So my brother is coming into town tomorrow. He is an experienced fly guy, and I'd love to expose him to some beach fishing. I know it's not as productive as last month was (one of the best months of fishing I've ever experienced), so we are thinking of maybe hitting PNP one morning. But beyond that anywhere else anyone can recommend to get him into his first NW beach catch?
Don't over think this. We are at the time of the year where I don't think any one beach outshines another in putting out fish. Your first choice is as good as any. Things aren't easy now like they were, so pick a beach you have confidence in and fish it hard. With flies, expect one or two chances a day and hope they stick.
Based on the rain predicted to start Friday, it could be very interesting to see what shows up off the beaches first thing Saturday morning. http://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/weather/10_day.cgi
A lot of fish will be hightailing it to the rivers once they smell that rain, but there should still be some players around.
The catch stats in the straits and central sound are still pretty good for this time of year. I think our weather has had a lot to do with that. http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/puget/2012/oct01-07_2012/central.htm http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/puget/2012/oct01-07_2012/peninsula.htm
I'd be careful with too much exploring if your hoping for fish. It could turn out good or be a bust, but you won't know what to expect. Like SF said, I would concentrate on areas you know the best and have confidence in to remove more unknown variables as the run slows down.
I frequent a popular MA-9 beach: I have confidence in my abilities to catch fish there and I know where I've caught them (or seen them caught), which flies work, the retrieves that have worked in the past, the best tides for the location etc, etc, etc. So if I don't catch fish, I know (or think I know) it's because there aren't any/many fish around. I have an idea of when to call it quits or when I should keep at it.
On the flip side, if I go to a beach I've never been to (knowing the fishing is slow to begin with) I will be questioning all of those other variables and not concentrating on just catching a fish that happens to be rolling through.
So IMO, if you know a beach well and want the best odds of hooking up, stick to that beach. However, a backup beach might be a nice idea if the first beach ends up being dead.