Saturday, October 4, 2008

Changing Conditions

Salmon River, Pulaski, NY - Over last few days we have been having a series of lake effect rainstorms. This recent weather pattern has dumped over 2 inches of cold rain. The affect of this has dropped the water temperatures in the river down into the mid 50 degree range. All the rain that has been received has also kept the water flow up. The Salmon River continues to flow at 750 CFS. When the river is flowing at this level it can be difficult to spot fish migrating up river. The last few days there has been moderate runs of Chinook salmon. Because of the higher water flow these fish often go unnoticed by most of the fishermen. There should be plenty of fish dispersed through the entire river system by now. Along with the salmon we are starting to encounter more steelhead, this is right about on schedule for fall steelhead. Most of the steelhead that we are starting to find are around spawning salmon eating eggs. This time of the year, steelhead are fresh out of the Lake, chrome bright and full flight. Landign a fish like this can be a big challenge. The fly fishing zones continue to receive more and more fish every day. The spawning activity is increasing daily.

Productive flies -- Trying to nail down a series of fly patterns has continued to be a challenge. My suspicion is this will continue for the fall, at least with salmon. We have been catching most of our fish with Brown and copper woolly buggers size 6. Coho candy size 4 have been the most productive flies recently. The spawning activity with the salmon egg flies are now becoming more important.

Atlantic Salmon -- Hope For The Future

The Atlantic Salmon is the original salmon for all the Great Lakes this includes Lake Ontario. The original strained of Atlantic salmon was lost around the turn of the sentry. The reason for the salmons disappearance was a combination of over fishing, damming of their spawning rivers and the introduction of foreign of species, all took their toll. As an indigenous species to New York state DEC are required to have a management program in place to bring back the Atlantic salmon. The process of reestablishing these fish has been a long and painful process, with very little success to show for the effort. The process has been plagued by bad fish stocks, politics and poor management judgment, forage fish issues in the lake. These problems and challenges are nothing new when it comes to fisheries management.
Over last few years the Salmon River Pulaski N, Y has been the one location that the department has been concentrating their efforts. Reason for the Salmon River is not because of politics or anything else, it is because this river offers the only remaining habitat suitable for the Atlantic salmon to have a chance at a self sustaining reproducing population. One thing is for certain the Salmon River can and does produce phenomenal Atlantic salmon par. Unfortunately these young of the year fish all migrate out into the Lake Ontario where they will feed and a forage fish called L. *eiss. These forage fish have a nutritional deficiency that the Atlantic salmon are very sensitive to, as result the survival rate in the Lake is extremely poor. As a result the D. E. C. has been working with different strains of Atlantic salmon to find a group of fish that is more tolerant to lakes forage base. Another technique the department is going to be employing is to take the few surviving Atlantic salmon that returned to the Salmon River and spawn these fish as their own strained. The hope that is that the fish them selves will be part of the solution to several of the problems that plague this wonderful fish. Hopefully in a few years we will have enough Atlantic salmon entering the Salmon River to make a great summer fisheries.

I caught this Atlantic salmon in the DSR this past September 26. The fish weighed in at 8 pounds and took a fly I call Coho candy, a pink and black fly. Not exactly a traditional Atlantic salmon fly, but I'm still pleased to see the fish. There was also one all are Atlantic salmon caught that day. A small sigh of hope for the future.

Note: I still have one day available on October 25. For November Brown trout and steelhead, I still have, 26, 28, 29, 30 is still available. December is wide open, Call the fly shop the number is 585-352-4775 my cell number is 585-233-0436 or e-mail me at

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