I have been traveling to Salmon River NY for close to 20 years but it wasn’t until the last 10 years that I was able to make the trek more than once each year. I would have to say, I have never been disappointed even with all the talk of less steelhead. Every trip is different but I have always gotten into fish. I stick to the fly zones because it’s easier with kids and new people to fly fishing. It’s a great place to hook fish and safest to wade.
Unfortunately this year the water was extremely high in the fly zone so I was forced to make a decision, do we fish it anyway or do we explore new fishing grounds like I say I’m going to do every year. Do I fish where I know there are fish or do I explore new ground and risk spending the day driving? Typically, because of my time crunch, I chose to fish. So with a little Intel from a friend, a little luck and great timing we fished new water and revisited some I hadn’t seen in years. We hit the brown trout bite just right and it seemed the steelhead were back in full force. The first place we hit was smaller than I am use to and at first glance I wasn’t very optimistic.
It just didn’t look big enough to hold steelhead or these monster browns we had been told were here. But after several cast into this fishy looking spot and I was soon hooked into a brown of epic size! I was shocked at what little water was actually there. The fight didn’t last long once the fish headed down river where there were full trees down in the water. I put full pressure on but the line wouldn’t hold and I lost the brown of a lifetime. Not realizing we were about to have a day we will never forget, I was needless to say disappointed .
Keep in mind Stac has only been fishing for a couple years and this is not easy fishing. Her goal was to catch one fish. Well she did that and then some!
We spent the next several hours fishing alone and for anyone who’s been to NY fishing, you know this is very rare. We caught many large browns and a few steelhead releasing them all back to the small water we caught them in. After seeing the first person find their way up to us we decided to move on to another river.
Upon arriving at the new spot we could see people everywhere and doubted we would find a spot to fish. The bank was lined with people but not one person was in the middle of the river and to me, that looked like the best run. We slowly pushed our way through the thick bushes and out into the middle of the river. I wasn’t long before we realized my hunch was right. We proceeded to hook fish after fish landing most.
The next morning we found the same spot void of people once again. Which means we made our way out to the middle to try our luck again. We spent most of the day here hooking and landing fish. We hooked 22 fish by 10 am. We had a day we can only dream of and won’t soon forget.
What I learned from this trip is no matter what you know there is always new stuff to learn. It was refreshing and resparked my interested in getting out of my confront zone and makes me want to learn new techniques I thought I didn’t need to know. I found if you walk just a little farther than everyone else, you will find special places and have some beautiful water to yourself. SO get out of your confront zone and go explore.