The boats for rent at Neah are pretty gnarly. They're only like 16' and have small outboards on them, as in they wont plane out. You will be somewhat limited to how far you can go. The boats themselves are seaworthy, but they're pretty rundown looking. Not sure if there are other boats for rent besides the ones I saw, I would do some solid research prior to driving alllll the way out there.
Make sure you check the weather to, I've already had to scrap 2 trips I had planed out there this year because of weather. Aside from the mouth of the columbia I do believe it's the most dangerous spots in washington. Take a compass or a GPS as the fog can get so thick you can't see more then a few yards in front of you. You may think you can keep your direction, but as soon as you get a fish on you will loose track of which way is what! VHF radio is key to. The last 2 times I was out there I saw/heard of multiple overturned boats.
I'm not trying to scare you away, just make sure you know what you're getting into and are prepared for it. The fishing is phenomenal if you find the fish!
If you want or have to take the family along, Weigh West is a great option. BEAUTIFUL area, and the fishing can be stellar. Although arguably the fishing can be busier, during peak time, at Neah Bay, the fish are larger at Weigh West. And, late August and through September the big Northerns come through, and they are substantial fish!
Phil, with deference to Dennis Dickson, if you fish Neah Bay and are going to use a guide, in my opinion the best guy to use is Captain Chris Bellows. If I were to going to hire a guide for the Skagit, Dennis would probably be my choice if not one of the top three, because it's his home waters. Neah Bay is Chris's home waters.
Chris uses a 26' Almar (I think it was new in 2000 or so . . . ?). The boat is very seaworthy, so it will handle the water if he needs to run to find the fish. He's been doing this for several years, and basically lives out there during the summer.
I know you have all the gear, but Chris supplies Sage or St. Croix rods, Ross reels, lines, and flies as part of his package.
Chris doesn't believe in trolling, so if you go with him, get ready for casting! A buddy of mine takes a couple of his clients each summer, usually a couple of times, to fish with Chris. My buddy's personal best is 40+ (I can't remember whether it's 42 or 43) coho TO THE BOAT in one day. All on cast flies. Remember you sold me a couple of Redington Redfly 8/9's a number of years ago before you moved from Cal? That buddy owns(ed) one of those rods, and he breaks one on probably 2 out of 3 trips he takes with Chris. He's obviously one of those customers that Redington wish they didn't have <grin>!
Also, although Sekiu is arguably not quite as good fishing or consistent as Neah Bay, Sekiu has several places renting deep-sided 16' wooden skiffs powered by 15 hp O/B's (they only go maybe 8 knots)for under $100 per day. Accommodations are pretty reasonable there, too.
Chris has a great reputation amongst fly anglers here and has a boat set up for that water. He lives out there too. He gets anglers into some whicked good fishing on the surface for salmon etc.
Yes, that can be a rough area sometimes, but with an experienced local captain you should be fine. All of the trips that I have heard about, the pictures I have seen, from friends who have fished with Chris, were impressive. They go back every year.
there are some rental boats available at big salmon. they won't take you far but will access the rips right off of waadah island.
and just a mention of saltwater salmon guides. they must have a salmon charter license (a salmon guide license is for the rivers). call the main number of WDFW and ask for the licensing division (360)902-2464. they will tell you what licenses guides have. for more insight check this link.
I'm looking into a couple of trips to fish the salt for salmon this season from a boat. Would like to find someone serious who would like to team up. I'm open to splitting a guided trip, or would prefer renting a skiff if my prospective partner knows what he/she is doing.
Oh yeah, my definition of "someone serious" means you have the right gear, flies , and can cast well enough to not take my head off in the close confines of a boat. My own experience includes many hours in rental skiffs in monterey bay (alone) and many hours in Pangas in Mexico.
These trips would take place during Prime Time, whenever the heck that would be... Doesn't have to be Neah Bay, that's just the only place I know with rentals and guides and fish.
greetings,I am a new member,but have some thoughts on neah boats.unless they bought new boats they are quite old, although motors have been updated.they are remnants of a fleet from 30+years back.navigating with a hand held compass didnt work then and still doesnt.fog is a constant at neah bay.GUIDES!!! have seen several out last couple of years in open FLAAAAT bottom sleds these are not open water boats and at the least you will be soaked and peeing blood if the weather comes up be careful who you hire.the title CAPTIAN meens alot more than guide.these people have gone to considerable effort and cost.also check out Captain kieth spottail guides. he is local with many years exp. butt i dont know a link or if he still does neah. good luck from doug }(
Captain Keith (Robbins) is a great guy (and guide), but he fishes Puget Sound exclusively and doesn't go to Neah Bay. He and Capt. Tom Wolf are guys to look up if someone is contemplating fishing the Sound.
Captain Chris does not use one of the boat that you reference, but a very seaworthy boat.
As Bob Triggs said, there are a number of people who are registered guides that fish Neah Bay, but Chris is "the man". As noted previously, my buddy takes his clients to fish with Chris a couple of times each summer. My buddy (an attorney in a successful firm) can afford to fish with whomever he wants, and because his clients are on the trip you know he's going to be discriminating regarding whom he uses.