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  1. Default Salmon River, New York Steelhead Tips?

    Hi, all... Would appreciate any advice on steelhead set up and nymph or streamer patterns for Salmon River Steelhead in November?

    Tight Lines!

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Salmon River, New York Steelhead Tips?

    When are you going in November? Ill be going there in October as usual. Nothing beats a bead or egg fly fo steelhead. If you want to fish another kind of fly, I hear stones and pink wooly buggers work. Steelhead are very aggresiveso anything that looks like a fish/egg or even food in general will get you a fish. I personally fish the rappids so I bottom bounce for them. Ill use a running line to a 30 pound shock leader with a barrel swivel on the end. From the barrel swivel I tie a 4' section of leader and then a small piece of scrap on the barrel as well to hold the split shot. Swinging can be very popular at times up there if there is enough room, but it can be hard sometimes to fish that way in november. Good luck up there!

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  5. Default Re: Salmon River, New York Steelhead Tips?

    Good advance! Thanks!

  6. #4

    Default Re: Salmon River, New York Steelhead Tips?

    It's dangerous to suggest someone a Salmon River setup without knowing someones knowledge and casting skills. In November it will be Steelhead primarily. And know that for a novice fly fisherman trying to catch a steelhead will be very difficult if not almost impossible. It took me almost a decade before I started to figure out the pools, casting, lines, knots, leaders, etc.

    atbuckhunter has good advice....but just understand that this setup he describes is what is called a Chuck and Duck rig. Effective yes, you can fish close distances with other anglers yes, but you are prone to losing gear as you are lobbing a ton of weight.

    It is not fly casting....and it is not allowed in the fly only zones......which there are 2x of these, an Upper and a Lower. I'm not dogging the method, as I've used it before, but wanted to clarify it.

    I'd ask first what flies do you want to use? Nymphs? Streamers? Intruders? as this matters.

    A good rod is an 11' 8 WT. There are several good bargain rods that can be had for < $150. Fenwick, Redington, Shakespeare, Echo all are possibilities.

    If you're looking to high stick/swing nymphs and smaller streamers, an Indicator, Switch or Salmon taper fly line will work fine. Rio, Airflo, Scientific Angler and Orvis make good quality lines. These all have integrated running lines. And you will want 100 yd min of 30# backing more than 200 yds is necessary.

    You can then use a 7.5' or 9' 0X mono tapered leader with small shot to high stick or nymph fish with indicators or.... T-8 / T-11 sink tips to be able to swing your flies a little deeper without having to use split shot or slinkies..

    If you're looking to swing larger streamer like intruders or bead/cone head streamers then a Skagit Short shooting head in a grain that matches the rod you select would be a good choice. Rio, Airflo and SA are good Skagit line makers. They might name them differently, but they are basically short and thick front tapered lines that you must pair with a separate running line.

    I would suggest a 30# rated level taper running line as they are easier to use. You can go cheap by using 50 or 60# mono.......but it doesn't mend easy, gets curls and doesn't float.

    T8, T11, or T14 sink tips (or tungsten coated leaders) are best suited for use with a Skagit line.

    Tippet will be used with any setup....and I suggest 8#-12# test. Brands to consider are Maxima Chamelon or Ultragreen, P-Line, Froghair, Trouthunter. They work.......Fluoro or Mono..... this is very much up to an angler's preference, knot tying, and experience.

    Flies that work.....honestly anything fished correctly will work.

    If it was me...... some rubber leg Kauffman Stoneflies, Egg Sucking Leeches (black, brown, olive, white) and cone head muddler minnows (natural and black). Throw in a Jumbo John, cased caddis, pink San Juan worm, a few egg patterns and you're good.


    If you opt to swing larger intruders, intruder style flies, or bunny name the pattern. Hobo spey, Dirty Hoh, Signature Intruder, Fish black, purple, olive, white, pink, chartreuse, blue, and orange.

    I suggest visiting one of the many fly shops up there......there are easily a half dozen very good shops up there that can get you geared up and show you where to fish. Finding a deal at the shop may be a little tricky......but you name a rod/reel or's up there. Malinda's, Pineville Sports, Allseason Sports, Whitackers are where I'd suggest you visit. Fat Nancy's too.....but prices can be a little high. All very nice and knowledgeable people more than willing to help.

    Last edited by flytie09; 09-01-2018 at 07:58 PM.

    “If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.”
    ~Zane Grey

    " . . . shouldn't a man stand on his own two feet and catch his own steelhead? Maybe put out some effort and find his own fish just for the fun of it?"
    ~Syd Glasso

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Salmon River, New York Steelhead Tips?

    Since I have just returned from the Salmon River from a few days fishing, I thought I would put a finer point on the special regulations that the Fly Fishing only section requires. There is an allowance for additional weight (up to 1/8 of an ounce) that is spelled out- but seems seldom enforced. The use of a running line only is not allowed without at least 20 feet of traditional fly line before your running line. Only 4 feet of leader beyond any supplemental weight or terminal gear like a swivel is allowed. This gets a little picky and confusing but the DEC in New York patrols the river with some regularity during the crush of the Salmon season and drops off as Steelhead season progresses- and Deer season in NY State picks up as they have bigger fish to fry. Below is the actual regulations in the Fly Fishing only sections of the Salmon River.

    Special Regulations for Salmon River Fly Fishing Catch-and-Release Sections

    Fishing Hours, Season Dates and Locations

    Angling Permitted: From one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
    Lower Fly Section: Open September 15 through May 15, from County Route 52 Bridge in Altmar upstream 0.25 mile to the marked boundary at Beaverdam Brook.
    Upper Fly Section: Open April 1 through November 30 from a marked boundary upstream of the New York State Fish Hatchery property to a marked boundary 0.6 mile upstream at the Lighthouse Hill Reservoir tailrace.
    Fishing is prohibited outside the open season.

    Catch & Release

    All fish must be immediately released without unnecessary injury.

    Tackle Restrictions

    Tackle is restricted to a traditional fly rod, fly reel, fly line, and artificial fly. Restrictions on fly lines, flies, attractors, leaders and supplemental weight are as follows:

    Fly Lines:
    Use of less than 20 feet of floating, sinking, or combination floating/sinking fly line or shooting head immediately behind the leader and in front of any running line or other backing is prohibited.
    May 1 through August 31: Floating fly lines only.
    September 1 through April 30: Floating, sinking, and sink tip fly lines are permitted.

    May 1 through August 31: a single unweighted artificial fly having one hook point with a one-half inch maximum gap only permitted.
    September 1 through April 30: a single unweighted or weighted artificial fly with no more than 1/8 oz. added weight, having one hook point with a one-half-inch maximum gap only permitted.

    The use of added baits or attractors such as, but not limited to, fish eggs, insects, beads, spoons, spinners, plugs, or similar devices on the line above the artificial fly is prohibited.

    The total length of the leader including the tippet shall not exceed 15 feet.
    May 1 through August 31: sinking and metal leaders are prohibited.

    Additional Weight:
    May 1 through August 31: the use of supplemental weight such as split shot, sinkers, metal leaders, twist-ons, or swivels attached to the leader, tippet, fly line or fly is prohibited.
    September 1 through April 30: the use of supplemental weight is permitted with the following restrictions.
    The combined weight of any supplemental weight and fly may not exceed one-eighth of an ounce.
    The maximum distance between the artificial fly and any added weight to the line, leader or tippet shall not exceed four feet.
    Weight added to the line, leader, swivels, or artificial fly in any manner such that the weight hangs lower than the attached fly is prohibited.

    There is more for the rest of the Salmon River here:

    Salmon River and Oswego River Fishing Regulations :

    The Douglaston private pay to fish area has its own tackle and regulations here:

    Douglaston Salmon Run, World-Class Salmon Fishing << Douglaston Salmon Run northeast Salmon fishing Steelhead Coho Bass fishing upstate NY >>

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  10. #6
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    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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    Default Re: Salmon River, New York Steelhead Tips?

    Fly Tie & Mr. moser have given you the skinny I think.

    I used to fish there throughout the year for a long time. Fly Tie has it right about some folks taking years before they figure things out. I've been on every shore from Altmar to the bottom end of the DSR land and that took years. In time you learn where you can find them if they are going to be present. The farther upstream you go the more harried the fish are and I think that matters.

    My sincere advice is to not worry over whether you catch any or not but to try to learn something about their behavior and about the river channels. Using some weird rig on a fly rod just so you can say you were 'fly fishing' is a personal choice. I learned to catch them on what are commonly known as flies, more specifically, steelhead flies. Once you get that figured out you can fish anywhere with some expectation of success.

    I caught one yesterday on a Sunray Shadow

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  12. Default Re: Salmon River, New York Steelhead Tips?

    Great info, thanks! But, so you know. I have been flyfishing all my adult life for 40 years. I have plenty of experience fly fishing for Salmon, Trout, Striped Bass, etc. But, my favorite is Steelhead. I prefer to go up to the Salmon River in November, well after the Salmon Run and the Crowds. For Steelhead I have had good luck with Prince Nymphs, Orange Comets and even Mickey Finns. But, yes, they don't call Steelhead the fish of 1000 casts for nothing.

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