LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS COLUMN: Ridge open an extra day

By Lee Horton

Peninsula Daily News

PRESIDENTS DAY WEEKEND brings options for skiers, snowboarders, tubers, anglers and even bird counters.

Hurricane Ridge ski and snowboard area will be open an extra day (Saturday through Monday) because of the holiday.

According to Frank Crippen, owner of North by Northwest Surf Co. (360-452-5144) in Port Angeles, the winter sporting season at the Ridge has been solid the last few weeks.

“It has mostly just been fun in the sun,” Crippen said.

Snow is being predicted for Saturday and Monday, but Sunday is looking like it will be clear and ideal for some skiing, snowboarding or tubing.

Crippen also said that there is still work to be done and some parts are needed before the Poma lift is open.

The Poma could be open at some point this weekend, but Crippen said it isn’t likely.

Be sure to check the road conditions before heading to the Ridge by calling 360-565-3131 or checking Twitter at www.twitter.com/HRWinterAccess.

Remember, all cars must carry tire chains, even those big trucks driven by tough guys.

Native steelhead

Saltwater fishing will be the main event for anglers this weekend due to the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby taking place Saturday through Monday.

But Saturday is a big day for river fishing because the native steelhead can be retained on the Bogachiel, Calawah, Clearwater, Dickey, Hoh, Quillayute, Quinault and Sol Duc rivers.

Well, one native steelhead per year can be retained on those rivers.

However, wild steelhead are more about the catch than the harvest.

“A lot of people don’t want to catch wild fish, so they back off,” Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said.

“But people sure want to get a picture with a big fish. That’s the attraction, you get some real bruisers, fish in the 25- to 30-pound weight class.

“Those the fish people dream about.”

And that’s why anglers will keep going to the West End rivers, even though the spring chinook are at least a month away.

Bob Gooding of Olympic Sporting Goods (360-374-6330) in Forks said the river and weather conditions are ideal, but for whatever reason, there isn’t a whole lot of pressure on the West End right now.

Derby tips

Menkal has a few tips for participants of the big salmon derby this weekend.

Hot spot flashers have been popular for blackmouth chasers.

Menkal recommends jelly crush and purple haze colors, but green hazes and green plaid work well, too.

He also recommends Coho Killers in cookies and cream, Irish cream, white lightning, army truck or cop car colors.

Menkal said some anglers will also add some Smelly Jelly on the tip to “add some pizzazz.”

By the way, in Thursday’s column I mentioned that the Sekiu salmon fishery is opening again, but I forgot to specify the date.

Saturday is the day.

Bird census

The Great Backyard Bird Count is this weekend, from Friday through Monday.

An annual event organized by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab or Orinthology, this project is going global this year.

It’s easy to participate. All you need to do is count birds for 15 minutes on at least one of the days this weekend, and then enter your results online.

For more participation information, spark up the Internet and visit http://tinyurl.com/CountBirds.

Anglers 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 North 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.

Hunter education

Washington law requires all first-time hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972, to successfully complete a hunter education class in order to purchase a hunting license.

Randy Mesenbrink, a volunteer instructor certified by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, will be teaching this course next month at the West End Sportsmen’s Club located in Forks on Sportmens Club Road.

Participants will receive instruction on firearms safety, wildlife conservation and sportsmanship.

The dates for the classes are Monday, March 4; Tuesday, March 6; Monday, March 11; and Tuesday, March 13.

Classes last from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The final test will be Saturday, March 16, at 9 a.m.

Students must attend all classes to be eligible for the hunter education student certificate.

These courses are open to everyone, but most who complete the course are at least 10 years old.

A parent or guardian is required to attend the first night of class with their student, and are encouraged to attend all classes.

Students younger than 10 years old must be accompanied to all classes by a parent or guardian.

To participate, you must pre-register online at http://tinyurl.com/HuntClass.

For more information, call Mesenbrink at 360-374-5718.

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 Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at lhorton@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 16. 2013 8:51AM
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