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Old 11-25-2013, 06:51 AM
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Default Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Fishing Report Salmon River NY

Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Fishing Report Salmon River NY

1,000's of Steelhead! Salmon River Pulaski NY steelhead fishing guide has Salmon River guide steelhead fish report for steelhead off drift boat on Salmon River NY w/guide and author Randy Jones
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11/24 Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Drift Boat Guide Spin Fly Fishing Report Update:
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This last weeks steelhead guided client fishing report:
My 1 experienced guest hooked up approx. 14 steelhead! I even accidentally found a couple while demonstrating and experimenting on a few drift's. Funny part of the day was we never moved more than 12 feet in this one spot ALL day!
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Another day my 2 new guest's played w/ approx. 16 Steelhead. I even accidentally found a couple while demonstrating and experimenting on a few drift's. Funny part of the day was we fished 2 spots and never moved more than 10 feet in one spot and 20 feet in another spot, ALL day!
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Another memorable day this week, my 1 very experienced client was tight to approx. 12 steelhead. Ye-haa! The best spot we never moved more than 10 feet, then we tried another spot for 10 minutes and hit 1 steelhead, then back to the 10 foot spot and hit a few more before jumping in the boat and trying another spot for 2 minutes and found another steelhead. Last 2 spots were fished briefly with nothing. But, in these last 2 spots, a shore angler in both was hooked up to a steelhead. Soooo, we did have a presence of fish.
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What the above tells you is that in some spots they are packed in like sardines. Other spots spread out a lil. Knowledge of Habitat, water flows, temp's, stage of life, current breaks, food sources and more will help you on your way to Fish ON!!
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Anglers are finding the steelhead fishing presently either challenging, tuff, ok, not bad, pretty good or amazing.
I guess we just got lucky this week, as we found the steelhead fishing AMAZING!!
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Lot's of fresh Chrome around with some older. All spots producing, some spots LOADED, some spots spread out while other's will leave you wanting.
Having the correct Habitat, Rigging and most importantly Presentation. Will help in your Steelhead quest.
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(Photo)
Ron with a Trophy Steelhead Wall Mount'r. (17.5 lb's) Congrats!
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Crystal Ball Fishing Forecast:
The Steelhead fishing will remain strong all Winter into May! On top of ALL of the Steelhead that are presently in the Salmon River. We will continue to see many more Steelhead enter, run, spread out and hold in the Salmon River NY. I'd recommend coming over to fish.
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Today's Fishing Tip:
Please re-read all of the below complementary fishing reports, Tips, Articles as they relate to Steelhead. They all have relevant info. that is still pertinent now.
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Water Level Forecast:
Until 11:59 PM Tue NOV 26, 900 CFS
Water Temp's are dropping. (hint-hint)
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Crystal Ball Water Level Forecast:
I'd guess that this current flow will be here for a lil longer and then dropping. With mostly colder temp's and snow in the forecast. I dont foresee any rain or run-off over this com'n week.
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(Photo)
My guest Ron w/ a Reeeel Burning Trophy 17.5 lb.Steelhead Hum Dinger Honk'a. Congrats Ron!
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Thats it for this week's Steelhead Salmon River Pulaski NY Drift Boat Guide Fishing Report, Etc... I think I covered all the important stuff.
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May all your door knobs smell of Steelhead
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Stay tuned for more entertainingly informative and mildly educational reports and articles on this never-ending virtual fishing trip with your host Randy "The Yankee Angler" and friends.
I sincerely hope that what little I've been able to share with you will help you along the path to more enjoyable, safe, knowledgeable fishing.
Thanks for stopping in and spending your valuable internet fishing time here
Hope your all enjoying this great fishing!
(Photo)
Best Holiday Fish's,
Randy
(To see all photo's, please visit Profile - Fishing Report page)
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11/19 Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Drift Boat Guide Spin Fly Fishing Report Update:

Every normal type of habitat for this time of year, fish's life cycle, water flow, current breaks, water temperature is with Steelhead and Brown Trout from the top of the Salmon River to the bottom. There literally there is no bad place to fish presently.
The simplest way to explain this is everyday of late, as I drift down the river in the boat, every single spot is producing fish, top to bottom of the river! Ye-Haa!!
My guest's were in the 10% of the anglers that catch 90% of the Steelhead twice last week, with the other two days being ok #'s. The 2 ok average #'s of steelhead were attributed to the fish being in a transitional stage and being more spread out from the heat to the deeper pools.
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(Photo)
Rick (son of dad Dick K. photo'd below) w/ an exciting steelhead. Congrats!!
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Guess we just got lucky this week
Monday - Enjoyed my first scheduled day off in the last few month's.
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Tuesday - 500 cfs - My 2 guest's landed 3 steelhead (6-8-12 lb'r) out of 9 total played with!
My new guest was visually shaking with excitement and adrenaline racing up his spine after fighting and landing his first ever steelhead. He said, Randy, this is the BEST fishing day of my life! I smiled in return and remembered fondly my first fish on the Salmon River and the excitement of it all.
We captured the entire fight and landing of this steelhead on video. It was fun to watch and listen to it in replay as we slowly drifted down the river in the drift boat on "The River, where Memories are Made."
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Wed.
6 reeeeeeeeel scream'n drag's singing the fisherman's national anthem steelhead were played with today off the .com drift boat by my two guest's. Just another day at the office.
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Thurs.
Had to work hard for every fish and we picked away at them. Noticed less fish in the heat then previous days, the fish are transitioning to the Winter lyes. Water temp. was approx. 40 degrees.
We tied into 4 steelhead today - Father and son sharing a qaulity day of fond fishing memories and fun.
Tyler took about 5-6 pictures of his dad's Trophy Steelhead that he kept for the dinner table. I suggested that w/ the holidays just around the corner he could make a photo colleague framed picture and make it into a holiday gift for his dad to hang on the wall.
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Friday
Noticed MOST of the bank anglers having success in ALL the normal spots. Bent rods, scream'n reels, smiles and laughter abound! I'd recommend coming over, up or down to fish.
I'm seeing about 75% bright silver steelhead and approx. 25% darker steelhead. They darken a tad once they have been in the river 3-4 weeks. Thats how you can tell how fresh or old they are.
Changed fishing strategy today, listened to the fish and was rewarded w/ an amazing 14 steelhead tangled with for my first timers. They flew in from the West coast where they fish a lot. They had always heard story's about this place and decided to give a fishing try. They were not disappointed. I think we well be seeing them again.
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How I enjoyed my scheduled weekend off the water to work in the office:
You can only turn your underwear inside out, soooo many times, before you HAVE to do your laundry
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(Photo)
Dick K. w/ a nice silver bullet. Fishing you a speedy recovery!!
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Complementary Guide Tip and Lesson for the week:
Non-transitional Prime holding - Approx. 20-30% of these steelhead are in the heat, while 70-80% have moved into the Winter lyes. (Hint - Water temp. approx. 40 degrees)
All hab's producing.
1. When the Steelhead are running, fish there temporary transitional resting points as they make there way up the river. Otherwise, you are fishing to fish that are not stopping, decreasing your odds greatly, in my opionion.
2. Once they stop to hold for the remainder of the day, fish these prime transitional holding waters. (Approx. 15% of steelhead that are in the river system)
3. Find these prime non-transitional holding places in the river all Winter, and just fish those. After all, they aren't going anywhere soon. (Approx. 85% of steelhead that are in the river system)
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Be glad it wasn't you - Funny Story:
A guide friend told me that Friday in the early morning darkness he was walking in the moving river water to place his drift boat anchor in the "hot spot." He unfortunately did what I call a superman dive (arms out in front and legs out behind) and fell in the water, getting the normal and much cherished "Salmon River Baptism.". He said he had water pouring into his waders and was wet from his ear's to the tips of his toes. He was wet, but ok. Later in the morning as some of us bank anglers (I might add, we were ALL hitting steelhead) on the bank were watching his client try to land a big steelhead we noticed a steady plume of black smoke rising from his drift boat heater. Coupl'a of the guys yelled to him that something was on fire in his boat. Turns out, that in his haste to try to net his clients fish, some how his rubber oar handle ended up on his heater and started to burn and melt? Never a dull moment on this river
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Incredible weather and water level
This weekend will be cwaaaazy bizzy w/ anglers. Great for the local economy! I noticed a increase in anglers fishing on Friday. Why?
1. Nice air temperatures. No blizzards forecast, so all the fair weather anglers will be out.
2. The word has gotten out about ALL the Steelhead that are around.
3. Most anglers stayed away from the 1,500 cfs plus, water flows and have been waiting for the water to drop to a level that they are more familiar and comfortable with.
4. Economy doing well.
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Why will this Dec. be a banner steelhead Month?
Lot's of steelhead around, lot's of anglers will be busy with family - Biz. holiday obligations, hunting, warm - fair weather anglers will be putting their skirts on for the Winter (yukyuk) only a few of us "Full - Time" Guides will be working. Offering you more fishing opportunities. Fish On and On and On, Baby!!!
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(Photos)
I'd like to fish my good friend and client Dick Koelling a speedy recovery from a recent stroke.
Dick's been out w/ me 100 times on the Salmon River for Kings, Coho's, Brown's and Steelhead. (We've even done a few "Grand Slam's")
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Steelhead Fishing Report that came from last years Nov. Archives:
I thought you might enjoy it as its exactly what we are experiencing now on the river and is basically a repeat of the above report. Funny how after 30 plus years of guiding, nothing reeeeeelly ever changes that much.
November 18, 2012
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Complementary Tips:
Steelhead top to bottom of river with fresh Chrome entering daily. Running the river spreading out. All Fall Spots still producing.
With the water temperature around 40 degrees, we are seeing some of the residents transferring into their Winter lyes.
It's approx. 30% Fall spots, 30% Winter spots and 30% inbetween. All Transitional holding, resting and Prime holding water is hold'n.
Every type of habitat is producing. The entire river is producing. You can find them almost anywhere presently.
Even heard reports of a few fresh Kings and Coho Salmon in the river.
Best of luck to you all!
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This last week we played with on average 10 to 14 Steelhead daily. On 1 day, my one guest w/ a fly rod hit 18 Steelhead!
Another day my 2 very experienced spin clients played w/ over 20!! Ye-Haa!
Had what I call a DAY for KINGS!
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For the first 2 hour's skunk, nothing, nada, not even a sucker in a spot where the steelhead had been loaded the day before. I started to chain smoke, chew tobacco and put on a nicotine patch. (kidding) Glad I gave up drinking. (har-har) I was getting nervous. I knew that most of these Steelhead were residents who had set up shop in this prime lye. But, where were they? I pulled anchor and guessed with the water temperature dropping they were all just a lil lower in the deeper, less current habitat. I was right!
We HAMMERED over 20 Steelhead with my 2 very experienced Steelhead guest's! One after the other! Darn, I love this job!
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The previous day I had the luxury to be able to move the driftboat around freely and fish different prime area's. We had approx. 18 Steelhead on that day with 1 guest useing a fly rod!
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Egg sack's, hot shoting (plugging w/ drift boat), beads and flies are all producing daily. The wade - shore anglers are having a lot of success also. It's always nice to share the fish, water and see other's out enjoying this incredible fishery w/ success!
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I would highly recommend coming up to do some Steelhead fishing.
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From the Mail Bag:
Randy I would appreciate your thoughts regarding what is the appropriate "line" to use for the butt section of the fly leader when fishing for steelhead. I use 12 pound clear mono between the floating fly line and barrel swivel and then fluorocarbon for a tippet. But I also observe others using a dark brown line for this section and referred to as "chameleon". Not sure if it makes a difference, but the darker color leader is claimed to be an advantage during bright sunny days; less reflection off the line. Thus the late day activity I experienced Wednesday may not be the result of warmer water temperature, but less sunlight to reduce the reflection (or it could have been a push of steelhead entering the tailout). Thanks. Dick.
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HI Dick,
The brown mono is Maxima. Some guides use it exclusively, even for leaders or tippets to fly, bait.
It breaks approx. 1 -1/2 lb/s more than what it is rated for. (Please see my Links-The Very Best page for the best in Mono and Fluorocarbon, it all breaks at what its rated for and is also what most of the tournament anglers use around the world for all species. Its also used by many for any local, regional, national, world record hold'rs)
Blends in with a dark bottom river. Never thought about reflective qualities, hmmm.
For traditional fly casting a tapered leader transfer's the energy the best.
I just use clear 10-12 lb. straight mono for butt.
An 8 lb. mono straight butt is less current - water resistance than heavier - Diameter, so you will get into the strike zone quick'r and stay longer. Also feel the bottom better.
But, a good snag will sometimes break it, so keep an eye on it. Thats why I use a 10-12 lb. Less knot tying and lost total rig's.
Clients spend more time fishing and less time waiting on me to tie all those knots. Also, my hands stay warmer when its cold .
Best Fish's,
Randy
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Thats it for this week's Steelhead Salmon River Pulaski NY Drift Boat Guide Fishing Report, Etc... I think I covered all the important stuff.
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Stay tuned for more entertainingly informative and mildly educational reports and articles on this never-ending virtual fishing trip with your host Randy "The Yankee Angler" and friends.
I sincerely hope that what little I've been able to share with you will help you along the path to more enjoyable, safe, knowledgeable fishing.
Thanks for stopping in and spending your valuable internet fishing time here
Hope your all enjoying this great fishing!
Best Fish's,
Randy
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Another Steelhead Fishing Report that came from last years Nov. Archives, I thought you all might enjoy:
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We continue to see reeeeel good Steelhead fishing top to bottom of the Salmon River, Pulaski NY. Fresh Steelhead entering daily and running up the river, spreading out. Starting to see some resident's holding with a continuation of freshies moving thru daily. Water level is a nice pleasant 335 cfs. All spots producing!
Heard its been hit or miss in the lower end. A guide friend hit 2 Steelhead and 1 Brown down low, while guiding. He ended up fishing the middle river later that day, with great result's. Another guide friend did reel well in the middle section of the river. There really is no bad place to fish presently, providing you have the correct Habitat - (there is a lot of empty water out there), Rigging and Presentation.
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Monday:
Got out early to get the spot. We were rewarded w/ numerous fish! Lots of jump's, somersaults and silver bullet torpedo runs.
My 2 brand new, inexperienced guest's played with over 10 steelhead while useing a combination of fly rod's and spin.
I even "accidentally" (hehe) hooked up 3 while demonstrating. All anglers I spoke with over a 3 mile stretch (that had experience). Had early success in the morning, then it slowed to a crawl by mid-day. We experienced the same.
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A guide friend w/ 1 client hit approx. 8 Steelhead useing Eggs. My other guide friends 2 clients played w/ approx. 10 Steelhead useing fly rods. I also noticed Steelhead being played with above and below where we were. I'd guess approx. 50 or more Steelhead in our general area. Also saw numerous Steelhead in certain high viz. transitional resting area's mid-afternoon as we slowly drifted by them in the drift boat.
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Tues.:
Scheduled day off the water to work in the office.
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Wed:
Over 20 Steelhead played with! Ye-Haaa! I can count on 1 hand how many of these days with these incredible #'s my guest's have thru out our 6 month Steelhead season each year. It's HAMMER TIME!

Thursday:
Slooowed down. Only a dozen hook'd up thru out the day - yukyuk
Hit'm in all Prime Fall Steelhead Holding and Transitional spot's.
Myself and other guides noticed a decrease in the number of fresh Chrome today. Almost all the fish played with were what I call the resident's. They were darker in color and had been in the river a short while. Takes them a couple - few weeks to get a lil dark'r. The males have rosy checks and the females will be a silvery grayish. They have taken up residence in the prime holding water. I call these "happy fish". They have all 3 things they need to be happy and survive. Just like us!
1. Protection from predator's.
2. A food source
3. Comfort equals current breaks. This conserves there energy for the long Winter.
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Friday:
Only a dozen or so played with , thru out the day. Hit'm in all spot's. Every single Fall Steelhead holding and transitional holding Habitat are with Steelhead.
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All presentational techniques are producing. Some better than other's.
Egg's and egg imitations. Aquatics and bait fish imitations are all producing.
We used a combination of fly rods and spinning rods with incredible results.
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From the Mail Bag:
This email was sent by one of my good friends and clients for a clarification on the 1/8 ounce added weight regulation in the fly zones.
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Recently (November 2nd) I fished the LFZ and would appreciate clarification regarding the regulations for this water as well as the UFZ; specifically in relation to what does DEC consider the "1/8 ounce supplemental weight" restriction to represent; a #7, #5, or #4 lead weight or Tin split shot? From my experience Friday, I as well as many other anglers seem unaware of the 1/8 ounce restriction. Thanks Joe.
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The 1/8th ounce rule has been around for a while, it isn't new for this year and is described on page 34 of the regulations guide. The size split shot isn't the only issue, it is the total added weight to your fly and or line. So if you decide to fish a bead head nymph and use a swivel, the bead head and swivel cannot exceed 1/8th ounce. Or if you just want to use split shot on an un-weighted fly and no swivel then the split shot cannot be over 1/8th ounce. The best way to gauge the split shot sizes would be to get an 1/8th ounce jighead and compare the size of the added weight on it to the split shot you are considering.
Hope this answers you questions,
Scott E. Prindle
Aquatic Biologist
Region 7 Fisheries
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
1285 Fisher Ave.
Cortland, NY 13045-1090
Phone (607)753-3095 ext 204
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Randy,
This response does little to answer my question regarding the size split shot that would comply with "1/8 ounce restriction" if fishing with an un-weighted fly. Thus I will use the website information that identifies a #4 split shot as weighing 1/8 ounce. In reality, a #4 or #5 split shot is generally all that is needed.
Thanks Joe
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Stay tuned for more entertainingly informative and mildly educational reports and articles on this never-ending virtual fishing trip with your host Randy "The Yankee Angler" and friends.
I sincerely hope that what little I've been able to share with you will help you along the path to more enjoyable, safe, knowledgeable fishing.
Thanks for stopping in and spending your valuable internet fishing time here
Hope your all enjoying this great fishing!
Best Fish's,
Randy
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11/10 Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Drift Boat Guide Spin Fly Fishing Report Update:
After 30+ years of guiding, nothing reeeeeeelly ever changes that much
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Most of the other creeks around here are fishing well. The Salmon River is (and well continue to) fish reeeel good for Steelhead with an occasional Brown Trout around.
Lots of folks out and about enjoying this great steelhead and brown trout fishing. Shore anglers having success, which is always nice to see. Smiles abound.
(P.S. As usual, some anglers are finding the steelhead fishing very challenging, while others are finding it ok, while the 10% that catch 90% of the steelhead are finding the fishing presently, Outstanding!!)
While guiding last week I had 1 very challenging steelhead day and the other 4 steelhead days, we were in the 10% group.
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Crystal Ball Fishing Forecast:
The Steelhead fishing will remain strong all Winter into May!
On top of ALL of the Steelhead that are presently in the Salmon River. We will continue to see many more Steelhead enter, run, spread out and hold in the Salmon River NY.
I'd recommend coming over to fish.
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Lil Guide Tip - Where are the steelhead holding?
15% Prime Transitional Holding
85% Prime "Fall" Non-Transitional Holding
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(Photo)
My favorite Lake Effect snowy Steelhead photograph. Congrats!!
Bout that time of the year, care to join me? Didn't think so.........yukyuk
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Guess we just got lucky this week
My guest's have been playing with lots of fish, everyday off the drift boat, in almost every spot, on the Slam'n Salmon River. Guide Tip - We have predominately been fishing Habitat that is a "Combination" of Prime Transitional Holding and Prime Non-Transitional Holding.
(You can read more about these specific types of Habitat below)
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Monday - I had 1 guest today who wanted to do Traditional Fly Fishing. So off we waded to find some shallower water over in Pucker Brush Creek #3.1. We had a "presence" of fish in all the spots fished, but was only able to come up with 1 small 12 inch Steelhead on a cream colored glow bug off a strike indicator as it drifted naturally over the white water head of the hole into the deeper stuff.
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1,500 cfs plus run off - Tuesday - I was very happy to have the same client as Monday. Today we fished the big water on the Salmon River off the drift boat and I put him over a very large # of steelhead. We used the fly rod and did some high sticking - dead drifting to help get down to the steelhead in the deeper - faster water. We had an amazing day and succeeded w/tangling w/ 8 steelhead. (Measured by the pound and NOT inch's like on Monday) Ye-Haa!!
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1,500 cfs plus run off - Wednesday- My 2 guest's were 5 for 12 on Steelhead w/ one being a big Trophy Brown Trout!
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1,500 cfs plus run off - Thursday - My 2 clients were very happy w/ 9 steelhead played with.
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1,850 cfs plus run off - Friday - My 2 new guest's were thrilled with 8-9 steelhead on and one nice 12 lb. Steelhead kept and headed for the dinner table. Yummy!
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Sunday - DARN!! - I didn't catch any fish today. I had to do something more important than catching a fish for myself. I enjoyed sitting here writing, editing, etc... a fishing report for all of you! Feel guilty? Didn't think so- yukyuk.
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Today's Fishing Tip:
Please re-read all of the below complementary fishing reports, Tips, Articles as they relate to Steelhead. They all have relevant info. that is still pertinent now.
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(Photo)
Husband and wife proudly displaying a nice steelhead caught on the Slam'n Salmon River! Congrats!!
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Complementary Guide Tip - Frozen Eyes:
Nope, its not that your eyes are cold. It's the eyes on your rod are frozen with ice. Normally occurs when its below freezing.
I use Stanley's Ice Off Paste. Whitakers Sports Shop and Motel has it. You rub it on to your rod guides - eyes the day before going fishing. Re-apply as needed while fishing. This well help greatly in reducing the amount of ice in your guides and help you to catch more fish.
Another way to reduce or get rid of any ice in your guides is to simply dip the rod eyes into the water for 10-20 seconds.
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Mail Bag:
Hey Randy, what's your favorite month or time of year for Steelhead? Ben
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Hi Ben. most anglers like Nov. the most for steelhead. Thats when they are the most visually stimulating, etc.... But its also when the river is the most crowded w/anglers, which offers you less fishing opportunity. I like Dec., Jan., Feb and March for your greatest steelhead fishing opportunities.
WHY?
We lose some of the fishing pressure with some anglers that are hunting, fair weather anglers are wearing their skirts-yukyuk, December holiday family obligations, Dec. business holiday obligations and only a few of us "Full - Time" guides will be working.
All of above affords you greater opportunity as a steelhead angler. And thats why I like the middle of the Winter the most for steelhead. The next period I like is April. Lil warmer and sight fishing is an optional treat.
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Just want to say Randy, I like your posts. They do become very helpful. Keep them coming. I live in NJ and come up one time a yr. I like Nov best. But I do have trouble catching fish when the water goes up. I guess like you said. TOW. LOL!!! But its kind of hard when you live 5 hrs away. When the water goes up can you give me an Idea where these fish will set up on the holes. Like Nov and Dec time. Cause I noticed I have been up there when the river is at 335 and did ok fishing holes. But also went up when the river was 750. And did not catch any steel at all with 750. But I was fishing the holes like I did when it was 335. I know the fish are there but just don't know how they stage when the water goes up. Can you give me some points on how to adapt when this happens. Thanks. Rich W
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HI Rich, I'm happy you enjoy the reports! Great Q!!
Steelhead in Nov.
2-6 feet of rippled water or the heat (rapids) combined w/ a current break.
Steelhead in Dec., Jan. and Feb.
Sloooow deep stuff, holes or pools. Prime non-transitional holding
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Since your Q was on holes when the water goes up. Everything is current break related.
Prime non-transitional holding - Where they will sit for an extended period of time (days and sometimes an entire month or Winter for Steelhead) before there biological clock tells them to find a mate and special rock.
One of the main things I see when the steelhead are holding in the faster water, like now. Anglers do poorly fishing in the deep slow water pools. (Winter lyes) They don't move into that water until the water gets colder. They do this to conserve energy.
If its the Winter time and they are in the deep sloooow water, then anytime their is a higher flow of water they normally will move deeper into the hole. This could be the tail of the hole, the hole within the hole or just far enouph back to where they feel comfortable without having to exert to much energy.
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An example of this would be a big hole that in 335 cfs, they sit more from the middle to the head. In 750 cfs, they sit more in the middle, the deepest part of the tail or the hole within the hole. In a much higher flow, they will sit in the tail, seams, hole within the hole and sometimes along the bank where there is lil to no current. Sooooo, depending on the water flow (cfs) during the Winter time determines where most of them will be and where I will target. Much of this comes with studying the fish and T.O.W. As we all know, there is a lot of empty water out there.
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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)
6. Sometimes a current break is in the flow - speed of the water. From fast to slow.
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Sooooo, in closing Rich. Everything is current break related. Depending on the water levels determines how each individual current break will effect where the fish will hold. By this determination tells me where I will have the best chance for my clients to get into the most steelhead. I hope this helps in your steelhead quest's! Best Fish's, Randy
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Thanks Randy, I am going up the 1st week in Dec this year. My 1st for Dec. I will do my best on what you said. You could not have explained yourself any better. I really do understand what you are talking about. And yes (TOW) is very important. LOL!!! Be safe out there and save some fish for me. LOL!!! Maybe I will see you drift by and say Hello to you. And again, Thank you for you helpful hints. Catch and Release is where its at for me. For the future of our kids. Happy fishing yourself Randy. Thanks, Rich W.
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(Photo)
Father and son enjoying a steelhead filled day. Congrats!!
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Soooo, the lesson for today is there are 3 "basic" ways to locate and target these fish. (1 thru 3, in my opionion. 4-7 is advanced )
1. When the Steelhead are running, fish there transitional resting points as they make there way up the river. Otherwise, you are fishing to fish that are not stopping, decreasing your odds greatly, in my opionion.
2. Once they stop to hold for the remainder of the day, fish these prime transitional holding waters.
3. Find these prime non-transitional holding places in the river all Winter, and just fish those. After all, they aren't going anywhere soon.
4. Find a spot that is a combination of all 1-3. (Or, a spot that has all 3 in close proximity, so you can jump around according to what the fish are telling you to do)
5. Combine 1-4 and find a place above a looong stretch of rapids. The fish get tired after running these rapids. These fish will be in this spot for the longest period of time, offering you the greatest opportunity, all day!
6. Combine 1-5 and make sure that your spot has 98% of the fish in a transitional stage, move into it. This will offer you the greatest opportunity!
7. Combine 1-6 and pick a spot that compresses and or concentrates them. On a dime, like a sardine can, trash can lid or the size of a Volkswagen beetle or bus. This cuts down on all the guess work and allows to to present your offering to all the fish on every drift.
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By utilizing the above, you will have the most fish in front of you for the greatest period of time in a concentrated area offering you the greatest opportunity to present your offering to ALL of them. Fish ON - Baby!!
Now you know what I look for normally.....................
I hope you found "Todays Guide Tip" entertainingly informative or mildly educational.
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May all your door knobs smell of fish
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Thank you all for your words of encouragement, kind words and continued support. Ill continue to do my best in sharing what I've learned through experience, experimentation, borrowed ideas and taught techniques.
Stay tuned for more entertainingly informative and mildly educational reports and articles on this never-ending virtual fishing trip with your host Randy "The Yankee Angler" and friends.
I sincerely hope that what little I've been able to share with you will help you along the path to more enjoyable, safe, knowledgeable fishing.
Thanks for stopping in and spending your valuable internet fishing time here
Hope your all enjoying this great fishing!
The Steelhead fishing of your dreams...... ............ we'll make it reeeeeeeeeeeeeel.
(Photo)
Best Steelhead and Salmon Fish's,
Salmon River NY Guide and Author Randy Jones
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11/3 Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Drift Boat Guide Spin Fly Fishing Report Update:
Boy, my 2 paragraph sprint turned into the Boston Marathon After 30+ years of guiding, I still can't help it and get excited when talking - writing about the steelhead fishing here.
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Looks like the water level is dropping, the future rain forecast is light, so it looks like they will release water until they are comfortable and then continue to drop it. But as always, mother nature ultimately decides.
Until 9:00 AM today, 1,850 CFS
From 9:00 AM today until 11:59 PM 1,500 CFS
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Fresh Steelhead abound in good #'s, recommend making the trip.
All of the Steelhead that have been entering the Salmon River over the last couple of month's are spread out over its entire length, top to bottom.
That "Big Slug" of Steelhead that I reported last week have spread out over the entire length of the Salmon River NY, top to bottom.
We have and well continue to have fresh Steelhead entering the Salmon River everyday, as I type this, running it and spreading out over its entire length, top to bottom. Providing you with many fine fishing opportunities!
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Guess we just got lucky this week
1,500 cfs plus run off - - One day my 2 guest's played w/ 20 steelhead. Please see the below "Short lull in the action" post. We experienced that today, along with every other day, made 1 quick and simple change to our presentation and on the first cast (and the following 2) my guest's were tight to another one of many fresh bright acrobatic steelhead. During the next lull, we made a rigging change and hooked up a few more. Next lull, we changed our habitat, to find some fresher chrome in the same spot and hooked up a few more. Then, after the 4th lull, we made a color change over these "now" educated steelhead with several more rewarding us all with more of their speeding bullet runs, silvery missile tail walk's, dances and somersaults. Just another day at the office
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1,800 cfs plus run off - On another day my "first timer" 1 guest played w/6 steelhead! I knew we had a larger presence of fish then what we were finding. May have been a weather related issue? Anyhooooows, we made several habitat, rigging and presentational changes thru out the morning and most importantly, covered - worked our water (habitat) thoroughly. Worked great! Heard the bite was off from other guides that day. I'd agree.
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1,850 plus run off. - The following trip my guest's played with 11 steelhead! We made several habitat, rigging and presentational changes thru out the morning and most importantly, covered - worked our water (habitat) thoroughly. Worked great!
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Notice some shore anglers having success, which is always nice to see. Everyone having a blast! Even with the higher flows.
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Thought for the day - Another interesting way to look at it:
With the present higher water flow we are experiencing now and will continue too for awhile. ( hopefully I find the below thought to be an interesting spin and makes a lot of sense. I may be the only angler that looks at it this way?

If the normal flow was 1,500 cfs plus run-off, than you would have become adjusted to it many many years ago. You would be fishing now and catching a lot of fish. You would be saying how great the fishing is, as I am. Then, if the flow dropped to 335 cfs, we would all be scratching our heads, posting on the internet how the river is not fishable, leaving town early, canceling our reservations. The lodges would be calling you and suggesting that maybe you should cancel or re-schedule your trip here until we are back to a more normal flow of 1,500 cfs plus run off, your inexperienced guide would be trying to re-schedule you for when the water was at a more fishable normal flow of 1,500 cfs plus.....We would not know what to do with ourselves if we had not figured out how to fish a lower flow of 335 cfs, except those that have learned to adapt. Makes sense to me.
I've always felt that (within reason) you should never - ever allow mother nature to control you. To stop you from enjoying one of your great passions in life. It's simply a matter of adapting to this higher flow and putting a lil T.O.W. in. (Time on the Water)
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Prey fish added to Lake Ontario restoration effort
Prey fish added to Lake Ontario restoration effort - WSJ.com
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Reintroducing Atlantic salmon to the Salmon River
Reintroducing Atlantic salmon to the Salmon River | WRVO Public Media
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(Photo)
My guest - client Bill enjoys a bright freshie. Congrats!
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Fish Fighting Guide Techniques for Steelhead:
(This one may surprise you)
Yes, that's me with the stupid looking hat and the spinning rod.
The first thing I did upon hooking up was to immediately get even or below the fish. This tires the fish out sooner by knocking it off balance and causing it to work harder to stay upright. (An exception to this would be if there was very fast water (drop in the river), deep hole that you can not get around, snags or anything below you that might cause the fish to break you off. Then I would stay a little above the fish)
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(Photo)
I see 95% of the angler's on this river never really load their rod properly when fighting a fish. This is totally understandable (as with everything else because if you've never been told or learned much of this, then it's all new. I certainly didn't know much of this when I was new and I still don't know it all. Most angler's only pull back 1/4 to 1/2 way back. In the above photo I am about 1/2 of the way back with the rod. Before I stop pulling back, the rod is pointed directly behind me with the rod horizontal and next to my ear. The butt (very bottom) of the rod is pointed at the far bank. It's hammer time!
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By holding your rod upside down with rod tip in the water the fish will normally, slowly and quietly come in without much fuss. By keeping it's head under the water the fish feel's much more comfortable and tends not to freak out. This at times can also be used as a stalling tactic. You will notice some of the more experienced Salmon River anglers inverting their rod shortly after the hook up. This greatly increases the odds for the fish to remain in the hole-pool and not speed off down river. It also helps by hopefully controlling the fish's attitude. Keeping it from thrashing around and breaking off.
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(Photo)
The above is an example on how many Steelhead are lost with the rod tip up. (If snag's or strong current's are around you then this would be the correct way) Notice the splash? Miss Steelhead did not like it when I pulled her head out of the water. Many fish are lost-broken off at this point.
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If you listen to the fish it will pretty much tell you at what angle to hold your rod. If the fish is on the other side of the river I always hold my tip high. If I held it low then the full amount of the rivers current would put an awful lot of additional pressure on my line and tippet as it bow's. Many times resulting in breaking the fish off. If the fish is approx. from the middle of the river towards me then I always hold my rod tip just off the surface of the water down low or IN the water. (Providing I dont have any real fast currents or snags.)
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(Photo)
The funniest thing about this picture and the above photo was as I was playing the fish. Anytime I had my rod tip up I lost total control over the fish. It pretty much went anywhere it wanted to. It also took much longer to tire it out. But, as soon as I put the tip low (down and dirty) or in the water. It came straight in at me. This lower rod position combined with standing below the fish will put approx. 3 times more pressure on the fish when it is within 60 feet or so. Tiring it out sooner and gaining much more control over the fish.
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When reeling in the fish with the tip up:
There are 2 things wrong with the previous sentence.
#1. I will sometimes hold my rod upside down with tip in water when bringing in a steelhead. Fish don't breath air and with tip up it feel's as if (which you are) trying to pull it's head out of the water. This creates a havoc, wrecking ball of nerves that sometimes ends with fish off. I breathe air, so if you put my head under the water you can be assured I would not be happy. (Same with the fish) By holding your rod upside down with rod tip in the water the fish normally will slowly and quietly (within reason) come in without much fuss.
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#2 Whenever targeting large species of fish the rod becomes a flexible lever. We never reel the fish in; we PULL the fish in. The reel is only used to recover slack line. Pull-up, reel-down. Now combine #1 with #2 and by George, you've got it!
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(Photo)
Nice lil 6lb Female Steelhead along with my Elmer Fud Hat. Whirrs that cwazy wabbit!
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Mail Bag:
Randy, Did you fish behind the ol'Ames today? Tight lines!!! Dave
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Hi Dave, Yes, we did fish behind the ol'Ames today, loaded!!. Randy
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Randy, I'm just curious about what you posted a couple days ago. You mentioned the location of one of your secret creeks. Is there truly a creek behind ames or are you just screwing with your fans?? Please keep up the the good job you do with your web site, it truly keeps the salmon river close at hand when I read your reports even when i'm 300 miles away. Thanks for the reports! Eric
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Hi Eric, Yes, just having fun. (no creek behind Ames). Was that you I saw walking around aimlessly behind Ames the other day with a fish'n pole in one hand and a typo map in the other? Did I hear you yelling something about that DARN Jones guy! Best, Randy Jones
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Hi Randy-- just wanted to say how much we appreciate your hard work and knowledge you impart in your reports.! I live in Virginia now and read your reports all the time! Thanks, Paul
Hi Paul, Thanks so much for your words of support. I'm very happy you enjoy them! Greatly appreciated! Randy
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(Photo)
The smile says it all. Great looking Steelhead caught on the Salmon River in Pulaski NY.
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Today's favorite weather radar link I just found.
Weather Map for 13142 - weather.com
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Short Lull in the action:
Most feel this is a negative thing while fishing. It's actually the complete opposite. It's not to hard to know if you have a presence of fish or not. If you feel there are fish present and your having a lull, I look at this completely opposite of many anglers and feel it is very positive. The fish are simply trying to tell you something. They are not OFF the bite, they simply want and need YOU to adjust to this ever changing environment and the fish's ways of life. There could be 20 or so different variables to consider when experiencing a lull. If you can adjust, understand, acknowledge and implement this crucial 1, maybe 2, 3 step process of changing your format to meet the fish's request's you will soon be on your way to "Fish On." (This is providing the basic skills of fishing are being accomplished.)
Maybe the fish are suspended and you are fishing below them. Maybe the fish are on the bottom and you are not reaching them. Maybe you are not running 100% drift. Maybe the fish have been pushed. Maybe they have moved from the hole to the shallows to get out of the current. Maybe the opposite. Maybe its a fly or bait concern. Maybe..............
As you can see their are approx. 20 or so things that can cause the fish to ask you to change and or adjust. Simple! Again, I see this as VERY positive and welcome a short lull. If you have fish around you, then why are you enduring this lull. Learn from it, be flexible, change up, switch things around.
I do this on an almost daily basis. The trick is having a complete and thorough understanding of the fish, your skills, rigging, bait and fly selection, correct presentation for whatever tool you enjoy using, habitat, fish etc... and their many ways.
We experienced a short lull the other day. We made 1 change with one of my guest's and two changes with the other.
1. One was rigging
2. One was color
3. Was presentation
Within 1-2 cast's both of my guest's were hooked up immediately and we did not experience any more lulls for the entire day. Actually, and Im not bragging, they pounded the living daylight's out of these fish, while all other anglers stayed with that lull. We actually got to play with more fish after we listened to the fish then before the lull. So again, a lull is a very positive thing providing you can read it, learn from it and understand what the fish are plainly trying to tell you.
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Fish Tails:
Both of my guest's were some what new to the river. Carl explained to me that after hooking up several fish in several different locations today that he now had the "Confidence" to fish the river on his own. I agreed and said that "Knowledge" is truly the only thing a Professional "full-time" guide can really ever guarantee. And with this knowledge of habitat, rigging, flies, bait, presentation comes confidence. With out saying it, Carl had just paid me one of the highest compliments a guide could ever ask for.
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Paul on the other hand was an entirely different story. (Ahemmmm) After spending the morning talking and talking and then talking some more about "How To Run A Proper 100% Drift". We moved to another location. I watched Paul cast and hold his rod tip a few inch's above the water's level on his drift. I asked Paul if he had been listening to me at all, during the morning or had he forgotten the hours of conversations we had had on drift fishing. His explanation was pretty weak and he mentioned something about "Old Dogs".
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The first thing I "politely" mentioned was that in a 8 hour day of fishing. If you only are fishing 50% of your drift. That equates into only 4 hours of fishing. But, I would still be charging him for a full day. (yukyyuk)
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Anyway, after that I "politely" asked him to try running a drift with his rod tip high. This would give him more of a drag free drift, get his fly or bait to the bottom sooner, cut down on drag, give him a better feel for the bottom and also he would be able to detect the subtle biters. (Pauses and hesitations) Most folks that fish the river are all waiting for the BIG BANG, YA WHO. I explained that 10% of the anglers that catch 90% of the fish are always trying to detect the pauses and hesitations on the drift. And by holding you tip high on the drift it would enable you to feel those.
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His response was "Tip Who?"
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I took a deep breath, lit up a smoke, took a deeeeeeeeeep drag and pulled out a ball of cotton. I stuffed one piece into his left ear. Then ( politely ) repeated everything I had gone over in the morning, again. As soon as I stopped speaking, I stuffed another piece of cotton in his right ear. I figured this way it would all stay in his head and not spill out the other ear. It worked like a charm and soon after, a bright fresh Steelhead came to hand.
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I just looked in the mirror tonight and noticed a few more gray hairs.
(Photo)
I hope you all enjoyed today's report, save me a rock,
Randy
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Fishing Report Salmon River NY

Randy,

Thanks for the in depth report and analysis. I'm coming up next weekend. I usually fly fish but wanted to pick your brain.

What are traditional target areas for this time of the year up there.... Rapids, head/tails of deeper holes, riffles, runs, 3-6 ft water? Its big water and can be frustrating and intimidating when the major runs have slowed down and fish move to these key target areas.

I don't want your secret honey holes but would just like a little lovin spoonful.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Fishing Report Salmon River NY

HI Mike,
Great Q.
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Non-transitional Prime holding - Approx. 5% of these steelhead are in the heat-rapids, while 95% have moved into the Winter lyes. (Hint - Water temp. has dropped - fish the slooow deep stuff)
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All hab's producing.
1. When the Steelhead are running, fish there temporary transitional resting points as they make there way up the river. Otherwise, you are fishing to fish that are not stopping, decreasing your odds greatly, in my opionion.
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2. Once they stop to hold for the remainder of the day, fish these prime transitional holding waters. (Approx. 15% of steelhead that are in the river system)
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3. Find these prime non-transitional holding places in the river all Winter, and just fish those. After all, they aren't going anywhere soon. (Approx. 85% of steelhead that are in the river system)
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Best Holiday fish's,
Randy
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