinks. Coffee and bottled water will be provided.
The main event, a live auction, is scheduled to start after dinner, at about 7 p.m.
Live auction items include fishing trips with renowned guides on Olympic Peninsula rivers for salmon and steelhead; charter boat trips for salmon, halibut and bottom fish out of Pacific Ocean ports and the Strait; and saltwater trips offered by club members departing out of Port Angeles, Sequim or Sekiu for salmon or halibut.
For more information or to confirm attendance or reservations, phone 360-461-6060.
The Greywolf Fly Fishing Club will hold its monthly meeting Wednesday at the Gardiner Community Center located at 980 Old Gardiner Road in Sequim.
This month’s theme is honoring the military.
The meeting will feature a presentation from the Northwest Region of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, whose mission is to provide local support to wounded servicemen and servicewomen in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
A light dinner, fly-tying and socializing opens the gathering at 6 p.m. The meeting officially starts at 7 p.m.
To learn more about or contact the Greywolf Fly Fishing Club, visit its website at http://greywolf-ffc.com.
Rivers fishing class
Menkal is teaching his rivers salmon and steelhead fishing class starting Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with part two taking place the following Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the same time.
Cost for the class is $25. Bring a notepad, pen or pencil and a chair.
Class attendance is limited to 12 participants.
To reserve a spot or for more formation, phone Menkal at 360-683-1950.
The classes are held at Brian’s Sporting Goods and More at 542 W. Washington St. in Sequim.
Although not many anglers are currently fishing for blackmouth, Aunspach reports that many are getting excited about the 2013 Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby, which will take place Presidents Day Weekend (Feb. 16-18).
The top prize is $10,000 and the total awards list is up to 45 prizes with $21,145.
Tickets are $40 at outdoors retailers throughout the area and $42.50 online. (Buy tickets online at www.tinyurl.com/SalmonDerbyTix.)
For more information about the derby, read my column from last week here: http://tinyurl.com/DerbyColumn.)
In Thursday’s column, I wrote the wrong starting date for the legal retention of wild steelhead in the West End rivers.
The retention period starts Saturday, Feb. 16, and runs through April 30.
At least I got the Saturday part right, I guess.
Send photos, stories
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Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.