GUIDING SCHEDULE

prices for 1 or 2 anglers; lunch included. 

Doug Rose Fly Fishing in the Hoh

Rain Forest Summer Steelhead and Sea–run Cutthroat

This is what I wrote about summer steelhead in my first book, Fly Fishing the Olympic Peninsula: " . . . summer steelhead have been the brilliant, fixed points of light that Northwestern fly fishing has evolved around for more than a century." The Olympic Peninsula is much better known for its winter steelhead than its summer fish, of course, but all of the major coastal rivers do support wild stocks of summer run steelhead. And the Calawah/Bogachiel and Sol Duc host substantial runs of hatchery summer steelhead. Other than at the hatchery outlet creeks, these fish are lightly persued. Indeed, the West End rivers see the lightest angling pressure of the year in summer. The hatchery steelhead usually provide the best fishing in early summer and autumn, with an August slump due to low water. However, the Hoh, which is typically high and off-color from run-off and glacial melt in early summer, is usually in good shape by late summer. The Hoh doesn't receive hatchery plants but supports the coast's healthiest stock of wild summer steelhead, as well as numerous "dip-in" hatchery fish from other rivers. In addition to steelhead, sea-run cutthroat provide a fine fishery in summer and autumn. The peak of the cutthroat run on West End rivers occurs after the first September rains, but coastal cutts are taken from the season opener in early June throughout the summer. This combination of steelhead and cutthroat in the coastal rivers during summer and autumn creates a unique fishery, one similar to the fly fishing described by Roderick Haig-Brown in his book A Fisherman's Summer. Each of my guide trips for these fish is crafted according to the client's desires and can range from an exclusive focus on steelhead with double-handed rods and sink-tips, to a combination trip, to simply targeting cutts with a 5-weight.
Cost for one or two anglers $350

Cutthroat in the Salt

There aren't many places in the world where you can fly fish for cutthroat trout in saltwater, and there are far fewer where they are available in the salt year round. The beaches of the northeast Olympic Peninsula are one of those places. Moreover, all of the cutthroat that roam northern Hood Canal and Admiralty Inlet are wild and native to this region--not something you can say about the trout in much of the rest of the world. Ranging from around 10- to 20-plus-inches, saltwater cutthroat are aggressive and fight noticeably harder than freshwater trout. Unlike most interior cutthroat, they also frequently jump. As with trout in freshwater, the diet of saltwater cutthroat changes over the course of the year, and fly anglers adjust their patterns seasonally. The chum fry outmigration from late February through April is one of the high points of angling year. This is when cutthroat feed aggressivley on the 2- to 3-inch fry. By mid-April, juvenile sandlance and surf smelt become part of the forage mix, and as the season progresses young-of-the-year herring, sculpins and three-spined sticklebacks all assume an important role in the cutthroat diet. Fly patterns that imitate marine invertebrates such as amphipods, isopods, juvenile squid, and small shrimp are effective year-round but especially so in winter, as are sculpin and polychaete worm dressings. I guide year-round on public and private beaches on northern Hood Canal and Admiralty Inlet. We typically hit two or three beaches during the course of the day. I use a selection of my own flies and patterns created by local experts like Jeffery Delia, George Binney and Bob Triggs.
Cost for one or two anglers $350

My Favorite Trout Water

These trips feature the types of water that I visit when I want to be alone and to fish for wild fish in a beautiful setting. They are available in two versions – 1) on the rain shadow waters of the eastern Olympic Peninsula and 2) on the West End. Regardless of the setting, we fish several different types of water on each trip. On the East Side, we typically fish a saltwater beach, a creek and beaver pond. On the coastal rivers, we target the upper portions of the larger rivers, their tributaries, and cedar creeks. Although we hook steelhead or salmon occasionally, trout are the focus, and 5- or 6-weight rods are appropriate. The vast majority of the fish we take are cutthroat, and all of them are wild fish, native to these watersheds. During the course of a day, we may fish everything from upstream dry flies to saltwater baitfish patterns to classic Northwest wet flies fished on the swing. These trips are a perfect tonic for fly fishers weary of the more crowded and competitive fisheries directed at steelhead and salmon. Because I want to keep pressure low on these waters, I only take three trips to each area per season. Any time between the river opener in June through October is good on the East Side trips; the West End trips are best from mid-August through early October.
Cost for one or two anglers $350

Winter Steelhead

The rivers that drain the rain-washed, western flanks of the Olympic Mountains – the glacial Hoh, Queets and Quinault; the Quillayute System's Sol Duc, Bogachiel, Calawah and Dickey, and the independent "cedar creeks" such as the Hoko and Goodman Creek – support the healthiest and most diverse winter steelhead stocks in the Pacific Northwest. They have also been the stage upon which the Olympic Peninsula's winter steelhead fly fishing heritage has been enacted. Beginning in the 1950s with Syd Glasso's revolutionary Sol Duc and Heron series of steelhead Spey flies – and with contributions in succeeding generations by Dick Wentworth, Pat Crane, James Garrett, Don Kaas, J.D. Love and Dave Steinbaugh – the fly tying component of this legacy is characterized by elegant, mobile, feather-winged flies. And ever since Glasso first painted his homemade shooting heads with red lead to get them to sink faster than the commercial lines of the era, Olympic Peninsula fly fishers have pursued winter fish by wading the rivers and swinging their flies downstream. The large, aggressive, and, until recently,lightly persued wild winter steelhead of the coastal rivers were a perfect match for this style of fishing.

However, in recent years, as the steelhead populations on other Northwest regions have declined, more and more anglers and guides have flocked to the West End rivers. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in both boat traffic and the number of fish caught and released. Since traditional Olympic Peninsula winter steelhead fly fishing requires rested, non-stressed, aggressive fish, it has become increasingly difficult for fly fishermen and women to connect with responsive fish. Because of this, I am no longer offering "standard" guide trips during the winter season. Don't get me wrong. It is still possible to wade and swing and take winter steelhead on traditional flies on the West End rivers. Indeed, these rivers all provide glorious fishing in truly magnificent settings, and good numbers of 20-plus-pound fish are taken every year, even the occasional 30-pounder. But I believe the odds of connecting with a winter steelhead under the current conditions on a one day trip are not high. Anglers serious about taking a winter steelhead on the swing should count on at least three days, whether they are guided or not, and it can take longer than that. So instead of "guide trips," I am now offering personal instruction on how to go about fishing these rivers on your own, usuing traditional methods. Each trip is tailored to whatever the angler wants to learn – swinging technique and learning to read water, understanding sink-tips and different styles of winter flies, how to get away from the crowds and boats, or simply fishing with me.
Cost for one or two anglers $350

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO BOOK A TRIP CALL 360-374-2635


 

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