LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS: Subpar steelhead fishing on West End rivers

By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News

I’M SAYING YOU have a chance.

The odds might not be terrific, but you should have a chance to catch (then release) a steelhead on the West End rivers this weekend.

Bob Gooding of Olympic Sporting Goods (360-374-6330) in Forks said the rivers rose with the recent rain, but he said they have already dropped and are fishable.

But . . .

“It’s no great shakes,” Gooding said.

“It’s been OK. It hasn’t been great, not even good, just OK.”

Gooding said there haven’t been many anglers on the rivers trying their luck at catching a wild steelhead, and added that it might be due to the terrible hatchery steelhead season.

Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said the best bets are the Sol Duc River, then the Hoh. The Bogachiel is third.

Menkal also said a few fish — not many, but a few — have been caught in the Lyre River.

Blackmouth up and down

On the salt water, the fishing is inconsistent, which is consistent with the norm.

“It tapered off considerably over the weekend,” Bob Aunspach of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles said.

“But it will turnaround again. That’s typical blackmouth fishing.”

Aunspach said anglers have had the best success fishing the afternoon outgoing tides.

The tides should be favorable this weekend, but Aunspach said whether or not anglers do some angling likely will depend on the weather.

Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) opened to blackmouth fishing earlier this month.

Eric Elliott of The Fishin’ Hole (360-385-7031) in Port Townsend said not many boats are going out, but those that do are finding some success.

“I’d say about a fish a boat,” Elliott said.

For instance, Port Townsend angler Wayne Chisholm caught a 10-pound blackmouth at Midchannel Bank last weekend.

Elliott said the The Fishin’ Hole has a new fish cleaning system.

It also will serve as one of the weigh-in stations for the upcoming Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby.

Wapiti Bowmen

The Wapiti Bowmen Archery Club will host its annual Blue Face Indoor Tournament at its clubhouse beginning Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The tournament will continue on Tuesdays and Fridays for six weeks.

All ages and all levels of skill are welcome to participate.

Those new to archery are also invited to attend and take part.

For more information, visit the club’s website at www.wapitibowmen.us, or phone Mark Jackson at 360-683-7787.

The Wapiti Bowman clubhouse is located at 374 E. Arnette Road in Port Angeles.

Puget Sound Anglers auction

The North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Puget Sound Anglers will be holding its annual fund raising auction and dinner starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at SunLand Golf and Country Club.

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.

A silent auction offers a wide assortment of sports merchandise and runs through the evening.

The key event, the live auction, will be held following dinner.

The live auction includes fishing trips with renowned guides on Olympic Peninsula rivers for salmon and steelhead, and charter boat trips for salmon, halibut and bottom fish out of Pacific Ocean ports and the Strait of Juan De Fuca.

There also will be saltwater trips offered by club members departing out of Port Angeles, Sequim or Sekiu for salmon.

Additional live auction items include custom rods, tackle and local business gift certificates.

Dinner will be served from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The meal will be the typical spaghetti dinner with red sauce or white clam sauce, garlic bread and tossed salad.

Donations for dinner are appreciated but not required.

There also will be a no-host cash bar for the purchase of spirits, wine, beer and soft drinks.

For further information about this event call 360-681-4768.

For more about the Puget Sound Anglers see www.psanopc.org.

River fishing class

Menkal is teaching his two-part river salmon and steelhead fishing class starting Tuesday, Feb. 4, and concluding Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Both sessions start at 6 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m.

The cost for the class is $25. Bring a notepad, pen or pencil and a chair.

Class attendance is limited, so phone Menkal at 360-683-1950 to reserve a spot or for more information.

The classes are held at Brian’s Sporting Goods and More at 609 W. Washington St. in Sequim.

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.

________

Sports Editor Lee Horton’s outdoors column appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at lhorton@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 30. 2014 5:52PM
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