Pulaski New York fishing river guide has Pulaski NY river guide fish report off drift boat
Posted by Randy Jones on December 19, 2013, 7:46 am
Dec. 1 Special Holiday Fishing Report and Ramblings Update: |
(To see all Holiday photo's, please visit profile - Fishing Report page)
A Brown Trout and a Steelhead caught while fishing the Salmon River in Pulaski NY during the Holidays
Temperatures look to moderate this coming week. Winds look light if at all. I noticed a lot of the bank anglers having success, which is always nice to see.
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.
I'm noticing 75% darker steelhead and the balance being bright chromers. The fresher steelhead are either in those transitional holding spots or ones that have just recently moved into there Winter places.
I was flattered to speak with an ex-client of mine who was out fishing all week on his own. He thanked me for showing him this spot and helping him with presentation and rigging. He found 16 steelhead on one of his days and plenty more on the other days. Shortly there after he was tight to another one of many steelhead. Since he was fishing a lil up river from my drift boat, I offered to net his fish from the back of the boat. He pulled that steelhead in and brought it to the surface behind my boat and with the help of my 10 foot net handle we were easily able to land it. What a beauty! Fish released.
I might add that ALL of the Steelhead we landed this past week were ALL released, for your future fishing pleasure. I'd like to thank all of you who are releasing your catch as your gift to ALL of us anglers. It's nice to share.
Ramblings from the Row'rs Seat:
A guide friend told me recently that before it snowed he filled his drift boat to the brim with trash he had picked up from Pineville down to 2A. Super!
I was at a few popular spot's myself the other day and picked up a bunch of trash. Thanks to the few of you who pick up other's trash also!
Next time I stop in Jersey, Im going to dump all MY trash in there front yard and see how THEY like it. (Just kidding Jersey)
Once, I filled my boat 4 feet high on all sides from the transom to the bow with trash bags on a river clean up with friends. Had to stand up while rowing to be able to see down river.
Just another day at the office
The Moon lit our travels to the hopeful honey hole under the cover of dark. The sun rose to an inspiring orange and pink sky with an encore of Geese trumpeting over head. The thunder shouted, fish on! A rainbow the color of our quarry, shown majestically over the meadow. The pouring rain, sleet, hail, sun, snow and a bone chilling west wind off the lake were are travel companions today.
(Boy, I should be a writer, NOT!!)
Ever heard these?
W.C. Fields Quote: (you youngsters may need to google his name)
When he was asked what he spent all his money on?
Broads, Booze and Gambling, the rest I wasted.
W.C. Fields Quote on Prejudice:
I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.
W.C. Fields Quote on Trust:
Trust everybody, but cut the cards yourself.
Where the land ends LIFE begins
This article first appeared in the February 2002 issue of the NY Conservationist magazine and is being reprinted with their permission. Article and most photo's by Mike Cavanaugh. Mike works in DEC's Division of Public Affairs and Education.
You may enjoy reading Mikes article on a day on the Salmon River with his son Tom. For me, certain days stand out among other's. Sometimes its the big fish, numbers of fish or the camaraderie we share. Today was different, it was not about numbers or size, but mostly about dad sharing his love for the great outdoors with his son and spending quality time together.
May devoted anglers read these words and relive the simple pleasures of finding - and landing - the big one.
( The fisherman's book of wisdom )
(To see all Holiday photo's)
A Fish for Christmas?
Thomas looked a little puzzled as he picked the brightly wrapped package from under the tree; it wasn't heavy, it didn't rattle or anything. In fact, it felt like an empty box. A cruel trick to play on a 12-year old boy, but the sudden appearance of cameras as he unwrapped it meant that this would be something special. He was even more perplexed, however, when the box contained only a single fishing fly and a note that said January 5th.
Fly Fishing in January?
The drive up to the Salmon River was filled with questions. What kind of fish will we be after? What's a steelhead? How will we get to the river in all the snow? What's a drift boat? What if I get cold? Why are we going with a guide, Dad?
The answer to the last question really shed light on all the others. My experience with winter steelhead fishing was limited, to say the least. A guide would help us be safe, comfortable and most of all, he'd share his knowledge on the river. After a quick dinner in Pulaski, we settled in.
I had met Randy Jones at an outdoor show the previous spring while helping with the fly casting demonstrations near Randy's booth. After a few friendly exchanges about my technique, or lack thereof, we started talking about the Salmon River. This guy seemed to have a compatible personality, the right approach to fishing and a good attitude about protection of the resource and ethical behavior on the river-all important considerations that I wanted to share with my son. More importantly, he really seemed to enjoy what he did, a quality I've found to be contagious. I had wanted to get Thomas out during the winter run of steelhead, but had never ventured into the cold and ice to try. A chat with Randy made up my mind.
That night, I dreamt of dancing steelhead and the excited smiles of a boy who is growing up too quickly. We hopped out of bed in the pre-dawn darkness to find 4 inches of fresh snow and a temperature of about 20 degrees. Promptly at 6 AM, Randy, with his drift boat in tow, pulled up. We got Thomas outfitted with some 5 mm Neoprene waders, korkers (safety spikes for the slippery bottom) and grabbed a bite to eat on our way to the drift boat launch in Altmar, just downstream from the DEC's Salmon River Hatchery.
Before launching the boat, Randy and I talked about my objectives for the day. I told Randy that this was Thomas's trip and, with that in mind, to devote most of his attention to making sure my son learned a bit of technique, and how to be a courteous and ethical angler. While catching a fish was important, a good day on the water was the goal.
(To see all Holiday photo's)
We fished for a while in the fly-only area upstream of the Altmar bridge, using a fly rod. My third cast-WHAM! A silver rocket took the fly and gave me the fight of my life-for all of about 30 seconds, that is, 'til I got too aggressive and it broke the tippet. Oh well! Under our guide's tutelage, Thomas was doing much better; getting the hang of casting to the right spot, feeling the drift and cooperating with the handful of other anglers in the pool. After 45 minutes, Randy decided it was time to move downstream a bit.
(To see all Holiday photo's)
Riding in the big drift boat was quite an experience for both of us. Randy steered and poled us around some rocks; we bumped over others. The fresh snow, combined with the steam rising off the river and the bright gray of January overcast made it a surreal picture. Other anglers shivered in their waders as we drifted past and warmed our hands in the red glow of the propane heater on the boat. While drifting Randy spoke to Thomas about his experiences fishing the Salmon River and his love of fishing.
(To see all Holiday photo's)
We drifted for a few minutes and landed at a hole just upstream from the popular trestle pool. We got out of the boat and waded into the icy water (thank goodness for our insulated Neoprene waders). There were a few other anglers and some real promising water. The promise was kept within a few minutes as Thomas hooked into a large and very energetic steelhead. I put down my rod, picked up the camera and enjoyed watching my son get dragged around 100 yards of Salmon River real estate, with Randy running close behind! The big fish was netted and Thomas got a close look at a 16-pound silver beauty. High-fives all around, a picture or two from the proud dad, and the fish was released unharmed to hopefully brighten the day of another angler.
As we drifted and fished for the rest of the day, we learned about the river, we visited with other anglers, we talked about the steelhead we were seeing, we had a lot of laughs and , oh, by the way, Thomas caught another fish or two. Randy felt bad that the "old man" hadn't caught any fish, but I assured him it didn't matter. After all, that wasn't the objective of the trip. Just look at that smile!
(To see all Holiday photo's)
I'm often asked, "What was your best day on the water?” After 30 plus years of guiding in Vermont, on Cape Cod and the Salmon River in New York, many best days flash across my mind. As I searched deep for my best fish story, it suddenly hit me. It wasn't my fish, my day or even my story that gave me the most rewarding experience!
Any guide will tell you, we are teachers and our true satisfaction comes in a way that any teacher feels when their students do well on a test. When I guide I feel my guest's are fishing through me. As a partnership striving for the same goal.
Today, more than ever I felt a part of Mike and Thomas's hopes, desires and dreams. We shared laughter and the excitement in each other's voices. The look of total satisfaction and awe as we revived, released and watched a keeper swim away, savoring its beauty and gracefulness. Released to produce more offspring for your children's pleasure.
Subscriptions can be purchased by either mailing a check, or via a "Hot Button" from the opening page of the DEC's website link below and subscribing on line.
PO Box 1500
Latham, NY 12110
or call: 1-800-678-6399
Visit the Department's website at: http://www.dec.state.ny.us
(To see all Holiday photo's)
12 year old ("Hot Rod" for the day) Tom's Holiday present from his Dad, Mike.
Tom was all smiles after fighting this big (approx. 16lb Steelhead). This was his first time ever fishing for them. The second one even though smaller, still gave him a great fight and both will last in his memory for a life time. Congrats Tom! I have a feeling it will be a long ride home for his father Mike! ( Both fish released )
It's Q and A time. Get your thinking caps on.
Question related to Habitat
You have 30 seconds to answer................
How many current break's are there normally in a pool?
You have 6 current breaks (unless I missed one ) in every pool. (Add in any big boulders, logs or lil depressions)
Can you name them?
You have 30 seconds......................
Times up. I'm watching, so don't try to cheat like you did in high school -yukyuk
1. The head of the pool
2. The seam on the right side
3. The seam on the Left side
4. The tail of the pool- folks dont think of this as a current break.
5. The speed of the water. Where it goes from fast to slow.
6. And the little talked about, "The hole within the Hole"
If the hole is on a corner than the inside of the corner where the water is slower could produce. You may call this the inside seam. Or, any current break (example - single rock, any size, or a pile of rocks) within the faster water on the outside of the corner could produce.
Question related to Habitat
1. How many of these current breaks produce steelhead?
2. Are all of these current breaks guaranteed to produce a Steelhead or two for you?
You have 30 seconds.......................
1. All 6 current breaks.
2. Yes, may be seasonal or water level dependent.
Yup, at some time or another they will all produce for you. All of them could produce in the same pool, same day, same hour.
What is the most important factor on whether these current breaks will produce for you or not? (providing their are fish there)
You have 10 seconds...........................
The pool could be loaded with chrome and if you do not have the proper presentation than nada. I see it daily. We can have a hole loaded with Salmon or Steelhead, sometimes you can even see them as their are so many. But, we never catch one until my guest's have gone through the ol learning curve and succeeded in 100% presentation. I've written about this before so Im sure most of you remember what I consider be a 100% drift. No matter the tool you use to present your offering. A 100% drift would be anything that gets and keep's you offering in the strike zone the quickest and the longest for the specific tool you are using. (In my opinion)
1. What are the 2nd and 3rd most important part's of fishing if presentation is 80% of it? (In my opinion)
You have 10 seconds.................................
1. Habitat and Rigging
The 2nd and 3rd most important would be rigging and habitat, which Ive discussed a lil in the recent past and a hole lot over the years.
If any of the 3 P, H and R are are not 100% than your hoping for luck. Sure it happens, but to be confident and consistent, you'll need 100% knowledge first of all 3 .
Question: (In my opinion)
You have a pocket. How many current breaks are there?
You have 30 seconds..............................
You have the same number of current breaks as a pool. A pocket is just a smaller version of a pool. :)
It could be a BIG pocket or a small pool.
How about a run (channel), # of current breaks?
Again, I'd guess 6. Same as a pocket or a pool. Pretty much the same thing. They are normally just long and narrow.
*A lil tip I'll share with you is that in a large pocket, created by a big rock ('s). I normally find them at "what we call" the V. As the current comes back together after passing the big rock, it forms a sometimes visible V.
*As soon as the fish swim's up river and comes in contact with the V, it has found itself a pretty nice resting - holding area (current break) to take a break. You would think that directly behind the rock would be the preferred stopping - resting point, but it's not the preferred. The tail or V also provides any feeding fish the ability to keep a look out for any food passing by. Surprisingly enough, the current break (V) could go 20-30 feet or more, either surface or sub-surface behind the rock. So the rock you see might have a fish sitting 40 feet back on it. (At the bottom of the V)
What is similar and just as important or critical for success as a surface current break. (Example of a surface current break - big rock tip sticking out of the water combined with current with a visual pocket behind it that you can see - hint hint)
You have 5 seconds..............................
Answer: Sub-surface current break
This could be anything from a rock, the hole with in the hole, log, underneath the white water at the head of the hole. If you think about it, doesn't a big subsurface rock have 4 or so current breaks? Behind the rock, the 2 seams beside and behind the rock and the tail (V). Hmmmm, interesting.
Keeping on this thought. How many of you remember a specific current break (example - rock) that is visible in the lower water and then becomes invisible during the higher water? I personally find that the productivity of this type of current break increases in value when the water is higher.
Also, how about that lil island you stand on to fish when the water is low. Think that might be a nice current break that the fish will use when the water is higher?
These and more are the area's to concentrate on. Specific lye's, prime holding area's, prime current breaks that I always use in my business. Pretty simple once you break it down.
I hope you'll look at any one of these prime spots, current breaks, holding area's a lil different now. :) There are obviously a lot more different types of current breaks to look for when your on the hunt for the sometimes elusive Steelhead.
Your getting good. You get a gold star for today's test. I'll try to make it harder for you next time. Boy, and here you thought you were just coming here for a fishing report.
Best Holiday Fish's,
River News - Celebrity Guest Catch's Steelhead!
(To see all Holiday photo's)
Guess who was fishing for Steelhead in old farts pool this weekend on the river? Yup, even Santa takes time off to wet a line and tangle with some Silver Bullets on the Salmon River. Ol' Saint Nick was 1 for 3 using a combination of glow bugs and Stones. Santa was last seen chasing a rocketing, somersaulting, speeding bullet, tail walking Steelhead down the river steady on his feet, bellowing Ho-Ho-Ho, Happy Steelhead Fishing Holidays to Alllllllll..
(Santa released all of his Steelhead, as a Holiday gift to you)
"The fish you release may be a gift to another fisherman as it may have been a gift to you."
A guide friend asked me where we were hitting all of our steelhead this week. I told him I couldn't remember as it was dark outside when I anchored the drift boat.
After we had hooked up several Steelhead a bank angler asked what we were using, I said I couldn't see as it was dark outside when I tied it on.
After we had hooked up several Steelhead a very wise and experienced friendly steelhead bank angler (who I might add was having a lot of success also) asked what pound test leader - tippet we were using. I said I couldn't remember as it was dark outside when I tied it on. Then I pulled out my spool from my chest wader pocket and said, O, its 50 ponund test. He politly chuckled in return, for me being soooooooooo helpful.
Food's that help you to stay warm in the Winter and "Kids" what is lake effect snow video:
Hi Randy, I have been planning to make trips up to the salmon R for probably 8 to 10 yrs and havent made it yet. I hit 18 mile creek a couple of times right around this time of yr...but am interested in getting knowledgable enough to make annual trips up to the Salmon R (about half the drive). I have all the gear.
I am interested in getting a handle on where, how to fish the Salmon from shore in areas where I can wade fish without killing myself (58 yrs old, in pretty good shape but my knee joints have some wear and tear)
Any suggestions on areas I could target? If you have some good ideas on locations to point me at and think I would benefit from scheduling in some time with you, please advise. Are weekdays much better (crowdwise) than weekends? Any insight/recommendations will be greatly appreciated. Thanks - Joe
Hi Joe, Mid-week always best, less angler pressure so more fishing opportunity for you. If flexible, try not to fish on a Holiday or around it or weekend's.
Any place where there is a bridge crossing the river. Any place where there is a road that runs along the river. They also have a number of public parking area's adjacent to some of the holes. A map would show you these area's nicely. I'd start there.
Happy Hook'n, Randy
(To see all Holiday photo's)
Some more Holiday Cheer Steelhead. Congrats!!
Last weeks fishing report:
Dentist apt. schedued day off. No cavities, so I was happy
Dave and brother Ron - "repeat - experinced" clients tangled w/ approx. 27 steelhead. Yup, your eyes are reading that correctly. 27!!!!! Holy cow! I doubt Ill have another one of those days again this season. My guest's and myself enjoyed "A Day For KINGS!"
I sincerley hope that all of you have a chance to experince a day like today!
Dave and brother Ron joined me for a second day, hungry for some more Chrome. Fought approx. 17 total Steelhead today. Simplie AMAZING!!! They just booked me for another 5 days. Spring time April steelhead, next years Fall Salmon and Nov. steelhead.
Since I'm rambling about future Steelhead fishing, I like the Winter time as you'll have more fishing opportunity w/ less anglers fishing. Which normally means more steelhead for you!
I also like the end of March and the first few weeks of April for Spring time steelhead fishing. Its a lil warmer, sight fishing is an optional treat and in April the upper fly zone opens back up wich is another option. The U.F.Z. closed today until next April.
Canceled trip due to dangerous wind chills. Yes, I had my skirt on - yukyuk, so you fair weather anglers are not alone and can rib me a lil.
Friday the river was VERY crowded with anglers and boats. I didn't know if Id be able to find a good place to fish. It was soooo cold, I didn't meet my guest until 8am. I got lucky and found 2 nice spots that know one knew about.
As I slowly drift down the river in the drift boat, I noticed know one was fishing the tail of a very productive hole. I set the anchor and within a few drift's my "repeat - experinced" guest was into his first Steelhead of many. Landed a couple nice ones out of 6. Once we finished experimenting with rigging and presentational changes (that all worked) and the fishing slowed to a crawl. We pulled anchor and headed out to see what prime water we could find them in next. I noticed know one was fishing a normally productive spot that fish's great in 750 cfs. So I set the anchor and within a few drift's my guest was tight to 5 more Steelhead. We fished 2 other spots very breifly and left as it was a lil to crowded for my liking.
My 1 "repeat - experinced" guest Anton played with 11 Steelhead today!
Biggest Steelhead was approx. 15lb's as it catapulted itself skyward toward the heavens, somersaulting several times before splash down! I could see angler heads turning as it sounded like a big brick being thrown into the water. Then a tail walk for about 20 feet. Darn..... I love this job!
Another one of Anton's day's out with me steelhead fishing:
Anton was my 1 guest using a fly rod off the drift boat on Sat. Due to his superior angler ability level, He Hammered'm!
He played with approx. 16 Steelhead. Ye-haaaa!
Within the first 10 minutes the drift boat across from us had 3 Steelhead on. It wasn't long before Anton had his first Steelhead on for the day, of many. After the next 15 minutes of no fish for us to play with we decided to get out of the boat and work this productive spot 5-6 feet at a time, working our 30 foot window of opportunity. We picked away at them while the boat across from us were hammering them using center pin's w/ floats and eggs or beads. (Over heard the guide say they played with 14 Steelhead in this spot the day before.) After Anton and I had moved down approx. 100 feet from where we had started off the boat, we found a pod of Steelhead in this normally productive small area! We worked about a 12 foot length of the bank working back and forth the remainder of the day. Why leave fish to try to find fish, especially with all the drift boats and fair weather shore anglers around. Pheeew, now I could relax and enjoy the view. I watched Anton's presentation thru out the day and suggested a few reminders and tips that worked like magic. Try this, then like magic, "Fish On". We both would chuckle.
At one point we were hitting Steelhead on almost every drift. Wow! Then, all of a sudden nothing! We poked around for the next hour with not'a nibble. Looked at my watch and it was time to hit the ramp.
All the other boats and shore anglers were all smiles as we slowly drifted down the river past them in the drift boat, joking and laughing. I congratulated 1 guide and his clients of there success's. I told him we didnt find 1 steelhead all day in this one spot that we had been fishing all day. He knew better :) He said that he had noticed us having success. I told him they were only chub's. We all laughed. Another guide freind and his clients were fishing a nice place all by themselves down river. We joked how up river looked more like Salmon Season with all the boats and anglers. It was nice to see everyone out enjoying this world class fishery! Even saw a few family's out with the kids having fun.
Another one of many, Day for Kings!
Congrats again Anton!
All fish were pictured and released for all of you to enjoy! Mostly old'r darker educated male and female Steelhead with one freshy in the bunch.
(To see all Holiday photo's)
This is one of my all time favorite steelhead photo's. Anton fishing in April. Big'ol Buck! Congrats!! (Released)
Anglers are finding the steelhead fishing presently either challenging, tuff, ok, not bad, pretty good or amazing. I guess we just got lucky this last week, as we found the steelhead fishing amazing!!
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.
Water Level Forecast and Crystal Ball:
Until 11:59 PM Sun DEC 01, 750 CFS
Water Temp's have dropped even further. (hint-hint)
Wed. the local creeks came up and were running chocalate, due to the storm that dumped rain and snow on us. I was surprised that they didnt raise the Salmon River water levels, so I guess they had room for it all. A freind recently reported that @ one of the 2 reziviours, it was 2 feet below full.
We have some more rain and snow in the forecast. Dont know if it will be enouph for the water levels in the river to come up or not. I'd guess that the water levels will remain at 750 cfs and then drop later this week?
Did you know?
If you look at all the license plates in all the angler parking lot's along the Salmon River. You will, on any given day see more out of State plates then NY plates. Also, you will see more NY plates around all of the other local Steelhead and Salmon streams and creeks that are not publicized that much.
Did you know?
Approx. 10 years ago when the DEC did a creel survey, 80% of anglers were keeping these steelhead and not practicing C and R. 20% of our Steelhead anglers were.
Approx. 3 years ago when the DEC did a creel survey the above percentages were reversed. Only 20% of anglers were keeping these Steelhead while 80% were putting them all back and practicing C and R. Hmmm!
A good ol'timer freind and guide jokingly say's that there is one bad side effect to keeping and eating these fish. Genital Shrinkage!
He told that to one of my clients a few weeks back when he decided to keep one. My guest replied, I know all about that, I've been married for 30 years (harhar)
Ever wonder why we have sooo mannnny morrrre Steelhead around now, compared to 8-10 years ago?
I'm no fish biologist. But, I'd guess its for numerous reason's.
1. Genetically stronger Strains?
2. Creel limit of 1 Steelhead per day per angler.
3. Size restriction to keep.
4. Mild Winter's.
5. Pen rearing project's. Letting the fish get larger before being released. Less predation?
6. More anglers practicing C and R. Nobody likes Shrinkage!
7. More bait in the lake?
8. The hatchery folks are putting steroids in the water?
I'd have to guess that its a lil of all of the above, plus some I missed.
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 Fishing Report, Etc... I think I covered all the important stuff.
May all your door knobs smell of 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, 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.
An ol'Holiday Brown Trout, landed by me in ol'Pucker Brush Creek ;)
Best Steelhead and Salmon Holiday Fish's,
Salmon River NY Guide and Author Randy Jones