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Salmon River Pulaski NY - Fish Tail's :)

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:35 pm
by Randy Jones
Fish Tail's - Thru these Guides Eyes

Below are some of my personal "humorous highlight's" of my many years of guiding. Enjoy :)
John told me a funny story about his wife and a 15 lb. Steelhead in April. It takes place in an area I had guided them the day before that was loaded with fish and no anglers. Turns out that as John rushed for the net, he ripped a big hole in his waders and cold water rushed in. When he dove for the fish with the net, he fell in. When he tried to net the fish for the third time he smashed his watch to pieces on a rock. Fish was netted, picture was taken and fish was released. I'm sure Johns wife was very appreciative of his efforts. :)
( Photo's )
In the holiday spirit with a X-mas Brown. Congrats!
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 so 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 rapids. I instructed my client to always drop the rod tip. Creating 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 fish of many. I yelled (Politely), drop your rod. As I looked on in disbelief (trying not to laugh) my client dropped my rod into the rapid filled river?????? Needless to say, the fish was lost but rod ($500) and brand new ($700) reel was recovered (all scratched up) and a good laugh was had by all!
Salmon River Report
Scheduled day off. You can only turn your underwear inside out so many times, before you havvvvvvvvvvvvvvve to do your laundry!
The funniest moment of the day came when Glenn was doing battle with a King. I jumped to my feet, ran down stream and pounced on it with the net. Scooped it up, proud as a peacock and noticed Glen’s rod bent over and he was still tight to his fish. (So HE said) When I asked repeatedly, if he was sure he still had one on, he responded with an excited YES several times over! So the Salmon I had in the net was set free. We walked over to where his line entered the water (where I had netted his fish) and stared dumb founded into 6 inch’s of water, void of anything alive. Turns out his line had wrapped around a rock and when I netted his fish the hook pulled loose and imbedded into a rock. So Glenn was battling a rock. :)
Randy, If it's one thing you should have learned from our day on the river, it's that you should make sure to point out to your clients that although from a distance a rock and a Salmon may look alike. There are no similarities up close and they should be 100% sure before they tell you to release their netted fish! LOL!!!!! Take Care, Glenn
The first picture is of what it looks like when it is 5 below 0 outside, no wind and plenty of sunshine. "Fish On"
I carry a BIG propane heater on board the drift boat to stay warm. When I met my guest's in the morning I "kindly" begged them to take their $100 deposit back and not go out into the extreme cold. They would have none of that and told me that they were going fishing and I WAS going to take them out and guide them. (Errrrr, Brrrrr)
My guests were commercial fisherman and used to the cold. As it turns out it turned into a beautiful sunny day with no wind and got up to a toasty 5 degrees above 0. My guest's got to play with OVER 20 Steelhead. It was one of our best days ever. The above 2 fish were kept for the dinner table. (FYI - this was back when there was a 3 fish limit) The rest were released, never taken out of the water due to the extreme cold and not wanting their gills to freeze which would have killed them. Congrats again Todd!
Dave with 1 of many Steelhead. Congrats! (All released)
Congrats go out to Dave who fought and released a magnificent, beautiful sucker of 3 lb.! Dave was very proud, as he caught it on one of his own flies!
Dave and I had a fabulous day on the river. Sunny, lots of laughs and fish and more fish. We used the drift boat to drift the middle river. We hit fish in 5 out of 7 spots. Dave was nice enough to invite me to fish with him so we were a combined 2 for 10. The higher water made it a little tuff to land them. We watched in amazement as several of the silver fish jumped and gave us a number of reeeeeeeel smok'n run's. Dave hooked into one fish and as it jumped our jaws came close to hitting the bottom of the boat. It was all of 16 lb's, maybe a lil more. We decided to leave the spot we had just anchored in, to give chase with the boat. I call this a Nantucket Sleigh ride. This would improve the odds of us landing this trophy fish of a lifetime. After a 5 minute tug of war and a boat load of adrenaline running up our spines this honk'a of a fish neared the boat. Dave pulled up on the rod as I went to net it, but it would have none of that and took off like a bullet and the line broke. We anchored, caught are breath and laughed so loud you could probably of heard us a mile off.. What a fight, what an incredible, incredible, magnificent fish! "The Salmon River, Where memories are made"
Count to three:
While I'm at work, I like to watch all aspects of my guest's fishing techniques and try to give helpful tips that will increase the odds. Hopefully, this allows for a higher success rate when they are out on their own for the rest of their lives. Today was no exception. I noticed when Todd would set the rod he would then immediately start to bounce the rod to try to get unsnagged off the bottom. I explained to Todd that not a week goes by where someone does the exact same thing, but the line starts to swim up river. Obviously rocks don't swim. The moral of the story is to set the rod and count to three. By this time you should always know if it’s a rock or a fish. Sometimes they do not react immediately upon being hooked. So treat every rock like a fish and sometimes you will be surprised that our rocks do swim! Normally, its the most experienced anglers that break fish off, believe it or not. A short time later I noticed Todd set the rod and immediately start to try to get unsnagged off the bottom. The only thing was, as he was trying to free himself from the bottom his line was moving up river? Hhmmmm. I yelled (politely) Hey, you've got a fish on there. Todd replied, I do?
Just another valuable lesson learned on the river today. :)
Tim and Gert had a number of goals or interests for the day. Besides the usual fishing, drift boat and trying to hook into a few steelhead. They also wanted to spend a little time driving around and look at some of the local streams, creeks that hold chrome. We visited about 7 different bodies of water which probably gave both of them a lifetime of additional area's to fish.
Today sort of went like this:
Do you see those tree's on the bank?
Yes, Randy.
Do you see those bush's on the bank?
Yes Randy.
Those tree's and bush's are not going to move all morning. They wont jump out at you, I promise. So please dont throw into them.
Ok, Randy.
Now, land it just short of those tree's and bush's.
Ok Randy.
Hey Gert, what are you doing stuck in all those tree's I told you about? Hey Tim, what are doing stuck in all those bush's I told you about? Why me lord ;) ;)
I need a day off BAD!
We had a lot of laughs today. I got a big kick out of the fact that in a half a day of fishing (the other half was driving around learning some new and exciting water) off the drift boat we tied into 9 fish. The other big kicker was out of the 4 spots we fished, we hit them in every hole. We went 100% on all spots! Ye-Haaaa!
I guess the main reason for my guest's outstanding success was there incredible expert angling ability level? :)
Skip is tied into another 10 lb. Fresh Magical Silver Bullet (Landed). I'm hamming it up, ready with the net and my goofy looking hat!
John's reward! One out of many. An incredible colored up Spring Steelhead. What a Trophy!
Jim was very excited to go Salmon fishing today. He had been out celebrating the night before in anticipation of a great day of fishing. As we walked to the hopeful honey hole he told me he had tied on a brand new fly line late last night and was interested to see how it performed. It cost him $69. Shortly there after Jim was tight to a fresh run "honka" of a 30 lb. silver Salmon River King. As the fish ran, he pulled with all his might. The rod was almost doubled over when all of a sudden his backing knot separated from his brand new $ fly line. "Fish attached to fly line" were last seen headed down river. I asked Jim what knot he had used to tie his line on with and basically got a blank stare in return. His blood shot eyes and late night partying told me everything I needed to know. At days end I gave Jim a knot tying demonstration. Moral of the story? Wait until you've HAD a good day of fishing, before going out to celebrate it.
My good friend and one of the best wade guides on the river ;) Joey K. (May he rest in peace) told me a story about a Salmon trip. His client was catching his fair share, when his client's glasses went into the drink. They didn't know at the time a friend of theirs was fishing the hole below them and caught a Salmon with eyeglasses in its mouth. Salmon was released and glasses were kept. The next day he told Joey of his experience. Joey told him his client had lost a pair yesterday: hence glasses were returned to a very happy angler.
One memorable day recently was shared with Derick and Sally from Aspen, Colorado. Derrick's passion is fly fishing the incredible waters that the West has to offer. Mostly trout measured in inch’s. Sally has wet a line on several occasions, but never for Salmon or steelhead. Derick had one of the best acrobatic Steelhead on in a while. It was 100 Yds into that orange stringy stuff (backing), low in the wires, before it decided to do a little dance for us all. Jumps, somersaults, 15-ft. tail walks, topped the show before giving us an encore performance with some torpedo runs. I don’t think I have ever seen a smile that big!
Sally was the only woman in the pool when the tip of the rod started pulsating up and down as if attached to a ball bouncing down the street. Sally yelled, " I think I've got one?" All the men in the pool politely reeled up and watched as I think they all knew this could be one of the better shows of the day. Several of the men in the pool gave out a cheer of encouragement. Sally had an original way of reeling------ out the fish. I guess she wanted to give it a chance? Shortly afterward every guy in the pool was cheering her on and explaining she should reel the other way. Finally at her feet laid a handsome 15 lb. male Coho, bright with spawning colors. Congrats Sally :)
Monster Brown:
At one point during the day Bill said, Hey Randy, come here quick. I see a BIG Brown Trout. I walked over and peered into the crystal clear water and looked at what Bill was excitedly pointing at. Look at the size of that one, Bill commented. I said, Hmmmm, Bill I dont see it. Right there, right off the tip of my rod, dont you see it? It's a monster Brown, could be a new world record! As Bill was pointing at it with his rod I noticed his hands were trembling with the excitement at the possibility of bragging rights to his fishing buddies for years to come if he was able to catch it.

I said, O, now I see it, yes, that is one of the largest Browns I have ever seen! That could be a real nice wall hanger. Bragging rights for years. Boy, wont your fishing buddies be jealous!
Both Chris and I started to snicker because what Bill was pointing at was a very dead and very severely decaying King Salmon just laying happily on the bottom of the river. We both egged him on and suggested he make a cast for it, but shortly there after we explained to him what he was really seeing. His face turned a little red and we all laughed. Of course we were laughing with him and not at him. How long you been fishing this river Bill? Had your eye's checked lately Bill? :)
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. :)
(All Photo's can be seen @ )
Tight to a Chromer! (John Halnon photo credit)
Thanks for stopping by and spending your valuable internet fishing time here!
Best Fish's,
Randy Jones
P.S. Im back doing Report's, Articles, Tips, Pic's and my usual Ramblings on my site.