The End of Fall 2017
You can never really tell when the end of fall is finally going to show. I'm not talking about a date on the calendar. It's the frigid morning temps , trees stripped of their foliage by the winds are usually the first signs of what’s to come, but this year the mild fall weather wanted to hold on longer than usual here on the OP. I can remember it clearly, it was late October and fall's colors were still in full glory. Temps were more than mild...wearing nothing more than a base layer. We hook and release a really nice salmon on the Hoh. After releasing a chinook of this caliber on a fly rod you have to stop and appreciate it for a bit. We sat talking about "the moment" and as I typically do looking eastward toward the western flank of Mt. Olympus from this spot, I couldn't help but notice there was no snow visible except on the glaciers. Two weeks passed before it started to show itself in the mornings with a snow line creeping every so slowly towards the river valley.
Looking out the cabin door, sure enough the back of the café was completely engulfed in flames. I threw on some clothes and ran down to see if anyone was inside and thankfully nobody was. David would arrive shortly thereafter. We watched the place burn to the ground that night, propane tank caught fire putting up a massive tower of flames, it was a scary moment. After talking to Bill and Ferrell, the owners, the next morning we realized they were going to be okay and that we really couldn't help with much being Sunday and the building a total loss.
We considered our options and decided to go chase some chukar after all that day. We hunted nearly 8 miles down a toe blistering 2500 feet of elevation drop to the river bottom...lot's of birds out of shooting range, some really tired hunters, and a wore out Gus were the limits that day. We bagged a few but it was a tough hunting for sure. I think it's time to go home...
We’re almost done with salmon season and I’m really looking forward to another great year of steelheading one of the rarest places on earth. If your not familiar with the early steelhead season here, you owe it to yourself to get on the water for the largest fish of the year. Hatchery fish have already been arriving to the Calawah and Bogachiel in good numbers. With some changes at the Bogachiel steelhead hatchery we're also seeing larger fish this year in the 6-10 lb. range. We'll begin chasing broodstock fish on the glacier fed rivers as well any day now. These fish will test any anglers skill with the average size running 12-20 lbs. thru mid-January typically. After which we will be switching over to native steelhead. January and February are the months to target the largest steelhead on the OP. This is when the bruisers, brawlers, tanks, magnums, gagatrons, whatever you want to call them, it's when they arrive. If your an experienced steelheader and want a shot at the fish of a lifetime, this is when you want to be here. Angler crowding is minimal thru February and with the potential of a spring season on the Skagit this year hopefully even the spring months will see less pressure. We still have some open calendar dates the rest of this month as well as January and February. Give us a call to schedule your steelhead trip of a lifetime. Cell# 253-255-5963 or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Another banner year for steelhead on the OP? Forecasts are good, but you never really know until they arrive. I've not seen a spring on the OP that wasn't exceptional, sometimes wetter than optimal, but there are always a lot of steelhead during this time of year. If your a spey angler, this is your best opportunity. Water temps begin to climb making the fish more aggressive, more fish per mile so you have more target's and water clarity tends to improve dramatically during the spring. All things that give the two handed angler a big boost in productivity. While I still enjoy swinging during the early season for the opportunity at a huge steelhead, spring is when it really begins to happen daily...even multi-fish days. If that's your preferred method of catching steelhead then March and April are your times to fish. We now have four guides in additional to myself that are all experienced spey angler's/guides...don't hesitate to give us a call about spey only trips. We can often pair you up with an angler or two to split a boat if you don't have a fishing partner available. Cell# 253-255-5963 Email: email@example.com
Looking Ahead...An OP Guides Life After April
We’ll be off from mid April until early May springer season with the Orvis Guide Rendevous being moved from Missoula, MT to Ashville, NC this year. We’ll back into the full swing of salmon fishing thru June. These are the two best months of the year to target spring Chinook, the best eating salmon on the planet in my opinion, on the OP. These are gear based trips in warmer weather which is a nice change of pace after a long winter. During late June we will begin to also see large numbers of hatchery summer Coho and wild Sockeye salmon arriving as well. Summer Coho are a great species to target on the fly before summer flows begin to get really low in August. They are aggressive, good biters and fight much better than their fall cousins. Give us a call about any of these opportunities next spring and summer as well.