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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello WFF,

With the event of Puget Sound closing for coho and the short chinook season, I was thinking on taking a couple of trips out to Neah Bay. Unfortunately, I have no experience with this fishery but want to learn. I have a newer Alumaweld Styker 18' with a 90 Yamaha and kicker motor. Will this boat be enough for Neah Bay? I've heard stories that it gets pretty big out there, and that bigger the boat the better.
As far as gear goes, I have a couple of 8wts, and a 10wt, but will also need advice with lines and such.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and maybe in the near future a trip can be planned with a couple of you guys.

Thanks in advance,

Gerry
 

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Your boat will be fine. Just watch the weather closely and don't hesitate to bail if things look like they are turning. Lots of great water inside of Tatoosh as well so you don't have to worry about pushing it out into the ocean all the time either.

8 and 10 wts will be perfect. For me I like to use shooting head systems with T material heads. For the 8 wt an intermediate running line with a head of T14. (I just use the whole thirty feet that comes in a package, but you can cut that back a foot at a time to get it to where it feels best to you if you prefer).

10 wt is same setup with T17. Both will get you down there.

Rock fish, lings and salmon... Hard to beat a chartreuse over white flash tail Clouser.
 

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I ran a 17' Crestliner with a 50 HP Merc out at Neah for 6 years before I upgraded to my current 23' boat. I caught a ton of coho and rockfish out of that boat fishing along the shoreline and out in the rips inside the strait, so IMO you have enough boat for most of the time out there east of tatoosh. The farthest I ventured west in that boat was duncan rock. I would advise you not to run out into the open ocean in your boat even in calm conditions, as, depending on the tides, getting back into the strait can get nasty. Another concern is fog. It can appear very quickly out there and severely limit visibility, so you need to be mindful of fog. The swells can get big, but generally you can handle them as long as the duration is long and not combined with wind waves. You'll want to avoid squared seas (see link below).

All that noted, unless things have changed recently, I don't believe you'll be able to legally target coho in MA 4 this year. I suppose you can attempt to target kings in the rips with your 10 wt, a sinking line and a larger than normal clouser, but doing so you're about 100 times more likely to incidentally hook a coho than a chinook. Not sure how you'd feel about doing that, but I wouldn't recommend it as Neah is the only place where I regularly get checked by some form of enforcement agency (I've been inspected by the coast guard, county sheriff, and WDFW - sometimes twice on the same day). If you really want to target kings, I'd plan my trip around small tide changes and fish very early along the shoreline in with a heavy sinking line and weighted fly. I'll be doing the same out there this year.

http://www.leeroysramblings.com/Weather_Barcrossing_small_boat.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nick and Joepa,

Thank you for your advice, it is very encouraging and helpful. I will check out that leeroysramblings.com for the weather updates and familiarize myself with it slowly.

Nick, I've seen your youtube videos about Neah Bay and that got me pumped. Looks like a blast fishing for those bass.

Thanks again!
 

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Rockfish on the fly is about as fun as fishing gets IMO. Plenty of that to be found inside of Tatoosh. Coho in the rips is great fun as well but as noted not an option this year. Kings are possible though as Joepa said above you're far more likely to encounter coho. While I have my opinions on that that I won't get into here, the simple fact is that the more people who are out catching and releasing coho under the guise of fishing for chinook the higher the chance that the entire thing gets shut down. I'm honestly not sure how to target kings on the fly without encountering lots of coho as the only kings on the fly I've witnessed out there were hooked incidently while fishing the rips for coho. Certain places you'll encounter coho while targeting rock fish as well. Hooked a good handful while targeting them near Duncan rock in the past.

I think JoePa probably has the best idea... Sticking close to the shoreline along the kelp beds super early.

More than anything just play if safe out there. With a smaller boat it's important that you don't try to push things too far. There is no shame in calling it quits early if things look questionable. Things can take a turn for the worst so quickly that if you get any sort of doubt, it's best to just turn around. No shame in playing it safe. If nothing else you can always just hang out around Wadah. Plenty of rock fish and some lings to play with within sight of the bay. Lots of good water to the east towards Seal and Sail rock as well.

Really missing Neah this year but a new job is keeping me in Westport all summer.

Best of luck. If you make it out be sure to post up a report so I can live vicariously through you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great advice Nick! I probably will not try for the chinook due to the fact I will encounter the coho. The rockfish look like a blast and maybe I'll hook into a lingcod. Looking forward to fishing!
 
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