Oak Orchard vs Salmon River

KenBrown

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At some point I plan on building a 8/9 wt fly rod for salmon fishing. I have fished the Salmon River back in the mid 90s but used spinning gear then. I would like to get my rod built over the winter and hopefully get up that way for next season. I have come across youtube videos of people fishing the Oak Orchard river which seemed to be alot better in terms of googans and the like. Everyone knows that the Salmon River has some awesome runs but a huge amount of fisherman as well. Anyone fish both of these rivers? I would assume that Oak Orchard would be better for the person who likes less crowds from what I have seen
 

lake flyer

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Oak orchard is nice, but just as crowded as Salmon River. The Oak is also very short stretch of river for a wading angler, about a mile I think. Salmon River had 13 miles of wadeable water if I remember correctly. Although I agree, I thought Oak had nicer people fishing there. I fished there a lot from 1996 to 2011.
 
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just got back from SR. very heavy pressure and plenty of salmon. I've also fished during the steelhead run later in the year, and plan to go back this year too.
the pressure on the same pools was night and day for salmon vs steelhead as I remember, and I hope its the same this time around.
not fished Oak Orchard.
 

flytie09

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They are close enough together you can fish them both if you want. There is no cure for the crowds up there aside from when there is extreme weather that can arrive in Dec - Feb. If you fish outside of that......there will be people. There are no secrets any more.

Groups of guys from all over literally camp out now in one spot all day....they set up grills and tents and have a good old time. Others bring lawn chairs and anchor it the the middle of the river to mark their spot. Noone ever did this stuff 15 years ago......it's a sign of the times.

If you fish early and walk a ways in then you can escape the crowds. I don't fish the Oak...I never had to.
 

KenBrown

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I was up in the SR and the crowds were pretty bad but nothing compared to what I have seen on the latest Youtube videos. I see there are quite a few people doing that now which will in turn bring even more people to the river. The main reason I want to go again is to attempt my luck at actually catching a salmon on the fly. They kicked my butt on the spinning gear, I can only imagine how it is to catch one on a fly rod.

How is the 'fly fishing only' section of the SR? I didn't even know there was one until I started watching the youtubes...
 

flytie09

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The FF only water is nice to get away from the pinners and float boats. But they can get just as crowded. The DSR on the lower section is nice....but it's a pay to play scenario. But they cap how many people are down there which is nice.

There are fish up and down that 17 miles of river from the dam down to the estuary. Guys get caught up in chasing the runs of fish and end up fishing near crowds because they see action going on. Folks that know the river and the runs and the fish behavior as the season progresses don't fixate on a particular spot.......try to take the time to learn all of the spots and how to fish them. Drive around, check things out, talk to the fly shops, ask guys at the parking lots and watch the guys that know what they are doing. There is a reason they are where they are and fishing a particular way. Watch them and ask them questions if you can.

You make the best of it. People are coming from all over the World to fish there. Russia, Canada, Sweden, Japan........If you take the time to say hello, share a fly, comment on their great casting...you'll have a good day. If you're mad at the crowds and get frustrated....that's how your day will end up being.
 

KenBrown

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We would always just hit the diner when we first got there right off 81, go to the tackle shop, get our licenses then proceed to the sportsmen hole. We did that 3 or 4 times but that got old fast. When I went last time, we fished off the beaten path on a trib outside of town. People were fishing there too but not nearly as many. It was more fun there than dealing with the crowds and I did catch.
I do want to try the estuary when I do go. I never even was at that part so I am not sure of how things go there.
 
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