These beautiful sea-run rainbows are the Tarpon of the west. With their strong will to fight, spin, or dance to break loose for freedom; it’s a challenge for any angler to land one of these Steelhead. Native Steelhead average about 10-15 pounds, with many into the high teens. It’s not uncommon in late January and February to catch a trophy class Steelhead in the 20 pound class, and possibly a monster in the 30 pound class. Every year these magnificent anadronimous creatures are caught. In the winter season, on February 6th 1998, a Westside Guide Service client caught the unofficial state record (34,4 pound) native Steelhead and released him to freedom (see photo). Again on February 12, 2002 a (31 lb.) native Steelhead was caught on 8 lb test line. We promote catch and release on wild Steelhead to ensure the future runs of these pristine water sheds of the Olympic National Park.
March is known as the height of the season and very productive with native Steelhead averaging 13-15 pounds. State regulations permit the taking of one wild Steelhead per year on any river in the state. April is the start of spring on the Olympic Peninsula, and also a great month for numbers right to the end of the season April 31st. Included in this fishery is the occasional showing of spring salmon (springers), also a very explosive fish, averaging 15-35 pounds. Most fishing is performed out of a 16ft. aluminum (heated) drift boat, using terminal tackle, or wade fishing on our fly-fishing trips. All bait and tackle are provided, or feel free to bring your favorite rod and reel, etc. Please bring your own waders if you have them. The summer months are also filled with Steelhead. We fish the Olympic Peninsula and the southwest Kalama, Cowlitz and Lewis rivers.
This summer is expected to have another great season. We can host up to four anglers per boat. Fishing will be performed out of a 20-23 ft. jet-sled on the Cowlitz and Lewis rivers. Drift boating on the Kalama, Hoh rivers. All bait and tackle is provided. A variety of accommodations are available. I recommend the Miller Tree Inn, Sol Duc River Lodge and Brightwater House B&B as the top choices on the peninsula. All have great sack lunches for the trip. Or if you like to motel it, the Forks Motel, Pacific Inn or the Dew Drop Inn will provide you with a comfortable stay, with a local restaurant serving a healthy breakfast and lunch to go. Whether your entertaining a client, bringing a friend, or taking the family on an excursion, I guarantee this is a trip everyone will enjoy. Don’t forget the kids! With my 27 years of experience on these rivers, I will provide a fun and memorable experience of a lifetime.
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