LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS COLUMN: Anglers have options

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By Lee Horton

Peninsula Daily News

YOU CAN TAKE your pick right now.

After weeks of telling you how sub-par the fishing is, things have turned around.

“There are options,” Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said.

“It’s nice to have options.”

Here’s what you have to choose from:

■ Hatchery steelhead.

The West End rivers are finally producing.

The Bogachiel River is still the most consistent river, but the Sol Duc has had a few good days recently.

“There are new steelhead on the Sol Duc,” Menkal said.

“A run hit there. A whole run just emerged.”

Bob Gooding of Olympic Sporting Goods (360-374-6330) in Forks said it’s common for a river to get hot like the Sol Duc has lately.

“One river will fish better for a day or a week,” he said.

“Then it will swap around.”

It all depends on where the fish are going.

And as the season goes on, more fish are on the move. As more fish move, there are more fish to catch, obviously.

The river levels have dropped to where the water might be a little bit too clear.

If that is the case, it probably won’t be for long.

“It’s supposed to rain here the next couple, three days,” Gooding said.

“The rivers are actually in good shape. Our rivers go up quickly but they go down quickly, too.

“They’ll go down when it doesn’t rain, but that doesn’t happen a lot around here, where we get a big stretch of no rain. It’s going to rain, and there is nothing you can do about it.”

The fishing has been so good that the steelhead aren’t picky eaters right now.

Menkal said most setups will work.

■ Blackmouth on the Strait Juan de Fuca.

As we talked about in Thursday’s column (read here: http://tinyurl.com/ThursJan3), the salmon fishing was great last week.

The Winterhole is the best spot, but Freshwater Bay and Protection Island are a few other areas to try.

■ Lake Leland.

This year-round lake is a nice spot for trout and bass this time of year.

“There’s fish still in there for those that want to try,” Menkal said, while recommending using night crawlers on the bottom to catch bass.

“The nice thing is if it gets too cold after an hour or two, you can just pop into the car to warm up and then get back out there.”

And it is cold.

Ward Norden, a fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist, said Lake Leland has had a “skim of ice across it” the last few days.

Snow sports

Frank Crippen, owner of North by Northwest Surf Co. (360-452-5144) in Port Angeles, reports good skiing and snowboarding during Hurricane Ridge’s five-day holiday opening last week.

Crippen said there was new snow and lots of sunshine.

“It was an epic weekend,” Crippen said.

The Ridge is back to its normal Saturday-Sunday schedule this weekend.

“There should be a little bit of new snow just in time for the weekend,” Crippen said.

Fish school

Ron Link will again be teaching fishing classes for Peninsula College, starting next week.

The classes are titled River Fishing and Fly Fishing.

River Fishing will be a tour of the fishable waters of the Sol Duc River and will cover the best techniques.

Fly Fishing will teach the basics of fly fishing, including the techniques and tackle to use.

Each class consists of weeknight classroom time and one Saturday “field trip.”

Here are the course details:

■ River Fishing

Dates: Friday, Jan. 11, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Lincoln Center — 905 West 9th St. in Port Angeles.

Cost: $68.

Notes: No equipment necessary, but students will need to provide their own transportation.

■ Fly Fishing

Dates: Thursdays, Jan. 10-24, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 26, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Lincoln Center — 905 West 9th St. in Port Angeles.

Cost: $93.50.

Notes: No equipment necessary, but students will need to provide their own transportation.

To register for these classes, phone Peninsula College at 360-417-6340.

Fly fishers meeting

The next meeting of the Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishers will feature father and son, Bill and John McMillan, celebrating the release of their new book May the Rivers Never Sleep.

Bill is one of the original steelhead conservationists of the Pacific Northwest.

John is an Olympic National Park fishery biologists who has taken numerous unique and educational videos and photos.

Their book is dedicated to the late Roderick Haig-Brown, an author and conservationist.

The meeting is Monday at 7 p.m. at Campfire USA Clubhouse at 619 E. 4th St. in Port Angeles

Father and son McMillan will also sign copies of the book all day Monday at Waters West at 140 W. Front St. in Port Angeles.

Books also will be for sale at Monday’s meeting, courtesy of Dave Steinbaugh, owner of Waters West.


The Puget Sound Anglers’ annual auction/dinner will take place on Feb. 22 at the Sunland Golf and Country Club ballroom.

Read that sentence again, as this is a change in both date and location from past years.

The auction/dinner is the club’s fundraiser for the Kids Fishing program that provides trout fishing opportunities for children at Sequim’s water reclamation pond.

More details for the auction/dinner will be available closer to the day of the event.

So, stay tuned. And don’t forget to take note of the change in day and location.

Steelhead class

Brian Menkal will hold his first fishing class of 2013 on Tuesday, Jan. 15, with part two on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

This class will teach you all you need to know about catching steelhead in the North Olympic Peninsula’s rivers.

Menkal has made some changes to his classes: there will be a fee of $25, and the class is limited to 12 people.

Menkal recommends dropping by his store or phoning him at 360-683-1950 to reserve a spot.

The classes last from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Brian’s Sporting Goods and More, located at 542 W. Washington St. in Sequim.

Bring a pen or pencil, a notebook and a chair to the class.

Send photos, stories

Have a photograph, a fishing or hunting report, an anecdote about an outdoors experience or a tip on gear or technique?

Send it to sports@peninsuladailynews.com or P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.


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: January 03. 2013 5:52PM
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