LEE HORTON'S OUTDOORS: Rain affecting skiing and fishing

By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News

THE WEATHER IS always a factor on the North Olympic Peninsula.

There's either too much or not enough rain for fishing. And when the rain has subsided, it's too windy.

For more than two months, skiers and snowboarders were stuck as sea level because there wasn't enough snow — or much snow at all — at Hurricane Ridge.

Then it fell all at once. There was so much snow that the opening weekend at the Ridge was consisted of half days.

The rain has been wet blanket for the ski and snowboard area the past 10 days. This week, the Ridge has received a mixture of water and powder.

The rain doesn't ruin the winter sports experience, but it isn't ideal.

Since Hurricane Ridge is only open Saturdays and Sunday during the winter, skiers and snowboarders don't have the luxury of waiting for a good day.

The intermediate and bunny rope tows and the tubing area will again be open this weekend.

Mountain manager John Fox said the work on the poma lift is getting started, but earliest the poma will open is next weekend.

Before you go, get the most current weather and road conditions by phoning 360-565-3131 or checking Twitter at @HRWinterAccess.

Rivers up, way up

Just when river fishing for native steelhead fishing was picking up, an onslaught of rain hits the West End.

“They're all pushing flood levels,” Bob Aunspach of Swain's General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles said of the West End rivers.

So, it doesn't appear there will be steelhead fishing this weekend.

Saltwater salmon

If it isn't the weather, it's the animal kingdom.

The blackmouth fishery has been off and on recently.

The days that have been good for fishing have been hampered by thieving seals.

The wind hasn't been too detrimental lately, despite weather reports to the contrary.

“The keep saying it's going to be windy, but it never materializes,” Aunspach said.

“So it's kind of get up in the morning a look.”

Aunspach said most anglers will fish in wind that is blowing 10 to 15 miles per hour, but more than that and “the fun starts going out of it.”

Time for licenses

With all this uncertainty for anglers, Brian Menkal of Brian's Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim has a recommendation for passing the time: purchase a fishing license.

The new fishing season begins April 1, and buying a new license now might save you some time.

“It might not help them [anglers] much, but it might help us,” Menkal said, adding that his story only has one machine, so licenses can only be purchased one at a time.

Ridge retrospective

Ted Simpson and Avon Miller will tell stories of the origins of the Hurricane Ridge ski area Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Second Saturday Series at Wine on the Waterfront.

Miller and Simpson bought the Hurricane Ridge ski tow operation in 1965 from Larry and Tom Winters, who had brought their equipment over from Deer Park in 1957.

Wine on the Waterfront is located at 115 Railroad Avenue in Port Angeles.

Ducks Unlimited banquet

The Port Angeles/Sequim (Dungeness Flyway) Ducks Unlimited annual banquet is Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Sequim Elks Lodge.

Tickets are limited.

For more information, phone Tammy Schroepfer at 360-460-2766 or Bill Schroepfer at 360-504-0208.

Wapiti Bowmen

Archers from the Northwest will have their chance to enjoy the first 3-D shoot of Spring Saturday and Sunday, March 15 and 16, at the Wapati Bowmen Archery Club invitational.

Located at 374 Arnett Road, just off of Monroe Road, in Port Angeles, the club offers an opportunity to shoot in a beautiful 20-acre setting of trails that meander across creeks, up hillsides and through the forest.

There will be 30 life-like targets are scattered on the course to provide a variety of both deceptively easy and challenging shots

Apparently, there have been sightings of a Tyrannosaurus rex in the brush with a stuffed rabbit in its mouth.

“A well placed arrow could save the rabbit from a terrible fate,” range master Ray Werrion said.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. each day.

The grill is fired up at 7 a.m. for breakfast with the barbecue warming for hot lunches in the afternoon, each for a nominal cost.

Adult shooting fees are $12 per day or $20 for both days. Youth fees (12-17) are $8 per day or $12 for both, those ages 6-11 are just $4 for one day and $5 for two. Kids under 5 are free.

Funds from the meals and an auction of used 3-D targets go for upkeep and maintenance of the non-profit club.

For this shoot, the Wapati Club is providing limited on-site spaces for dry camping on a first-come basis.

For more information, phone 360-683-7787 or visit the website at wapatibowmen.us.

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.

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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: March 06. 2014 6:32PM
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