Is the Upper Elwha fishable?

Does anyone know if the upper Elwha is fishable right now? I'm contemplating a trip to the upper Elwha next weekend, but would like to have a confirmation that the river is fishable. Thanks for any information. Todd


Be the guide...
Probably depends on how far up you plan to go. Personally, if i'm gonna hike that far, I'd wait until at least mid August to be sure the river is wadable. You should be able to look up the river flows on the web - but I'm not sure how relevent the report will be for that high up.
there is a ranger station at Elkhorn Meadows (roughly 10 miles up the Elwha). There is also some nifty fishing in the area as well. I've taken rainbows to 19" in this area. I'm not sure if you can directly contact the ranger station, but I recommend a visit if the water flows are in order.

Fortunately, the Elwah descends from a lower elevation than most Rivers coming from the Cascades. You should have no problem wading or catching fish. I have fished the Elwah at various times and right now is a good time. Better do your homework on Bull Trout though. Rainbows are the mainstay but bring a sink tip and some nice big rabbit strip streamers. There is good camping above elkhorn and it seems like the 4 mile stretch before and after the station is the best fishing. When I fish it, I can catch em on any hairwing caddis pattern. Also, watch out for bears... I always get the creeps hiking the trails just after staying on the river past my bedtime. I can sense them, just never see them. One of these days I am gonna come around a corner out there and be very surprised to see a big black bear standing in front of me deciding if he can take me or not. If you want more info, e-mail me.
There's a fly shop in Port Townsend, the Port Townsend Angler, and one in Port Angeles, Waters West, that can probabaly give you the latest. You can car camp just inside the park, then drive to the Whiskey Bend trailhead and day-hike into the Rico Canyon and Humes Ranch sections. The fishing is pretty good, definitely worth it, though not quite as good as the full meal deal back-pack trip. The real good fishing starts above the Lillian. My gut feeling is it might be a little early, probably borderline fishable, though maybe not quite yet worth a day-in, day-out walk (at least).

(BTW: it's illegal to target bull trout in the park, actually the whole peninsula.)


Went over it yesterday evening on HWY 101. Clairity was very good about 4 to 6 feet but it was still carying a good amount of water. Too much water to be able to cross it back and fourth.

For anyone interested the Dungeness looked very good. About 6 to 8 feet of vis and normal to low flow for this time of year.

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