Tag: Olympic Peninsula steelhead report
As with all winter sports we live by the farmers almanac and the weather brought in by the pacific ocean jet stream. This season is no exception but for the lack of the steelheaders nemesis “El Ninio” whom is no were to be found, thankfully. This gives us a slightly colder weather pattern but much better than bucket’s of rain on an unpredictable forecast.
The steelhead have started there upriver journey good and early this year as proof with good numbers of redds in some of the upper reaches already. Our fishing has been better than average for conditions and with some luck we will maintain our famous fish finding ways well into April.
Besides the fish in the river shuffling every day my booked anglers are doing the same. A big loss early in Feb nearly brought down the house but with that going by I am looking forward to filling a few open dates and some that have shuffled around are again open. Take a close look here those are prime time steelhead dates some that haven’t been available for years now.
Prime dates available:
Feb 14- 24 Has room for two anglers with guide and Bogy House lodging. This booking will be with Joey Macombers group from Lateral line Media always a fun time and in the heart of BIG fish week!
March 1 -3 & 5,6 Aavailable for 2 anglers with Bogy House lodging.
March 12-14 Open for 2-4 anglers with Bogy House Lodging available -also the 13th is open for 4 anglers.
March 19-24 Open for Bogy House Lodging and fishing 2 anglers and 4 anglers on 22,23,24.
FULL April 4,5,6 Bogy House lodging on night of 4 and 5 with guide available all three. FULL!!
Feel free to call anytime 253-307-3210 or EM firstname.lastname@example.org for cutomized pricing!
Wild Steelhead Coalition has submitted a long list of rules to be changed by WDFW. Rules that are intended to increase the survival of steelhead gravel to gravel. What will happen remains to be seen, as we all have given our hard earned $ to the WSC for there tireless work during a trying time of DAM removal, and habitat issues and closures on many Puget Sound Rivers, all of which need finacial help by us the steelhead proponents. I personally feel that in a perfect world, were we did not have CO-MANAGEMENT (tribal and WDFW managing the same fishery) these rules would be completely endorsed by all concerned anglers. The issues I have with the changes are only a few and are from many years of fighting the battle for steelhead survival within the co-management arena. The one proposed rule change I have a concern about is:
NO fishing from a floating device on stretches of OP Rivers.
This is a huge reduction of angling opportunity for very little and most likely a negative effect and only should be established to give the swing fisherman an advantage. It would be very beneficial for specific angling types like PIN fishermen and Spey fishermen, of which I am one of.
However having Spawning redds at jeopardy from WADING anglers to my knowledge is not mentioned in any study and would be extremely increased with the addition of these regulations. After all, we know how much fishing pressure increases when this type of regulation is applied.
Mostly, I fear the mentioning of C&R as a problem causing mortality, that in it self could be used against sport fishing by tribal and non-tribal commercial anglers. Does “forgone opportunity” ring any bells, as hopeful as WDFW is against it, we will lose that battle, just as we have lost countless other harvest issues with the tribes.
If even a fraction of these proposals make it through it would appear to be good for us fly fishermen on the fore front; it’s the backlash that remains to be seen and the entire cause for my rebuttle. The analogy of be careful of what we ask for comes to mind.
From the fishing forums: The constant comparison between the Olympic Peninsula Rivers and others, that all ready have this regulation is simply comparing apples to oranges. Many want to form a BC type of fishery, well I can tell you from experience that would be really cool and all BUT our winter spring fish are not the same fish as the BC summer/fall fish, as much as I wished they were there NOT. Again with the constant comparison of the Deschutes in Oregon and how the regulation works great there, well our steelhead don’t follow 75ft after size 10 swung flies on a dry line they just don’t and won’t. Besides there are Jet boats on the D not on the OP and the crowds on the D are much greater than the OP. T0 cap it off neither the Deschutes nor BC has the tribal issue to contend with so any comparison is rediculous, that is not even an argument that deserves a responce.
However: I do believe that certain rivers have a better chance of this type of regulation, like the Hoh or Queets as they can actually be fished from the bank without danger to the anglers. They both have good bank fishing water and plenty of log jams that are refuge to the steelhead. BUT do we really want to take rivers like the Sol-Duc and Calawah away from our anglers, think about it if you really know anything about these rivers this regulation will remove elder anglers all together from fishing them. There are very few places to stand and fish between Feb 1 and April1 just from water levels on these two rivers no matter how well you can wade. Besides the only time these stretches get any real pressure is AFTER a big rain early in the season when all else is blown, they have plenty of water then and the refuge steelhead need. Furthermore: This regulation does not take into effect that ALL of the rivers on the OP under this regulation all ready have many miles of refuge water, 50% of these rivers are closed to fishing or inaccessible by boat all ready during the Winter/Spring season.
Would this regulation keep some steelhead from being caught? Yes it would, it would also legally propagate two certain styles of fishing for steelhead. Either way it’s a win for me business wise, but it’s the steelhead I worry about; Is it best, in the long run for wild steelhead, after all we know the real issue is NON-SELECTIVE gill netting on a DAYS quota, not a fish for fish quota but a 3,4 or 5 days or more each week, the more we regulate ourselves the more the commercials will take (forgone opportunity) and they take them to market. If this regulation even equaled one extra day (via forgone opportunity) of fishing by commercials there KILL could/would far exceed any potential C&R mortality by sport fishermen. Are we willing to trade the exaggerated potential C&R mortality for the further fracturing of sports groups AND the potential for extra days of gill nets in those rivers?
The C&R movement if you will was established by wild steelhead enthusiast long before it was regulation and it has been the biggest savior of what steelhead we have, lets not turn that against us, if you want bank fishing only ask for bank fishing only but relating C&R as the problem only fuels the argument against sport fishing for Tribal/non-tribal commercial anglers. Why not just jump to the issue and regulate ALL pressure, have outfitter permits with angler days and non guide days in certain stretches a real regulation of sports fishing pressure the entire length of the river regulate it from choice for a better fishing environment not backstabbing the C&R momentum. Regulate for what you really want, less fishing pressure on your fishing day and steelhead that will take the swung fly because of it. Don’t throw C&R under the proverbial bus to get it.
After all, it’s not about us, it’s about the big picture of steelhead survival, which is very simple, just don’t conk em, gill em, or eat em, they will survive.
Please understand that we all have a fight ahead of us to maintain the great fishing we have here on the Olympic Peninsula, the WSC is a wonderful organization that I have supported for many years, they are pivitol in the recovery of Steelhead were they are depleted or in need of support.
Keep regulations as is to help reduce the commercial quota’s and spread these good intentions outside the regulation book.
Please continue to support all Steelhead groups as we really do have one common goal.
Thanks Jeff Brazda
All season since late January every freshet of water has brought new fish and every drop has brought good to great fishing opportunity. We are experiencing a warm trend again and the swung fly is producing for those doing it right. Some more rain in the forecast as water levels drop the fastest I have ever seen. The Hoh went from over 4 thousand to fish able below 2500 in 24 hrs, frankly I think the steelhead were in drop shock for a few hours yesterday morning as the afternoon was stellar and the AM slow. Today I have a rare day off and enjoying it with getting chores done around the Bogy House lodge. Above is a great friend and guest at the Bogy House, Rocky Wens and local native Wayne Mc Reynolds, both great fishermen and we had some gear testing moments the last two days.
Should you be looking to get into a few steelhead or already coming out look us up we have rooms available at the Bogy House and the occasional guide day open. The first week of April has a new opening and by the seasons standards it will be a great time to swing up a few steelhead. Call or Em with any questions about fishing or the operation. Jeff@Brazdasflyfishing.com 253-307-3210.
Thanks and have a great day, Brazda
The last week has had its ups and downs in water levels and after 4-5 inches of rain in 6 days we have only lost one day to blow outs, SO FAR.
Fishing high water has all ways been part of steelheading over the years but with two seasons in a row having December rain in Feb and March we have perfected the high water technique. Honestly I believe that swinging a fly is more effective in high water than mean flow water. It is all most as effective as nymphing and at some speeds and turbitity levels I believe it can be better than many other techniques.
The fish gods are shining on us these days, today the shitshow express crew jumped in at the early hour of Noon and landed 6 steelhead in three hours including this 20 plus for AO,,,,oh yea we have some GO PRO vid coming soon….
For starters, the early waterfowl season was impressive to say the least. As some know I have a wonderful labrador named Jesse, I bought her last May from Longhollow retrievers, she is better than I could have ever imagined, even with me, an un-experianced trainer she has become an incredible retrieving machine. She soon tested out her new love as limits of Wigeon and bluebills were quite easy til nearly Christmas. Now not so much, but we stayed the coarse and gave her every experiance I could on her first season afield, Ducks on the Columbia, Geese in Montana and a few chucker and quail in the back yard. We are looking forward to out next trip here real soon…She’s out rolling in the snow right now.
2011 Fall steelhead was better than 2010 as angler pressure was way down and we had some good water volume, could have done with out the early freeze but thats fishing. I feel that in the next few season we will see an evening off of the status quo from that ridiculously easy season of ’09. By then we will be feeling good about 6 fish days again.
On a more recent note Aaron , YT, and I made a shake down cruise to Forks last week before the big snow hit and came away with 6 fish a day, pretty damn good for January even found a few in the high teens. The Hoh river is looking awesome for the swing game and the Sol Duc has loads of natives already running its emerald waters. I think we are in for another year of wild fish up to our ears and maybe the weather will accommodate. As for now we are waiting out the next storm hoping the warm up will not produce a two week flood.
Once again the Puget Sound rivers are closing early due to poor wild fish escapement, (according to WDFW). Now would be a good time to send off some cash donations to the wild steelhead coalition, CCA or whatever your favorite charity would be I like the more radical ones of coarse. Along with that, drop a letter to the Gov telling her shes nuts for letting the Icon of the NW down and maybe the wdfw director @ email@example.com asking him to use whatever resources the state has to figure this thing out, as the bullshit politics ain’t working. Maybe if the dept would grow some balls and look into the fish farming they have approved they might find the cause. I know that if the feds can turn around the Upper Columbia the WDFW should be able to use that technology to help the Puget Sound Rivers..OK off the soapbox for now.
It looks like we have some Geese back into the basin and them Mallards that have been in Canada all year should be moving down we, will see, heading out for another go soon.
We start out on the Olympic Peninsula Feb 3 -7 with spey fishing classes and have a few spots open, this goes for 300 a day fully hosted at the Bogy House Lodge, as good as the early wild run is I predict we will catch a few wiley ones while getting our snap T on…Note I said fishing classes, you will learn to fish the swing not just throw it accross and hope!
This season we will be guiding later into April than in the past. In the last few seasons I have left Forks with good numbers of chrome bright steelhead still pushing in and with the NO NETTING schedule in April we have a good chunk of time without them intercepting there 50% .
We have good chunks of open dates after April 15 and a few in primetime yet to be filled, come and see what steelheading on the Olympic Peninsuila is all about, book a trip today. Jeff@Brazdasflyfishing.com 253-307-3210
Hope to see ya on the river, Jeff
After three weeks of living by the flow charts and weather pages on the laptop the finally of my OP season is looking great. Stable conditions and good water levels on the final weeks of the spring season are sure to bring on the best swing fishing of the year. After two months of staring at bobbers my retnas are in need of a break from the orange goat nut. Good spey anglers can rack up some great catches during the month of April and with a great run on the books we can only assume the finest is yet to come.
We are haveing great success swinging the Gonaded Rabbit in pink, purple and blue and Joe’s spoon, “the crack ho”, and “Lane Bryant” in pinks and blues, not sure if we can go back to just rabbit on a hook,,, well,,,, not yet!
Visit us at the Bogy House and have a go at what we are offering on the Olympic Peninsula, “Land of the Giants”! Dates available through the 15th.
Every season for a few now Joey Macomber brings a group to the OP for a week, last year he hit the only blow out we had, this season he landed right smack dab in the middle of two, and some of the best fishing of the season. He seems to have it figured out!
Starting out the week first casting at the boat ramp set the pace pretty high, as we soon realized these fish were handing out some Unnecessary Roughness kicking ass on even the pro anglers of the group. It did not slow down till the sunny day and then went right back to gear and attitude testing mode to polish off the week and a case of whiskey!
The big rain of this season is over, all the rivers a hard on the drop, my crystal ball says great fishing to come for the next four weeks.
We have an unexpected opening in the calendar, March 27-31, has become available with two guides and lodging at the Bogy House for four. March the best month of the year for Steelhead anywhere on the Pacific Coast and Forks Wa the best place on the Pacific coast for exceptionally large wild steelhead, its a win win for the procrastinating angler, or those that just can’t get enough!
Send a ring, 253 -307-3210 or EM jeff@Brazdasflyfishing.com
What we were doing the last week;
Starting tomorrow its GAME ON!
Last week before all this water fell from the sky we were right in the heart of the monster sized Steelhead push, we had them on the string daily and managed to land these three. Looking forward to fishing the drop that will be happening soon,,, I hope.
In the meantime we are amusing ourselves with a few hours of swinging good spots and tying flies getting ready for the line streching marathon when things subside flow wise. Been averaging a couple hook ups a day walk wading in some of the highest water I have fished here in years!