Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Quinault River
The Quinault River is a 69 mile long river located on the
Olympic Peninsula in Washington. It forms in the Olympic
Mountains in the Olympic National Park, and flows
through the valley to the sea. The main stem of the
Quinault River is often called the East Fork. The North
Fork of the Quinault River converges with the East Fork
- main stem several miles above Lake Quinault. The
boundary of Olympic National Park lies just downstream
of the East and North Fork's confluence.
From the lake, the Quinault River flows to the Pacific
Ocean at Taholah. The entire section from Lake
Quinault to the ocean is within the Quinault Indian
Reservation. A native guide is required to fish this part of
The Quinault River's main tributaries are the North Fork
Quinault River, Graves Creek, Fox Creek and Cook
Creek. There are two fish hatcheries on the river
including the Quinault National Fish Hatchery at Cook
Creek and a hatchery operated by the Quinault tribe at
the outlet from Lake Quinault.
The hatchery at Cook Creek has a huge steelhead
return during November and December. The hatchery
near the lake gets its return of steelhead during
February and March. Some of these steelhead are huge
and this is a good place to catch a true trophy.
There is some road access above the Lake Quinault to
the National Park boundary. The North and South Shore
Roads provide a few access points along the river.
Access to the lower 33 miles of the Quinault River is
limited. Basically, you fish the lower river up from
Toholah or downstream from the lake.U.S. Highway #101
crosses the river near the lake's outlet providing access,
but there isn't any public access upstream from the
highway to Toholah.
Varies with species and area of the river - make sure
you see the current special regulations
Winter steelhead are still in the river until well into April.
Spring Chinook and Sockeye Salmon.
Summer steelhead and resident cutthroat trout fishing is
good starting in late August
Coho and Chinook Salmon fishing starts about the
second week of October when the river levels start rising
from the Fall rains. Summer steelhead fishing continues.
Winter run steelhead fishing begins about the middle of
November. Sea-run cutthroat fishing is best during the
December and January have the best hatchery runs of
steelhead. February to April is the best winter steelhead
Quinault River Fishing Report:
|Type of Stream
Steelhead (wild and hatchery)
Cutthroat Trout - Sea-run
Small to large
Olympic Peninsula Washington
Varies by species and area of the
river. Different special regulation for
Quinault Indian tribe controlled
Fair to Good
State of Washington
National Weather Service Link
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Flies
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
7, 8 , 9 or 10 weight for appropriate type
rod, sinking, sinking tip and floating,
floating 5 or 6 weight fly line for cutts
10#, 12# in 9 to 15 feet lengths, 0X-5X in
71/2 to 9 foot lengths for cutts.
10# and 12# / 0X to 5X for cutts
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly 7, 8, 9 and 10 ft. single hand
rods, and 5 or 6 weight rods for cutts
For 7 to 10 weight lines, or for 4 to 5
weight lines for cutts
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
KISS Strike Indicators, Lanyards, etc.
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
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