Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Salmon River Steelhead

Salmon River, Pulaski, N.Y - The water flows have been stable for the past few days. The water release for now is still holding at 750 CFS. This may seem like a lot of water but this is a good flow for steelhead fishing. With stable water flows, calm winds and no leaves being blown into the river, the steelhead fishing has gotten back on track. On the days that I am fishing the lower river in the DSR I am seeing steelhead constantly on the move. In the upper River, the lower flyfishing zone remains closed, however the upper flyfishing zone is opened to fishing and is full of steelhead. While fishing the lower river, we have been catching the occasional Brown trout. I consider Brown trout on the Salmon River to be a bonus fish. Brown trout is a fish that I do not plan to catching on a consistent basis.

A common question that I constantly get asked is how will I know when I get a bite? The answer is simple with water temperatures holding in the mid 50° range, the answer is, don't worry you will know. The steelhead we are catching, are chrome bright and fresh from the Lake. These steelhead are fighting and running so hard we are doing good to land 50% of what we hook.

I do not know what is going on for certain, but we are having one of the best fall steelhead runs I have ever experienced. I suspect it's is a combination of good conservation practice of catch and release, possibly a change in hatchery practice, some sort of positive change to the Lake ecology, or a combination all of the above. Whatever it is, we have steelhead!

Productive flies: Not much has changed, for the most part the steelhead remained keyed into salmon eggs. This means egg flies such as nuclear roe bugs (colors: Oregon cheese and orange) in sizes 8 and 10. If you're interested in swinging flies, my suggestion is to fish the lower river in the DSR. We are starting to get a few steelhead to take a swinging fly in this section of the river. The flies I have been using here for swinging have been black and brown buggers size 6 and Mr. rubber legs in Brown, size 4.

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