Fishing the Elwah

Anyone fishing the upper Elwah for trout these days? I'm looking for a 3 day pack/fishing trip. 1st priority, good fishing. 2nd is great scenery. If the Elwah isn't fishing well any suggestions within 6 hours of Seattle? Thanks
I've never got around to fishing the Elwah, but I've wanted to for years. It should be good now, unless the waters too low. I would look up some literature on it, such as articles in "NW Fishing Holes" and the book "Flyfisher's Guide to Washington."



Also read Washington Blue Ribbon Fly Fishing Guide. It has a good article about all three parts of the river.Another book you can read is Fly Fishing the Olympic Peninsula By Doug Rose. Good luck. I've always wanted to fish the river but it's too far to go for one old man. Jim S. So much water---so little time


New Member
I've fished Elwha with two my friends recently with no luck.
We started from Humes Ranch and hiked downstream to Goblins Gate
Mostly river too swift and powerful for trout to hold. I heard Elwha' trout tend to migrate to significant distances depending on season so some stretches may not hold any fish at all. The better way to ask in local flyshop where should you fish.
The only one place I know consistently holds BIG trout is deep holes downstream from Goblin Gates. But there is no place for flyfisher becouse river surrounded by extremely steep canyon walls. Spincasters consistently catch trout throwing weighted nymphs and floats from big rock.
In my opinion the Elwah has not been good this year. It has gotten to much press and pressure. There are some nice fish but, because the river is so swift (even at this time of year) fish tend to hold in obvious soft water. In past years I have been able to jump from spot to spot fishing at my own pace and never see another person. This year every piece of good water had at least one person in it and most often two or three. For a steep 1.75 mile hike each way, and the limited fishy water, it was not worth it to stand in line to fish. I did get some nice fish but had to work each drift very hard to do so. The Elwah has great scenery and, when it is devoide of other people it is a wonderful place to fish. If you are willing to take a 3-4+ mile hike each way above the second canyon I understand there are some big bull trout and few people.


Active Member
I hiked up the Elwah this past Sunday, first time up there. Didn't run in to any other fishermen on the water although I saw some campers with leaning rods. Water was slightly silty....visibility maybe 3-4 feet. Don't know if that is normal. I found the river to be a lot of work to fish....pretty far distance between likely holding water scrambling over river rock. Beautiful valley. Lots of other interesting scenery and historical landmarks to make the trek enjoyable. Probably wouldn't go back purely for the fishing, but would recommend for a "total quality experience".