The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife just announced rule changes for 2021 for the rivers of the Olympic Peninsula. Most notably, the major rivers will close earlier (April 1) than previously, and there will be no fishing from a boat.
The truth is these rule changes likely affect swung fly anglers the least. (We don’t fish from a boat anyway.) Many of us will applaud them. And many more of us will be tempted to book our trips there right away, drawn by the thought of boat-less rivers.
These are conservation measures taken to spare critically needed fish in struggling river systems. (Not to mention being in the midst of a pandemic.)
If you have already planned a trip. Go. Support the local economy. But please wisely consider your impact on the fishery when choosing when, where and how often to fish the OP this coming year and into the future.
These decisions are up to each and every one of us to decide for ourselves. Do we look to exploit holes in regulations for our own benefits? Or hold ourselves to a higher level of stewardship?
STF Editor, OP guide (2010-2018) and not fishing the OP this year