Jan. 5 Article: http://www.syracuse.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2016/01/guides_problem_of_dying_struggling_steelhead_on_salmon_river_persists.html
My comment to article:
Thanks for keeping us informed!
I would have written that the normal # of twirlers (not last year) seen on a daily basis, over the last 25 years, is 99.99% LESS this year. Ya-Hooo! (Guess I should have returned your call ;)
In the last 25 years or so Ive seen 3-4 twirlers, on a daily basis, all steelhead season.
This year Ive only seen 3-4 TOTAL steelhead twirlers for the ENTIRE (almost daily) last 3 month steelhead season.
Yes, it persists, BUT is normal, and is 99.99% better than the last 25 years. (excluding last year)
Sincerely, Randy Jones
Lucky13 replied: And is it 99% less twirlers becuz therz 90 % less fishes?
My reply: Nope, if you do the math, it would be 99% less fish (yukyuk)
U-Tube Channel - Recommend Steelhead Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClgsjJbH_nloBgp7eIWrwyg
Or Humor - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddOp8QPNEyc&list=PLlWqnCjYul-QtohV_A-9xh2HnquaxrpvR
Below are a few tips on making your trip here fun, safe, enjoyable and hopefully memorable in many ways.
Fishing in Jan. and Feb.? Are you Nuts? -Yup:
Here are some things to consider when fishing here in the winter. The Salmon River is a dam-released river, so it never totally freezes over.
Slush - Planning your fishing day around it:
No it's not the stuff you put in a cone and eat but rather a winter occurrence that causes certain area's of the river to be unfishable.
Knowing current water -air temp., current water and future water flow level's, tonight's predicted lows with tomorrow's highs will help you decide where to begin your day of fishing.
Water temps. are 34 deg. up top and the flow is 285 cfs. Evening lows are swinging around 5 deg. and daytime highs are around 32 deg. (No heavy snow is forecast) The Key here is the nighttime low. Normally if the low is below 20 deg. you will have slush from Pineville down. If the low is only 20 deg. then you may not have any slush the entire length of the river.
When slush is present at these air temp's then normally by 10-11 A.M. the lower part of the river will clear out and make fishing possible. If you're ever not sure, than do what I sometimes do and go to the short bridge in town and have a look for yourself, before planning your day. If air temp's do not rise above 20 for the daytime high then you may have slush down river all day.
If I'm planning to start my fishing at dawn, then I'll start up top. And then later possibly move down river once the slush has had a chance to clear. If certain areas of the river are slushed up and you are the first to arrive after it has cleared than the chances of hooking-up are good. You will be the first angler fishing to fresh fish that have not been disturbed or pressured.
This same condition occurs on the smaller creeks around the Salmon River in early-late winter. Many an early A.M. trip has ended with a return trip when slush was not considered. I will always check air temp's the day before I plan fishing the creeks. Often, I will arrive at 10 A.M. and fish while the last balance of slush is clearing and getting first shot at the prime spots. Fish-on!
If you wanted to fish during the "Prime Time during the Winter" than here are a few things I would consider. (Work and family schedule must be flexible)
1. 3 day warming trend. If there is run-off expect fresh fish in the lower end!
2. Fish around a holiday, not on it.
5. Mid-week, actually weekends during this period are normally not crowded at all.
5. Springtime creeks and streams- Wait till ice out and fish them on the rise or fall of water levels. If you fish them after they have cleared for to long they tend to get fished out. If you can find your honey hole when the water is up, then the fish will be there.
If you arrive and the air temp's are in the low 20ís for the high, then here are a few tip's to staying warm and catching some fish!
1. The days of me fishing a full 8 hours with these air temps are almost over, unless there is sun and no wind. It is actually very pleasant under these conditions.
2. Only fish the most productive part of the day. Normally this occurs during the warmest part. 4 hr's is sufficient between 11-3.
3. Fish spots where the sun is shinning on you, instead of fishing spots where you are in the shadow of a cliff or tree's.
4. Where dark clothing so the suns warm rays can be absorbed into your clothing.
5. Use a spinning rod. I'm a fly addict, but when it's cold, I love my spinning rod! Hands can stay warm in gloves, my fly-bait-bead or whatever is in the water more due to the mechanical nature of a spinning rod which allows me more chances of hooking up.
6. By yourself a pair of fleece wind blocker fingerless gloves with a pull over mitt. I'm out in this weather a lot, and these gloves are all I wear, they are the best! I also reeely enjoy wool gloves with a pull over mitten. Even if wet, they still insulate. I normally carry 2-3 extra pairs of gloves as I hate wet-cold hands in the Winter time.
7. Put heat pads in your gloves and underneath your arch in wader boots. These are sold at most tackle shops in the area.
8. Treat yourself to a pair of 4-5 mil neoprene boot foot waders preferably with a polypropylene wool insert that wraps your feet or a Thinsulate rating of approx. 1200 or above in the boot. You work hard so you deserve it - right? Make sure they are 1-2 sizes bigger than normal as air circulation is key to keeping warm. My feet and body actually perspire on even the coldest of days when standing in the freezing water all day. If you walk any great distances then these are not the best as you will perspire like crazy and then may be damp all day.
9. Wear high tech. under garments that insulate as well as breath. Buy a fleece bib or full body fleece.
10. Carry a small portable propane heater with you, if your not walking far and plan to stay in a certain area all day.
11. You all know about eating right. Stay away from things that take along time to digest. I find a nice pasta dish works for me. A good breakfast and lunch are also an important ingredient to staying warm in the afternoon.
12. I find that when my toes and fingers start to sting, it's time to actively start moving them and think of warmer places. Going for a quick walk along the river is one of the best ways to get that feeling back. The trick is to never let your feet go numb. It can take all night to get the feeling back into them.
If they start to sting, then thats your clue to take some kind of action. With stocking foot waders, where your laces lose on your boots for a better warming air pocket or what I call sloppy.
13. Take breaks to your car or local restaurant to warm up.
14. Keep moving from spot to spot only hitting the most productive areas in each hole.
15. Start the morning off with a nice long walk to one of your favorite spots. There is nothing like a little exercise to warm you up. This warmth will also stick with you for awhile.
16. Make sure you have on some good solid spikes, chains or korkers on your wading boots to keep you steady on your feet while on ice or slippery rocks. Felt is not enough.
The lights go out but the river does not sleep. There be monsters in there, and I'll try again tomorrow,