Hike-In Fishing
Early Summer Destinations from Maine to Montana
By Elena Moon

Washington's Elwah River

A few miles west of Washington's Port Angeles, the mighty Elwah collects its waters from the majestic Olympic Mountain Range and flows northward into the straits of Juan de Fuca. A hike along this river's moss- clad forests will surely be inspirational. Enjoy views of Mt. Carey while you angle for rainbows and the occasional bull trout. Early June should bring glacial melt and accompanying high, dirty water. Expect lower waters and clearing by mid-month. Be aware, you are in bear country. Just recently (5/2000), the seven-mile stretch of trail between Lillian River and Elkhorn Camp was closed to camping because of feisty bruin activity. If you do choose to camp, take precautions and keep a clean camp, cook far away from sleeping grounds and hang food high up in a tree. The Elwah Dam and Glines Canyon Dam intersect the river and the trailhead starts above the last dam. To get there, take Highway 101 west towards Port Angeles. Turn left - before you actually reach the Elwah - onto Elway River Road. Follow the signs to the Whiskey Bend Trail Head. Whiskey Bend Trail follows the east side of the river, accommodating everything from a 1/2-mile line-wetter to a 25-mile fishing odyssey. Bring Kaufmann's Stones, purple-over-white Zonkers and some sculpin patterns. For details on bears, call the park's Wilderness Information Center, 360-452-0300. Gear for all these Destinations (also refer to this month's Gear Talk which covers gear for hike-in fishing):

3-5 wt. pack rod
Mosquito repellant
Bear spray where appropriate
Float tube for Moosehead Lakes region
Polarized sunglasses
Comfy running or trail shoes
Rain gear
Warm clothing
Water bottle

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