Fishing the waters of the Olympic Peninsula is a dream that extends back to that fourteen-year-old boy who rereads his Outdoor Fishing and Outdoor Life magazines, knowing that someday he'll travel from Kansas to fish for steelhead trout in the rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula.
A bounty of fishing holes are scattered in and around the Olympic Peninsula. To get a line on the many kinds of fish and the many locations where an angler can start casting or trolling, let's begin by dividing the fishing opportunities based on freshwater and saltwater fishing. In general, freshwater fishing takes place "in" streams and lakes "on" the peninsula. Saltwater fishing happens "around" the perimeter of the peninsula – Strait of Juan de Fuca, Hood Canal and the Pacific Ocean.
Freshwater fishing enthusiasts stalk steelhead, cutthroat, rainbows, brooks, browns and Dolly Vardens in freshwater streams and lakes, found predominately in Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest. The steelhead is a sea-run rainbow trout, usually return to freshwater to spawn after two or three years at sea. Cutthroat trout can be either migratory – inhabiting freshwater and saltwater – or non migratory, remaining in freshwater. Steelhead and cutthroat are some of the biggest prized fish in the glacier-fed rivers on the west slopes of the Olympic Mountains, rivers such as the Hoh, Queets and Quinault.
Saltwater fishing enthusiasts can be seen trolling herring and lures off the stern of their boats and also casting lures from shore into saltwater holes to entice king salmon, chinook and chums to strike.