|Today, the Quillayute
River system boasts some of the best steelhead fishing in
the nation, so anglers head to the Olympic Peninsula's West
End (Forks Washington) from all over the world.
Fishermen and other visitors will also find several motels, bed and breakfast inns, restaurants, grocery stores, gift shops, a mini-mall and other stores.
Forks Washington is the capitol of the Olympic Peninsula's winter steelhead fishing with the Quillayute river system - the Hoh, Sol Duc, Bogachiel and Calawah rivers.
Good steelheading is also found on the Northwest Coast on the Clallam, Sekiu and Hoko Rivers.
There are both native and hatchery runs and local guides are available for float trips. Fishing gear is also available at local stores as well as necessities for staying warm and dry like boots, waders, jackets and gloves.
considered to be the most sensory perceptive of fish and are
hard to catch. Local steelhead average about 8 pounds and
are about 2 feet long. Female steelhead - called hens - are
silver and difficult to spot. The males - bucks - are more
colorful with their copper tones and easier to see. The hens
will hug the bank going upstream while the bucks will be
more aggressive and love to fight.
If you spot tiny ribbons tied to tree branches overhanging the rivers, honor and avoid them. They indicate spawning grounds.
There are both state and Indian hatcheries as well as the Snider Creek Hatchery, the effort of the Northwest Steelheaders, a local group of fishermen and guides who want to preserve the native steelhead in the Sol Duc. The group raised funds and built the facility and thousands of volunteer hours go into the project every year.
To aid in conservation efforts, many sports fishermen are now practicing catch and release of steelhead.