Join Date: Aug 2004
Should I Stay or Should I Go Now....
Just to add my .02 on this.
I have fished the OP in March the last two years - and fishing was very tough. in five guided days total i hooked one small jack and landed a really nice Dolly. i also did a number of half days DIY.
Water conditions were perfect both times, though the Bogachiel was blown out effectively by silt from a slide.
while i was there, fish were mainly landed by guys in boats drifting eggs/roe or egg flies and pressure was heavy on the Sol Duc and Calawah. the creel survey shows those guys catch 1 fish for 10 hours of angler effort - thats in a boat with eggs, for some perspective....
As a wading fishery i found it tough going - apart from the Hoh, its mainly short runs and/or a lot of walking through heavy brush or over broken rocky ground. With the Hoh and upper bogy, distances between holding water and the next spot can be quite long so runs close to the car were better so I could 'pool hop'.
floating the rivers was a real wildnerness experience for a surburban boy like me, and i learned a ton about steelie holding water, traveling lanes etc , presentation, casting, lines and heads, and even fly tying.
but. no fish. and that was the case for many other travelling fly anglers, especially swingers like me.
so this causes me to re-assess my trip for 2017 - should i believe that '3rd time is the charm' or should i try elsewhere ?
Talking to Trevor Covich at OPST, he feels you are about 5-6 times more likely to get wild winter steel on the Skagit and Sauk than on the OP. But we don't yet know when or even if a C&R wild winter season will open at all in 2017 on the Skagit.
If it does open, a lot of out of town guides and their punters currently fishing on the OP each spring will head up there.
So that could be a zoo too.
Which leads me to think of southern BC - 3 hours by car from SeaTac gets me to the Squamish/Cheakamus or the Vedder/Chilliwack and with the Canadian Dollar at $1.30 right now, a day guided is around US $340 and hotels about $60 a night.
Both runs are slightly later and I read that until March 30th when the Vedder goes C&R it can be a complete zoo, so that puts me into mid april i think.
The Vedder has the stronger run, but the Squamish has less crowds so its a dilemma.
I'll make a final decision sometime in August or September, but at the moment i'm leaning towards the Vedder and have been recommended searun fly and April Vokey's crew, flygals. for the squamish i've been told that Chromer are the top rods in my price range.
I loved the OP and will likely go back oneday soon, but it is a tough place for visitors to fish, and the fish are difficult to catch even compared to wild atlantic salmon, and as the guy in Waters West in Port Angeles told me " don't beat yourself up, hardly anyone catches anything their first year or couple of years'....
so maybe i'll just go elsewhere and catch some fish and come back when the fish there are less pressured ?