Friday, September 28, 2012

Intense Fishing Continues


The salmon fishing continues to be on fire. What can I say; we've never seen such consistent salmon fishing before. There is definitely something special happening this fall. Even on the slow days (if you want to call it that) salmon have been moving into the river on a consistent basis. Along with good numbers of fish, the behavior has been outstanding. On most days the salmon have been very grabby, more than happy to eat a properly presented fly. We have been experiencing a very good morning bite and, depending on light conditions, can continue well into the afternoon. On bright sunny days we have been finding the most cooperative fish sitting in the deeper pools and pockets. All we have needed to do to keep the action going is make a few adjustments in the type the water we are fishing and the presentations we are using.


We are still using woolly buggers for the most part. The reason why I stayed with these flies is that we cannot fish the flies wrong. If the salmon want a fly on the swing, woolly buggers work perfect. Whether on the swing or dead-drifted. We have been working between three colors, black/silver, brown/copper and olive. When fishing in low light conditions, the darker colors are working the best. In bright sunny conditions olive wooly buggers have been devastating. Depending on the day and the mood of the fish, the size will vary between a size 4 and a size 6. We have been constantly experimenting throughout the day to see which combination of fly size and color will be the best producers.



We're starting to see a little bit of spawning activity. Along with this I'm starting to notice a few more steelhead starting to show up. It’s still a little early for the steelhead, however the way this fall is going I am not going to make any predictions. With these two factors in mind we are starting to fish a few egg patterns around the spawning activities. For now I'm sticking with an orange size 8 nuclear roe bug.

Over the past week the Salmon River watershed received around 2 inches of rain. However the ground is still extremely dry so I do not anticipate a change in water flow yet. We still need a lot more rainfall to get us out of this intense drought. The river water flow is still holding at 185 CFS but obviously the fish don’t mind!


Fishing tip:
When looking for steelhead feeding on eggs around spawning salmon concentrate your efforts on the slots in cuts just below all spawning activity. This is where river currents are going to concentrate all the stray eggs that are dislodged and sent adrift from the gravel beds.
Note:

I still have dates available for the month of October both early, prime salmon fishing time and late October steelhead fishing. The dates are as follows: 14,21,27,28,31.  Please feel free to call the fly shop and talk to Carl, the number is 585-352-4775 or my cell at 585-233-0436

Monday, September 24, 2012

Intense Week on the Salmon River


This past week fishing the Salmon River has been the most intense week of salmon fishing I have ever experienced in my guiding career. We have had over 12 days of intense salmon migration and they're still coming. Judging by the information I'm getting from individuals still fishing out on the Lake and in the estuary of the Salmon River, the salmon are only getting started. It has been quite impressive watching the large numbers of fish working their way through the river.

River conditions have been improving slowly. However water flows have remained at the 185 CFS release. Over the past week we have received a few inches of rain. Hopefully water levels in the reservoir are starting to increase. I suspect we are now out of danger of having water flows reduced, however, we still need a lot of rainfall to get us out of the grip of this drought. The biggest improvement in conditions has to do with water temperature. With the cooler weather that we are finally enjoying, water temperatures have dropped into the low 60 degree mark. Occasionally we get an exceptionally cool night and water temperatures might start out in the upper 50 degree range.



Along with having large numbers of fish. The salmon have been extremely cooperative and have developed an appetite for woolly buggers. I have been able to keep the fly box very simple, working between three color patterns...black and silver, brown and copper, and olive. When fishing in low light conditions, the darker colors are working the best. In bright sunny conditions olive wooly buggers have been devastating. Depending on the day and the mood of the fish, the size will very between a size 4 and a size 6. We have been constantly experimenting throughout the day, to see which combination of fly size and color will be the best producers.

Along with experimenting with the fly patterns, we have also been experimenting with styles of presentations. I've been noticing that the fish throughout the day
may respond to different styles of presentation and fly patterns. Often when I notice our catch rate slowing down, or change in the fish's behavior, we will need
to start experimenting with both presentation and fly pattern. As the old saying goes "don't be a robot". If you're not catching fish try something different.

Fishing tip:

When it comes to the styles of presentations, I found two basic approaches have been the most productive. First, my favorite style of presentation is to swing flies.
Keep in mind when swinging flies to Chinook salmon you need to keep the fly just off the bottom and swinging as slow as possible. Let that fly almost hang in the
current as it comes around. The more time the salmon has to watch the fly and think about it, the more he's going to bite it. The second presentation is more of
a 'down and across' to nymphing technique. The whole idea of this is to give the salmon a much slower presentation. Let the fly just gently tumble down into the
salmon.



Note:

I still have dates available for the month of October. Both early, prime salmon fishing time and late October steelhead fishing. The dates are as follows:
1,4,9,14,20,21,27,28,31.
Please feel free to call the fly shop and talk to Carl. The number is 585-352-4775 or call my cell at 585-233-0436.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The salmon fishing has been consistent all week. Salmon continue to enter the river almost on a daily basis. The last few days, warmer afternoon temperatures have warmed water temperature enough to slow the fish movement down. However for the most part this has been easily remedy, by just adjusting to the type of water that you are fishing. With the low water flows that we are having, the salmon are moving through the river much slower than normal. The bulk of the salmon have reached Pineville, in the upper river over the last few days. This means we now have salmon spread out from one end of the river to the other. We no longer have to concentrate all of our efforts and the lower river. River conditions have not changed much over the past week. Water temperatures have remained warm. Hopefully this coming week we will have cooler weather and cooler water temperatures. There's also some rain in the forecast hopefully the rain will give us a little help in the water department. We're still experiencing our best fishing is from first light to late morning. Looks like we will still need to get out of bed and get on the river early in the morning. The most productive flies for us have been black, olive, black and silver bead headed woolly buggers in size 6. Bake black stone flies have been taken a few fish also. The salmon have been touchy about the presentation. Lately the salmon like the flies presented, more of a dead draft, then on the swing. Fishing Tip: With the low water conditions such as we are experiencing on the Salmon River. Pocket water fishing can be very productive. Look for the deeper pockets in the area that you're fishing, the darker looking water. Also if the pocket water has broken water flowing over the spot, it can be even more productive. These little pockets with overhead cover are where you will find your best biting fish. Don't bother fishing the pools in this water flow, the salmon often feel exposed and are too nervous to bite. I still have prime dates available for both September and October. A few dates that I have still available for mid to late September is, 23, 28, 30. If you are interested in early salmon fishing please give me a call and we will discuss what is going on in real time. The fly shop number is 585-352-4775 my cell is 585-233-0436

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Salmon River has received heavy runs of salmon early this week. Monday of 9/10 the salmon were coming into the DSR so heavy that it looked like a cattle drive. The intensity of the run lasted for the entire day. All of the pools in the DSR were so full of salmon that they were practically on fishable. You could not make a clean draft through the pool. On Tuesday 9/11 the salmon did not disappoint. The fish continued to move through the DSR for most of the day. I have personally been fishing the Salmon River since the mid-80s. I have rarely seen salmon move with such intensity for as long as they did. The amazing part of all of this is that this happened with river conditions not ideal for heavy runs of salmon. The water flows have not moved, hopefully the water flow will stay at the 185 CFS it has been flowing at. The rainfall that was predicted for the weekend did not mount too much. Hopefully the water flows will not be needed to be reduced. Despite the intensities of the recent salmon runs. Water temperatures are still a little high for the salmon to comfortably run the river. The water temperatures have been fluctuating between a low of 67 degrees to high temperature of 72 degrees. Obviously the coolest water temperatures are going to be during the morning. This is when we have been having our best fishing. The most productive flies for us have been black, olive, black and silver bead headed woolly buggers in size 6. Bake black stone flies have been taken a few fish also. The salmon have been touchy about the presentation. Lately the salmon like the flies presented, more of a dead draft, then on the swing. Fishing tip: The salmon have not been all that grabby yet at times. My best guess is that river conditions, low water flows and warm water temperatures, can affecting the aggressiveness of the fish. This is nothing new for early-season salmon fishing. Once again good fishermen know how to adjust. As the old saying goes, if it is not working try something else. In this case if one style of presentation is not producing, do not hesitate to try another style of presentation. Often we need to do more than just keep changing flies. Often when fish do not want to take, you need to change the whole approach. Such as switching from swinging flies, to dead drifting flies to the fish. Keep in mind just like river conditions that can and do change quickly, so does the mood of the fish. I still have prime dates available for both September and October. A few dates that I have still available for mid to late September is, 23, 24, 28, 30. If you are interested in early salmon fishing please give me a call and we will discuss what is going on in real time. The fly shop number is 585-352-4775 my cell is 585-233-0436

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A lot has happened over the last few days. To start with, we got some rain finally. The reports I'm getting is that the Salmon River watershed received a touch over 3 inches of rainfall. Normally this would cause a large water flow release. However we have been so dry for so long that this rainfall is more than likely just good maintenance. Reservoir levels are so low that we may indeed another round of rainfall just like what we received. The rumors that I was receiving from the Lake fishermen about the salmon fishing, being the best they seen in 20 years just may be true. I finished the DSR on the morning of September 4. While there I experienced a run of salmon that lasted for most of the day. This run of salmon I would rate as very good for the month of October. When I take into consideration river conditions low-water flows, 185 CFS and water temperatures of 70 decreases I would have to rate this run as incredible. Normally for this time of the year I would expect to see a dozen or so fish trying to move through the river. This particular run was not unusual for this fall, salmon ran as well the day before. We may be looking at an earlier start to the salmon run that I originally anticipated. For now because of warm water temperatures in low-water flows concentrate your fishing efforts from first light too late morning. You want to take advantage of the cooler morning water temperatures. Look for salmon from the ballpark section of the river which is located just upstream of town, down river to the estuary. Have not seen or heard of any salmon above the ballpark section of the river yet. Despite all of this I still suspect the salmon fishing to be a little spotty for the next couple of weeks. However the best part of fishing this time of the year is that you often have the entire river to yourself. This is my favorite time to fish for salmon. There's a few salmon around to make it interesting and hardly anybody in your way. Apparently this fall will be no different and we do have fish. As for us every fall has its challenges it looks like the challenge for this fall is low water. We have seen this before, all we need to do is apply the lessons that we learned from the drought of 07. The salmon will run the river in 185 CFS water flows. We already know that the Atlantic salmon don't mind this water flow nor will the Chinook salmon. The only big different is that it will take the salmon longer to negotiate the river. This will give us more fishing opportunities before the salmon make the hatchery or the sanctuary water. We also have to keep in mind that in low-water the normal holding water may not be as productive. Once again time to apply the lessons from 07. A few final notes: The conservation Department will be constantly monitoring the conditions. Once conditions change so will the water flow restrictions be adjust. Anyone that is a veteran of fishing the tributaries knows conditions can and do change quickly. Part of being a skilled fishermen, is knowing how to adjust to any given condition in any given day. We've seen low water conditions before and have done well fishing in these conditions. But it never hurts to pray for rain. Over the next few weeks I will be posting a few fishing tips for fishing and low-water with my regular reports. I still have prime dates available for both September and October. A few dates that I have still available for mid to late September is 16, 17, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30. If you are interested in early salmon fishing please give me a call and we will discuss what is going on in real time. Feel free to give a call and discuss what's going on and what is available. Shop number is 585-352-4775 my cell is 585-233-0436