a Secret River

Secret Rivers


Secret Rivers are those outstanding rivers that are too small and far too good for anyone else to learn about in any way other than finding them on their own through hard work and perseverance, the same way you probably found them in the first place. They usually are overlooked small streams that don't seem to have enough water in them to support large fish, but when explored time after time, they finally pay off. They are the kind of streams -- sometimes creeks really -- that are too small and too fragile to support much additional fishing pressure. They are also the kind of rivers that allow you to fish in total solitude many times while catching lots of fish and almost wishing there was someone around to witness your success. They are the kind of rivers and streams and creeks that are best left out of some of the less reputable publications that obviously have no conscience like STS and F&H Lies.

Recent Reports

June 4, 1999
Thanks to: Jeff Gould
For a great fishing experience, call 360-374-9018 ask for JIM MANSFIELD and book a trip while the springers are in. We hooked and landed a 30# , 22# and a 15# with a bonus 8# summer run. All were bright as a new dime. This is the second trip with Jim and I'm letting everyone know right now, it won't be the last. Thanks Jim for a great trip!
Mar. 7, 1999
Thanks to: Dave Saito
Went out to our favorite March river on the coast. Looks like the owner sold his land, I hope the new one offers the same fishing easment. It was a great morning, first in months that I did not start out with rain gear. Fished for about an hour down the first hundred yard stretch without a bite. I moved to a different slot and finally hooked about a 10-LB hatchery buck that was still fairly bright and not spawned yet, it had rot on the dorsal fin (FROM A NET????) so I let it go. I was happy to land a fish but within the next few cast in the same drift hooked the brightest feistiest wild buck I had ever caught. It was about 9-lbs. and covered with sea lice. Got my camera working and took a few shots before putting him back. My buddy finally caught one small bright native around 5 pounds, we let it back too. Talked to a few other locals and they did not touch a fish, I guess it was finally our day. Gonna keep hitting it till it closes at the end of the month when it peaks.
Jan. 16, 1999
Thanks to: F. Jurva
We fished a beautiful Secret River while the other Olympic Peninsula rivers were very high and off color. We had a few other hearty souls sharing the water with us but not enough that everyone could not have their own piece of water to fish. The river was a little high with visibility about 3 feet.
   We hooked 5 steelhead and landed 2. They were both hatchery bucks of 8 and 10 lbs respectively. Hooked 4 of the steelies in an overlooked seam of water between 2 fast flows. A very satisfying day!
Jan 9, 1999
Thanks to: Shawn Drennen
Hooked 7 fish [steelhead?], released 5, kept 2. Good fishing, a few bright ones mixed in.
January 18, 1998
Thanks to W. Arthur for the following report:
My buddy Kris and I fished Sunday night (Jan. 18th) and all day Monday on the ubiquitous Zipperlip River. The river was high but green, unlike most Oly. Penn. rivers at the time. We used homemade orange and white glo-bugs saturated with Mike's sandshrimp oil. Sunday night we fished from 4:15 until dark (about 5:00) and managed to land a bright little 5 lb native.
Needless to say we were pysched for the following day. We hit the river a day break and fished hard until 3:00 with out a bite --huge let down. Kris saw two steelhead but they bolted once the lure got within a few feet. I'll give river another week or two before hitting it again.
January 3, 1998
Thanks to Mr. Fred for the following report:
All right, all right, it has been a long time since I have sent in a positive fishing report, but being no one else is doing so I guess it would be nice if I do so.
Saturday at 5:30 a.m., January 3, 1998, a fishing buddy (John) & I (Fred) headed out to one of my secret rivers. After negotiating icy roads, several cars had accidents, we made it to the upper Secret River at 8:30 a.m. John has been fishing the river with mixed success for the past three weeks, which is much better than my normal fishing hole (the Cowlitz).
We were on the river bank fishing around 8:45 and fished the hole below the bridge for about an hour and a half which amazing we had to ourselves. There were about ten vehicles parked at various places in the area. John hooked up with a three-pound steelie around 9:15 and landed and released it fairly quickly. John decided to move downstream to the next hole & as he was crossing the river he spooked a steelie which flashed itself in front of me in the deep part of the hole. The flash was big, so I assumed the fish that made it was big also.
A couple guys came up from below and decided to fish the hole with me; no big deal, but it would have been nice if they would have asked if it was okay. They were drift fishing with fairly heavy gear, i.e. about 1/2 oz of lead, and the hole we were fishing in only needs a split shot to bounce bottom. Needless to say they did not have any positive results. I decided to get a cast in where I saw that large flash, I was using a bobber with eggs suspended about five feet below. Guess what, that steelhead with all the commotion going on was not spooked. He grabbed my eggs and took the bobber down to the bottom in about a ten-foot deep hole and commenced a tug-of-war with my hook and eggs. He lost the battle after about 10 minutes and after making several jumps in the process. It was the same fish (99% sure) that had flashed himself earlier; he weighed 14 pounds and is currently in the smoker (Monday) & should be really good eating.
Later, John & I went downstream about a 1/2 mile to another nice hole which produced three more steelies in the four to six-pound class. We fished this spot until around noon time & decided to call it a day. Five steelhead landed in about three hours, best steelhead trip this year!!!

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