Friday, April 17, 2009

On The Salmon River

Water flows remain high, judging by the amount of snow that remains in the woods at the headwaters of the Salmon River. The water flows will continue to stay on the high side. Right now the water release is at 1800 CFS, and I suspect this will stay at this level for some time to come. Water temperatures are slowly increasing, at this time the temperatures are fluctuating around 39 degrees. The way the weather forecast is looking the water temperatures will continue to improve. Hopefully by early next week we can see some warmer water temperatures in the upper river, hopefully in the lower 40 + degree range. Despite the cold water temperatures steelhead are congregating on the gravel beds and starting to spawn. As water temperatures continue to improve, so will the numbers of spawning steelhead. Because water temperatures are improving and the steelhead are starting their spawning cycle. The high water is actually helping to make to fishing easier. As water flows increase ideal spawning habitat decrease. The high water concentrates the fish, in the remaining productive spawning habitat. This reduces the amount river that needs to be covert to find the fish. Over of the past two weeks the fish hatchery on the Salmon River has been busy collecting eggs. The hatchery is at this time literally overflowing with steelhead. The word is this is one of the largest runs that the hatchery staff has seen an approximately 25 years. The hatchery staff has not yet finished collecting eggs and counting fish. It will be interesting to find out what the final tally is, for this years steelhead run. There is now a large group of spawned out steelhead starting to slowly work their way down river. With the high water flows and cold water temperatures, these fish are not dropping down river to quickly, providing us with plenty of fishing opportunities. Since I have just moved back up to the Salmon River, I have only fished for a few days. So far my hottest fly has been the black and silver size 6 woolly bugger also known and as the raider bugger. Other productive flies have been large black stone flies, egg sucking leach's, medium size intruder patterns.

The in land trout streams, Oatka Creek is having it’s Hendrickson's hatch, the hatches is just getting started. So the bugs may or may not be hatching on any given day. Give the hatch a little more time and it will become more consistent. For now expect to see a hatch on the water around mid to late afternoon. As the temperatures warm the Hendrickson's hatch will become a late morning early afternoon hatch. If the bugs are not visible on the surface, fish nymphs the heads of the pools. The nymphs are very active and the fish are keying in on the nymphs.

NOTE: I have for the Salmon River May 5, 6, 7, and 9, 10 open. May is the best month of the whole year for fishing with sink tips and a swinging fly to steelheads. If you have any questions feel free to call my cell. 585-233-0436 or call the shop at 585-352 4775.

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