Salmon season 2021

Davitticus Maximus

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Last night I tied up a couple streamer patterns, to gear up for the Salmon/ Steelhead season. For the xext couple months I will be experimenting with patterns and colors and will post what I tie and which patterns catch fish this season. Here is what I tied so far. Feel free to share your own patterns if you'd like.20210911_114921.jpg
 

okaloosa

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I will depend on you to get my vicarious Salmon River thrills. Hope one day I will fish it again. Do you mostly high stick those with a single hand rod or swing them with a two handed?
 

Davitticus Maximus

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I mostly high stick nymph, but sometimes swing streamers, both with single hand rods. I have thought about switch and spey but can't justify it for the Great Lakes tribs.
 

Davitticus Maximus

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Here are a couple more. I am going up tomorrow to try them up. Fish were running pretty good earlier this week, but things are petering out now. But hey, you never know. It is still very early in the season.20210911_213031.jpg20210911_220553.jpg
 

Ard

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Dave,

Once I got it through my head that drifting a black leech only worked when the flow was up and I had to use plenty of weight my fishing there changed. I caught more of them by actually water reading and fishing at a good distance without the weight and drift / swinging my flies than I did trying to sight fish / dead drift with at least 2 large Water Gremlin shot on the line.

It's a process, first you just want to catch some, then as years pass you may realize that the weight thing is about as close to an artful fly fishing style as is bait drifting. Then after knowing all the tricks of the chuck & duck or flogging technique and having caught many salmon the angler no longer needs the catch, he needs fulfillment. Fulfillment can mean catching a king salmon on a fly without the audible 'kerplunk' sound of all that weight being deployed. Catching one 50 feet away on an in-weighted fly, catching one you can't see but knew from experience should be there.

Once that starts happening you are not looking for fish your are fishing in fishy places and waiting for that line to go tight. Buy hey, nice flies and enjoy the experiences.
 

alfaromeo

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i really hope they close the american river to steelhead and salmon fishing soon.. really low water, got down to 589 cfs yeaterday ( exp.. putah creek has a flow of 565 cfs!!! ) and the water at watt ave. is now 77 degrees. i walked upstream from watt ave a few days ago.. counter 8 dead trout some as big as 2 pound...dead in the water, we need early cold rains
 

Davitticus Maximus

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Dave,

Once I got it through my head that drifting a black leech only worked when the flow was up and I had to use plenty of weight my fishing there changed. I caught more of them by actually water reading and fishing at a good distance without the weight and drift / swinging my flies than I did trying to sight fish / dead drift with at least 2 large Water Gremlin shot on the line.

It's a process, first you just want to catch some, then as years pass you may realize that the weight thing is about as close to an artful fly fishing style as is bait drifting. Then after knowing all the tricks of the chuck & duck or flogging technique and having caught many salmon the angler no longer needs the catch, he needs fulfillment. Fulfillment can mean catching a king salmon on a fly without the audible 'kerplunk' sound of all that weight being deployed. Catching one 50 feet away on an in-weighted fly, catching one you can't see but knew from experience should be there.

Once that starts happening you are not looking for fish your are fishing in fishy places and waiting for that line to go tight. Buy hey, nice flies and enjoy the experiences.
I started Salmon fishing back in the fall of 2010. Caught my first one with a small brass bodied spinner with a tiny silver blade. Over the years, I used spinning gear, with egg sacks, flies, rapalas, and jigs. In 2012 I got my first fly rods and began using flies only the2013 season. I am far from a pro. I have had good years and bad years. I can't say I have caught a ton of Salmon or steelhead but I have done ok I guess. I am constantly looking to challenge myself when it comes to fishing. Streamers are something that I have not used that much which is why I decided to tie some up and give it a try. I totally understand where you are coming from with the unweighted fly approach. I have tried to adhere to that for the past couple seasons. Except the flies I tie usually atleast have a beadhead. But I try to not use extra weight unless I absolutely have too. And I have learned how to read the water unlike I the beginning when I would cast and hope. I don't do chuck & duck because I don't enjoy it. I try to actually flyfish when I am there. So I avoid the crowds so I can really cast. Also I don't believe in sight fishing because I have watched enough guys use this technique with Salmon to cast until they either snag or floss the fish. No enjoyment from this guy. Last year I only landed one Salmon that I caught using an egg sucking leech, dead drifted with a good size split shot., through a deep hole. Was it the way I wanted to catch it? No
Did I have a blast? Yes. Sometimes you have to take drastic measures to get that one fish of the year. I can atleast say the catch was legit in the mouth and not sagged in the fin or tail.🙂 But I am still evolving as a fisherman. Maybe someday I will get to the level of other seasoned veterans of this forum.
 

Davitticus Maximus

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I went up to the river today to find the town of Pulaski jam packed with fishermen the season has begun!😀 Let the circus begin! I talked with one of my co-workers on my way up. He was fishing at the trestle pool and said there was bunch of people and that everyone had atleast a fish on and some being landed when I arrived I stopped at one of the shops and was told that there was fish throughout the river but not in big numbers. I decided to go to a spot in town that I like. Swung flies to for a couple hours with no success. Moved around a bunch. Saw a couple hook- ups and a couple landed I switched over to nymphing with an egg pattern and had 2 hookups, 1king, and1 coho both got loose. Better luck next time I hope. It was nice to be up there and atleast nobody was acting like a fool.
 

okaloosa

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I once fished the trestle whole all day without seeing one other fisherman during steelie season when they forecasted a blizzard and I brought my snowshoes to get in. I had a shovel in my car because I knew I would have to dig the car out when the plows came. But it was one of the best and most memorable days of my fishing life. It was a darn near religious experience for me! That was around 1981. The ONLY problem with the Salmon River is PEOPLE, too many people!
I should also add , I once called out a snagger at the trestle hole when every idiot and his grandmother was there fishing, and he climbed up the hill and started throwing big rocks at me as I was waist high in the water.
I agree with everything that Ard said, but unfortunately from what I remember, in many areas of the SR where the fish stage, there is barely any room to breathe no less make a snake roll cast.
 

Davitticus Maximus

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In the relatively short time that I have fished the Salmon River, I have seen the numbers of fishermen increase every year. I don't see using a spey rod there, as being practical. I do see guys, (and gals) occasionally using one. But because of the conditions No one is really casting far and their drifts are short. If one chooses to fish here they have to accept that this is not a pristine wilderness setting where you can become one with nature. That does not mean that you can't have a good time and enjoy yourself though. For instance the places I fished today weren't too packed. I talked to those around me to make sure I wasn't encroaching on anyone's turf. Many were sitting about, taking a break. Everyone I spoke too seemed friendly. As for fishing gear, I prefer to fish with as little hardware on my line as possible. But if I have to throw on some shot to get deeper or use a weighted fly then I will. I don't catch that many per season to were I am spoiled. I will be lucky to catch a couple. I will say that I get more fulfillment when I catch a fish on a fly I tied with no extra crap. But sometimes I still need to use that crap.
 

okaloosa

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There still must be sections between the major named holes and runs that have few fish and few fisherman but where, if you study the river well especially during low flows you can find small holding depressions that usually contain a few fish. I found a few areas like that on the SR back in the day above and below the Trestle Hole. But after a few hours of no bites it always seemed i ended up at the Trestle or Schoolhouse hole.
 

Davitticus Maximus

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My first year at SR my friend and I started fishing the stretch between trestle and Muskrat Cove. Our first try we both struck out. Our next try I hooked up with 9 fish and brought 2 Steelhead to the net. We continued to fish this stretch only for the remainder of the season. Usually hooked up with fish every time. Over the years we slowly explored more when our spots were not producing or the driftboats started pissing us off. The Salmon is a good size river. In reality I have only fished a small portion of it. But I have tried to learn the holding spots in every section that I have fished. There are plenty of slots where a few fish can hang out without many knowing. I try to get up there once in awhile in the summer and fish for smallmouth. When the water is low I study whatever area I am in and try to remember every nook and cranny. It has helped me alot over the years. I do have a spot just below the trestle where the water is really slow and deep. Drifting small flies through there usually produces double digit hook-ups.
 

okaloosa

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I forgot about drift boats. I fished SR hard for 2 years before seeing my first drift boat. I detested them more on the SR than snaggers when they first arrived since they would park above the run and just let some J plug sit right where we were casting. Never saw one fly fisherman on one back between 1980 to 85.
 

Davitticus Maximus

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Drift boats are one reason why I fish the lower end of the river for the most part. The driftboats don't go past the bridge at 2a. And now it's not J- plugs you have to deal with. Now it's the guy on the drift boat parked above you using a Centerpin set-up sailing his rig right where you are casting.🤬 But I also like fishing the lower end as the fish are a bit fresher and not so darkened up. Steelhead are usually still chrome near town.
 

okaloosa

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The bridge downtown right next to the fishing store was a popular site for "lifters" using a custom made short "fly rod" with a Martin Multiplier fly reel loaded with straight 20 lb test and an egg hook with a piece of orange sponge and about 6 big a$$ shot above it. I never saw one get busted for snagging but it was pretty obvious what they were doing since they would "strike" at the end of every drift. I never saw anyone flossing back then but i really did not know what it was. Such a great river though. And the river is long enough to establish larger areas of C&R fly fish only and excluding drift boats for us "elitist snobs" ;)
 

Davitticus Maximus

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I am pretty sure that you are talking about what is called the Town pool. There is a run of fast water on the upstream side of the bridge then at the bridge it turns into a deep pool. I can tell you that snagging is still alive and well in this pool. When you hear guys talking about the Salmon River being a circus the Town Pool is the Main attraction. Lots of hooting and hollering, followed up with a sprinkling of arguments and a dash of fighting. The old owner of The Yankee Angler, got her butt whooped on YouTube because people where casting across the river and were hitting her property. She marched over and complained. It was on YouTube a few years back. I usually fish anywhere downstream from there.
 

okaloosa

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Yes exactly. That run just above the bridge was a lifters delight. The pool below was always a zoo. Too bad...but such a beautiful river. Always wanted to try the Black River. Does it have a good run?
 

Davitticus Maximus

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I have never fished the black River. I have gone Whitewater rafting there and I know there is a fish latter below the dam so they must have a decent run of fish.
 
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