Sunday, April 29, 2007

Big Water

4/29/07— Salmon River, Pulaski, N.Y -- I am talking about water flows in excess of 3600 CFS that is about 400 units short of what I would call flood conditions. Friday’s water flow was a little less wild, only about 2100 units. The one redeeming character with all this high water flow that has, for the most part, stayed high and the steelhead have start to acclimate to the high water flows. True to form, the steelhead have moved into their high water spawning habitat and finally started to spawn in the back channels. This is tight fishing because of the trees and narrow channels and requires a lot of walking to locate fish in fishable spots.

The last couple of days, we have been fishing the river with spey rods. These long powerful two-handed rods make dealing with the high water conditions easier. To get our flies down to the steelhead's level we have been using a few of my custom sink tips. These sink tips are nothing more than 15 feet of T-14. This material has an incredibly fast sink rate. As for the spey rods, we have been using 14 foot nine weight rods, and are set up with Skagit lines. The Skagit lines are designed to easily handle the heavy sink tips. We are also using flourocarbon leaders with heavy 30 pound butts and 15 to 12 lb test tippits. Leader lengths are only about four to 6 feet long, depending on where we are fishing at the time.

As for the flies, fishing in the back channels, the normal stuff such as black and brown woolly buggers, egg sucking leeches and peach colored egg flies. Fishing in the main river we have been using very big flies. Our best success has been coming from large spey flies, the proxy in size 11/2, a big woolly bugger nicknamed crack size 4 and even size 2 and we got a few good bites on a 4 inch long Mickeyfin tied on a tube.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Salmon River Steelhead

4/26/07 The water flow for the Salmon River has settled down today, even though this seems to be temporary. Today's water flow is 700 CFS, and the river fished well. Tomorrow it will be back up to 1800 CFS. These wild water flow fluctuations have been quite challenging over the last few days. I would like to report on the water temperature, but I had a small casualty. I broke my thermometer! Judging by the steelhead's behavior today, my educated guess at the water temperature is somewhere between 44 to 46 degrees.

We found a lot of active fish on the gravel beds spawning today all through the upper river. We also are encountering more and more spawned out fish every day. This is telling me that drop back Steelhead fishing will be picking up in about another week. As for now, yesterday’s high water actually drew in a fair amount of fresh fish.

Today's hot fly is a woolly bugger that we have nicknamed the Raider bugger, this is a black and silver woolly bugger tied on a size 6 streamer hook.

I am looking for some excellent May drop back steelhead fishing this spring. There is an excellent run of Steelhead in the river and the fish hatchery is full of Steelhead. Yesterday when I walked through the hatchery, there are eight tanks full of fish and more Steelhead trying to get in the hatchery. When the Steelhead start to drop back, they will be eating their way out the River. If I'm not working, this boy is going fishing!!

There are still dates available for the month of May. If you are interested, e-mail me, or contact me at the fly shop number 585-352-4775. Since I will be away from the shop and if you need to contact me directly, you may try my cell phone number 585-233-0436. You may need to be a little patient and consistent when trying to contact me on my cell phone. I am often out of cell phone service. The Salmon River has lousy cell coverage. You can always leave a message on my voicemail.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Fast Changing Fishing Conditions

4/24/07-- Fast changing fishing conditions, this is a under statement! Monday and Tuesday fishing conditions were as close to ideal as you could ask for. The Salmon River Pulaski N.Y was flowing at 500 CFS and the water temperatures are rising into the mid 40° temperature range. Even though the morning fishing was generally slow, during the afternoon we found plenty of spawning steelhead moving onto the shallow water gravel beds. The entire river was starting shape up and fish well. And then things of course change, today they raised the river to 1800 CFS, this increase in water flow successfully dropped the water temperature 6° and slowed fishing way down. Successful fly patterns for the last few days have been, black and brown buggers, egg sucking Leach's and small egg patterns.

Once again the conditions are about to change dramatically, By midnight tonight the water flows for the Salmon River is going to be in excess of 3500!!! Hopefully this will not last long, and we Will be back to fish and very soon.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Salmon River Steelhead

Salmon River Pulaski New York-- It is amazing how much the fishing conditions can change from one day to the next. The last couple of days have been prime examples of this. The Salmon River went from 1100 CFS release and a water temperature of 34 degrees to where it is now, the water release is now 500 CFS and the water temperature has now risen to 42 degrees. The drop in water flow has made it easier for us to fish the river and the rise in water temperature has triggered the steelhead to go on the spawn. Hopefully these conditions will hold for a few days, but you never is still spring. Successful fly patterns have been Jay's flash-back stone fly size 8 and black and silver woolly buggers in size six.

One final note: I do have some prime days still open for Steelhead fishing, April 30, May 1, 2 have opened up. Plus there some open dates for the month of May. If you are interested e-mail me or contact me at the fly shop number is 585-352-4775. Since I will be away from the shop and if you need to contact me directly, you may try my cell phone number 585-233-0436. You may need to be a little patient and consistent when trying to contact me on my cell phone. I am often out of cell phone service. The Salmon River has lousy cell coverage. You can always leave a message on my voicemail.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Salmon River

I can not put it off any longer. It is time for me to move to the Salmon River. This year I will be leaving some good fishing behind. The cold weather has slowed the fishing down considerably. Most of our rivers are running two to three weeks behind their normal schedule. For example, Oak Orchard River had an early run of Steelhead and some of these fish have spawned. However sense the cold weather most of Oak Orchard's Steelhead has yet to start their spawning run and many of these Steelhead are holding in the deeper pools down river. Sandy Creek is still fishing like I would expect for the month of March. If you have been paying attention to my web site updates, you would have seen the Brown trout that we have been catching at Sandy Creek. During a normal spring, all of these big Browns would have dropped back into to the Lake by the first week of April. As I've said in the past, I've always had my best spring fishing during cold wet springs. This year we are definitely having one of those springs.

Now for the Salmon River, the cold spring has the Salmon Rivers schedule running behind just like the rest of our rivers. The good news is that the bulk of the snow run off is done, and the river is starting to drop. Water temperatures are still very cold holding in the med 30s, as of to day the water temperatures was 35 degrees. The same fishing conditions you would expect for March. It is spring and spring fishing conditions can and do change quickly. Once the weather starts to warm up it will not take long for the river conditions to get back on schedule. Until then, I will make the best of it. The Salmon River is back to running 1800 CFS; this is a good flow to fish out of the drift boat.
Fishing out of the drift boat, we will be able to get on top of the spots I want to fish. Making the river much easier to fish given the conditions, I have caught a lot of fish doing this.
The Salmon River has benefited more form the one fish limit than any other river. The Salmon River probably has one of the best run of Steelhead that we have seen in the past ten years. I am looking forward to some good Steelhead fishing, especially once the water temperature warms up. The way this weeks whether forecast is looking, this will definitely be happening soon. My personal suspicion is that we will see heavy spawning activity by next week and continuing into the first week of May. After that most of my fishing will be for drop backs and this is my favorite time to fish. The water temperatures will be in the low to mid 50s and the Steelhead will be looking for something to eat. I call this swing season I will be fishing steelhead with sinking lines and big wet flies. This is a perfect time and situation for someone to fish with a spay Rod.

One final note: I do have some prime days still open for Steelhead fishing for the month of May. If you are interested, e-mail me a note, or contact me at the fly shop number is 585-352-4775. Since I will be away from the shop and if you need to contact me directly, you may try my cell phone number 585-233-0436. You may need to be a little patient and consistent when trying to contact me on my cell phone. I am often out of cell phone service. The Salmon River has lousy cell coverage. You can always leave a message on my voicemail.

Monday, April 16, 2007

This Weather

4/16/07-- what can I say about this weather! We could use a little bit of that global warming about now. Normally, the steelhead runs are finishing up along the Western end of Lake Ontario by now. Normally the water temperatures are in the mid to upper the 50s not holding in the mid 30s. Once again all of the streams and rivers are now flowing high and off-color and ice cold. So far this storm has dumped just a little over two inchs of rain and a little bit of snow. I think by now, we have seen the worst of it. Our stream and rivers should be back to fishing by end of the week.

For the trout fishermen this is the time we traditionally start to see the first of the Hendrickson Hatch on the Oatka Creek. I suspect we will not see those bugs for at least another week and a half to two weeks.

I personally never get too worried about how late spring is running. One thing I have learned over time is nature has a way of catching up.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Rain Day

4/12/07—Last night and today's rain is definitely having an effect on our streams and rivers. All of our streams along the western end of Lake Ontario are now off-color and have a moderate to high water flow. For many of the smaller streams and creeks the increase in water flow, has improved the fishing. Water temperatures are still remaining cold, running in the high 30s to low 40s, depending on the day.

Todays successful fly patterns, or should say fly pattern was a white woolly bugger size 6. This fly pattern accounted for all of our fish, both Brown trout and steelhead. Most of the fish took the fly on the swing

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Cold Spring

What more can I say about this cold weather? It feels more like early March than early to mid April. Most of our rivers are now starting to fish like you would expect, for the month of February instead of April. The last few days I have gone back to a winter fishing routine, concentrating my fishing efforts during late morning through out the second half of the day. Practically all the fish have by now have abandoned their spawning beds and returned to the pools where these fish will wait out this cold weather. Once water temperature starts to warm up, obviously, things will return to normal.

During this past cold spell the water flows of all our streams and rivers along the western end of Lake Ontario have become low and clear. The wet weather that is predicted to come later this week is definitely needed. Some warm weather and a little rain will definitely help to get the fishing fired back up.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Spring Cold Snap

Spring cold snaps always seem to bother us. The reality is a few spring cold snaps help to stretch out the spring steelhead run. If all we had was warm sunny weather, the river water flows would drop and warm up quickly. When this happens during warm dry springs, steelhead runs do not last long. I have always had the best spring steelhead fishing during wet cold springs like this one is proving to be.

As for the fishing conditions, the rain showers that came through earlier this week had little effect on the water flows in all of the local rivers and creeks. The cold snap has slowed the fishing way down. Water temperatures have dropped anywhere from 6 degrees to 10 degrees depending on the river. Steelheads that have been spawning will still hang around the gravel beds. However, there activities will be slowed way down. This time of the year new steelhead are constantly entering the rivers from the lake that is even colder than the rivers. These new fish will not be as severely affected by the temperature drops we are experiencing these past few days. For the next few days, my suggestion would be to concentrate your fishing efforts in the pools. The same spots we were fishing during the winter. Once the water temperatures start to rise back towards the 40 degree mark, go back to fishing the gravel beds and runs.

One final note: I still have a few days open in the next couple of weeks, if you're interested in some last chance Brown trout don't wait. They will be back in the lake in the next two to three weeks.

Monday, April 2, 2007

A Mix Of Steelhead And Brown Trout

This weeks weather forecast looks like a wet one. We will have to see how much rain we get, and if the rivers will come back up. So far, all the rain that we have received has had little effect on our streams.

As for what's going on with the fishing? Starting with the Oak Orchard River, the water flows are slowly dropping, but still remain high and muddy. The water clarity is about 1 foot and slowly clearing up. The water temperatures are holding in the mid 40s, which makes the muddy waters less of a factor. There is a fair amount of steelhead spread out through the river from the dam down past the road hole. Most of these fish will be spawning at this time, so concentrate your efforts on traditional spawning locations. Do not hesitate to fish large flies at this time. With the dirty water and spawning activity most of the steelhead will respond to streamer in size 4 to1 fished on a swing.

Sandy Creek - Fishing conditions are about as perfect as they can get. A little high and a little off-color, remember dirty water means cover to the fish. The fish are spread out through the entire river. We have been fishing through several pools to find a few fish and catching a mix of both Steelhead and Brown trout. Most of our fish have been caught on white wooley buggers, white bunny flies, Oregon cheese and chartreuse egg flies.

The Salmon River is still flowing at about 2400 units, give or take a couple hundred units, depending on the weather. All of that water is still snow runoff, so the water temperatures have not warmed up much above 33 or 34 degrees. All this cold water definitely makes for tough steelhead fishing. However, fishermen who know how to fish in this cold water are having some success. I have not heard how the upper fly-fishing zone is fishing since it is only been open a few days. I do suspect there is alot of fish in the upper river. As for successful fly patterns, the usual stuff stone flies and small egg flies.