Upper Elwha Suggestions

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Jack Burton, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. Jack Burton

    I am planning a weekend trip to fish the Upper Elwha River. I have been told for the better fishing I should hike past the Krause Bottom section until I reach the more accessible section of the river starting past Mary's Falls. Is this true and more worth the trip?
    How long should I plan for the hike in?
    Is there much elevation gain?
    Are chest waders worth the extra weight or are boots and wading socks adequate? The point of the trip is to fish.
    Any other fishing hints are appreciated as I am new to the upper stretch and an intermediate in the fly fishing world? :DUNNO
  2. Just got back from the Elwa. The upper river has some real nice fish and was worth the 11.5 mile hike into Elkhorn. Plan on staying several nights if you can. We stayed three nights and another night would have been great. The trail has a lot of ups and downs as it goes along the east slope of the river valley but it is mostly in the shade of great old growth trees. Bring waders. The water temp in the morning was below 50. Not much of a caddis hatch while we were there, mostly slate mayflies. Streamers worked the best during the day aroung Elkhorn. Big stimis also worked in the evenings at the head of pools. Riffles didn't have much action. The river above 14 miles gets smaller and more wadeable. Stimis with pheasant tail nymph dropper worked all day long.
  3. Jack Burton

    How long did it take you roughly to hike the 11.5 miles?
  4. Most people that hike regularly can go on average of 3 miles per hour. The Elwah is a very mellow gain in elevation. You could at least go 2 miles per hour even if your pack was more than 50 pounds and you were unfit. I hike and climb regularly and hiked to Elkhorn in less than 3 hours. Expect 4 to 5 hours including breaks. Don't expect to work too hard. Take time enjoying the scenery and look out for bears. They stay away from people but you never know.

    Also, think about streamers for the 5 pound dolly's.
    (Secret fish) Just bring a sink tip and skip the evening hatch. They come out around dark.
  5. I'm going to have to play Dolly-nazi and remind everyone that the Elwha is not listed as being open to targeting dollies/bull trout.
  6. What's the typical size of Rainbows in the Elwha? Do they get large? Can you expect good numbers of fish out there?

  7. Expect 12" and 14" rainbows. I have caught larger fish but not many. You will probably catch smaller fish to begin with but just keep catching em' and the bigger ones will eventually make it to your fly.

    Never mind about the dolly's, I wouldn't suggest fishing for them if it was illegal. Try not to accidentally catch one. Especially on a #6 sculpin on a type 3, 6 foot sink tip.

    By the way alpinetrout, you were only 6 miles away from the best alpine lake flyfishing in Washington. I didn't fish there this weekend but I passed by it after climbing near Snow Creek. There were 20"ers sipping mosquitos off the top 6 feet from where I was filtering my water for the descent.

    Just putting the bug in your ear....you need to explore more of that area. I couldn't believe it!
  8. Yeah, unfortunately my time was limited this past weekend so I had to settle for the shorter hike.

    By the way, it's all about presentation... If you were to say something like "Don't be surprised if you accidentally hook a lot of 5 pound dollies while you're fishing a #6 sculpin on a type 3 tip for those big resident rainbows ('big' being relative of course)", then you're in the clear.

Share This Page