Posts Tagged ‘Steelhead’

There is no true safe ice for me to report at this time. I have heard that Mile Arm Bay on Black Lake has 5 inches of ice but can not confirm it. I believe there to be 3 to 4 inches on Lake View but there is snow and slush on top of it. I would stick to river fishing for Steelhead at this time and wait for good ice. Remember its better to wait a week and stay on top. The Salmon River and the Oswego River have been fishing very well. There have been some very nice steelhead and brown trout caught from both of them recently.

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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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Float fishing with a center pin reel has become one of the hottest ways to fish for steelhead. It’s many advantages include precise depth and speed control along with a very natural and long drift. When fishing small streams many people believe there is no advantage for the pin due to the short drifts and shallow water that is commonly found on these waters. This is far from true.
These smaller waters often have small pools and short runs that are perfect for float fishing. The pin gives your the advantage of being able to precisely run your bait through each section of these pools and runs.
You will want to change your setup to match the water you are fishing. One problem with small waters is they often have over hanging trees and brush that can get in the way when fishing with the long rods normally used when pin fishing. There are to options you can choose from to fix this problem. The first is buying a second center pin set up with an eleven and a half foot rod. I like the St. Croix personally. However this is a costly fix especially if you don’t fish small waters all that often. The second option is to put your center pin reel on the nine and half to ten and half foot noodle rod you probably already own. This will cut down on the distance you are able to cast but on small streams it is not an issue.
The other setup change that will need to be made relates to the low clear water you will often be fishing in. The floats you normally fish on larger waters will often be to large. They will either make to much splash when entering the water or will easily be seen by fish due to the short leaders you will be fishing. I recommend get some floats ranging from 4 grams to 2 grams for fishing these streams. This will allow you to fish shorter leaders and cast quietly.
Don’t forget you may want to drop down to 4 pound leader material when the water is low and clear.

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