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Pulaski NY Steelhead Drift Boat Guide Spin Fly Fish Report

Randy Jones
January 7, 2014
Pulaski - Freshwater Fishing Report

On the Salmon River Pulaski NY a BIG SLUG of bright fresh steelhead arrived thru the upper end of the river over last weekend. Some of those fresh steelhead I reported (last week) that came in with our last higher water flow were being found.
This means the entire river has some fresh metal, plus all the ones that have been here for awhile. From the top of the Salmon River to the bottom, spread out. Just waiting here, for your perfectly cast (aheeeem) fly or bait.
Bank anglers and drift boat clients are having success from the top of the Salmon River to the bottom catching steelhead. (Starting to sound like a broken record?) Lot's of anglers out enjoying the warmer temp's over last weekend, which is always nice to see.
Some folks would call it crowded. I'd call it good for the local economy! Plenty of room and steelhead for everyone to enjoy!
As we floated by one guide in the drift boat, he excitedly told me that in this one spot he was fishing he had hooked up 15 steelhead. Before he could even finish his sentence to me he was tight to another steelhead. (All were released)
They were useing floats with either beads, skein, marabou jigs, worms, flies or egg sacks on center pin's. Super!!
All styles and fishing presentational tools are working, some better than other's.
What the above tells you is that there are plenty of steelhead around for all of you to enjoy. Good luck and go get'm!
Since its below 0 outside, this might warm you up - yukyuk
(For all Photo's - Please see profile or my websites - Fishing Report Page)
Lace is my newest endorsed referral guide. If Im not available to guide you, SHE CAN!
Fun GOOgle fishing link's with lot's of Salmon River NY steelhead and salmon fish pictures:
(To see links, Please see Profile or my websites - Fishing Report Page)
Would you believe I wrote this many flies ago in 99? Boy, how time fly's!
Complementary guide steelhead stalling tactic's tip's:
80% of the time these fish fighting techniques and stalling tactics will help. So don't blame me if you hit the 20%!
Throwing Slack:
We all love to see the somersaults, jumps; tail walks and torpedo runs they make. But, 50% of the time the show ends with no curtain call or encore performance. I prefer, after hooking-up, if it decides to show its colors and race down stream where I can't follow, to throw it slack. (Pull line off the reel A.S.A.P.) If hook set is good, it won't throw it and they normally quite down. The action it takes is due to the pressure it feel's. So by releasing the pressure it no longer feel's threatened and will tend to stop on a dime. This allows you to regroup and take control. (With spinning rods, this has the same effect by opening the bail) Throwing it slack is also a great way to stop it's screaming run downstream into snags, deep water, (where you can't go) or at least slow it down so you can catch up.
Another effect that throwing it slack has is from where you are standing, your line (down stream) will form a bow in the water's current back to the fish. The fish will feel the pressure of the current against your bow'd line and feel as if it is being pulled down river. This normally results in the fish slowly swimming back up river to where you had initially hooked it up. (These "happy fish" really do not want to leave that prime lye where you had hooked it up) Then simply reel up your slack line and you'll be surprised when at times the fish will be back, almost at your feet.
Walking the dog:
Here's another technique that has worked for me. If I'm working a piece of fast, deep water that is not easily waded. Upon hooking-up, I immediately lighten up and only bend the tip of the rod slightly. Remember what I said earlier about pressure? With only a slight bend in the rod tip, the fish feels little to no pressure and maintains its position in the river. I then slowly move to a safer area and believe it or not, normally it will follow. Once I'm in a safe position, I give it to'em. It's miller time!
Not related to the Salmon River NY, but an interesting read on the possible effects of Japan's nuclear reactor melt down on our Blue Fin Tuna stocks. Before reading this, the comments are a must read and are interesting, humorous and some use foul language, so no kids allowed. http://topinfopost.com/2013/10/10/fukushima-is-here-all-bluefin-tuna-caught-in-california-are-radioactive
(Funny Photo)
Thought for the day:
In my opinion, if you had 2 anglers standing side by side. One was using a fly rod and the other a spin rod. The spin angler would get in 5 cast's out of every 4 that the fly angler makes. Over an entire day, the spin angler's bait, fly or lure would be in the water a substantial amount more than the fly angler. There by causing the spin angler a hirer percentage of opportunity because he is spending more time in the water. Lately with the water level flow being up, my fly anglers have been flexible to use a spin rod for this reason and more. It's paid off!
The other reason's I find a spin rod more productive when the water is up, is a spinning rod can throw it further and faster. Many of the present prime lye's Im guiding on off the drift boat are 100 feet or more casting distance to hit and cover.
Many of our fishing drift's cover 100 to 200 feet of the bottom. (This is also why float fishing is so productive) Due to the mechanical nature of a spin rod, it can retrieve the line faster than a fly angler can strip it in. Also, the mono draws less water so the guides dont freeze up as fast. These and more are all reason's that at times, a spinning rod can allow you greater opportunity, in my opinion.
( Now I just pissed off all the fly guy's - yukyuk)
(P.S. Many of the most experienced Steelhead anglers on the Salmon River will use both presentational tools. Depending on the current water level's and spot to be fished, offering them the greatest opportunity)
How's the steelhead fishing for my guest's, here on the Slam'n Salmon River NY? Im glad you asked
(All fish released)
Pete had a day for Kings! First timer steelhead angler. Played w/ 12 steelhead. All resident's, males and females. Incredible acrobatic fight's. We hit approx. 8 spots over a 6 mile area, only fishing the "current break" - "hole within the hole." (hint-hint)
Dad Mike and 13 year old son Mike Jr. enjoyed a fun and rewarding day useing the drift boat on the Salmon River. We covered habitat and their (sometimes special and unique) current breaks over a 6 mile stretch of river (approx. 20 spots) off the drift boat. Both transitional holding and prime holding. Where to park, how to access, where to cross the river safely and exactly where the fish lay in each unique type of habitat. Sometimes it's as exact as fitting a key into a lock.
This knowledge is something that Mike and his son can use for the rest of their lives, offering them an even greater number of opportunities and spots to catch some steelhead when they are on their own.
We played with a few fish here, none in a couple spots and a few fish there, having to work for'm. All in all a very rewarding day, with all of our goals easily accomplished.
From the Mail Bag:
Mike's picture and fishing report:
Hi Randy,
My son Mike Jr. was extremely happy even though he was not able to land that big steelhead in the second hole we fished. I think the cold weather got to him a little, but he was happy all the same. After our drift trip ended, my son and I went back to the first hole we fished in the morning and he landed on his first cast a gorgeous 32 inch male steelhead that was a nice silver/chrome. I watched in amazement as he was flawlessly doing everything you taught him during our trip....from the cast placement, drift technique, to playing the fish into the calmer water. We fished that hole for an hour and had 5 more hook ups with 2 more steelhead landed (25 inches and 30 inches...I didn't have a way to weigh them), all of which were very bright colored. Everything was hooked in the far side of the honey hole, except one fish that was in close to us in the fast water.We moved to the second hole we had fished with you and played with another 3 steelhead over a 30 minute period, but didn't land them. Over the course of the day we played with 16 steelhead. As darkness closed in, it was time to go home to get warm and dry.
I am looking forward to our April trip for my father's 75th birthday...Thanks again for everything.
Mike Greer
HI Mike,
Thanks very much for your kind and generous words. I had a blast!
Glad you went back to where you knew the water the best and had much success! That's about the highest form of an unspoken compliment that any guide could ask for :)
We will try to leave a few steelhead in the river for your return trip here in April ;) Best Holiday Fish's, Randy
Anytime Randy! Not sure if you want this picture, but here it is with my son tight on that nice steelhead from the drift boat down by the Sportsman pool. See you in April, Mike
Fish ON!!
Mike, nice photo! Ill use it on my next update. Due to the popularity of my fishing report page, I cropped and edited it a lil so as not to advertise the spot. Don't want to be called a spot burner or bring anymore attention to it in case its one of YOUR favorite spots - such a nice guy-guide :)
Next time you get beat'n to your favorite spot, don't forget to ask them what time they got there. Randy
Today's Humor and Fishing Tip:
A few of us guides and shore anglers have certain spot's we enjoy fishing. Sometimes we will get on our spots early, to guarantee a large presence of steelhead for our guest's. It's always funny when your on your spot in the dark and then at first light a shore angler show's up, pretends to be your best fishing buddy and then asks you what time did you get there. There are always two different answers to choose from, both are lies.
If you tell them the truth, then they will be on that same spot 1/2 hour earlier than you said, tomorrow, beating you to the spot.
Sooo, here is how you always reply when this happens to you.
1. You either say you just got there, when in reality you've been on that spot for over an hour in the dark. Guaranteeing that you will still beat that angler tomorrow to the same spot, that he wants to beat you too.
2. Or, you say we have been on this spot since 4 am. Then tomorrow, your not even going to be fishing. But you can get a good chuckle over your mornings coffee, knowing that that poor angler was sitting on that spot in the dark, in the snow, in the cold at 3:30 am. yukyuk
Sooo, the moral of the story is when your asked what time did you get there, you always lie! They really are not your best fishing buddy in the whole world and are only trying to beat you to the same spot tomorrow.
An example of this happened to me recently.
We got on our spot 1 hour before legal fishing time (1/2 hour before sunrise) to guarantee a good presence of steelhead for my guest's.
At first light a shore angler arrived, we exchanged pleasantries and he politely asked us what time did we get there. I "politely" lied and said we just got here. He loudly replied, dam! I knew I should have gotten here a 1/2 hour earlier.
I laughed to myself after his Q, my reply and his comment. And its why I humorously wrote - Today's Humor and Fishing Tip ;)
More Salmon River drift boat guide Humor:
First person on the spot gets it. I've been beat'n to special spots by seconds.
The funniest one was when I was floating down the river in the drift boat, relaxed, enjoying the early morning stars and the tranquility of it all. I notice a shore angler walking on the trail leading to the spot I had hoped to get for my guest's.
(Sometimes where these steelhead lay is as exact as fitting a key into a lock)
I can see the angler walking with a flashlight as it moves to the rhythm of his stride. I start to get nervous and push the boat faster and faster.
I can see the rhythm of the walking angler's flashlight speed up as he increases his pace. It almost look's like a strobe light, he is walking sooooo fast. He hears me coming......... Im pushing the boat fast'rrrrrrr...........
Its a race to the finish!
He lands on the spot seconds before me.
First person on the spot..... gets it.
Turns out we were both guides and knew each other well. We both laughed out loud until our stomach's hurt at what had just transpired.
He was nice enouph to share his clients spot with my guest's and everyone caught some fish.
Archived Fish Story:
I noticed an elderly gentleman fishing very hard with no results to show for his efforts. He was running a prefect 100 % drift, just not finding any players. I asked him kindly if he might not mind letting me take a look at what he was throwing. I made 2 suggestions, he made 2 changes. After several cast's into the same water he had been beating to a froth, a dime bright Steelhead ate his offering and he was off to the races. My guest's and myself all gave out a cheer of encouragement. Fish was landed, a bright silver bullet! Everyone loudly congratulated him and before long he was into another one.
I have a feeling the few suggestions I made well continue to help him play with even more metal heads along this incredible path we all enjoy so much.
The funny part of the story was after this elderly gentleman had landed his second fish. He was giddy with excitement, ran right over to me and showed me the fly he had used. It was one he had tied himself, which gave him an even higher degree of self satisfaction.
Hello and Happy Holidays 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.
Best Steelhead and Salmon Holiday Fish's,
Author Randy Jones
Dec. 28 Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Drift Boat Guide Spin Fly Fishing Report Update:
On the Salmon River in Pulaski NY that last high water period brought in some fresh Steelhead that are in a transitional stage presently. Working there way up river, spreading out and holding in all the Winter lyes. All Winter lyes are with steelhead. Some Transitional holding lyes are w/ steelhead.
We have Steelhead from the top to the bottom of the Salmon River, NY. Even I could probably catch one -yukyuk
A Day for KINGS!:
I can't speak for anyone else, but my guest's aboard the drift boat have been Hammering the fish! My last trip was almost one for the record books! Henry and Mark were on fire and were lucky enouph to enjoy a bunch of steelhead. It was like a ping pong match going back and forth on hook ups. 1,500 cfs was the water flow. We landed a number of 10-11 lb'rs.
The below is imperative to successfully fishing the Salmon River:
I figure any spot that has 2 current breaks working for it, is better than an area that only has one. This hole had a perfect seam (were the fast water meets the slow water) running down the middle of it. The seam would be one current break and the hole is the other.
Combine these two and chances are good you''ll come up with some silver.
Other types of current breaks I look for are the heads of holes. The fish can sit under the faster currents and tuck in behind the drop. Another would be the tail of a hole. They are normally deep with slow moving water. Try the seam on the inside of a corner, or a seam created by a tree or stump. Big boulders also create perfect breaks in the current for fish to rest behind. (Pockets) Some breaks are used by fish when the river bottom only drops by 5-8 inch's. Anywhere the current is broken would be an area to cast your line. Combine any of the above and your in the right spot.
Thanks for stopping in!
Author Randy Jones
Dec. 20 Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Drift Boat Guide Spin Fly Fishing Report Update:
Every normal type of habitat for this time of year, fish's life cycle, water flow, current breaks, water temperature is with Steelhead from the top of the Salmon River to the bottom. All of the Steelhead that have been entering the Salmon River over the last few month's are spread out over its entire length, top to bottom. Providing you with many fine fishing opportunities! Anglers are catching steelhead from the top to the bottom of the Salmon river NY. Anglers are finding the steelhead fishing presently either challenging, tuff, ok, not bad, pretty good or amazing.
All is great on the Steelhead front. Lot's around in some places, some are scattered in other spots and we still have some in a transitional stage, entering, running the river and spreading out. So those transitional resting point's shouldn't be over looked yet.
Having the correct Habitat, Rigging and most importantly Presentation. Will help in your Steelhead quest.
Weather Forecast:
Water Level:
SALMON RIVER AT "LIVE" PINEVILLE NY - http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ny/nwis/uv/?site_no=04250200
Crystal Ball Water Level, snow pack and water content:
Should see it go up higher. How high, you ask? Where is that crystal ball of mine ;)
For the last coupl'a years those "dam people" (yukyuk) usually try to step the water levels up and also down. Looks like we may have made our first step up, in several, in water level's?
Heads up warning - If your fishing here this next week, please use caution and be aware of water level's, etc.... The weather man just said to expect "massive" melting.
This link should "eventually" show part of the "run-off" that could effect our water flows on the river. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=04249200
Temp's have moderated back to more normal. I guess its safe for me to crawl out of my hole I've been hiding in this last week ;)
The snow we have recieved is always welcome! This always helps with our snow pack, which always helps in the Spring when we want colder water and above normal flows to extend our steelhead fishing season into late April - early May on the Salmon River and beyond.
With above freezing temp's and rain look for more run-off. The lower end should have some fresh steelhead entering as I type this :)
It's also great when the snow we have gets some rain and melts a lil. This increases our snow water content that will help us once again, in the Spring.
All in all, things are shaping up very nicely!
Crystal Ball Fishing Forecast:
The Steelhead fishing will remain strong all Winter into May! On top of ALL of the Steelhead that are presently in the Salmon River. We will continue to see many more Steelhead enter, run, spread out and hold in the Salmon River NY. I'd recommend coming over to fish.
Today's Fishing Tip:
Please re-read all of the below complementary fishing reports, Tips, Articles as they relate to Steelhead. They all have relevant info. that is still pertinent now.
Winter Fishing Tip - Box of Chocolates - Compliments of Salmon River NY guide and author Randy Jones
(Hint)- Warming trend here now.
This picture is to remind everyone that one of the best times to fish on the Salmon River NY is after we have had a bone chilling week of freezing cold temp's.
Very very few anglers are out in these temperatures. This means ALL of your favorite Winter and Transitional spots "could" have VERY good numbers of fresh steelhead in them, that have recently moved in.
Thats what happened in above picture. Kyle and his friend were my guest's for one of those memorable Salmon River Drift Boat Guide "Day for Kings!"
Today was the first decent weather temperature fishing day after some abnormal below zero temp's for the week.
We had pulled the Drift Boat over in a lil spot. You could spit and almost hit the other side of the hole. :) It was a small Winter and Transitional lye.
Figured it was worth a quick shot after a week of bone chilling temperatures w/ very few anglers out and about.
We were rewarded with no less than 16 Steelhead! A nice pod of Chromers had moved in here after a weeks worth of freezing cold temp's.
Just like a box of chocolates, never know :)
(Hint)- Warming trend here now.
Winter - Matching the Hatch Tip - Compliments of Salmon River NY guide and author Randy Jones
A lil fly - spin fishing tip if your new to Winter Steelhead fishing. During the Winter time (normally) when ever it gets above freezing, look at the banks of the river and try to imitate what you see hatching on the snow. Here is a prime example.
Picture was taken when it was above freezing, on the river bank, on top of the snow, along with a thousand other of the same insect.
This is called (a family member of) a black stone fly and is probably the #1 insect imitation used by most experienced spin - fly anglers, and rightly so. Sometimes you will notice thousands upon thousands of these on the snowy river bank. This aquatic insect is one of the most abundant and is a primary source of food for the steelhead during the Winter time. There are also other insect's in different stages of their lives that Steelhead key on too. (That's another article:)
Best Holiday Fish's,
Author Randy Jones
( P.S. If you are coming up this week to fish, bring your water wings ;)

More Fishing Reports:


Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Salmon Drift Boat Fishing Report Guide. Full - Time, 30 years Exp. Wade-Drift Boat, Fly-Spin. King and Coho Salmon Sept - Oct. Steelhead and Brown's Nov. - April - Enjoy my updated "Fishing Reports" page for Articles, Tips, Pic's, Mail Bag and Ramblings. More info. on Website - https://www.yankeeangler.com/salmon-river-fishing-report/ - Located just a 1/2 hour North of Syracuse on the World Famous Salmon River in Pulaski New York.

Contact Info:

Yankee Angler.com
Pulaski, NY
Pulaski, NY 13142
Phone: 315-963-2065
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