Fishing on the Olympic Peninsula (2023-24)

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Editor’s Note: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will enact restrictions on salmon and steelhead fishing due to low returns. Closures have been fairly common recently, including some local streams during the 2023-24 winter steelhead season. Watch for updates to regulations prior to fishing.

The Olympic Peninsula is the wettest and one of the wildest places in Western Washington, which for anglers can mean plenty of fishing for salmon and steelhead in its pristine rivers and trout and bass in its many lakes.

This article looks at the best fishing spots in both Clallam and Jefferson counties, which make up the bulk of the Olympic Peninsula and together have roughly 100,000 residents.

The Olympic Peninsula juts up between the Pacific Ocean on its west, the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the north and Hood Canal on its east.

If you’re interested in fishing here, you might live in or be visiting its few cities, primarily Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Sequim and Forks, as well as a number of smaller unincorporated communities, including several tribal reservations.

The fishing and shellfishing themselves are worth the several hours’ drive from the greater Seattle area, but many visitors come to take in the magnificent Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest, the wild beaches and waterfronts and quaint harbor towns.

The Olympic National Park is home to quite a few small high-mountain lakes and streams with native and introduced trout species, whitefish and in some cases the upper ranges of anadromous salmon and steelhead.

The rainforests of the Olympic National Park and other forests on the west end of these counties are the wettest place in the continental United States, feeding a large number of fishing rivers in a relatively small area.

We have some of the high-mountain lake fishing in the Olympics covered elsewhere, in Fishing in Washington’s Alpine Lakes.

Note that there are separate fishing regulations for waters inside the Olympic National Park. Also, tribes often have their own regulations and fees, so check with local tribes’ websites for details if interested in fishing on native lands.

This article provides an overview of some of the fishing options in these two counties covering the majority of the Olympic Peninsula, although note that some areas on the peninsula and national park are south in Grays Harbor and Mason counties, which are covered in separate articles on this website.

For Clallam and Jefferson counties, we list specific waters alphabetically by county to help you narrow down your search for your next fish.

One more thing: After you’ve explored the very best fishing spots on the Olympic Peninsula, stick around for our “Fishing in Neighboring Counties” feature down below to find even more fishing in this part of Western Washington.

Clallam County

Beaver Lake

This 36-acre pond in western Clallam County isn’t currently stocked but has a population of coastal cutthroat trout that bite best in cool seasons such as spring and fall.

A lot of the cutts will be under 10 inches, but occasionally one is caught into the teens.

Beaver Lake also has a decent number of yellow perch and a more modest population of largemouth bass.

Selective gear rules are in effect here.

There is a rough launch, but you can get a car-topper or other small craft onto the lake.

The lake runs along Burnt Mountain Road (SR-113) just north Highway 101 at Sappho, about a 20-minute drive north of Forks.

Bogachiel Hatchery South Pond

This hatchery pond near Forks has thousands of rainbow trout ready to catch in the spring.

The pond opens seasonally in late April and will fish best in the first few months of the season, when it is stocked two or three times into May or possibly June.

Trout fishing will fall way off in the heat of summer, when the water gets a bit warm for trout, which likely are pretty much caught out before then anyway.

The pond is located at the Bogachiel River Hatchery, about 10 minutes driving southwest on Bogachiel Way from Forks in western Clallam County.

Bogachiel River

This Forks-area river is one of the places think about when they think about steelhead and salmon fishing on the Olympic Peninsula.

This river, affectionately known as the “Bogey,” is one of several important tributaries that make up the Quillayute River system.

The Bogachiel is particularly famous for winter steelhead and is the best of the Quillayute tributaries if you’re looking to harvest a hatchery steelhead, thanks to pretty good smolt plants of about 100,000.

The hatchery component of fish come in heavy starting in around Thanksgiving, peaking in December and perhaps holding up into January a bit before tapering off.

Wild steelhead generally come in after the hatchery fish, arriving in the best numbers in the late winter and early spring months.

Those wild fish can be huge here, above 20 pounds if you’ve got both skills and luck.

Summer steelhead are a rare catch in the Bogey.

The Bogachiel River also gets some Chinook and fall coho salmon, with fishing generally peaking about October. Much of the time, downriver on the Quillayute generally is a better salmon bet.

Trout fishing ranges from smaller resident fish high up in the Olympic Mountains and Olympic National Park to searun cutthroat trout closer to the Pacific. The sea-runs return in late summer into early fall.

The upper river in the Olympic National Park has a variety of fish species, including a good number rainbow trout, some whitefish, bull trout and some other trout.

More: Bogachiel River Fishing

Calawah River

This is another major tributary making up the Quillayute River system, joining forces with the Bogachiel River west of Forks.

The Calawah isn’t one of the better known rivers in the Olympics region, but it’s a good one to have on your radar.

The Calawah gets about half the number of hatchery-bred winter steelhead smolts that WDFW plants in the Bogachiel, and not surprisingly it produces about half the catch numbers.

Nevertheless, it can be worth fishing, especially around the peak in December.

The Calawah River can get a few more summer steelhead than the Bogachiel, but the numbers are still very modest and there are better fishing options in the summer.

There are small salmon fisheries here, primarily for Chinook, but as with the Bogachiel your best bet is probably fishing downriver into the Quillayute.

The upper river flows through very wild country inside Olympic National Park, but it should have good numbers of rainbow and cutthroat, plus protected Dolly Varden.

Clallam River

This is more of a creek near Sekiu. It has small anadromous fish returns without fishing seasons, and much of the year it’s entirely catch and release for trout.

Carrie Blake Park Pond

This little Sequim park pond is open year-round but fishes best for trout in the spring and fall.

During the spring, WDFW stocks the less than one-acre pond with a few thousand catchable rainbow trout, generally in about April.

There has been a youth fishing derby planned here, but the surviving trout and possibly additional plants will mean decent fishing for April and potentially later into spring.

WDFW also has planted several hundred larger “jumbo” trout here, both in the spring as well as again around October and November.

Don’t expect good trout fishing in the summer, when there will be few trout remaining and the water may be too warm for their survival anyway.

This water reclamation pond is located on the north side of Carrie Blake Park, next to the big playfield.

Crescent, Lake

This is one of the biggest lakes in the Olympic Peninsula region, and among anglers is best known for its extra-large Beardslee rainbow trout and Crescenti cutthroat trout, both unique to the lake.

Due to the decline of these rare fish populations, the Olympic National Park has made both the lake and its tributary streams strictly a catch-and-release these days.

Other fish in the large and deep Crescent Lake include additional trout species as well as lots of kokanee that the bigger trout eat.

Anglers must use single, barbless hooks, and note that newer rules allow no more than 2 ounces of weight and no down-riggers are permitted in a further effort to protect its unusual trout from harm.

Fly fishing can be quite good here, although it’s definitely a challenge in the crystal clear waters.

U.S. 101 runs along the southern shore of this long lake, and a couple resorts and public campgrounds provide additional boat and bank access.

The lake is about 20 miles west of Port Angeles.

Dickey Lake

This is a good-sized western county lake with a variety of fish species, but it’s tucked deep into the forest and hard to reach.

There are cutthroat trout and potentially a few rainbows in Dickey Lake, as well as yellow perch and largemouth bass. Anglers may also find large numbers of northern pikeminnow and peamouth biting their hooks in this 500-plus acre lake.

See special regulations for fish limits in this lake.

The lake is located about 20 miles northwest of Forks, but the gates on timber company roads may be locked, so you might have to hike in. The shoreline is likely to be pretty overgrown.

Dickey River

This river flows out of Dickey Lake and offers a very modest October fishery for coho salmon, plus some decent cutthroat trout including sea-runs.

There are some steelhead that return as well.

Note special rules regarding bait and barbless hooks in the WDFW regulations.

Dickey River joins the very lowest section of the Quillayute River close to the Pacific Ocean.

Dungeness River

One of those rivers that used to be far better before people messed with it, the Dungeness River near Sequim has struggling runs of salmon and steelhead these days.

Most of the modest fishing done here is for hatchery coho, which can be decent in October and November.

Hatchery steelhead plants have faded away and there are typically quite small numbers of marked winter steelhead harvested here, between November and January.

A major tributary, the Gray Wolf River, offers some wild trout.

Dungeness Spit

This finger of land north of Sequim is popular for crabbing, and a few salmon anglers will hike way, way out to fish from shore. Boat fishing is generally better … and lots easier.

Elwha River

This river is famously undergoing salmon and steelhead restoration after the removal of dams that virtually destroyed its historic anadromous fish runs.

At present time the Elwha River is closed to all fishing while runs are rebuilding, but the hope is this river will return to offering at least some angling opportunity.

Hoko River

The lower sections of this small stream in the northwest corner of the Olympic Peninsula are seasonally set aside for fly fishing (September and October), at a time when salmon and sea-run cutthroat are in the stream.

The Hoko is planted with a modest number of hatchery winter steelhead smolts and offers modest wintertime catches in return.

The best steelhead catches are on the lower river below the hatchery deadline in December and January, when conventional fishing tactics are allowed in the areas where steelhead are caught.

Note the minimum sizes for keeping trout, where allowed. The upper section is strictly regulated for fly fishing, with catch and release required for cutthroat and wild rainbow trout.

Lincoln Park Pond

This small Port Angeles pond is open to young and senior anglers or anglers any age with a disability and a state-issued designated harvester companion.

The pond is open all year but typically only stocked with hatchery-raised rainbow trout in the spring, particularly for a youth fishing derby in April.

Most of the trout are catchable size, but about 50 are likely to be WDFW’s larger “jumbo” trout.

Lincoln Park is located on the west end of Port Angeles, at the east end of the airport.

Lyre River

This small stream flows out of Lake Crescent and has generally been most enthusiastically fished for winter steelhead in the lowest three miles below a falls.

The Lyre might be a backup option when larger streams are running too high, but the lower river closes to fishing after January.

The river above the falls is catch and release for rainbow and cutthroat trout below the National Park boundary.

Neah Bay

This is a great but distant destination for saltwater anglers chasing salmon, halibut, ling cod and rockfish.

Even smaller boats are fairly safe on the saltwater here, and those without a boat can book a trip on a charter during salmon and halibut seasons.

Fishing for Chinook salmon, the reason many anglers come here, tends to peak during July. Coho fishing can be decent after the Chinook bite fades in the later summer, but most anglers head elsewhere by then.

Especially if planning to captain your own trip, pay close attention to regulations for the saltwater fishing zones near Neah Bay.

Ozette Lake

For such a large lake (nearly 7,800 acres), Ozette doesn’t get that much fishing attention, and for pretty good reasons.

The sprawling lake in western Clallam County holds a variety of fish, but it’s catch and release for all types of trout and salmon.

You can keep largemouth bass, yellow perch, bullhead catfish and northern pikeminnow, but you’ll have to catch them without bait because selective gear rules are in effect to protect sockeye salmon and other fish.

Besides being big with fish that are hard to locate and catch, Ozette can get extremely windy, so be careful and prepared if you want to explore this lake.

Pillar Point

A point providing a protected shallow bay area with a boat launch giving anglers access to salmon, halibut and other saltwater game fish in season.

Pillar Point is a bit off the beaten path nearly two hours from Port Angeles and a bit east of (but a fair drive from) Sekiu.

Pleasant, Lake

This big, accessible lake that sits just off U.S. 101 near Forks isn’t typically stocked but has a fair to good fishing, mostly for resident kokanee and trout.

Kokanee fishing tends to pick up in the spring and summer. Note a slot limit on kokanee of between 8 and 18 inches to protect both the young and adults among the relatively few ocean-going sockeye salmon that still return to the lake.

Lake Pleasant has fair opportunities for resident coastal cutthroat trout, with potentially a rainbow now and then.

This is a big lake, at just under 500 acres, and anglers often turn to trolling for both trout and kokanee to cover more water.

Anglers access the water mostly at Lake Pleasant Community Beach County Park, on the southwest end of the lake, where you can launch your boat or find some bank access.

Lake Pleasant is only about 10 minutes north of Forks. At the community of Beaverton on Highway 101, turn north on W Lake Pleasant Road to reach the park.

Port Angeles

The port here offers access to salmon, halibut and other game fish out in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Salmon include both summer migrating and feeding black mouth Chinook, coho and odd-year pink salmon.

Summer is a busy time, with Chinook runs likely to peak in July, and fishing might hold up well into the first part of August.

Blackmouth fishing is often best in March and April.

Inside the bay there’s some pretty good crabbing and you might catch perch, flounder or other fish.

As with any salmon seasons, watch closely for regulation changes, including in-season.

Quillayute River

This is a big river, but it’s really short because all of its major tributaries spill in with their own names.

Still, in its few miles anglers find some pretty decent salmon fishing, especially fall hatchery coho fishing likely to get going in late September and peak in October near La Push. There are some Chinook salmon as well.

Read the regulations carefully and note special salmon rules and closures depending on the time you fish.

While a pretty good number of steelhead pass through the Quillayute River on their way to the tributaries, only a small number are typically harvested in the main river.


This is a popular port for anglers to access the summer salmon runs heading in from the Pacific Ocean toward their spawning streams and hatcheries.

Blackmouth also feed in the area and often can be caught in the early spring.

Located in Clallam Bay more than an hour west of Port Angeles, when runs are good this is a great spot for Chinook, coho and/or pink salmon fishing.

Migratory Chinook numbers are likely to be best in July, while fishing for coho (and in odd years, pink salmon) tends to pick up in August.

Halibut and various bottomfish species also are available in the area.

Sequim Bay

This port offers access to salmon, halibut and other fishing out in the Strait.

The protected bay itself can be good for crabbing and has some other fishing, including surf smelt and flounder.

At the state park, shellfishing can be very good. Oyster pickers make out great, and diggers uncover mostly littleneck, cockle and horse clams.

Sol Duc River

The Sol Duc is another of the tributaries that forms the Quillayute River, and it’s also one of the most famous rivers in the Forks area.

The Sol Duc these days is known for having giant wild winter steelhead, with a scattered number of fin-clipped hatchery fish swimming into the mix.

However, steelhead smolts haven’t been planted on the Sol Duc recently, so long-time anglers who remember those hatchery fish might rather head to the Bogachiel or Calawah where winter steelhead smolts are still planted.

The Sol Duc also has several salmon runs, with the spring and fall Chinook and fall coho runs varying significantly by the year.

When spring Chinook runs are decent, expect catches starting up in May and likely peaking in June.

Fall Chinook should start arriving in September but catches may peak in October. October is when the coho arrive in earnest, although coho catches might peak into November.

Smaller numbers of sockeye also migrate up the river, but read the regulations carefully and note that most wild salmon of all species must be released here while anglers focus on hatchery fish and seasonally on wild Chinook.

Access to the Sol Duc is pretty good overall, especially since U.S. 101 follows the stream for a couple dozen miles in the area stretching almost from Lake Crescent to Forks, with salmon fishing below the hatchery between Beaver and Sappho.

More: Sol Duc River Fishing

Sooes River (Tsoo-Yess)

This small stream at the northwest corner of the Olympic Peninsula is boosted by a good number of hatchery winter steelhead smolt plants and also has salmon runs.

However, the stream is primarily in the Makah reservation, so consult with the Makah Tribe about fishing there.

Sutherland, Lake

Lake Sutherland is a fairly large and visible lake on the Elwha River system, where a highly publicized dam removal to benefit salmon and steelhead has impacted the fishery on this popular lake.

Trout stocking has been at least suspended on Lake Sutherland now that native fish once again have access to the lake.

Fishing is still permitted for the 350-acre lake’s resident kokanee and trout.

Kokanee are your best bet here, although note a slot limit of between 8 and 18 inches for kokanee to protect anadromous fish that may be spawning or rearing in the area, including the kokanee’s anadromous sockeye kin.

The season opens in late April and closes after Halloween.

Although trout are not currently planted in Lake Sutherland, there is a modest resident population of coastal cutthroat trout (and maybe some rainbows), and the trout have the potential to grow big here even though trout fishing here isn’t nearly as good as it once was.

This is primarily a boat fishery, and you will find a public launch on the south side off S Shore Road.

The lake is just south of U.S. 101 about 20 minutes west of Port Angeles.

Wentworth Lake

This 48-acre lake in the Forks area has traditionally been stocked with rainbow trout but doesn’t show up on the current WDFW fish planting schedules.

It is home to resident coastal cutthroat (and maybe some rainbows) as well as kokanee.

It is located on a fork of the Dickey River northwest of Forks.

Jefferson County

Anderson Lake

This lake in Anderson Lake State Park near Port Townsend at times has been a good bet for spring trout fishing.

The mid-sized lake at times has been stocked with both catchable size rainbow trout or with trout fry that grow to keeper size while feeding in the lake. Surviving trout to 2 or 3 pounds are caught here.

You might also hook a largemouth bass here.

However, the lake tends to be prone to toxic algae blooms (sometimes heavy) and has been closed to access at times to reduce the danger, including the last time we checked. WDFW recommends that anglers go to Jefferson County’s lake status web page to check recreational status before fishing.

Our suggestion is to first check ahead, and also plan to hit it in the cooler months.

The state park is located about 20 minutes south of Port Townsend, just southwest of the Port Hadlock area.

Big Quilcene River

This Hood Canal tributary (a.k.a. Quilcene River) offers pretty decent (and sometimes very good) fishing for hatchery coho salmon, with a peak likely in September.

Coho salmon fishing is permitted from the middle of August through October from Rodgers Street in Quilcene up to U.S. 101. The national hatchery producing the coho is just upstream from the highway.

While coho can be caught just about anytime during the open season, it’s possible coho fishing can be shut down if the run isn’t going well, so check ahead to make sure.

Anglers also work Dabob Bay to target coho staging for their upriver run.

Other salmon caught in the Big Quilcene must be released unharmed.

It might be worth poking around for catch and release fishing for cutthroat trout, including a few sea-runs in the late summer or early fall.

Clearwater River

This Queets River tributary in the western county could be a good spot to catch and release wild winter steelhead in the late winter and early spring, with a rare hatchery marked stray harvested.

Trout also are present, including late-season sea-run cutthroat.

A few salmon return to the stream, including a handful of Chinook harvested.

Dosewallips River

This is a Hood Canal tributary once offered fishing for various salmon and steelhead species, but it’s down to one these days.

The very lowest section below U.S. 101 is open for chum salmon from November 1 to December 15. Release all other salmon here.

Trout fishing below the Olympic National Park is catch and release for rainbows and cutthroat.

The upper river in the Olympic National Park can be quite good for trout, especially wild rainbows. There also are non-native brook and Yellowstone cutthroat trout, plus native whitefish, according to some accounts.

Duckabush River

This is also a Hood Canal tributary that doesn’t live up to its fishing history.

The main game here is a little chum salmon season on the lower river during the fall, with the same season as the Dosewallips.

Bank access is very limited in the area with chum.

There are cutthroat trout, but they must be released along with wild rainbows in the sections outside the national park.

The upper river in the Olympic National Park has wild trout (mostly rainbows) for those willing to hike.

Gibbs Lake

This smallish lake offers sometimes-excellent trout fishing for bigger fish.

WDFW likes to stock this lake with larger “trophy” trout, often both in the early spring (March-April time frame) and then again in the fall, around October.

Most of those trout will be hatchery rainbows, but the agency has been known to drop in some really big cutthroat trout as well.

Note that there are special bag limits on trout, and anglers can take just one home that’s at least 18 inches, but remember these are big trout stocked here.

Hit this one in the early spring or after that fall planting, because like Anderson Lake listed above, Gibbs can have issues with toxic algae blooms that often get going later in the spring or anytime in the summer. Use the link in the Anderson entry to check the status at Gibbs as well.

There is some bank access, but a float tube is even better.

The lake is a smidge over 35 acres and is located in county-owned forest lands about a half hour south of Port Townsend, taking West Valley Road to Gibbs Lake Road.

Hoh River

This is another of the most recognizable (and largest) salmon and steelhead rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.

The river headwaters in the Olympic National Park, where there are some trout, but most of the fishing attention is downriver for anadromous fish runs.

Like most places, the salmon catches here are far lower than they used to be.

Salmon fishing takes place from September to November, with Chinook arriving earlier and coho often dominating the late fall catch.

With low numbers of hatchery winter steelhead smolts planted in recent years, catches of hatchery steelhead have followed suit, mostly occurring from December through the winter and into early spring.

Read up on the salmon and steelhead regulations for each area and time period before fishing.

There also are some big native steelhead that bring in more anglers, and this can be one of Washington’s better fly fishing rivers for steelhead.

Late summer brings some pretty good sea-run cutthroat fishing in the lower reaches, while the upper areas of this glacial-tinged stream inside the Olympic National Forest has various trout and whitefish.

More: Hoh River Fishing

Hood Canal

This long, deep arm of Puget Sound offers a variety of fishing and shellfishing.

Salmon including Chinook, coho and chum and a few steelhead migrate through the channel on the way to several hatcheries and the short streams that feed into the channel.

Opportunities include early fall coho salmon returning to Dabob Bay off the mouth of the Big Quilcene River, late fall chum salmon heading to several rivers and farther south to Hoodsport, and late winter and early spring fishing for blackmouth (Chinook) salmon feeding here and throughout the Sound.

Similarly, sea-run cutthroat migrate through the area in the summer but like many salmon and steelhead, numbers have been down in recent years.

There is a smattering of saltwater-only fish here as well, including perch, a few rockfish and others.

Shellfishers go after crab, shrimp, clams and oysters, but make sure you know where and when it’s legal.

Shine Tidelands State Park at the north end of the Canal is where we’d recommend for oysters as well as digging clams including butter, cockle, horse and manila clams.

Horseshoe Lake

This undeveloped 12-acre lake is managed for big trout with selective gear rules and moderate trout plants.

Horseshoe Lake is stocked with several hundred trout each spring, including catchables and jumbos.

Fish managers keep the numbers of fish here up in part with a strict one-trout limit, and trout must be at least 18 inches to harvest.

Besides the trout, the small lake is home to largemouth bass and pumpkinseed sunfish. See the regulations for warmwater fish limits.

Horseshoe Lake is located a little more than 20 miles south of Port Townsend, or you can drive over the Hood Canal Floating Bridge from the Kitsap Peninsula.

You can bring a small watercraft (no gas motors) but note that you’ll have to walk the last part of the way to the lake.

Leland Lake

This is one of the most reliable and accessible lakes on the Olympic Peninsula if you want to bring fish home for dinner.

The 100-acre lake (a.k.a. Lake Leland) is one of the larger freshwater spots in the lake-rich eastern part of Jefferson County.

It is open year-round and trout fishing can be good most of that time, except during the heat of summer.

Leland Lake is stocked quite heavily in the spring with catchable-sized rainbow trout, but don’t forget about it in the fall, when WDFW returns with several thousand jumbo-sized trout.

On top of the rainbows, the state also plants lots of young cutthroats and even drops off some chunky cutthroat brood trout as well around March.

That’s not all, because Leland Lake also some good fishing for bass and panfish.

Largemouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch and crappie can all provide decent action here during the summer, and the crappie fishing can be quite good into the cooler fall weather.

There is a good bank access including a fishing pier at Leland Lake County Park. There is a good public boat launch as well. The park also offers camping.

The lake is easy to find along U.S. 101 roughly between Quilcene and Discovery Bay.

Coming from either Sequim or Port Townsend, your drive will be about a half hour. It will take you a little less than an hour driving in from Bremerton across the Hood Canal Floating Bridge.

Ludlow Lake

This small Port Ludlow-area lake has pretty good fishing for stocked rainbow trout in the spring.

Expect trout fishing to be slow by summer, but if you keep fishing it into the warmer season you are more likely to hook largemouth bass and bullhead catfish in the 15-acre lake.

Access to Ludlow Lake takes you down private timber company roads off State Route 104, but the gates are typically open for the fishing season, WDFW reports.

Port Townsend

This quaint town popular with tourists for other reasons offers pretty good fishing access to both the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the west and Puget Sound and the upper Hood Canal to the south and east.

Salmon fishing is popular in the Admiralty Inlet area, with migratory Chinook and coho typically caught in the summertime (Chinook mostly in July and coho better in August).

Blackmouth Chinook salmon that feed in the area are caught mostly in winter and early spring.

Find good clamming nearby at Fort Flagler State Park and Indian Island and Oak Bay county parks. Expect lots of butter clams and a good variety of other species.

Queets River

This river headwaters in and for most of its length is in the Olympic National Forest.

Lower down, the Queets River produces a small number of hatchery steelhead, mostly in the winter months.

Below the mouth of the Salmon River tributary will be most productive for fin-clipped steelies, because they are planted as smolts in the Salmon.

The Queets also produces a modest number of Chinook and coho salmon each fall.

High up in the Olympics, it has native trout including rainbows, cutthroat and some big bull trout, which must be released unharmed.

Read the Olympic National Park fishing regulations for all the rules.

Quinault River

Upper reaches of the river are in Jefferson County, but we cover the Quinault in our Grays Harbor County article because that’s where most fishing interest is.

Salmon River

This Queets River tributary offers some fair to very good fishing for hatchery winter steelhead during the winter months, followed by wild steelhead.

The hatchery run is especially popular because WDFW plants a generous number of smolts here.

The river also can out-produce the Queets for Chinook and coho salmon in the fall season.

A large part of this stream is in the Quinault reservation but the lower section is outside the reservation and accessible off Queets River Road.

If interested in fishing on the reservation, likely with a tribal guide, consult the Quinault Indian Nation website.

Sandy Shore Lake

Sandy Shore Lake can be as pleasant as its name, especially if you are fishing for trout on a nice spring day.

The smallish lake, about 35 acres, is stocked with about 3,000 catchable rainbow trout beginning around the time it opens in late April, with more trout likely delivered in May. WDFW also likes to sweeten things up by adding in a few dozen very large trout.

WDFW also tends to stock the lake with young trout in the fall, allowing them to grow while this seasonal lake is closed to fishing, adding to the catch the following year.

The lake also has populations of warmwater fish such as largemouth bass and bullhead catfish.

Sandy Shore has good bank access on the west side and is accessible on private timberland roads open to the public during the fishing season.

Sandy Shore Lake is located southwest of Port Ludlow, just south of State Route 104.

It’s just over a half hour’s drive south of Port Townsend and within reasonable reach of the Kitsap Peninsula.

Silent Lake

Yes, Silent Lake is just secluded enough to offer quiet fishing for the rainbow trout stocked in this small lake.

WDFW plants fewer than 1,000 catchable rainbows each year, but for a narrow lake that covers just 12 acres, that’s not bad. Add to that another 1,000 or so young trout planted in October and allowed to grow to keeper size and you should do well fishing here in the spring.

There also are a modest number of coastal cutthroat trout in the lake.

The lake is seasonal, opening on the fourth Saturday in April and running through October.

Don’t wait too long, though, because trout fishing will really trail off after spring.

Bank access is somewhat limited here around the WDFW boat launch, but if you have a small car-topper boat or canoe, this is a great place to bring the kids for a few hours of fishing.

Silent Lake is located on the upper end of Toanados Peninsula, right along Coyle Road, about 45 minutes south of Port Townsend.

Tarboo Lake

This small, secluded lake is nicely stocked with hatchery rainbow trout for its late April opener, and quite likely again in May.

At just over 20 acres, the 1,600 catchable trout stocked at forest-lined Tarboo Lake during the spring should be fairly easy to catch at that time of year, but fishing will fade quickly as summer approaches.

WDFW also likes to stock several dozen large trout here, so be ready for some serious tugging.

Internal combustion motors are not allowed on the peaceful lake.

Tarboo Lake is a little over a half hour’s drive south of Port Townsend, taking Center Road to Tarboo Lake Road.

Teal Lake

This 15-acre lake south of Port Ludlow is another spot managed for trophy trout fishing.

While the numbers of fish planted here aren’t large, the fish themselves are. WDFW prefers to plant the lake with jumbo-sized trout, both rainbows and a smaller number of cutthroats.

The lake is open year-round but fishing will be best in the spring and fall, when the water temperature is ideal and when WDFW tends to add more fish.

Teal Lake is managed with selective gear rules, including no bait and barbless hooks and a one-trout daily limit (minimum size 18 inches).

There is some brushy shoreline access for fishing, including a small fishing dock.

You might also consider bringing a watercraft you can carry to the bank, such as a float tube, especially if you want some back cast room, because other than the dock the bank access consists of bush-whacking.

The lake is accessed from Teal Lake Road, where there’s a small parking area and dock.

Fishing in Neighboring Counties

San Juan County: To the northeast, the San Juan Islands have lots of access to saltwater salmon, crabs, shrimp and more, plus some surprising trout lakes.

Island County: To the east, Whidbey Island in particular has a wealth of saltwater fishing options in addition to some very nice trout lakes.

Kitsap County: To the east, the Kitsap Peninsula has quite a few nicely stocked trout lakes as well as access to much of the South Puget Sound and Hood Canal.

Mason County: To the southeast, lots of trout, bass and kokanee in lakes, plus access to the lower Puget Sound including Hood Canal.

Grays Harbor County: To the south, excellent coastal salmon and steelhead fishing, popular ocean port, and crabbing and clamming.

Washington Resources

WDFW Fishing and Stocking Reports
WDFW Fishing Regulations
National Weather Service forecasts