Fly fish steelhead fishing report from Salmon River Pulaski NY steelhead fly fish guide
10/27 Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Drift Boat Guide Spin Fly Fishing Report Update:
VERY nice push - run "BIG SLUG" of Steelhead entered the river over the last week w/more entering the river system daily, as I type this!! Ye-Haa!!
One day my guest's hit 5 Steelhead in one VERY small Fall holding location and on another day hit 9 Steelhead in a larger Steelhead habitat, all in the upper end of the river off the Drift Boat. We also blind cast and sight fished and fought numerous good looking and very large King Salmon!
Can't remember the last time I noticed sooooo many nice looking Salmon this late in the season. Maybe I need to get my eyes checked
The Browns are starting to move to that special rock w/ more daily thru the month of Nov.
Lot's of leaves have fallen with a few left for you to play with
Both reservoirs filling up comfortably w/ continued great water flow's.
The F.Z's have a few steelhead presently and expect more arriving daily. (This BIG SLUG should start to arrive there Wed. or Thursday sometime) I normally dont target Chrome up there until mid-Nov.
A friend has been hitting them reeeel good in the middle river while spey casting.
Few old and moldy Salmon still around w/ an occasional freshy. Most of the river had that old moldy dead Salmon smell. P-U! This higher flow should fresh'n the breeze a lot!
All Fall Steelhead water is holding, top to bottom w/greater #'s arriving daily!!
There really is no bad place to fish, providing you have the correct habitat. There is a lot of empty water out there. Being rigged correctly for the education level of the fish and most importantly, presentation, will find you on your way to FISH ON!!
Crystal Ball Fishing Forecast:
We will continue to see many more 1,000's of Steelhead enter, run, spread out and hold in the Salmon River NY. These #'s well increase during Nov. and after. Supplying us ALL with many great fishing opportunities all Dec. Jan. Feb. March and April!
(After 30 years of guiding, things never reeeeelly change that much
(Please see Profile link for photo's and Fishing Report (More Tips, Articles, Pic's and my usual Ramblings
Curtis lands an incredible Brown Trout! Notice the bump on the lower jaw? That tells you its a male. Notice the white mouth? This tells you its a Trout. All Salmon will have a grayish black coloration on the inside of the mouth. Thats the easiest-fastest way to tell them apart.
Normally, lots of anglers will land a bright silver Coho Salmon and think its a Steelhead. They sometimes look and fight a lot a like. By looking at the inside of the mouth you can easily tell.
Presently, these Metal heads are on FIRE!
Torpedo - Bullet run's, water spraying off there backs, changing direction in a blink of an eye, keeping you on your toes and hopefully not on your back!
Running up and down the river to keep up w/ them is the norm.
Tarpon jump's, 3-4 feet in the air. Sometimes somersaulting like a jugglers baton before splash down, sounding like a cinder block w/ water splashing 20 feet in all directions.
Tails walk's for 20-40 feet will last in your memory for a lifetime. Darn, I love this job!
A few tip's and common mistakes:
For Steelhead fish 2-5 feet of rippled water or the heat combined with a current break. Guaranteed!
Some anglers Ive noticed recently are fishing the Winter lyes, with poor results. (More on this subject later, so please stop back)
Set your drags light and dont rush the landing. Most fish are lost in the first 5-10 seconds or at the net.
I always tell my guest's that its a lil nicer to still have the fish on after the initial hook-up, speeding bullet run's and jumps. You can always tighten your drag after this ball of wrecking energy subsides a lil. Always expect a few more bullet run's as you get ready to land it. Dont force the fish when landing it. Another very normal mistake. Adrenaline and excitement causes many fish to be lost, understandably so.
Next Update archived Tips, Pic's and Ramblings will be on - What's the best way (guide secret's) to fight your Steelhead?:
This one may surprise you, so please stop back.
Water Level and Weather Snap Shot:
Presently, the water level is @ 1,200 cfs plus run-off and any Trib. input. (Perfect!!) More seasonal temp's coming our way. Low's in the 30'ish range and high's in the 50'ish range. With all of the rain we recieved, this will guarantee a nice fishing water flow level in the River for the future. The local creeks and streams that are with fish presently well help spread the anglers out. Offering you more fish catching opportunity, where ever you decide to fish.
Lot's Cold Wet Rain!
What does this spell? Steelhead and Brown Trout!!!!! Ye-Haa!!!!!
With this weather pattern, time of year, fish's biological clock, etc... you will see some (fresh Salmon) Steelhead and Browns in some of our other, local streams and creeks that feed into Lake Ontario. Let's just call them Pucker Brush Creek's.
Im often asked what effect this new and exciting increased water flow will have on my guest's future fishing and also if the river is still fishable. This increase is the "same ol same hole" scenario. No biggy - We all (errr, well at least I do
welcome these normal weather related flow increases or decreases and embrace them. Caution should obviously be used when wading. This is a typical and welcomed flow increase.
Water forecast 1,200 cfs plus run-off and any Trib. input.
"Live" Pineville 1540 cfs on Friday, noon.
(equals 340 cfs in run-off and influence of Beaver Dam Brook and Orwell creek.)
Add "at least" another approx. 300 cfs from influence of Trout Brook and run-off for below Pineville.
Equals an approx. flow of 1,840 cfs thru the middle of the river down to the bottom.
This is how I guest'a mate the actual water levels and flows which helps me to determine what "prime" habitat and current breaks the fish will be useing and where I might have the very best opportunity for you, my fishing guest, for that specific day.
The below graph's and forecast's are what I look @ every morning before heading out the door to guide you.
USGS Current Conditions for USGS 04250200 SALMON RIVER AT PINEVILLE NY
- This is a "live" water level gauge at Pineville, approx. 3 miles below the dam. Water level's will be a lil higher further down river from run-off and Trout Brook's influence.
Check this for water forecast's. Please remember that this is ONLY a forecast and water levels could be different.
How to make your Steelhead look BIG'r !!
Nice example of a steelhead picture making the fish look as big as yourself.
If we had "only" held the fish out a little further, it would have made it look a lot bigger.
Congrats on that fine Steelie! I can't tell who is smiling more, the fish or my guest.
Get out your lil Violins:
How I enjoyed my scheduled day off -
1. Writing all of this, for all of you. (bet you all feel guilty, didn't think sooooooo..................
2. Re-rigging all of my rods from Salmon to Steelhead. It's the only part of my guide biz. I procrastinate over and hate doing.
After approx. 100 knot's, etc... 10 rods, etc... different lines, etc.... 2 float rods, 2 spinning rods, 2 different rigging's for 4 fly rods, etc...Couple Spey rods, etc.....double checking every screw, washer, bolt, knob, ferral, eye, etc... Im done! Ye-haa!
These fish are big and powerful and will put even the most expensive piece of equipment to the test......... along with the angler attached to it.
Hatchery Egg Taking Successful
The Altmar Fish hatchery has exceeded it's quota of Salmon egg's needed. Supplying your children and you with ample fishing opportunities for years to come.
Guide complementary Tips for Today:
1. Athletic tape to stop cold hands on spinning reel - rods. A lil guide trick I use during the Winter time is to wrap athletic tape around the cold metal reel seat on my spinning rods. Some anglers actually take a hand warmer and wrap it under this athletic tape for warmer hands during the Winter's Steelhead fishing.
2. Reel seat backing off on fly and spin rod's. This is a normal occurrence no matter the price you pay for your equipment. I check it often thru out our fishing day. I use a rubber band to help keep the reel seat from loosening up. It's no fun when you are fighting your Trophy Steelhead or Salmon of a lifetime and your reel fall's into the water. It's funny when you see it happen to other's, but not yourself
3. Rod ferral (s) loosening up while fishing with either a fly or spin rod. This is a normal occurrence no matter the price you pay for your equipment. I check it often thru out our fishing day. Many rods have been broken when this normal occurrence happens and the un-attentive angler does not check them thru out the fishing day. Loose ferrules, fish on, rod breaks or lose ferules, yanking on the rod to get unstuck, rod breaks.
4. Main line twist, on spinning rods. This has many negative effects on your rigging and fishing. The best way to get rid of your main line twist is to take off anything that is attached to your main line. Let your mono out into the waters current and then reel it back up. Simple!
5. Ferrals are stuck together and you can't get them apart. I learned this trick a few years back and it works like magic! Simply place your rod into the cold river's water. This normally always helps them to come apart more easily.
Funny - I just did a search on google (and spell check) for the proper spelling of "fishing rod ferral" and it gave me 3 different speeelingss - Hmmm, ferral ferrel ferrule. Some of my fishing clients who are english major's say my fishing report's give them a headackeee. I do the best I can with only a high school education - yukyuk.
From the Archives - Last Years Oct. 26 Fishing Report:
While in the drift boat I checked out one of many area's where the fish hold during the middle of the day. (Transitional holding) It's length is approx. 1/8 mile long. From the head of the hole - run, it was LOADED! All I could see were SOLID Steelhead packed tightly together. As I drifted this section, it was 1 here, then 3, then 6, then 2 then 8 then more and more and more for an approx. 1/8 mile stretch. This particular area is what I use to gauge the pulse and or barometer of #'s of what's moving in the river, etc.. The very next day off the boat I noticed all new Steelhead w/ the same numbers. At least 100 Chromer's each day (in this one area) filtering up the river, spreading out. PLUS, all the rest of them in all the normal spots for this time of year, water level, life cycle, etc.... Steelhead average 8-12 lb's. Some honka's I saw were those 16, 18, 20lb'rs! Yesterday, every single chrome hold'n spot I could see, had a few to many! Ye-Haa!
W.C. Fields Quote on Death:
Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.
Another happy guided steelhead client!
More complementary Tips and Ramblings for Today:
Length of time any fish will hold (current break) while in transition is determined by:
(Variables do apply)
The #1 determining factor in the length of time any fish will hold in a current break is determined by the quality of the current break.
Another would be - What it had to go thru to get there. A great place to fish to any fish that are in a transitional stage would be above shallow rapids combined with a hole at the top.
They all want to rest after all the energy used up to run these rapids.
A hole is comprised of numerous current breaks:
1. The head of the hole at the drop.
2. The hole within the hole (this is like a magnet and also where many fish will hold thru out the Winter, hint-hint
3. The tail of the hole where the water moves slower.
4. Any boulder's in the hole that break the current flow.
5. The seam's of the hole. (Where the fast water meets the slow water)
These are all comprised of small and large pockets that the fish will normally rest-hold in as they navigate there way up river. Normally, they are only in here for a short period of time. As they have one thing on there mind, to find a quality current break where they can be safer, hold and rest comfortably for a longer period of time, sometimes all Winter in the case of Steelhead. Many times I've guided these pockets for Steelhead. Hitting one shortly, then the next, for normally unpressured uneducated Metal. Checking to see if anyone is at home that wants to play. It's a fun way to cover a large area of rapids and is often over looked by the average angler. Kind'a like'a box'a chocolates, never know.
Big - Small Surface and Sub-Surface Boulders in a run:
If they are on the path that the fish are taking, normally they will hang out here. These can be seen visually but also sub-surface, none visual rocks. By looking at the surface flow will many times tell you what is sub-surface that you cant see. Many anglers walk by the sub-surface current breaks and allows you to find unpressured uneducated fish.
Most fish use the current and the depth of the water to navigate the river. So any current break on this route is a prime resting, holding location that should be fished while we have fish that are in a transitional stage. We will have fish in a transitional stage all Fall, Winter into Spring. Coming and going.
(Lil tip: Normally during the middle of the Winter these transitional spot's slow down to a point where your odds are best if you stick with the prime Winter holding habitat, its what I normally try to do)
The determining factor in the length of time any fish will hold in the above current breaks is determined by the quality of the current break. Weather, bright sun or dark, rainy, over cast day. Angler fishing pressure. What it had to go thru to get there. Depth and speed of water. Life cycle. For Steelhead and Brown Trout, a current break combined with a food source where it feels comfortable and safe from predator's. Yup, as anglers we are considered a predator by the fish. Visually and Audibly.
I laughed the other day when seeing an angler dressed in bright Orange. Maybe he was trying to blend in with all the changing leaves? (har-har)
An ol'tim'r friend of mine hates useing a bright colored fly line. Say's it spook's the fish, same as bright clothing. Another guide friend use's an extra long anchor rope so he can slowly and quietly drop down to the fish. Sometimes when sight fishing to shallow, spooky educated BIG fish we fish from our knees, stalking, crouch over when approaching, stand behind a tree, etc... Trying to blend in. Similar to hunting a Deer - Turkey or sight fishing those crystal clear shallow water light colored sand flats on Monomoy Island, Cape Cod to Stripers and Blues.
We could all learn a valuable lesson from studying the hunting behavior of a Heron. Blending in, being quit and still, stalking our prey, deciphering our prey's weaknesses and then exploiting them. That's how any good predator in the world does it.
I sincerely hope you find my reports, humor and articles entertainingly informative and mildly educational.
Maybe I'll see ya out there, save me a rock to stand on