Originally Posted by Red Owl
I'm confused. It has been a fair time since I fished the famous Salmon River near Pulaski. Last time just a regular fishing license was okay. As I understand matters there may be other fees or special regulations- but is that for the whole stream? All help appreciated. What is the fly fishing only stretch? Where do you park for that area?
Red Owl sorry for the late response-- just saw your post.
A regular NYS freshwater fishing license is all you need to fish most of the river, except for a portion of the lower river called the Douglaston Salmon Run (DSR) which is private property that owns land on both sides of the river. Under NYS law, they allows them to contriol access to the streambed, To access the river at the DSR you'll need to pay for access, and they have some additional rules.
But there’s a lot of public access to the river that's easy to find along both sides of the river. These are well-marked and have spots for parking.
There are now 2 fly fishing only sections on the Salmon River above Altmar, also well marked with some parking. Here’s a link to some general info
Salmon River - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
And here's a map of the Salmon River showing different access sites maintained by NY DEC
Map of The Salmon River - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Special Regulations- here’s a link to NYS special regulations for the Great Lakes tribs (including special regs for the 2 fly only sections on the salmon River). Niote that the lower fly fishing section is open from Sept 15-May 15, but the upper section is only open from April 1 to Nov 30 (closed during much of the winter steelheading season so as to protect bald eagles)
Great Lakes Tributaries Regulations - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
The Douglaston Salmon Run (DSR) is on the lower section of the river. The property in this area is private, and because the owner owns property on both banks, under NYS law they can control access to the stream bed. They charge $45 per day for access—because the limit the number of people to 350 , it can be a somewhat less crowded (and little less stressful) experience than other parts of the river ( including the two fly fishing sections) and since the lower river gets the first shot at arriving fish it can be productive too. All NYS Salmon River regulations must be obeyed, but in addition the DSR property owners do enforce some of their own regulations in addition- some such as making sure people stay on trails, catch and release of all trout/steelhead/atlantic salmon (you can still keep coho and chinook siubject to NYS regs) and requiring the wearing of “Korkers” (strap on cleats) required after November 1st.
Douglaston Salmon Run, World-Class Salmon Fishing<<About Salmon RunRules & Regulations>>
The Salmon River is subject to releases from the dam and the footing, even during periods of low flow can be very slippery. A wading staff is strongly advised (it can be a simple ski pole or stout wood walking stick on a bungee, or a more user friendly but expensive collapsible Simms or Folstaff)
Korkers, strap on cleats that go over your bootfoot or wading shoes are also a VERY good idea, they will give you much more secure footing. (there's no comparison between them and studded wading shoes). These are a good idea anytime on the Salmon but are essential if you plan on winter steelheading up there.
It can also be a madhouse up there anytime Labor Day-Dec, but especially during the Salmon run (Kings and Coho).
Big browns from the lake move in mid-Sept to mid-November
Winter-run Steelhead start entering around the end of October
I've never fished up there for Skamania (summer run steelhead) or Atlantic Salmon but they do have some that should be returning around now, but they return in much lower numbers than the pacific salmon, winter steel and lake run browns.
If you let folks know when you will be going you'll probably get more specific advise about what to expect in terms of conditions and some recommendations for places to stay, gear, etc.