Posts Tagged ‘Salmon River New York’

The fishing is good all over the county right now. The Oswego and Salmon Rivers have been fishing very well. The Steelhead fishing on both has been excellent and there have been a good number of Brown Trout caught too.

Smaller streams have been dropping but with recent rain and more rain and snow in the forecast that may change. The small streams will have some left over Salmon along with fresh Steelhead and Brown Trout. The Salmon are mostly beat up and close to death but you may find one or two still in good shape.

If you are thinking about getting out after some Steelhead the time to do it is NOW. As I said the fishing is hot. If you are new to Steelhead fishing hire a drift boat guide. Not only will you learn the techniques but you will get a very enjoyable trip down the river.

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The start of Steelhead season has been very wet. With all the rain we have received the Salmon River has been running at what most consider to be high levels. Personally I prefer 750 cfs to 1800 cfs but I know most people do not.

There are two reasons I like the high water. The first is it makes running a drift boat down the Salmon River much easier as you can float about any where. The second reason is that it creates more places to fish. High water on the Salmon River changes the runs and pools enough that it actually makes more holding water for the Steelhead.

Many people are afraid of the high water because they don’t know where to find fish or they can’t see the fish. It’s not difficult. All you need to do is fish the slow water on the edge of the fast stuff. Inside seams on a corner are perfect. Another great spot is the edges of where the fast water runs into the center of a pool. If there are rapids and fast water upstream from the pool there will be a seam created on both sides of the edge of the head of the pool. This is a prime location at first and last light.

One mistake I keep talking about because I see it so often is people wading where they should be fishing. I can’t stress this enough. If you are wading over your knees you are in too far. This is especially true in times of high water. Steelhead don’t want to hang in the fast water. They will hold and rest in the slower currents on the edge of the faster water.  Make sure you are fishing these spots not wading into them. I see too many people wading out waist deep and casting into the fastest water in the river.

One last tip. Don’t be afraid to take a walk along the side streams and diversions of the Salmon River. High water makes many of these very fishable. Look for a deep pocket or long run that you can get a drift through. You may be very surprised at what you find on the end of your line in these little sections of the Salmon River.

If you still don’t feel comfortable fishing the high water hire a guide to take you down the river in a drift boat. Drift boat fishing on the Salmon River is the hands down best way in high water. You won’t be disappointed.

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Finally we got the rain we have been waiting for. The small streams have water and are fishing very well. The Sandy’s have plenty of water and lots of fish. Grindstone is also fishing well with good numbers of fish in it. My friend Shawn sent me a video of the Little Salmon River yesterday and it was LOADED with fish.

If you have been waiting to fish the smaller waters of Oswego and Jefferson County the time is NOW!!! There is more rain in the forecast so the fishing should stay good. If the water does drop remember to drop down in leader and weight size. Also stay back and fish the deeper pools.

If you have been waiting for  steelhead the Salmon River is the place to be. There have been more and more caught each day. The lower half of the river will be your best bet. If you want to get away from the crowd spend the $50 and fish the Douglaston Salmon Run. It seems like a lot of money to fish for the day but believe me it’s worth it. If you break it down by the hour it’s less than $6 an hour to fish a beautiful stretch of the river.

This can be a great time to swing streamers on a sink tip if you are fly fishing. If you are spin or pin fishing Salmon Skein or egg sacs are your best bet. Good luck and C U on the water.

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I started fly fishing at 9 years old. Teaching myself by watching videos and reading L.L. Bean’s fly fishing hand book. I am not sure exactly when I started tying flies but I know it wasn’t long after. I was probably around 11 or 12 when I got my first fly tying kit. Even at a young age I knew flies where expensive and I would save money tying my own, or at least I thought.

Tying flies to save money is one the biggest myths in fly fishing. There are only 2 ways to tie flies and save money. The first is if you tie 3 dozen flies a day every day every year. Of course you would never need that many flies and could sell some to make up for all the materials and tools you have bought.

The other way you could tie and save money would be to never upgrade from the original fly tying kit you buy. If you don’t buy a $200 plus vise, $150 worth of new tools you “need”, $500 worth of different colors and sizes of hackle, $1500 worth of other feathers and furs, and don’t forget $200 worth of fly boxes for all the flies you are going to tie ahead of time.

We all know the only people who put money in their pockets by tying flies are commercial tiers. The reason we tie flies is because it is fun and there is nothing better than catching fish on flies that we have tied ourselves.  Sometimes when we see flies in the fly shop for $2.49 each we trick ourselves into  thinking we are saving money too.

As a guide I find that my guests enjoy the fact that I tie most of my own flies. They like the idea of catching fish on flies I have tied. Many of my guests who are also fly tiers like to bring flies for me try or to fish with on their trip.  I enjoy both.  I really enjoy emailing guests with pictures of fish I have caught on flies they tie for me.

Tying flies also gives the non steelhead fisherman something to do in the winter. Those of us in the Salmon River, New York area know that there is no off season here. We fish 12 months a year in New York.  A tough week during prime Salmon season on the Salmon River often means tying flies though the middle of the night between trips. The last thing you want is to run out of flies.

If you are thinking of getting into fly tying I highly recommend it. It is a great feeling catching fish on flies you have tied. It is also a great way to pass the time when you can’t get out on the water.

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My friend Andy had today off and asked me to take him down the river for a few hours today. We decided to meet for breakfast at 7 as he didn’t want to get up as early as I wanted him to. At about 8 we put the boat in the water in Pineville with plans of taking out at route 2A.

We both had stuff to do in the afternoon so the plan was to plug fish mostly and float fish a couple spots. We hooked one very nice steelhead fishing with a jointed Rapala while back trolling. Unfortunately the fish rolled right at the boat and the hook came out.

We talked to a couple guides during our float and everyone seemed to be saying the same thing. The fishing was better than it has been on the Salmon River but still a bit slow. We did see one boat land a very nice steelhead while fishing with a float.

I think if we had more time and had fished harder we would have caught a few. The river is very crowded right now and if you are going to fish from shore get there early to get the spot you want. After we took the boat out I drove up through Altmar and it almost looked like salmon season. I counted 8 boats still on the river from Pineville to Altmar and that was just what I could see from the road. Good luck and see you on the water.

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This past weekend the fishing slowed this past weekend. I believe it had to do with 2 things. One factor is the fact that the steelhead are starting to prepare for the spawn. The other was the fact that there was a big stone fly hatch this weekend with the warm weather. The snow on the banks was almost black with stone flies. They were everywhere.

We fished from Altmar to Route 2A on Saturday with only 2 fish on and landing none. On Sunday we fished the Lower Fly Zone in Altmar from 7 am to 9 am hooking 3 steelhead and landing none. One was fouled hooked so we broke it off. The other two broke the 6 pound tippet.

The water was at 900 cfs and will be through Tuesday. I am guessing there is a good chance of it going higher after that as it was 50 degrees this afternoon in Pulaski, NY. They are calling for a major change in temperature at the end of the week. There will be a serious cold snap that will slow down the run off and the river level will most likely drop.

If you are going to fish the next week egg patterns, stone flies, and streamers will all be good choices if you are fly fishing. For the spin and pin fisherman 8 mm and 6 mm beads in natural colors will be a good bet. This is a great time of year for a drift boat trip down the river allowing you to cover much more water then you would on foot. Good luck and see you on the water.

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With March here it won’t be long and it will be drop back season. After the Steelhead spawn in the Salmon River, New York they drop back down stream returning to Lake Ontario.  These fish have spent the last couple weeks spawning and need to feed heavily to regain there strength. This can be a very exciting time to fish the Salmon River.

One of the most popular ways to pursue these big hungry fish is pulling plugs from a drift boat. Lures such as hot shots and jointed Rapala’s are the most popular. I would recommend the jointed Brown Trout Rapala in size 11. This time of year you can see many of the guides rowing their drift boats through the deep holes pulling plugs.

If you want to fish plugs on the Salmon River but don’t have a drift boat or want to hire a guide there are a couple options. One is to use a small inline planner board such as a hot shot planner. These attach directly to your line and will take your lure out into the current. Depending on the brand you use you will most likely need 2 planners and switch based on what side of the river you are standing. It is always a good idea to have a couple extra in the truck just in case your line breaks and you loose one.

You will want a bait casting style reel and I would recommend using a heavy main line such as 15 pound test or a braided line. This way you will be less likely to lose your planner. You will then tie to a swivel from which you will want a 8 or 10 pound fluorocarbon leader. If the water is high (over 750 cfs) you can get away with a bit heavier leader line.  Your rod should be a 8 to 9 foot medium action casting or trolling rod.

Position yourself at the head of a pool or deep run. You will let the line out slowly keeping slight tension on it in order for the planner to work its way out into the current. Be prepared for a strike as your lure is running out into the current. Once the lure is out in the current you can let line out and reel in line to move the lure around in the hole. The other option is to let the lure hold in the current and take a step down stream every 15 to 30 seconds until the lure reaches the end of run. If you have a run to your self you should let the lure run through the hole then walk back to the top and start over with the lure further away from you.

Another option for fishing plugs on the Salmon River is to use a spinning rod and cast Rapala’s in the runs and pools. You will want to position yourself slightly upstream of where you would like to fish and cast just across just down stream of your position. Then reel your lure back to you against the current. You will want to be swinging lure across the pool. This will allow you to cover the most water possible. After you have made a few casts with out a strike take a step down stream and cast again. You will want to work the pools just as the Spey fisherman swinging flies do. You are essentially doing the same thing with a lure.  As with using a planner board you should start at the head of a pool and work your way to the tail out. This technique is especially effective for fishing slow deep pools where the planner board would be difficult to fish.

If you are unfamiliar with the Salmon River I highly recommend hiring a guide to take you down the river on a drift boat. This will allow you to learn which runs and pools hold fish this time of year. You will also see what lures the guides are using. You will likely also find that you have such a great time it is well worth the price of the guide. I have many repeat customers that feel the money it cost to hire me and use my gear is well worth it.

Weather or you choose to do it your self or hire a guide one thing is for sure, once you fish for drop back steelhead on the Salmon River you will want to come back year after year. These fish are aggressive and strike hard.  Good luck this spring and see you on the water.

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It was December 28th, 2007 and I just needed to try out the new Guide Series fly rod I had purchased from Gander Mountain with my gift cards from Christmas. I rigged the 9 foot 8 weight at home because it was only 36 degrees and then headed for Pulaski, NY. I live only 15 minutes away.

I had decided to fish the town pool as the water was running over 1000 cfs. I like the town pool if I am only fishing for a couple hours because of the easy access. It also normally holds a good number of fish throughout the season.

I wanted to fish the section right behind Yankee Fly and Tackle just below the bridge. This was before Dawn posted her property, only allowing her clients to fish there. As I approached the river I saw there were two people fishing the pool with spinning rods. One of them was right behind Yankee Fly and Tackle standing nut deep in the water and casting out into the fast water.

I was disappointed because not only was he fishing where I wanted to but he was standing right where he should have been casting. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see on the river. People don’t realize fish want to take the path of least resistance. This guy was standing in the nice slow current and casting into the white water.  I knew it wouldn’t be too long before he got sick of not catching anything and he would give up the spot.

I set up and made some casts down behind the Pulaski VFW. After fishing for about 20 minutes with out any luck I noticed the guy by the bridge was packing up. I watched him leave and rested the area he was in for about ten minutes before I moved up behind Yankee Fly and Tackle.

Standing about 10 yards below the short bridge and in the water only up to my ankles I began casting. I started very close to shore and worked my way out to the edge of the fast water. These current seams are where you will most likely find steelhead feeded on whatever washes out of the fast current.

It was my tenth cast along the edge of the fast water when my line stopped. I lifted the rod and felt the fish move as I set the hook.  I could tell it wasn’t a huge fish but it was fresh. After two quick runs and a nice splashing jump slide the 4 pound steelehad up  onto the shore.

I quickly arranged him on the shore with my new fly rod for a picture. After the picture I carefully released the fish to fight another day. Once the fish had swam away I realized I had forgot my hand warmers and decided my goal for the day was accomplished and it was time to go get a cup of coffee.



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