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Old 07-18-2012, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Salmon River, NY Chinook

Hi Red Owl,

I lived in Northern PA and fished NY a lot. King salmon can be caught from the estuary all the way to the top end of the C&R stretch at Altmar. Whether or not a fish will grab a fly has more to do with how much pressure = harassment that particular fish has endured prior to you trying to lure it.

The water levels can vary with the rains and discharges from the dam but on a whole you can often see a large salmon in the river. A good pair of fishing glasses is the ticket and you need patience as well. Searching for fish that are holding in unlikely spots was always my key to success. The big pools will attract equally large crowds and the fish will be spooky. Finding a fish who is hanging out in a small troth and then watching that fish for a good period of time will tell you whether it is worth approach or not. If the fish stays put and no one comes and bothers it you'll have a shot. If you get the chance to try a fish that is at rest you need to use caution. Before a fish has traveled the 12 miles from the lake to the safety of the closed water it will have had innumerable encounters with people. This will have them quite keen to a person who thinks they can just wade up toward a fish or to a very poorly thought out cast.

Find a fish. Move upstream. Allow time for the fish to acclimate to a lessoned stress level. Then cast so that the fly will be crossing well above the resting fish. Add length to each successive cast and move only as necessary to allow for the right arc of the fly. The right arc is one that will allow the fly to cross in front of the fish 1 - 2 feet. You don't want to drag the fly line in front of the fish because like I said they have had a rough trip and will spook real easy. You will see your share of fish with flies and spinning lures stuck in their bodies and this will help you to understand what I mean by ' use caution when approaching'.

I have caught them on flies ranging from black woolly buggers on #2 salmon hooks to elaborately dressed Silver Doctors and about every type in between so it's not so much the fly as you being careful not to alert the fish that you are connected to it. If I were fishing there this fall I would use the AK. Assassin that you can find in the Alaska flies threads. It works like a charm here and the only reason I didn't use it back there was that I didn't know about it.

Dougleston is expensive now days but better than the open water above.
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