Olympic National Park Rivers

speedbird49

Active Member
Most of the OP fishing seems to take place below the salmon hatchery's, but looking on the map access is more limited than in the national park, and while the fish are the main attraction, the rivers are certainly more scenic deeper in the park. I am aware that wild Steelhead are often targeted in the national park in the winter. What other fishing can be done? Is the national park too upriver to have a decent shot at salmon? What is the trouting like up there? Thanks in advance
 

matchu865

WFF Supporter
Can you even find the Doug Rose book for a reasonable price? I looked a couple of years ago but never did. Very much enjoyed his book on Steelhead in the OP.
 

flybill

A collector never stops collecting!
WFF Supporter
The Hoh has great walk in and car access. The Queets is my favorite the few times I'm fished it.

The Sol Duc and Boggie I have fished but not explored or floated.

I want to go to the Elwha for an overnight trip, and see how far up I can get.

Also the Q rivers, the ones I believe you need a guide for, since they are on Indian land.

That will keep you busy for a while! I haven't been in years, usually too crowded for me and I've been a beach guy, walk and wade or recently from friends boats!
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
The Hoh has great walk in and car access. The Queets is my favorite the few times I'm fished it.

The Sol Duc and Boggie I have fished but not explored or floated.

I want to go to the Elwha for an overnight trip, and see how far up I can get.

Also the Q rivers, the ones I believe you need a guide for, since they are on Indian land.

That will keep you busy for a while! I haven't been in years, usually too crowded for me and I've been a beach guy, walk and wade or recently from friends boats!

You can fish both Q rivers without tribal guides as long as you aren’t on their reservation land.
SF
 

Shad

Active Member
These days, it's mostly cutthroat, with a few bull trout mixed in on the glacial rivers. Summer steelhead are pretty scarce, but they are a possibility. Sol Duc gets summer coho and sockeye that are "challenging." Wade access is rather poor there.

If you want to be able to fish a lot of water, the big rivers in the park would be the best options. You can fish pretty much anywhere you can find your way to the river. The Queets Trail or the Upper Quinault would probably be among the best options.

You can definitely catch salmon high up (later in the fall), but you won't find a lot of table fare, and the ethics of fishing them near spawning reaches are sketchy at best.

Just heard yesterday that the entire area is now under a campfire ban, which may or may not affect your camping plans....
 

quilbilly

Big Time Hater

It's impossible to get there from the Queets River Trail, I've been up that trail far beyond the end and it's passable to a point along the river if it's low enough, then the canyon starts....and it's a scramble on all fours till you just can't go any further.
Amazing country, and well worth the effort.
Spent 10 days hiking, camping, fishing and trying to reach a view of the falls to no avail in 1987, but it was a great time with many fine fish along the way.
:)
 

Gyrfalcon21

Active Member

It's impossible to get there from the Queets River Trail, I've been up that trail far beyond the end and it's passable to a point along the river if it's low enough, then the canyon starts....and it's a scramble on all fours till you just can't go any further.
Amazing country, and well worth the effort.
Spent 10 days hiking, camping, fishing and trying to reach a view of the falls to no avail in 1987, but it was a great time with many fine fish along the way.
:)
Brutal, I can imagine. Lifetime memory!
 
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quilbilly

Big Time Hater
:)
The guy that actually made it to Service Falls had this to say, amongst other similarly discouraging reviews of the trip :

Specifically, the half-mile of slide alders on the slopes northeast of Upper Service Falls. It took me 5½ hours to cross that half-mile patch of alders, and it's an experience I never want to repeat. Ever.

Reading his posts ( most have been removed from various websites and most pics removed from picture hosting sites )
I'm frankly glad we didn't make it...
You can find some info on getting there via land, but when you read the descriptions of what it takes...sort of makes you want to pass before even starting.
Walking the ridge down toward the Queets between Hee hee Creek and Hee Haw Creek from Lake Beauty has some incredible country, open forest and meadows that would blow your mind...remote and rarely traveled.
I'm far too old and out of shape to even consider trying again...but plan on getting up to the upper river again some day.
 

Gyrfalcon21

Active Member
Yes, that was one of the more harrowing accounts reading his trip journals.

The only place in all my hikes where I blew a knee out (luckily, very strained ligaments that after a rest day and a half standing in an icy glacial stream I healed enough to get out in one piece) was just beyond Lake Beauty ('89 or '90).

Knees over the age of 30 "kneeeed" not apply.. I can feel that ache still I think.
 
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