Elwah river

I was thinking about heading over to the Elwah river next thursday.

Wondering if anyone has fished there lately and how you might have done.

I figure this will be the last hurrah before the Oct. 31 closing. I was planning on hiking in to at least Hume's ranch.

Thanks for the info.
I'm sorry if this is late, but I visited the Humes Ranch area for 3 days in mid-September. The river was in great shape, low and clear. I fished from the canyon just above suspension down to Goblins Gate. Took most fish nymphing deep, but had some nice dry action during the day. The fish were spotty though, holed up in the bigger holes.
Let me know how your trip was.

Scott Salzer

previously micro brew
I fished the same area as Redgibber, but during the summer. My fish were on #8 olive/black woolley bugger flies. Had one huge shadow come out to inspect the fly but didn't take....
After reading back through the other pages and seeing comments on the Elwha for the summer I thought I would add something more. I have fished this the last 2 seasons and think this is the premier Western Washington freestone. This is a very popular hiking area and the trail system is very accessible for anglers, so there is alot of pressure. If I lived closer {than Anacortes} I would go alot more. But I have to make the trips count so I: Wait until late Sept.- Early Oct. so the crowds clear out. The water is much lower so you can cross back and forth throughout the river and hit the spots that are missed all summer. It was a low water year in 2001, and even in Sept. the wading in some places was scary. When fast water gets to my waist, I get nervous. This is big water! Anyway, I had enough fishing in the Humes Ranch area to last me about 3 days. Some pools came alive with rising trout in the evening. One in particular had several good fish rising til dark. They were very selective and I had to laugh when I got refusals on drift after drift. I will expand my fly box for next year. My point being, these fish can be selective at times. So fall means no crowds, low water, and plenty of fishing. I will return next year. Good fishing!:OO


Active Member
i fished the river last year this time and it was really good, but we had nice weather (it got cold at night, but stayed warm durring the day). Snow has hit the mountains early and may make camping interesting.

Dress warm and be prepared for any type of weather.
Elwah Bull trout

I've fished the Elwah twice in the past three years. Like was mentioned above, the later in the year that you go the better because of the water levels in early summer can run pretty fast an high. This year when I went I decided to skip Humes ranch and went as far up as the Ranger Station at Elkhorn. The river really flattens out in that area and is far, far, FAR less crowded. If it's worth packing your way in the extra 12 miles... (my shoulders and back didn't think it was), then you will have some good, solitary fishing.

Just out of curiousity, has anyone ever caught a Dollie on the Elwah?
Elwah Bull trout

The Elwah has some of the state's biggest dollies but catching them is another story. I have never specifically targeted these fish but have heard stories about them and have seen large shapes chasing smaller trout that I have caught.
Elwah Bull trout

When I was up there this summer I talked to a group of spin fishers who had caught 5 20+" dollies. While my friend was talking to them later, he witnessed one of them. They seem to be in at the bottom of the deepest pools. I've heard the best way to get them on the fly up there is to hook a rainbow and let it run.