Welcome Back to Your Salmon River Pulaski NY Fishing Report - Author Randy Jones
MORE steelhead have entered and are running the Salmon River Pulaski NY as I type this. Spreading out and settling into all their normal Winter lyes. PLUS all the ones that have already entered and spread out over the entire length, top to bottom of the Salmon River NY over the last several month's. Some Prime Transitional Holding and ALL Prime Winter Holding spots are all with steelhead.
Current forecasted water flow until Sat - 1,800 cfs.With colder air temp's and no rain or run-off in the near future. We will - should see the water level start to drop shortly.
FYI - As always, please remember to check the water line forecast, actual flow @ Pineville and weather before making the trip up. We've had a couple of high water periods and some wicked weather this season.
Also, what is forecast for water levels is not always 100% accurate! So please always use caution.
Starting shortly, the weather man is forecasting much coooooolder air temp's for around here into next month.
Have heard and seen lately that they had closed down Int. 81 due to lake effect snow and Rt. 3 by Sandy Creek due to massive ice jam's. Saw on the news last night (Wed.) where some incredible ice flows had come over the river bank and destroyed numerous mobile homes, camp's and storage sheds. Now there concerned about fresh water and possible damage to well's. Those folks up that'a way have had a tuff Winter! Ton's of snow! The video's on the news reminds me of what it usually looks like around here.
Hopefully, mother nature will re-supply us with a much larger snow base with a lot of water content. We lost a lot of it in our last 2 thaws and rainy periods. This well help with our Spring Steelhead river flows.
Guest Guided Fishing Report:
Randy, can you reeeeelly fish in 1,800 cfs plus run off useing a fly rod? This is a pretty normal Q. My guest's concerns were unwarranted, we did and were very successful in doing so. My guest's played with approx. 15 steelhead over the course of our day. I even accidentally (yukyuk) hooked up 4 steelhead while demonstrating proper presentation to my clients. I "jokingly" told them I was the Tiger Woods of steelhead fishing - yukyuk. Fish on and then, eventually off, was a pretty normal phrase for the day among ourselves and other anglers. Whenever your fishing with a higher water flow you'll also have more current. Making it tuffer to land them. We were successful in landing some, came reeeel close on others. All in all, another successful steelhead fishing day of many with my guest's!
Want to see the Salmon River NY in 1,800 cfs during the Winter and what snow we have left after the thaw? Check out this short funny video my guest's made as we floated down the Salmon River Pulaski NY off the drift boat the other day.
You might just recognize the guy - guide rowing the drift boat and doing some Impromptu advertising - The Steelhead fishing of your dreams...... ............ we'll make it reeeeeeeeeeeeeel.
Family comments after I sent them the video link:
People pay you for that? Looks like too much fun! Mike Jones
OK, Tiger! Some good footage! Beth
That's the same river you took us on and we thought we recognized the scenery of it. Send more video's, Love, Mom
Cool video. So different in the winter. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to go when it’s so cold out. I agree with Mom – send more videos! Susan
Love it Rand! I've been laughing my butt off. Thanks. They seem like fun people. Mary
Thanks again guys! I had a blast! Thanks for the video! Can't wait to do it allllll over again soon.
On another recent guided trip my 2 guest's were Paul and John. The water was 1,800 cfs plus run off and there preference was to use fly rods.
Hmmm, I wanted to place them on the bank so they could spread out a lil (sometimes its a lil tight fishing from the boat) and keep there feet warmer rather then freezing them in the cold river water. (I had noticed in the dark they were useing pull over lace up boots with breathable waders.) I also wanted to obviously place them in an area that had a large concentration of compressed steelhead in 1,800 cfs. I also had to find a location where we would have this type of habitat where the steelhead would be close to the bank. It's a lil tuff to throw the fly rod 100 feet or more
And lastly, in this water flow a spot where the current wasn't RIP'N!
Simple enouph! - yukyuk
As we floated down the Salmon River in the drift boat in the dark, came hopes for a good steelhead day on the river.
I pulled the drift boat over to the bank in the dark in a good Winter Lye that full filled my professional goals for today. Few bundled up anglers out early that beat me to the spot.
I introduced myself and politely asked them where they were fishing (first person on the spot gets it
I asked if they would mind if I fished 1 guy from the boat and one guy below on the bank, out of their way. They said SURE! I then offered my portable propane heater to them and also my loooong handled net to help them in landing their fish in this higher flow. We chatted a lil about the current fishing, water levels and exchanged pleasantries.
I thanked them for there hospitality!
My 2 guest's had to "happily" work for all the fish we found. Scattered a lil, concentrated a little, picked away at them. They played with approx. 7-8 steelhead w/ one coming reeeel close to the net before breaking off. No fish were landed but we sure had fun try'n! The anglers above us landed a beauty of approx. 8 lb. female steelhead. (Released) I congratulated the angler on his success. He was ginning from ear to ear and giddy with the excitement of it all!
Hears a "clean" joke my sister just sent me:
Men's Minds Just Work Differently
A caring husband sees his wife is busy in the kitchen and offers to help.
(For all Photo's, Please visit my Profile to Fishing Report link)
He: “My dear, what can I do to help you?”
She: “Take this bag of potatoes, peel half of them, and put them in the big pot to cook.”
This weeks Mail Bag Q's with my reply:
Hi Randy, two of us from Ontario are looking at coming down on Jan 17th. Wondering if you have a winter rate and might be available. Also, curious to know if 2000cfs is good.... from shore, I didn't like it much, but then I don't know that river like you guys do.
Good morn'n, Im sorry, I just booked it.
Most anglers don't like this flow, to me its just the "same ol same hole" scenario. Tuffer to land'm and following almost out of the question.
Also, less "safe"spots and less "productive" spots available to the shore angler = less opportunity. (Just my opionion) Can't cross the river in this flow
We do have numerous "high water spots" that are easily accessible - safe - and w/ fish for the shore angler to choose from.
Yes, my Winter rate is offered to you after I observe how you fish. You will be Winter rated on a scale from O to 10. yukyuk
On a funny note, I never understood why during the coldest - tuffest time of the year to be a guide, guides would offer a discount? I'm happily very successful in my business and guess that's why some guides do offer a discount during the Winter?
Good luck and have fun! Randy
Randy, When is the best time to come over and fish for steelhead? Joe
The steelhead are always around during our 6-7 month season. There is no best or better time. Only angler or guide preferences, which do vary for different reason's, in my opionion
Here are MY favorite guiding you times to fish for steelhead and why, other anglers might disagree or have a "best time" for steelhead due to there personal preferences.
My favorite time to fish for them is when YOU will have greatest opportunity. That's in the Winter, less drift boat's, less angler pressure allowing you more opportunity.
Not on a weekend, holiday or around either, so mid-week (T. W or Thursday) during the Winter is best during a warm spell. No high winds (frost bite) or dangerous driving conditions for you to get here.
Then I like April, warmer and sight fishing is an optional treat, during the same mid-week scenario.
Then I like Nov. the least. Plenty of steelhead around, BUT its also when we have the most anglers fishing due to warmer temp's and they fight the hardest then. More visually stimulating due to there acrobatic, speeding bullet runs and fight's. Due to increased angler pressure = less opportunity for you.
So again, no "best time for steelhead". Just personal preference. They are always here.
Hope this helps a lil, Randy
Safe Fish Handling Tip: (Jus my opionion)
Please remember to hold your breath. Yup, a fish should not be held out of the water longer than you can hold your breath if releasing it. Otherwise your injuring it and slowly killing it, no matter the species, no matter where in the world you are and also, no matter the water or air temperature.
How long can YOU hold your breath under water, especially after you have just ran a mile and are out of breath? Same for the fish out of the water.
Can you accidentally kill or injure a fish when taking its picture even though it swims off strongly? Sure you can. If you hold it out of the water for to long and also if the air temperature is in the teens or below the gills can freeze. Many times during the Winter during extreme cold temperatures I'll kindly ask my guest's to not take the fish out of the net - water, for a picture if it is to be released. No one has ever had a problem with that once they are told the reason why and are very appreciative. Like all of us, if you've never been told this, who would know.
By practicing these safe fish handling techniques (plus more) you will be helping this fishery (which we all share) to maintain its excellence for all. Thank you!
I found some more fun stuff to share with you all on the net recently, great info, video's and music! ( jus try'n to fill more of this DARN white space for ya all to enjoy- yukyuk!)
Tom Rosenbauer (respected angler, writer, book author plus more incredible credits that would fill half of this page) is an'ol friend and mentor who does a pod cast for Orvis - If you scroll half way on the index bar, this is where he starts talking about drift fishing with a fly rod and swinging flies, useing beads, etc... salmon and steelhead. It pertains greatly to the Salmon River NY. Keep up the good work Tom! Enjoy!
You all may want to sign up for his pod cast's.
Comment and my reply taken from Tom's pod cast site, linked above.
Mark comments - Thanks for the great podcast as usual Tom. Is it common in the Great Lakes tribs for anyone to use a large steelhead or salmon dry like a Bomber or Steelhead Bee as an indicator with an egg or nymph below it in low water? Kinda like a hopper/dropper but for Steelhead? If I had to nymph fish it would be more palatable to do so with a fly on top which I tied rather than a thingamabobber, etc…
Reply - Randy Jones
I’m not Tom, but I’m sure he would agree and trust my judgment.
Sure, but you can only fish 1 hook point on the Salmon River NY and surrounding Trib’s to Lake Ontario. No tandems. (Please check the reg. book for all this including weight (depends where your fish’n) and hook gaps, etc….)
Using a bomber is an exciting way to fish, skated across the surface. But, if you only have 1 fish ALL day take a swipe at it, and miss it, you’ve had a good day.
Best Fish’s, Salmon River NY Guide – Randy Jones
Cool video and music about steelhead fishing out West in the Winter. I've probably watched it 10 times since I found it. Superb job Travis! Loved it!! Turn your volume UP!!!
Not Salmon River related, but found it funny on a google feed for "most popular" Reminded me of the ol'Benny Hill TV show - you youngsters may need to google his name - yukyuk
Todays Humorous FISH TAILS:
I made the mistake one day of calling my guest's landed Brown Trout "a nice small brown". My client's eyes got real big, he had a very surprised look on his face as his jaw dropped. What do you mean Randy! This is the BIGGEST Brown trout I have ever caught in my entire life! I apologized and said what a BIG beautiful Brown trout it is. I guess on this river after awhile, a 3 to 6 lb. fish looks on the smaller side after you get sooooo used to seeing the average fish weight in at 10 to 20 lb's. I'll never make that mistake again. Ever heard of open mouth and insert foot?
While discussing what to do with the rod when I go to net a Big King Salmon in the fast and deep rapids. I instructed my client to always drop the rod tip. Creating just enouph slack so as not to pull the fish away from me, and out of the net.
Soon they're after, as I was ready to net his next BIG King Salmon of many. I yelled (Politely), drop your rod. As I looked on in disbelief (trying not to laugh) my client opened his rod hand and dropped my rod into the rapid filled river?????? Needless to say, the fish was lost but brand new Orvis rod ($500) and brand new ($700) orvis reel was recovered (all scratched up) and a good laugh was had by all!
More "Fish Tails" coming thru out the season, so please stop back.
Countless people have been guided by me and most have gone on to live normal lives.
Be careful out there or YOU could be the next "Fish Tale". (The above fish tales were written and told with a smile and in fun)
Drift Fishing w/ Fly or Spin Rods Part 2:
From the Archives
Author Randy Jones
There are numerous ways to present a fly/bait with a fly/spin/center pin rod for steelies. This is one of the more popular methods used in the Great Lakes region. Some well known fishing authors have written about it. My friend Tom Rosenbauer mentions it in his Orvis fly fishing technique book.
Deep nymphing, dead drifting, drift fishing, high sticking, chuck and duck. These are all terms I've heard, used to describe the same method. Anytime you can make it easier for any species of fish to feed anywhere in the world you will increase the odds of hooking up.
That's why this presentation technique is so popular, especially during the winter months. It gets your fly/bait/etc.. into the strike zone faster and keep's it there longer than almost any other presentational technique - tool. (Useing floats is another very productive method)
It works in every condition you will ever find on a river.
Correct speed of drift:
Imitating an egg-nymph dead drifting along the bottom at the same rate of speed as the bottom water column is imperative to successfully hooking up. This is achieved by looking where you're mono butt section enters the water. (Your fly line (running line) should NOT be in the water for many reason's) It should be moving slightly slower than the surface current. This matches the bottom current speed close enough. Making your offering look real enough to even the Smartest fish.
Jim Rusher once told me that in the wintertime it is sometimes advantageous to slow your drift down even further. This allows the lethargic fish time to move slightly for what it thinks is an easy meal.
Correct depth of drift:
When I first cast into a new piece of water my first question is how deep. This determination is achieved by raising or lowering rod tip until light ticking of weight on bottom rocks is felt. The next step for me is to look at the distance between the surface of the water and end of fly line.
(I prefer to run a 10 ft. butt section of 10-12lb. test straight mono for steelhead, so fly line never touches the water on the drift. Fly lines float and are larger in diameter than mono, causing it to have many negative effect's when fishing in this manner if its in the water.)
By this distance, between fly line and water I know exactly where it should be on each successive cast. Allowing me to set up immediately for each additional cast to achieve the perfect drift. The end of the fly line act's like an indicator. Most angler's do not prepare their drift in advance, before they reach the 12 O'clock position. (This is where I start every drift and where I can control it) By using the end of the fly line as an indicator it is easy to prep your drift in advance of the 12 O'clock position. Allowing you to run the most productive drift possible. The next question I ask myself is am I weighted correctly?
Your goal is to match the bottom current flow. Most anglers use to much weight and slogggg along the bottom, which has many negative effects. You simply want to lightly tick occasionally.
Visual and non-visual characteristics of line:
In my opinion, when drift fishing correctly the line between tip of rod and weight should be a straight line. If you try to dead drift with a bow in your line, you not only create additional drag which speeds up your drift making your fly look unnatural but also makes for a lot of unnecessary snags on bottom. (Your rod tip should be as high as you can get it (for many reasons) and the fly line should be totally out of the water) With out a straight line (slack) your weight is simply slogging along the bottom looking for the quickest and easiest rock to call home for good. A lot of the time if you have slack in your line you will not feel the ticking sensation due to the vibrations not being transferred up through the line. There are about 20 other negative things that happen when you have a bow or slack in your line. Remember; with line straight from tip of rod to weight you will be lightly tapping the tops of the rocks. Cutting down on drag, giving it a more natural drift by imitating the correct bottom speed, feeling those pauses and hesitations better, detecting the take better and getting hung-up on bottom less.
Angle of rod tip to line:
To achieve a maximum dead drift and cut down on snags the rod tip should be directly over the line. If rod tip is in front of line then you will be prematurely initializing the swing and probably ending your drift prematurely. Also, if weight runs into structure, you will be pulling it into it and creating a worse snag than if rod tip was over line and twitched directly up and over obstruction on pauses and hesitations.
The lesson for today was to hold the rod tip as high as possible to cut down on the amount of line entering into the water. (High sticking) Every time the rod tip was held low several negative things happened.
1. First and most importantly no fish were caught.
2. The fly would swing through the hole, instead of dead drifting through it. There by making our tasty morsel look more like a speeding bullet than something that was naturally moving along the bottom at the correct speed that was edible.
3. The weight would not bring our fly into the strike zone, due to the current bowing the line and keeping it all off bottom.
4. A low rod tip puts more line into the water creating a sub-surface bow which has many negative effect's. Basically, not allowing you to achieve your desired and most productive dead drift.
The above article has some exceptions to it. There are even more advanced techniques to add to the above article that will further your success rate. I guess I'll save those for my guest's.
If the water stays up and you are coming up this week to fish, bring your water wings, sleep in and bring a shovel. Snow's in the forecast everyday, how unusual.
Hello to all the armed forces that read my reports from around the world. We will save a few fish for you all appon your safe return. Thanks for your service!
Thats it for this week's Rambling's...... I think I covered all the important stuff.
May all your door knobs smell of "Happy New Year" Steelhead!
Thank you all for your words of encouragement, kind words and continued support. Ill continue to do my best in sharing what I've learned through experience, experimentation, borrowed ideas and taught techniques.
Stay tuned for more entertainingly informative and mildly educational reports and articles on this never-ending virtual fishing trip with your host Randy "The Yankee Angler" and friends.
I sincerely hope that what little I've been able to share with you will help you along the path to more enjoyable, safe and knowledgeable fishing.
Thanks for stopping in and spending your valuable internet fishing time here
Hope your all enjoying this great fishing!
The Steelhead fishing of your dreams...... ............ we'll make it reeeeeeeeeeeeeel.
Author Randy Jones
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