LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS COLUMN: Bad weather not helping anglers

By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News

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I HATE TO be an Ebenezer Scrooge, but the fishing prospects for the holidays aren’t looking favorable to anglers.

Blame it on the rain, the snow, the wind and the cold.

But this isn’t completely bad news, is it?

It means you’ll have more time to deck the halls and wear strange sweaters with those you love — and maybe those you only “like,” as well.

Or is doing those types of things the reason why you go fishing in the first place?

Well, this is the contract you sign when you decide to make the outdoors your hobby.

In the good times, you’re pulling 50-pound halibut out of the Strait of Juan de Fuca or Pacific Ocean.

In the not-so-good times, you are sitting around the house talking about current events with your brother-in-law while his kids spill hot chocolate (with marshmallows) all over your new carpet.

Rivers risen

This may come as no surprise, but the rivers are way too high for quality steelhead fishing.

“It’s not too pretty, I can tell you that,” Bob Gooding of Olympic Sporting Goods (360-374-6330) in Forks said.

There has been too much rain lately.

And when it isn’t raining, it has been so windy that you’re forced to be on the lookout for limbs flying all over the place.

“What’s the word I’m looking for . . . it has been just rough,” Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said.

“It has not been real conducive [to good fishing].”

Bob Aunspach of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles said the rivers came down last weekend, but “they’re shooting straight back up again.

“We just have to wait until some of this rain settles down.”

Which isn’t likely to happen in the next few days.

“I looked at the weather forecast and it’s supposed to pour down rain today, tomorrow, the next day, the next day, the next day and the next day,” Gooding said of the weather around the West End rivers.

Strait talk

Weather conditions are negatively affecting the blackmouth fishery on the Strait, too.

In this case, the wind has been the culprit.

“It is not hot by any means,” Menkal said.

“It has been too rough. Wind is not good for saltwater anglers. It’s just dangerous.”

Aunspach said the blackmouth action is slowly picking up.

A few fish were brought into Swain’s within the last week — an 8-pounder and a 10-pounder — so now three of the four monthly salmon ladder spots are occupied.

Like he said, the action is slowly picking up.

Hope is on the horizon, though.

The blackmouth fishery should improve the deeper we get into winter because the tides will be more conducive to the harvest.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Anglers meeting

Menkal will be the featured speaker at tonight’s meeting of the North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Puget Sound Anglers.

Menkal’s presentation will cover the techniques of bank fishing for steelhead and salmon on the North Olympic Peninsula’s rivers.

This information will come in handy when — if — the water levels ever subside.

The meeting will take place tonight at 6:45 p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church located at 100 S. Blake Ave. in Sequim.


Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at lhorton@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 19. 2012 5:17PM
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