The North American Fly Fishing Forum

The North American Fly Fishing Forum (
-   Northeast (
-   -   Salmon River, NY Chinook (

Red Owl 07-17-2012 11:33 AM

Salmon River, NY Chinook
I want to fish the Salmon River in upstate NY however I am more interested in Chinook/King Salmon than steelhead. This is new for me. As I understand it the steelhead will eat the entire length of the river but the salmon are there to spawn and don't really eat. It seems most folks are more interested in the steelhead but to start I'd like to try to catch a salmon as they seem much larger. So....questions..
1. Is it more productive to fish for salmon near the mouth of the river? How far upstream can Chinook still be caught before they won't strike?
2. There is a Douglaston area you have to pay to use- worthwhile for Salmon?
3. It looks like there are A LOT of folks right in downtown Pulaski. Is this all private water? Is it worthwhile to fish?
4. On the public water above/upstream from Pulaski, there are some angler parking lots- can salmon still be caught in these areas?
5. Steelhead flies are usually imitations of salmon eggs. On Chinook- what works? Smelt patterns? Egg flies?
6. I've done some research on the net- it looks like a 40-50 foot cast is okay in most instances. true? Can you see the fish you are casting to and would polaroids help or do you blind cast?
7. Are salmon more difficult to catch than steelhead?
8. Time of year. I'm open on this. I read the end of August the Chinook start. If I can combine the trip will looking at leaves- so much the better. I'm thinking the 2nd or 3rd week in September but being there at the best time for Chinook is the critical thing- what is the best time?
Thanks- I need help :cool:

theboz 07-17-2012 01:37 PM

Re: Salmon River, NY Chinook
Cohos generally come first with the first heavy push of Chinooks in mid Sept. The entire river will contain fish early on the estuary and Douglaston are very productive. Douglaston in my opinion is worth the money only because there are some great holes and holdover spots. The fish when they are on the spawn clean their redd out by sucking debris through their mouth and out. In this situation dark and black flys drifted at the right depth are the ticket. Egg flys work as do streamers in the lower river early on. Depth of presentation and drift control are the key factors in hooking up.

---------- Post added at 12:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:33 PM ----------

15 and 20ft casts are more the norm and town can be a circus when it's crowded. Public areas all have fish and I've had 30 lbers next to my feet staging!

s fontinalis 07-17-2012 02:28 PM

Re: Salmon River, NY Chinook
its combat fishing for salmon, if thats your thing, jump on in, if not then stay away. I dont even bother going for salmon anymore.

Red Owl 07-18-2012 04:25 PM

Re: Salmon River, NY Chinook
On the dark far up river can Chinook be caught using flies? I thought maybe just the first few miles were it. :cool: What type flies? Streamers? Something else?

Ard 07-18-2012 05:02 PM

Re: Salmon River, NY Chinook
Hi Red Owl,

I lived in Northern PA and fished NY a lot. King salmon can be caught from the estuary all the way to the top end of the C&R stretch at Altmar. Whether or not a fish will grab a fly has more to do with how much pressure = harassment that particular fish has endured prior to you trying to lure it.

The water levels can vary with the rains and discharges from the dam but on a whole you can often see a large salmon in the river. A good pair of fishing glasses is the ticket and you need patience as well. Searching for fish that are holding in unlikely spots was always my key to success. The big pools will attract equally large crowds and the fish will be spooky. Finding a fish who is hanging out in a small troth and then watching that fish for a good period of time will tell you whether it is worth approach or not. If the fish stays put and no one comes and bothers it you'll have a shot. If you get the chance to try a fish that is at rest you need to use caution. Before a fish has traveled the 12 miles from the lake to the safety of the closed water it will have had innumerable encounters with people. This will have them quite keen to a person who thinks they can just wade up toward a fish or to a very poorly thought out cast.

Find a fish. Move upstream. Allow time for the fish to acclimate to a lessoned stress level. Then cast so that the fly will be crossing well above the resting fish. Add length to each successive cast and move only as necessary to allow for the right arc of the fly. The right arc is one that will allow the fly to cross in front of the fish 1 - 2 feet. You don't want to drag the fly line in front of the fish because like I said they have had a rough trip and will spook real easy. You will see your share of fish with flies and spinning lures stuck in their bodies and this will help you to understand what I mean by ' use caution when approaching'.

I have caught them on flies ranging from black woolly buggers on #2 salmon hooks to elaborately dressed Silver Doctors and about every type in between so it's not so much the fly as you being careful not to alert the fish that you are connected to it. If I were fishing there this fall I would use the AK. Assassin that you can find in the Alaska flies threads. It works like a charm here and the only reason I didn't use it back there was that I didn't know about it.

Dougleston is expensive now days but better than the open water above.

theboz 07-18-2012 11:13 PM

Re: Salmon River, NY Chinook
I think Ard pretty much summed it up. The whole river and presentation. Find one and seduce it. Fish weekdays if possible and watch your cfs . The waterline hotline .# is 800 452 1742. Douglaston cost a bit but many weekdays you can have your run of it.Streamers ,wet flys, nymphs eggs will all work with a good presentation.

okuma 07-19-2012 05:46 AM

Re: Salmon River, NY Chinook
Been years since I fished the SR, but here is what I do remember.
Douglaston gets the first run of "fresh" sammies coz it is one of the closest places to the lake.
Check laws on leader lengths, especially if you're throwing flies with shot or slinky set ups.
On your hooks, there was a maximum gap of 1/2 inch allowed.
My best flies were Estaz egg patterns ranging from light to dark colors(some even mixed) on size 2 and 4 hooks.
Rod size IMO, nothing lighter than a 9 weight. Many times I used tippet in the 15 lb, range.
Release any snagged sammies as their are undercover wardens watching the rivers. (especially Douglaston)
Unless their laws have changed, Douglaston require studded sole boots.
Wading staff is a good idea. Use caution if you're river crossing.
Mid Sept. to Columbus day were the optimum times for me. However, alot has to do with the cfs and rain also.
Finally, have fun. Remember SR is a river of little forgiveness. Quite a few have died so remain cautious of the flows

Red Owl 07-19-2012 03:36 PM

Re: Salmon River, NY Chinook
Thanks everyone, all the help is much appreciated. As I said, a lot is written about steelhead but not salmon. :cool:

Ard 07-19-2012 07:36 PM

Re: Salmon River, NY Chinook
If we were discussing steelhead fishing I would tell you the exact same thing :D It worked for me for years............


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.40 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2005-2017 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.