Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Quinault River
The Quinault River is a 69 mile long river located on the
Olympic Peninsula in Washington. It forms in the Olympic
Mountains in the Olympic National Park, and flows
through the valley to the sea. The main stem of the
Quinault River is often called the East Fork. The North
Fork of the Quinault River converges with the East Fork
- main stem several miles above Lake Quinault. The
boundary of Olympic National Park lies just downstream
of the East and North Fork's confluence.

From the lake, the Quinault River flows to the Pacific
Ocean at Taholah. The entire section from Lake
Quinault to the ocean is within the Quinault Indian
Reservation. A native guide is required to fish this part of
the river.

The Quinault River's main tributaries are the North Fork
Quinault River, Graves Creek, Fox Creek and Cook
Creek. There are two fish hatcheries on the river
including the Quinault National Fish Hatchery at Cook
Creek and a hatchery operated by the Quinault tribe at
the outlet from Lake Quinault.

The hatchery at Cook Creek has a huge steelhead
return during November and December. The hatchery
near the lake gets its return of steelhead during
February and March. Some of these steelhead are huge
and this is a good place to catch a true trophy.

There is some road access above the Lake Quinault to
the National Park boundary. The North and South Shore
Roads provide a few access points along the river.

Access to the lower 33 miles of the Quinault River is
limited. Basically, you fish the lower river up from
Toholah or downstream from the lake.U.S. Highway #101
crosses the river near the lake's outlet providing access,
but there isn't any public access upstream from the
highway to Toholah.

Varies with species and area of the river - make sure
you see the current special regulations
Winter steelhead are still in the river until well into April.
Spring Chinook and Sockeye Salmon.
Summer steelhead and resident cutthroat trout fishing is
good starting in late August
Coho and Chinook Salmon fishing starts about the
second week of October when the river levels start rising
from the Fall rains. Summer steelhead fishing continues.
Winter run steelhead fishing begins about the middle of
November. Sea-run cutthroat fishing is best during the
fall months.
December and January have the best hatchery runs of
steelhead. February to April is the best winter steelhead
fishing time.

Quinault River Fishing Report:
Coming soon
Type of Stream

Steelhead (wild and hatchery)
Coho Salmon
Chinook Salmon
Sockeye Salmon
Rainbow Trout
Cutthroat Trout - Sea-run

Small to large

Olympic Peninsula Washington

Nearest Towns

Varies by species and area of the
river. Different special regulation for
Quinault Indian tribe controlled

Fair to Good

Non-Resident License
State of Washington

National Weather Service Link

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