Salmon River NY Steelhead

Drift Boat Steelhead Guide Spin Fly Fishing Reports for the Salmon River in Pulaski NY:


Steelhead are top to bottom. 70% Winter Spots and approx. 30% Transitional. Water level is presently 750 cfs, or what we call a gate. Plus run-off. Pineville is approx. 900 cfs and below Trout Brook its approx. 1,050 cfs. Perfect flow. With the higher - very normal flow means more current which can sometimes make it a lil harder to land or follow your fish. With the combined colder water temp's. and lil higher water flow it tends to move the fish a lil deep'r into there prime Winter locations. Some of the places where you might cross the river are uncrossable. Please be careful. All presentational techniques are working, some better than other's.


On my last Drift Boat Trip:

Dad Tim, brought his 14 year old son Jason out to play. They had fished here before, but with limited result's. So today was a fresh and new beginning.

We landed 3 out of 7 Steelhead while useing the heated drift boat. One bright (freshie) and the rest a lil dark'r. We fished 2 places and were 100% in both spots!

One spot was a combined Winter - Transitional Holding. The other was purely prime Transitional holding. We were approx. 50-50 on numbers from each location.


After covering 100% of this habitat and hitting a couple Steelhead in the first spot, I asked a couple of regular's who were fishing below us, if they felt like rotating. Both area's in this run hold's'm. Kind'a like a box of chocolates, never know :) Everyone happily rotated. Shortly there after my guest yells "Fish On!"


Sometimes my guest's will rotate there spots if one is doing better than the other. It's nice to share. It has to be one of the worst feeling's when your having a slow day, you rotate to get into the "hot spot" and your buddy immediatly hook's one up in the spot you just left. Grrrrr! :)


Next location, young Jason ties into a Skipper that gave us all a nice show, jumping around. We call a 1 year old Steelhead a Skipper and call a 1 year old Salmon a Jack.


The second spot was interesting. I pointed out to Tim the tree that was on the far bank. I suggested that he stand even with it, not below it and no more than a foot above it. Now land your offering 2-3 feet this side of the far seem. This would put your offering thru the deepest part of the tail of the funnel-run. It's a prime lye for fish that are in a transitional stage. Sometimes they bunch up here. Sometimes the shadow they create looks the size of a car, there can be that many.

It wasn't long after, that Tim was tight to another Steelhead! Then another and another. (I secretly patted myself on the back, not that Im bragging or anything, guess we just got lucky. ;)


3 current breaks in this one spot helped us:

1. Normally, the tail of a run or pool is where the water moves slower and is a natural place where the fish can hold and rest without exerting much energy while in a transitional holding stage.

2. Most runs are primarily made up of a channel. This channel is a depression, like a hole and is a common current break.

3. The tail of this run - funnel has a slight depression in it. Ever heard of the "hole within the hole?" Its like a magnet for all species of fish that run and hold in this river.

Ssssh, lets keep that one our lil secret. :)


The 3 most important aspect's of our success were:

1. Correct Habitat for the water flow, temperature of water, current break's and fish's stage of migration or life.

2. Rigging

3. Most important - Presentation: You can always have both of the above, but without presentation, its not very productive.


One of the funnier things that happened this day was when Jason reminded his dad that we should only hold the fish out of the water for a picture as long as you can hold your breath.

One of the many lil tips I suggest thru out the day is after you've enjoyed a spectacular battle with these Trophy Steelhead, that when holding them out of the water for a picture, you should only keep them out of the water for as long as you can hold your breath. Otherwise, the fish is exhausted, in some sort of shock and is simply suffocating. When releasing it, its survival rate goes way down. Even if it appears to swim off strongly.

A reeeel simple way for me to make my point to you non believer's is get your heart rate up then put YOUR head subsurface. How long is safe?

These are Trophy fish and should be treated as such. With Respect.

So when Dad's camera batteries were dead from the cold and a picture was not going to happen. I got a reeeel kick when Jason had repeated my lil tip from earlier in the day to his Dad.

Need to put it back Dad, we should only hold it out of the water for as long as you can hold your breath :)

At days end, they had both made me proud to be there guide!


Now that its Winter Tip:

I see this happen a lot with my guest's who bring a camera on there trip. Dead Batteries. I've never had a problem with this as Ive learned to keep my camera or cell phone in an inside pocket of my jacket which is on the inside of my waders. Your body heat keeps your batteries in working order all day, even on the coldest.



Fishing Quote

May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. ~Irish Blessing



Ive seen how you fish. I'd recommend going to McDonalds and ordering a fish sandwich :) Or, take up golf, you might catch more :)



Good luck on your next trip!

Transitional and Winter holding spots all producing.

Lot's of room at those round circular cement pools at the Hatchery :)


My wife said, either give up your fish'n pole or I want a divorce. I'm sure gon'a miss that gal.


No fish were hurt in the writing of this report :)



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.


On a personal note:

I've been sick for the last week and 1/2 which delayed this report. Had to cancel several trips. Im feeling better now and will be back out on the water guiding shortly thru the Holidays. Give me a ring if your intrested! I am now working weekends thru out the rest of the Winter.


Hello to all the armed forces that read my reports from around the world. We will try to save a few fish for you all appon your safe return. Thanks for your service!


Thats it for this week's Steelhead Salmon River Pulaski NY Drift Boat Guide Fishing Report, Etc... I think I covered all the important stuff.

I'll be updating things next week and will be adding my normal educational articles, Tips, Pics, Humor, Mail Bag stuff. So stop back.


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!

Best Holiday Fish's,

Randy Jones - Fishing Report (More Tips, Articles, Pic's and my usual Ramblings :)

Fish Species: Steelhead Salmon Brown Trout
Bait Used: Flies Egg Sacks Beads
Tackle Used: Fly or Spin, Wade or Drift Boat
Method Used: Fly or Spin, Wade or Drift Boat
Water Depth: 900 cfs
Water Temperature: 35
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:

Do you want to leave a comment? Login or register now to leave a comment.

No comments so far

About The Author: Randy Jones

Company: Yankee Guide Service

Area Reporting: Salmon River Pulaski NY

Bio: Salmon River Pulaski NY Steelhead Salmon Drift Boat Fishing Report Guide. Fly-Spin Drift Boat-Wade - - Fishing Reports for Articles, Pics, Tips and my Ramblings. Enjoy! More info. on Web Site. - We are located just 1/2 hour North of Syracuse - Full Time, 30 years experince, Best Fish\'s, Randy Jones

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Fishing Guide Randy Jones