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.

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