Image used by permission from @trout_angler15

First Report of 2020!

Lower Salmon River

This past weekend and the early week, we had great weather and then Steelhead season weather. The warm weather was not typical, but the icy and windy conditions over the weekend are typical for the Steelhead season. The fishing overall was a bit less than okay. Part of what makes it a little bit less than ok is because you cannot predict the quality of fishing based on observable factors. Over the weekend, we had beautiful weather and good flow, but the fishing was a grind. We also had bad weather and windy conditions, but in the right location, the fishing was good.

Those that were swinging for Steelhead had a difficult time while nymphers and the center pin brigade did much better than swingers.

One note of hope was that new fresh fish were entering the system. The weather will continue to be warmer, but there is snow in the forecast for Saturday.  

For this weekend, as it is still part of the holidays, the fishing pressure will be higher. One thing I recommend is that you learn the structure that makes up a good fishing location. Take a look at this image below to see what makes up a good location.

Advice on finding fish and escaping the crowd this weekend:

Image used by permission from Capt. Ben Schultes @capt_schultes on Instagram

Here are four things in this picture that will help you to find good waters here on the Salmon River or any other Great Lakes tributary.

  1. Exposed tree roots.
  2. Walking speed water. Steelhead are very efficient, and they don’t like fast water, nor do they like super slow water.
  3. Look for trees that are leaning into the water.
  4. Above water structures that create tunnel-like features. Finding this type of structure will help you as an angler to fish during bad weather and windy conditions.

If you can see at least three out of the four items, you may have a chance of good water to fish. If you can learn these structures, you will never have to fish crowded water or overfished pools.

Douglaston Salmon Run

Fishing at the DSR was a bit like a Billie Eilish song. Lots of angst, but every once in a while, there were rays of hope. Those that fished the open waters had a harder time while most of the action was in the middle where there is structure. Most who were hooking up were using lighter tippet, so landing fish was hard. A reliable angler reported 0-8 while fishing for 3 hours.  

Your best bet during this time is to expect to grind it out and make every hookup count.  Make sure your knots are well tied and secure.

Town – Pulaski, NY

Fishing was slower this weekend except for Upper Staircase and Long Bridge, but otherwise, it was back to the regular Steelhead season. Only anglers hooking up were bottom bouncers. Due to the water levels going up, some fish were found in the smaller creeks off the main river in Town. Water will continue to be higher, so look for fish in the seams closest to you. During high water periods, anglers can step over fish as they try to wade deep.

Altmar, NY Section

Received more reports of fish spread out. I received reports of fresh Steelhead below Pineville to 81. Lots of nooks and crannies and great runs to be explored during warmer weather. I received reports from Trestles, Ellis Cove, Wires, and Lower Fly Zones as having the most action. However, the fish were spread out, so if you are not getting into fish, then take a walk to explore and look for structure. Received word that a small school of Cohos was around, and they were feisty. They were dark and beat up, but they were willing to bite and give a good fight.

Salmon River, NY Report: Dec. 26, 2019

Salmon River, NY Report: Dec. 12, 2019

Lodge Spotlight: Tailwater Lodge, Altmar NY