La Push, Washington is located on the northwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula. The first building on your right is the fuel dock; a colorful mural painted by a Quileute tribal artist marks the building. The dock area follows, and at the end of the three ramps that access the boats, you will find a boat launch.
Getting from the harbor to the ocean requires a short boat to the ocean down the tide waters of the Quileute River, which flow on the lee side of James Island. The best part is, the potential for hooking fish begins instantly. This area, at the mouth of the river, offers fish that are staging for their journey up the Quileute and on to one of the three world-famous streams that make up the Quileute system which include the big fish rivers of the Sol Duc, Calawah and Bogachiel. In late summer the area directly in front of the river out to the Q buoy becomes increasingly fishy and there is even a late fall salmon derby to take advantage of this fishery.
As great as the fishing is, be aware that when temperatures are hot inland, the possibility of fog increases on the coast. Anyone fishing here should have a GPS plotter system and the ability to use it accurately. It’s important save a GPS coordinate for the center at the mouth of the river, another way point at the red entrance and one more at the Q-buoy. This will ensure a safe entrance should you be encounter heavy fog conditions.
Anytime you’re faced with a heavy southwesterly wind, a large swell can come directly into the river and in this event, simply bag fishing; it’s not worth going out on the ocean. The good news is, this is not the customary wind during the summer. The prevailing summer winds are west-northwest and these are totally blocked by James Island. La Push does have fuel, moorage and somewhat limited overnight facilities.
Things to watch out for fishing here are it’s the ocean; the weather can change fast, ensure your boat is in top shape before you leave the dock and have a VHF radio and proper USGC safety equipment onboard. Double double-check the weather before leaving the dock and top off your boats fuel supply every day as you will burn much more in rough ocean conditions. Costal winds typical will pickup in the afternoons and can make for a rough ride back to port. On offshore runs fish with a partner boat so you can gain assistance should you need it.