Dec. 8 Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Drift Boat Guide Spin Fly Fishing Report Update:
Steelhead are top to bottom of the Salmon River. Fresh Steelhead entering, running, spreading out and settling into there Winter homes. Steelhead anglers are finding steelhead up top, middle and lower River. Go get'm!!
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 :)
NORTH BRANCH SALMON RIVER AT REDFIELD NY
Here is a "live" gauge on one of the feeder streams - branches that run into the Salmon River Res. system. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=04249200 It gives you an idea of run-off. Heard a rumor that in the future we might get another live internet gauge on the other branch.
On the Floor laughing Article:
I laughed my butt off when I read the part about a traditional fly fisherman writer for Trout Unlimited ending up w/ a professional steelhead guide who only fished spinning rods with bait, chummed the water with bait (fish eggs) and after landing his first steelhead the guide promptly whacked the fish on the head w/ a bat so a picture could be taken w/ out the fish falling out of his hands)
I think that the writer was doing a comedy sketch (made up?) about the humor of complete opposites, except for the one thing they both shared and cherished in their lives...... the true passion for the sport!
(To see all photo's - Fishing Report page)
Skip is tied into another 10 lb. Fresh Silver Bullet (Landed). I'm hamming it up, ready with the net and my goofy looking hat!
This Weeks Guest Fishing Report:
Sa-zammmmm! Fish on and on and on!! My 2 guest's hammered the chrome today with approx. 18 steelhead. After soooo many steelhead, its hard to keep track! (All fish released) Simply amazing!!
We fished 8 spots over a 6 mile stretch off the drift boat and hit them in all. The 6 thing's we did that was critical for my guest's success were:
2. Working - cover our water (prime lye) thoroughly.
3. Changing our rigging according to what the fish were plainly telling me.
6. Having the correct Habitat, there is a lot of empty water out there
Scheduled day off the water to work in the office.
Another amazing steelhead adventure off the drift boat! Mike and his 11 year old daughter Alexa's made me proud to be there guide. Mike did most of the fishing while his daughter slept, hung out in front of the heater, ate snacks and landed the occasional Steelhead that dad Mike hooked up. Mike tangled w/ an approx. 12 Steelhead. We found them in 4 out of 7 spots fished over a 8 mile stretch. One spot was a prime Winter lye and the other a transitional holding place. Last Friday I had fished this transitional holding spot and we hit 5 steelhead, but none today for the short time we were in it. Looked at my watch and it was time to hit the ramp. Another great day of many on this never ending virtual fishing trip.
Incredible! Outstanding "Day for Kings"
My 2 guest's played with approx. 19 steelhead off the drift boat in 5 or 6 different places over a 6 mile stretch and I even hooked up a few while demonstrating and experimenting with our presentation.
50% Fresh and 50% older steelhead around. They landed some beauties!
Noticed some more fresh steelhead around that have recently arrived.
Same clients as yesterday, 1/2 day trip today off the drift boat with my 2 experienced guest's. They hooked up approx. 8-9 steelhead. Ye-haa! They landed some beauties! All from several magical spot's! Congrats!
At days end I was flattered and recieved the highest complement any guide could ever ask for. (Very experienced steelhead angler) Gary said that he learned more in 1 day with me than in the last 3 years of being guided by numerous other guides.
Al didn't have to say anything as I was flattered and complemented by him with ALL of the steelhead he got to play with. This was his first time EVER fishing for them. His exact implementation of my suggestions on his presentation were spot on and numerous steelhead were the rewarding result!
Guess we just got Lucky this week ;)
I sincerely hope that all of you have a chance to experience a day or a week like my guest's and myself enjoyed!
(All fish released for you and your children's future fishing pleasure, its nice to share, the gift that keeps on giving, remember, nobody likes shrinkage -yukyuk
Hmmm, pulled the calculator out after realizing my guest's averages were up a lil this year from last, over all.
7 guest's for the week had an 8 steelhead per angler approx. average of 56 steelies
In 3.5 days of guiding, we enjoyed an approx. 16 steelhead per outing of approx. 56 silver bullet total.
(To see all photo's)
Ken with a Bright Chrome Freshie, Congrats!
Today started as one of those relaxing, enjoyable, peaceful rainy days. The only thing that was irritating was when the tranquility of the day was interrupted by that darn whining sound of my guest's drag's. Then people would yell, Fish On. Come on folks, can't a guide get a lil rest, peace and quite around here? The nerve of some people! Then I was expected to chase after this 16 lb. Steelhead that kept doing these darn 25 foot tail walks across the pool, then these obnoxious somersault's 4 feet into the air with a big ol loud belly flop with water splashing 20 feet in all directions. I would have reeeeelly been upset if my hair had gotten wet. Then more speeding bullet run's until that bright orange stringy stuff (backing) would appear behind the fly line.
I just could not win today. Every spot I stopped to fish, my guest's would continually hook more fish. Out of 3 spot's my guest's fished, we hit them in all. I got so fed up that I finally stopped in a spot where no fish has been hooked in over 100 years, and my guest's were still able to hook some up. So much for a nice relaxing day on the water. I think I need to find a new, less stressful job, where a person can get a lil R and R ;)
Habitat - Reading Water - Current Breaks
One of the most important aspects of Habitat is to figure out the relationship between all of the different water levels and all of the individual and different current break's. How each current break effect's the water movement and then how the fish relate to each current break. By having a clear and precise understanding of this allows the knowledgeable angler to understand our quarries weakness and then exploit them. Basically, where do they hold at all of the different water levels on this river to help you catch them.
The reason a current break is so important to the fish is that it decreases the amount of energy they need to expend to maintain it's position in the river, creek or stream. If they have to expend to much energy they will die. You can see how these current breaks can be the difference between life or death for a fish and why it is critical for them to use them and for us, the angler, to understand this relationship.
The fish change their lies every time there is a major change in water flow in most holes. Due to the effects that the current break has or does not have on this new flow of water. They will also change their preferences due to time of year, fishing pressure, temperature of water and their biological clock to name just a few. Their change could be as little as moving from the head of the hole (heads of holes are current breaks) to the middle of the hole where the current is not as strong. Or from the tail (higher water flows - the tail is a current break) to the middle of the pool when the water drop's. During real high water sometimes the hole (current break) itself provides little to no protection from the current and you will find the fish moving to the seam of the hole. A seam - where the faster water meets the slower water. Seam's are another current break that the fish love to use. During extreme water flows they could even position themselves directly along the bank of the river.
We have low water current breaks and high water current breaks. Many times a current break is not large enough to effect the high water and the fish's relationship to it becomes useless. Just the opposite can be said for larger current breaks during low water. A prime example of this would be --- hole. During low water this large hole is normally not used by the fish because the water moves so slowly above it that there is no current for the fish to need it. (It's like a pond) But, during high water when the current is really moving, this spot is used by the fish because it provides shelter (a current break) for the fish to conserve their energy as they move up or down the river. So, we have high water spots (current breaks) that we only fish during high water and low water spot's that we only fish during low water.
So the trick is to know when each spot (or part of the spot) is productive (when the fish will use them) and only fish these area's during the correct water flow. We have different current breaks that the Steelhead use in the Fall (more aerated moving water) compared to the Winter (less aerated moving water). We have different current breaks that the fish use while they are moving up or down (in transition) the river that are different than where they would want to stay for an extended period of time. You have heard me talk about these spots as transitional holding and holding. During their spawn their current breaks change again.
The small island you stand on to fish the hole in low water is now the current break for the fish in much higher water flows. The small boulder on the bottom of the river holds fish behind it in low water flows but becomes almost useless during high water.
Transitional water is where the fish keep swimming up river and do not stop.
Transitional holding water is structure or current breaks that the fish use while in a transitional mode while moving up or down the river to rest for awhile. The length of time any species of fish will hold on these current breaks is determined by the quality of the current break and what the fish had to go through to get to it. (There are other factors also) Fish normally use the depth of water and the current to navigate. So any current break that is on this path is normally used. Whenever we have fish that are in transition then these locations should always be fished.
They have reached a place in the river where all of their survival instincts are satisfied.
We need the same things they do to survive.
A prime lye consists of:
1. Depth of water for safety from predators.
2. A good enough current break to decrease the amount of energy they need to expand to maintain this position.
3. Enough food.
These "happy fish" will not move from these positions unless one of a number of things happen.
Having an intimate understanding of Current Breaks and when and where to fish them will help you on your steelhead quest.
Best Fish's, Randy Jones