Salmon Fishing on the Hoh River

By Bret Wirta-The Incidental Explorer

Distance: drifting a few miles – – Time: all day

Rating: Lots of Fun and Excitement

October 11th 2011

Hoh River Fishing 2011

The Hoh River is a magical. Not because the river runs through one of the few temperate rain forests in the United States, but instead the river is magical because this time of year so many salmon appear.

I was lucky to be fishing on the Hoh with my friend Tom. Our families have enjoyed the outdoors together over the years, from canoeing on the Missouri River to camping in the North Cascades. Tom is a fly fisherman who, like most of us busy trying to earn a living, doesn’t fish as much as he should. Pat Neal was our guide. I went steelhead fishing on the Bogachiel River with Pat this summer. Pat is a Peninsula native who’s had many careers including logger, guide and now writer. Many have enjoyed Pat’s witty books about his outdoor exploits.

We didn’t shove our drift boat into the current until ten. There were dark clouds roiling about. While the river was open and spacious, the dense forest grew right to the edge of the bank. The rows of trees closest to the river had toppled over in piles of branches and roots, like people in a crowd being pushed forward against their will. We were alone on the river, nothing but trees, water, and sky. Pat steered the boat with his oars. Tom and I sat in our seats in the bow, our poles in their holders, lines far downstream with shiny lures fluttering down deep in the cold river. It was good to be out on the river.

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