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Posts Tagged ‘Steelhead’

Leaves, leaves, leaves, and more leaves. Everyone we talked to today had something to say about the leaves. The leaf hatch is in full swing for sure. With high winds and some snow hopefully it won’t be long before they are all off the trees and washed down stream.

Even with all the leaves we had a great day. It wasn’t tons of bites at each stop. It was actually only 8 fish hooked all day. However, out of those 8 we landed 3 and they were all very good fish. One was actually the personal best for the Pavati and possibly for any guided trip I have done. We didn’t get a weight on him just a quick picture and he was released to fight another day.

Today it was strictly a bead bite for us while we were float fishing. We also tried egg sacks but they wanted nothing to do with them. Our hot bead was a Great Lake Steelhead Company bead that I had doctored up a bit. We also took one fish on a chrome hotshot while back trolling one hole. That same hot shot took a good rip after that but didn’t hook up. Due to high winds we didn’t do much plug fishing today.

It is not lights out fishing but it there are plenty of fish around and most of the fish we saw were big. I have some open dates in December if anyone wants to get in on the action. I will also be offering $50 off for the Months of January and February.

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There really isn’t a lot to report other than the fishing is good and getting even better. Everyone is catching fish right now. With a good number of fish left in the hatchery this is going to be an extended season for sure. I believe the colder temperatures have caused the fish to trickle out of the hatchery rather than come in large groups. Add these fish to the fish that spawn in the river and it makes for a great season that will last into mid May for sure.

There are also still fish spawning and fish that haven’t started to spawn yet. This past weekend one of my customers caught a dime bright hen that’s eggs were still tight. Check her out on my Facebook or Instagram page.

The best baits seem to change from day to day but for me it has been beads and egg sacs over anything else. All fished under a float. The plug bite has been inconsistent with some guys getting them on plugs but most not doing any real numbers yet. With this weeks warmer temperatures I expect the plug bite to really turn on if the water temperature goes over 40 degrees.

If you haven’t made it up yet the time is now. I am fully booked with the exception of doing an afternoon trip but I likely can find someone who has an opening if needed.

I will be posting a lot more as we transition into summer. Well at least I think we are going to transition into summer. Either way after this weekend it is on to Walleye and Pike then it will be Brook Trout and Black Bass. I still have some openings for the summer trips. I will be offering float trips on the Tug Hill area streams with my new Smith Fly Raft.

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I had the pleasure of guiding Tom and Joe today. I decided yesterday I was tired of playing the who can get on the river earliest game. Last Saturday I pulled in to the Launch at 3:50 am and was not the first boat in the river. This morning we launched the boat at 5:30. I knew we wouldn’t get the spot I wanted but I also knew we could still get a good spot. We anchored up in a spot I like, started the heater and waited for day light.

Once it became legal fishing time we started casting Finger Lakes Tackle spinners. On Tom’s third cast the spinner stopped dead then took off upstream in the mouth of a nice 6 pound steelhead. Tom did an excellent job fighting the fish and it wasn’t long before it was in the net. They had decided they wanted to keep one to eat so this one went into the box. It was a good thing it did because the rest of the day we had a lot of trouble getting them to the hoop. We did land a nice little brown trout later in the morning though.

Spinners and egg sacks took all the hits today. Talking to people as we made our way down the river it seemed that most people were having a slow day. There were a few drift boats that had a pretty good day though. I know Tom and Joe thought it was an excellent day, as did I. We battled snow, wind, and cold all day yet still managed to hook multiple fish and land a couple. That is a good day in my mind.

Tom and Joe also enjoyed the comfortable seats and the warmth of the heater. Multiple times they complimented the Pavati especially using the doors to get in and out of the boat. I am definitely looking forward to fishing out of it this winter.

Finger Lakes Tackle Spinners doing work

Finger Lakes Tackle Spinners doing work

Happy Customers

Brown Trout and Cigars

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I am a bit late posting but Saturday I set up and ran a 2 boat trip. The fishing wasn’t hot and heavy but we had some action and managed to get one into the net. The guys were very happy as they had struck out on their trip the day before. (It wasn’t with me) The one that came to the net smashed a Finger Lakes Tackle Blades of Steel spinner. We also took hits on beads. Overall it was a great day. The weather was good and we all had a good time.

Sunday I had the chance to be guided rather than be the guide. It was great. I set up the trip for my friend Steve’s bachelor party and we had a blast. We landed 4 steelhead and lost many others. A big thanks to Mike Kerstetter and James Kirkland for taking us down the river.

This is a short report as I am tired but I will say fishing has been a lot like it used to be. You have to work for them but they are there and if you put in a bit of effort you will be rewarded. Spinners and beads have been the hot baits the last couple weeks. Fly guys that know what they are doing are getting them too.

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I didn’t fish today but I did take a ride around the upper half of the river after having an amazing brunch at the Tailwater Lodge. There were not many people on the river but those who were did well. There is a good amount of snow in Altmar and it didn’t look like people were traveling far from the parking lots.

Fish were being caught on both egg sacs and beads. The drift boats were also getting fish on plugs. With more snow in the forecast walking won’t get any easier. This is an excellent time of year to hire a guide with a heated drift boat.

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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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Decided to go out this morning and row around to see if the Brown Trout where hitting yet. The answer was yes. We fished for one hour and 40 minutes had 4 hits and landed 3. Two nice brown trout and one very nice steelhead. The wind and waves picked up so we headed in happy with our catch.

This nice Brown Trout hit in about 9 feet of water on a Jointed Rapala

This nice Brown Trout hit in about 9 feet of water on a Jointed Rapala

A nice little Lake Ontario Brown Trout

A nice little Lake Ontario Brown Trout

A nice bonus when fishing Lake Ontario for Brown Trout.

A nice bonus when fishing Lake Ontario for Brown Trout.

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