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 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


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:
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.

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