I had the chance to float the Humptulips river yesterday with DEK, aka David in his River Wolf. We had high hopes of success but ended up with a big goose egg for salmon.
The Humptulips is a free flowing river that originates from the Olympic mountains and ends up at North Bay, which is the mouth of Grays harbor. Westport, and ocean Shores are nearby and usually the fishing can be very good, however the recent rain and the lack of drop and clarity of the water made it very tough to locate the fish.
We left Seattle at 3:30 am for the 2,5 drive towards Copalis crossing under raining skies with it coming down pretty good when we reached the Reynvanns launch. We were surprised to see so many others that were either launching or had rigs with empty boats for the takeout. We loaded and assembled our gear and left in darkness with only a headlamp to guide us to a spot that DEK wanted us to anchor and wait for sunrise to come.
We had the selection of gear, with sardine wrapped K-14 kwickfish, cured eggs, hootchie jigs, flies on sink tips, spinners, and twitching jig rods. I was throwing a centerpin rod and my fly rod but after hours of un-productive casting and rowing, we called it quits and it was 4pm by the time we pulled out at Dyke Rd. It was a tough day for most but a guide did ok with his two clients, but only had 3 fish to show for their hard efforts. Diver and eggs, K-15 kwickfish, and pink hootchie spinners was the recipe for success on their end.
The biggest problem we suspected was the high water and constant night rain that kept the water cloudy with a foot of visibility and alot of leaves and debris coming down the river. We didn’t see many fish rising, jumping or splashing which is a bad sign apparently for this river. I’ve heard of some legendary fish and stellar reports, but just like a reminder, we at the mercy of mother nature. At least the sun came out in the afternoon and the temp warmed up.
Maybe next year, I’ll have to try again…
As you can see from the graph, the water never came down for us liked we hoped for from the previous Oct 14th rains. We started at 1440 cfs and by 11am was at 1540 and not showing signs of clearing or dropping. Bummer to have not fish to show for our efforts.
Rods: Sage one 9’6″ 8wt, Shimano Claris 11’3″ pinner
Reels: Galvin T8 spooled with Airflow multi line with type 8 and clear intermediate tips. Okuma Raw2 pin reel.
Flies/tackle: rabbit fur tungsten cone had leeches, olive woolley buggers, cured coho roe.